The Rise of the Metaverse in Legal Cases: A Lawyer’s Perspective & Implications for the Future

The metaverse has gained much traction in the past few years, especially in the last few months. Big companies like Apple and Amazon have joined the hype, but smaller users are shifting their mentality toward the metaverse. As more and more people use the metaverse, we see users test the limits of what is legally possible in this virtual space.

Recently, a judge in Columbia held a court hearing in the metaverse to test the use of technology in the legal system. This concept is close to what the pandemic required and the future. In the past week, a vegetarian couple named Sheel Mohnot and Amruta Godbole held a wedding in the metaverse, combining their Indian-American heritage and food.

While all these developments are exciting and give a glimpse of the metaverse future, questions still need answers. As the boundaries of the metaverse are pushed, it is important to consider this tech’s implications, especially when court cases are there to determine an individual’s future.

Lawyer’s Take

Carlo D’Angelo, a former law professor, believes that while the Metaverse hearings are a step in the right direction, they have one major flaw – they are unsuitable for jury trials. According to D’Angelo, biases, subtle cues, and verbal and nonverbal communication cannot be picked up from a remote connection, and an in-person face-off is necessary.

D’Angelo stresses that even with advanced AR, XR, and VR technology, replicating human body language can never replace humans’ perceptions during interactions. He expresses concerns about the cues that may be missed in the Metaverse court case and whether the digital avatars can accurately portray small movements.

D’Angelo emphasizes that holding virtual criminal trials has the potential to deal a hard blow to human rights because small details that are missed could cost someone their freedom for no other reason than not getting the correct representation of themselves.

In an interview with Coin Telegraph, D’Angelo remains optimistic about the possibility of the metaverse advancing our court systems. However, he believes the technology has many challenges before it can be used effectively in this setting. Furthermore, he stresses that innovation should not come at the expense of fair trials.

The professor says the virtual world concept is still in its infancy and may not be suitable for high-profile crimes. In addition, this takes away the emotional aspect of the trial, and many decisions may need to be revised.

For context, the court case held in Colombia through the metaverse was for a small traffic offense, and there was no risk of the person’s future being negatively impacted by the virtual court case.

Lawyers Are on It

In recent years, lawyers have entered the virtual world due to the fast-paced rise of Web 3 and the lack of regulations. As a result, they are teaching themselves the concepts of Web 3 and how to navigate the legal minefield in the virtual world, which experiences many malicious players who can cause harm if left unchecked.

As a result, lawyers are sensing opportunities, and the crimes are becoming more complicated as time goes on. However, D’Angelo believes that even if the technology advances past certain points and is good enough, the public still holds the ball in its court. He says the public must adopt and accept the technology before it can be used in courts.

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