In my view, among the multiplicity of changes in the legal profession since 1970 are the following: technology, advertising, the draconian 2003 tort reform (HB 4/Proposition 12), mandatory arbitration, result-oriented appellate decisions reversing jury verdicts and the resultant reduction/diminishment of jury trials, the cost of legal education and legal services along with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic since December 2019.  

I think it is a given that technology represents the dominant change in our profession over the last 50 years. Evolving technology continues to positively serve the public interest and the legal profession. I do not believe that tort reform, mandatory arbitration, or diminishment of trial by jury have served the public interests. Those changes have only served the special interests. (I think most trial lawyers—defense and plaintiffs—will agree.) I have no idea what will happen in the next 50 years. My hope is that advocacy for adherence to the rule of law, judicial independence, and jury trial preservation will ultimately prevail and not change.  

Sincerely, 

Woodrow M. Roark 
Tyler 
50-year lawyer 

Laura Dawn Ouin is the founder of Third Coast Mediation & Communication in Dallas, Texas, and is passionate about conflict resolution in all forms. Equipped with over 20 years of experience in business development, conflict resolution and communication development, she facilitates solutions through strategic mediations as well as developing written communication for web, press releases, and media distribution. When it is critical that your audience needs to understand your message, Laura Dawn helps you be heard.

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