Seth Godin stated it well when he wrote, “The ease with which someone can invent and spread lies [with advancing technology] is going to take most of us by surprise. It’s going to require an entirely new posture for understanding the world around us.”
This is especially true in family law.
We will soon reach the point (some are there already) in family law where a spouse or parent can create fake email, text, and audio and visual “records” of spousal and child abuse, substance abuse, infidelity, assets and debt, property damage, diminution and dissipation of assets, scientific data, etc. that is all but indistinguishable from the genuine article. The level and volume of fakery will be impossible for all but the wealthiest of litigants to discern (and even then, if a duped judge is too proud or to biased to acknowledge and remedy the fraud, all the proof in the world won’t protect the innocent). When truth is practicably impossible to verify in the legal process, truth becomes meaningless to the process.
I don’t know how best to address this problem (it may already be too late). Unless the profession takes immediate and wise action, the liars will make such a mockery of the legal process so fast and so pervasively that trust in the system will be irreparably destroyed (and with good reason). We may reach a point where society at large gives up on the notion of justice being a function of truth (reality).
One concern I have is members of the profession (both opposing counsel and judges) acting “offended” for outraged or “concerned” if somebody claims that deepfakes and other similar tactics are being engaged. I’m concerned that someone who may in the utmost sincerity raise legitimate concerns about the authenticity and veracity of certain evidence being ridiculed as paranoid, a vexatious litigator, unprofessional, etc. Not out of a genuine belief, but in the hopes that shaming or even persecuting the whistleblower will result in the claims being retracted so that the hard work of getting to the truth can be avoided and or so that the desired outcome is not impeded by the facts. When that happens, then who will judge the judges, and by what standard?
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277Tags: abuse, action, assets and debt, audio, authenticity, biased, concerned, deepfakes, diminution and dissipation of assets, discern, duped, email, evidence, fake, fakery, family law, fraud, genuine article, impossible, indistinguishable, infidelity, innocent, invent, judge, judges, justice, legal process, legitimate concerns, level, liars, lies, litigants, meaningless, mockery, offended, opposing counsel, outraged, paranoid, persecuting, pervasively, process, profession, proof, property damage, protect, proud, reality, records, ridiculed, scientific data, Seth Godin, shaming, sincerity, society, spread, substance abuse, surprise, system irreparably, tactics, technology, text, trust, truth, understanding, unprofessional, veracity, verify, vexatious litigator, visual, volume, whistleblower