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First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers

Cowboy lawyer?

Kill All the Lawyers

- what a good idea. I'm all for it. A Spanish startup with the catchy name of Negonation aims to wipe out the worldwide legal profession with an idea for legally-enforceable online contracts.

Three months ago it launched Tractis - the first Web platform that lets users create, manage, and execute contracts online - no lawyers required. The service is stocked with a database of contract templates from around the world, and its contracts are legally enforceable in the offline world, even if the parties are in different countries.

Tractis offers a comprehensive range of trust and verification systems - and uses national ID cards. There are already 600,000 of the cards issued in Spain. Similar ones are compulsory in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal. The United Kingdom is set to roll them out in 2010. Insert your ID card into a smartcard reader and Tractis will instantly verify it with your country's database.

Initially, Negonation is setting its sights on the European market. Before its public launch, Tractis was beta-tested by nearly 700 users, including several large European law firms and Spanish telecom giant Telefónica.

Negonation says its most lucrative target market is major eBay (Charts, Fortune 500) transactions such as cars, jewelry, and real estate. It's betting that high-end eBay users want the additional layer of security provided by a separate enforceable contract.

Let's Kill All the Lawyers

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