“Is a court a service or a place?” That’s a question posed by Richard Susskind in a recent article in The Practice, a publication of The Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law, which devoted its July/August issue to the topic of remote courts. Susskind is a technology advisor to the Chief Justice of the UK Supreme Court and a prolific author, speaker and thinker on the intersection of technology and law.

Susskind is not always right. His 2008 book The End of Lawyers was either way ahead of its time or way off base, as me and my kind continue to persist as either sand or grease (depending on whom you talk to) in the wheels of justice. Susskind published a new book last November, Online Courts and the Future of Justice. He urged that we plan ahead and use technology to reform and reimagine our civil and criminal justice systems. Little did he know that within six months the world’s courts would jump into the maelstrom virtually overnight, with all sorts of remote justice schemes necessitated by the COVID 19 mess.

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