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George L. Paul is a senior partner at the Phoenix law firm of Lewis and Roca, LLC, specializing in technology issues and the trial of complex business matters. He has written numerous articles and books on technology law, the law of evidence, and other subjects, including trial tactics; is recognized in “Best Lawyers in America” and as a Southwest “Super Lawyer”; and is Co-Chair of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law’s Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence Committee.
“Huh? What was that again?”
“Now? Okay. Whatever it is, it’s now. Thank you. Good-bye.”
“What now? Mobile now? Stop being cryptic. Just tell me what you want to say.”
“Trigger cascade morph New Complex off to the races BOOM.”
“Whooaa! Not that fast. I promise to be open-minded, but I sincerely doubt it’s as dramatic as all that. I highly doubt it. I may simply refuse to accept it.”
Human culture and the global economy are currently undergoing a profound transformation. Some say it’s the biggest thing since the Industrial Revolution. Others say it’s the biggest thing since the printing press. Exponential trends have snapped together to create a new kind of citizen. The Transformation is jolting through the economy as an enormous pulse of information, affecting every area of commerce and human relations. It affects our search for jobs and how we hire; our health care; our education; our shopping habits; our recreation; our knowledge of where we are and where we need to go. Around the globe it has already created new societal institutions. The Transformation is spawning communities unencumbered by physical space and even native tongues—where currents of thought emerge to whip, crack, and pulse in harmony with a coevolving civilization.
This transformation necessitates a rewriting of rules, and of how we interpret existing ones. It affects how we resolve disputes and is revolutionizing what it means to be a lawyer. The legal edifice must immediately come to grips with the shocking Transformation ushered in by Earth’s several billion devices—explosively growing smaller, more intelligent, more interconnected, and ever more closely held to the human heart and mind.