An app developer says his latest product may eliminate the need for lawyers in small claims court.
It’s called DoNotPay and is now available in all 50 states.
App designer Joshua Browder came up with the idea after getting 30 parking tickets as a youngster in London. He said he created an app to appeal those tickets.
“A lot of lawyers charge hundreds or thousands of dollars just for copying and pasting a few documents,” Browder said. “I think it’s unfair to pay to play for justice.”
Here’s what you do: Enter one of A dozen or so subjects, and DoNotPay will create legal documents users can fill out and take to court. The app uses that information to make your case.
“It gives you all the documents you need to become a plaintiff in court, and even a script to read so that when the judge or the other defendant challenges, you can win and get the money you are owed,” Browder explained.
Attorney Steve Tapia, who teaches Internet Law and Digital Commerce at Seattle University, embraces this new technology.
“The vast majority of my students live on their phones,” Tapia said. “The vast majority of all of us adults live on their phones, and having the ability to have something available on that particular platform is not necessarily a negative.”
But Tapia adds that apps like this may remove the personal feel, being a sympathetic human being, and pleading your case may be your best courtroom tool.
“If you are filling out a form through an app, you lose the ability to have that humanity come through,” Tapia explained.
Browder said even if you aren’t suing anyone, the app can still get you money.
“You can fight your bank fees, you can see which class-actions lawsuits you are eligible for, so it’s just not about suing people,” Browder said. “So if you have an immediate issue, you should still download the app because it can get you money you did not know you were owed.”