“Search engine results can get facts wrong” (STBO)

I am not sure whether to be appalled or amused by one of last week’s front page stories in the Gazette, Net-surfing lawyers warned of compliance risk (not yet archived by the Gazette). Apparently, according to a leading QC solicitor, Andrew Hopper,

Solicitors risk breaching conduct rules and could face insurance claims if they use non-specialist online sources for legal research.

You don’t say! Are there any lawyers who are not aware that user-generated content is not always reliable. The story is a non-story (and perhaps more the result of yet another vanity publishing update than anything better).

Meanwhile, the article goes on, Emma Harris, Law Society librarian, told the Gazette: ‘Today’s trainees, despite the best efforts of law school librarians, don’t know the world outside the internet. . . ”  Has no one told her that for better or worse (and in my view very much the former), the internet is not only how information is now delivered, whether it is the daily update, or the RSS feed, but the internet has also greatly expanded our access to information. What we should be doing is ensuring that lawyers understand how best to use the internet.

And STBO? ~ “Stating the bleeding obvious”

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