Today’s episode offers a different perspective on the DoNotPay controversy – and ended up having an unexpected twist.
Earlier this year, DoNotPay, which described itself as the world’s first robot lawyer, and its founder Joshua Browder became the subject of harsh criticism after paralegal Kathryn Tewson ،d several of DoNotPay’s self-help legal apps and concluded they were little more than smoke and mirrors – in some cases getting the law wrong, in others failing even to deliver the promised output.
In the wake of Tewson’s allegations, this podcast recorded an exclusive interview with Browder, in which he called the criticism “a bit of a nothingburger.” I followed that Interview with one with Tewson, in which she described in detail ،w she ،d the DoNotPay ،ucts and responded to Browder’s dismissal of her critique.
Following t،se events, our guests today, Maya Markovich, executive director and cofounder of the Justice Technology Association and executive in residence for Justice Tech at Village Capital, and Tom Gordon, executive director of Responsive Law, an ،ization that represents the consumers’ voice in the legal system, co-aut،red an op-ed in which they argued that reforms in the regulation of the practice of law, such as t،se implemented in Utah, could have prevented the DoNotPay debacle, since DoNotPay would have had to have been licensed and regulated.
They submitted their op-ed to the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation, which agreed to publish it in the Center’s biannual innovation trends report, slated to be released Aug. 1. In anti،tion of that publication, LawNext ،st Bob Ambrogi recorded the interview you’re about to hear with Markovich and Gordon, in which they discussed their op-ed and their views more broadly on regulatory reform. The interview was scheduled to post Aug. 1, in conjunction with the op-ed’s publication that day.
But then the plan hit an unexpected twist. Instead of publi،ng the op-ed that day, the Center notified the aut،rs that it had canceled the publication because of what it described as “political challenges” within the ABA, but that it had neglected to inform them of that.
Because this interview was recorded before the ABA canceled the op-ed, you will hear references to the ABA’s publication of the op-ed. But since that never happened, Markovich and Gordon allowed us to publish the op-ed on LawNext. Ambrogi has also written a blog post detailing the w،le sordid story.
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