We’re kicking off the year by taking a look at the top 5 legal topics people will be talking about in 2023. Each year, the legal industry tends to have different fields of law that are more prevalent than others, shaped by the media, public opinion, and current events. While all fields of law remain important for us and our clients, here are 5 legal fields we expect to see even more of throughout the year:
1. Celebrity Cases & Entertainment Law
Entertainment law has actually become entertainment for the general public thanks to high-profile cases that now affect fans. In the past, celebrity cases were disconnected from the public and only hit the news if they involved a messy divorce. That all changed over the last year when fans started petitioning for class action lawsuits and federal investigations involving celebrities and the entertainment industry.
Legal action involving Kim Kardashian, Ye (formerly Kanye West), Ticketmaster following the Taylor Swift Eras Tour sale, Britney Spears, Johnny Depp, and more are easier to follow than ever. Public opinion and the law are more fast-paced with the ultimate rise of social media, creating a unique atmosphere for streaming trials, covering cases in real time, and fans that are actually interested in the legal intricacies of these cases.
This year, we expect to see fans continue to be invested in celebrity cases and entertainment law as more education and social media coverage on these high-profile events continues.
2. The Intersection of AI and IP
AI is already being implemented throughout business practices across the world in marketing content, art, policies, and more. With the use of the currently free tool, ChatGPT, there has been a lot of talk about intellectual property and how AI will affect IP rights within business practices.
We expect discussion to only increase from now to determine some critical questions like:
- Is content created by AI tools the IP of the tool or is it IP of the company?
- What will AI-generated content licensing look like for commercial vs. personal use?
- Will AI tools’ terms and conditions be more prominent as legal action arises?
- What data privacy concerns will arise with the increased use of AI?
- How can AI be used in the legal industry?
To see just how AI might look in the legal industry, Fredrick Shelton of Shelton & Steele published this article in Attorney at Law Magazine. It’s worth a read to get just a glimpse at the power of AI.
And if you’re thinking AI may just be a fad or trend that’ll fade soon, the multibillion dollar investment by Microsoft into the makers of ChatCPT indicates otherwise.
The good news? The use of AI in the legal industry may answer these outstanding questions faster than without AI, creating more efficient ways to write, research, and practice law.
3. International Law
The world is shifting towards a more globally driven economy with imports, exports, IP, energy resources, agriculture, tourism, and more. An event across the world often triggers the implementation of new laws in the US.
For example, the economic impact US and European sanctions against Russia have had throughout the several countries shows how international law affects the daily lives of people around the globe. We expect international law will be an even bigger topic of conversation in the legal industry (outside of sanctions and foreign relations).
Whether it’s corporations expanding their global reach, international data privacy concerns, or individuals investing and working abroad, international law will only grow in relevancy. Many of our Practus attorneys handle international law in various capacities – tax, business formation, data privacy, labor & employment, IP, real estate, and more. Having an understanding of and experience in the international space will prove to be extremely valuable in 2023 as this field continues to develop.
4. Labor Law and Mergers & Acquisitions
Companies are taking a hard look at their business practices and their annual forecasts with many launching significant reorganizations. Taking a look at the post-pandemic workforce and potential changes in legislation like the FTC’s proposal to eliminate non-compete agreements for certain professions brings Labor Law and M&A to the top of our list of legal topics in 2023.
We expect the legal landscape to be filled with cases in labor & employment relating to:
- Severance packages
- Non-compete agreements
- Hiring and firing practices
- Pay transparency
- Strategic reorganizations
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Commercial transactions
This field is changing quickly and involves complex transactions, policy reviews, and knowledge of the most up-to-date legislation to avoid potential litigation and hefty fines. With innovative ways of thinking within business practices, we expect companies to carefully craft teams including outsourced general counsel, labor & employment attorneys, M&A attorneys, financial analysts, data analysts, PR reps, and operations specialists to make these changes as smooth as possible throughout 2023.
5. True Crime & Current Investigations
True crime is at the peak of all forms of legal entertainment right now with over half of Americans consuming true crime content in some form. Some people are hooked on Crime Junkies and Morbid podcasts while others stick to Dateline and Law & Crime. What’s posing as a relatively new twist in our true crime obsession is the ability to get nearly live updates on current criminal investigations through social media.
While some believe this true crime fascination can help solve cold cases (there have been situations where new evidence was brought to light), the effects social media has on current investigations can be devastating. The tragic murders in Moscow, Idaho are just one example of the negative effects social media coverage has on investigations. Due to heavy social media coverage, true crime novices took to the streets hoping to facilitate the ongoing investigation, teetering on the edge of vigilante justice while making false accusations and causing safety issues for innocent parties.
We expect high profile criminal cases will continue to have social media coverage that could benefit some cases while being detrimental in others. Will investigators be more reluctant to share details of ongoing criminal cases because of this true crime surge? Will true crime fans get too involved, tamper with evidence, or falsely accuse suspects leading to dismissals? In 2023, we may see new policies on how investigators deal with this new age of true crime consumption.
If these legal topics do, indeed, take the front page of legal news, 2023 will be an interesting and fast-paced year for the legal industry. It’s an exciting time to be an attorney and we can’t wait to see how this year unfolds.
At Practus, we’re proud to have attorneys across many of these practice areas so we can stay up to date on the latest developments. If these are the types of legal issues you want to be involved with in your practice, or if you are interested in joining our growing team of attorneys, please reach out to me or visit our website to learn more.