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Hello lawyer, you are a partner of the Tonucci & Partners law and tax firm, since when?

Hello, I have been a partner since 2001 and I have been collaborating with the Firm since 1995. This month I have been with Tonucci & Partners for 25 years, we are at the silver wedding.

What subjects do you work in?

I am a Litigator. I mainly deal with civil, commercial, criminal and compliance disputes. I have never chosen between civil and criminal litigation. I follow them both. In civil litigation, if possible, I aim for an agreement, but we need to know the rules of the game and of the dispute, if we want to reach a good agreement. To be honest, however, the heart beats for the criminal trial. This is the moment when I truly feel like a lawyer. That's when I wear the toga. I have a reverence for the toga. It is in the process and, especially in the courtroom, in front of the Judge, that I try to give my best and to capture attention with arguments that must go straight to the point, never digress. Allow me to recall in this interview Professor Franco Cordero, who passed away a few days ago. I had the honor of graduating with him and, afterwards, I attended his chair at the University La Sapienza in Rome for a few years. Prof. Cordero taught me the importance of understanding the innermost meaning of procedural terms and law, which helps you to try to avoid errors, which are always around the corner. The code of procedure defined it as a 'complicated device' to be handled with care.

Do you have other passions?

My profession is my passion. I also have others, sport and, in particular, skiing and sailing, historical and political reading, driving cars and motorcycles, but the profession of lawyer takes away most of the time, between clients, Firm activities. and court, travel, it is difficult to have free time. The profession can only be done if you have the passion. At the beginning, at Studio, the lawyer Tonucci caught my interest in the organization and then, more recently, in the media and communication, and so I started to deal, among other things, with the IT organization of the Study and communication.

What do you do for IT?

Tonucci & Partners has multiple offices in Italy and also abroad in Eastern Europe and around 200 professionals. It has always been important to try to be well organized on IT in order to manage a structure of many lawyers and offices.

Given the continuous technological evolution, we must cyclically question everything. The last time, we did it three years ago and today, after having redesigned the IT architecture of the Firm with the technicians, we were able to guarantee the effective operation of all lawyers and staff remotely with the Covid-19 emergency .

We have a central server and offices connected with dedicated super-fast optical fiber. Each user has access from their terminal or from their notebook or tablet to the virtual desktop. The user can also be in Australia, if he has an internet connection and his device, it is as if he were virtually always at the Studio, with access to all the following practices and the related electronic files, with access to jurisprudence databases and magazines, as well as all the additional functions needed to communicate with colleagues, staff, administration, customers and judicial offices.

What security protocols do you adopt?

We pay close attention to the confidentiality and protection of customer data and documents. For example, the access of each user is under strict control thanks to the use, during the login phase, of an OTP system, with a numerical code that varies continuously, such as the one, so to speak, with which one accesses the home. banking of one's own bank account, as a guarantee for the Firm, lawyers and, above all, clients.

The virtualization system in use has made it possible to obtain a very high degree of redundancy, which makes it possible to restore the systems, even in the event of part of them malfunctioning. For the physical security of the systems, the servers are protected with fire and air conditioning measures and access is controlled in a controlled manner.

Everything we had thought of to be able to work more and more efficiently and safely even from the outside during the travels of professionals, proved to be vital with the Covid-19 emergency. In the tragedy that has affected everyone and also professional and work activities, at least in this respect we have been lucky. The innovation we have always pursued has allowed us to continue our consultancy activities without interruption and confirmed that investing in technology is fundamental.

However, does this type of organization belong only to the so-called great studios? Do you have any other projects planned for the IT and data security of the Firm's clients?

A structured studio has more possibilities than a boutique studio to make this type of investment, but in reality they cost everyone and also for us. We need to have foresight and forgo immediate profits. Hardware investments find an advantage in the scale numbers of large studios, software investments have a cost per user and therefore are accessible from any reality. The point is to dedicate yourself to it and always think about where you can improve.

So, even before completing the update project I told you about, at the end of last year, we fielded a new one, no less important, which we are implementing in recent weeks, despite Covid-19. It is a document and email manager, a cutting-edge content management. Automatically catalog the documents and emails of every day on the basis of the professional's instructions. It allows you to share everything easily with the work team and to save all data in an orderly manner on the server. We are already at a so-called Artificial Intelligence feature that will also allow a sophisticated "Search" function within the Firm's database, which will speed up the work, all in compliance with the highest standards of security and data protection. in compliance with the GDPR. That system will also guarantee maximum security in accessing information. The architecture of the system makes it possible to analyze its use and trace all the activities carried out on the documents to which it will be possible to have access, guaranteeing the confidentiality of the customers.

You mentioned Artificial Intelligence, will this be the future also in the field of justice and the profession of lawyer?

In the immediate future we will have to equip ourselves to be able to operate also in the profession with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Cars already park on their own, appliances are clever. In science, medicine, engineering, AI is becoming central. In law, especially in common law systems, where it is already being experimented, it is believed that AI will be successful. There the value of the jurisprudential precedents is binding and there are already software that, containing all the precedents, are able to give a predictive response on the outcome of the judgment, in some cases with very high percentages, even around 80%, or it proves useful for contracts, since it is able to process the text of the agreement in a very short time. It will be more difficult to extend AI to the complexity of civil law systems, not so much because it is the law that changes rather rapidly, but because the jurisprudential orientation is far from binding and the operators of law contribute to a continuous work of exegesis , of evolution and adaptation to the concrete case. In the criminal case, then, I find it difficult to hypothesize how software can replace the free conviction of the Judge. To be honest, I am quite in favor of AI for limited purposes in commercial law. Quite the contrary in criminal matters and wherever there is talk of freedom, fundamental rights and the exercise of the sanctioning power by the State. They are materials, as Cordero said, that must be handled with care. I refuse to think of a state that for reasons of speed, however important, or costs can delegate the protection of fundamental rights to a machine.

In the United States, the common law system, for civil and commercial matters, three categories of legal advice are emerging: an ordinary one that can be easily managed through AI systems, an average one where a professional audit and control contribution is needed, a personalized one where the contribution of the professional will be indispensable, if not exclusive. This suggests that even in the near future, specialization and competence will still be rewarding in the profession. However, I hope that even the youngest will continue to be sentinels of the law and will never allow the protection of fundamental principles to be delegated to machines.

Jung said: "Whoever avoids error eludes life". Law and justice are also made up of errors, but of men. It would be truly sad and profoundly unjust for a society that, in the yearning to avoid error and speed everything up, delegated the administration of justice to machines, losing humanity and the hope of redemption that must be reserved for even the worst of the guilty. .

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