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ACM Opinion

When Technology Disrupts Enforcement of Judicial Decisions

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Contemporary discussions of the relationship between law and technology understandably focus on the inability of the law to keep pace with rapid advancements in technology. This dynamic has been described accurately as a cat and mouse game. Technology readily fills the role of mouse, always outpacing its counterpart. This is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, if ever.

There are other occasions when the relationship between law and technology is very different. I will call the ultimate effect in these cases "disrupted case law." In this secondary relationship, the law may be both on point and current. However, the realities of contemporary technology either (1) render irrelevant the significance of the opinion (and appeals in particular) or make the opinions nearly (if not altogether) impossible to enforce.

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