Vey Willetts lawyer Paul Willetts was quoted in the February 26, 2018 edition of The Lawyer's Daily. The article, "Automated legal services cost efficient, but can leave clients vulnerable, lawyers say", considers the advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence, and the automation of legal documents, for individuals in need of legal assistance.
In the article, Paul notes that online platforms where individuals can create legal documents (such as a Will or Employment Contract) without the assistance of a lawyer can potentially be beneficial as they may further access to justice. Willetts cautions, however, that:
the problem with it primarily is that when you think about a template document, say an employment agreement, if you're just going online you're seeing it in a vacuum. You're grabbing a document and you're assuming it's going to be compliant, but there's no understanding of the context as to why or as to the potential liability that may be there.
Basically, automated online tools generally fail to provide legal documents in context - explaining why something is done a particular way, or how the document should properly be implemented to ensure enforceability. An employment lawyer adds value for their clients by providing necessary context and guidance to avoid unanticipated liability in this regard.
That said, Willetts notes that law is a business and employment lawyers need to be responsive to client demands for responsive and affordable service. As such, lawyers must look to embrace tools that further access to justice at an affordable cost, while ensuring that clients have the necessary "know-how" to ensure that their legal documents further their intended business goals while limiting risk of liability.
If you are an Ontario employee or employer that needs assistance with the review and/or implementation of a workplace legal document (such as an employment agreement, workplace policy or performance improvement plan), please contact one of our lawyers to discuss how we may be able to assist.
Vey Willetts LLP is an Ottawa-based employment and labour law firm that provides timely and cost-effective legal advice to help employees and employers resolve workplace issues in Ottawa and across Ontario. 613-238-4430 or firstname.lastname@example.org