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Electronic Wills Down Under and Closer to Home

...lls is currently uncertain, it is highly likely that their use will become commonplace in the future. … We have focussed on electronic signatures and identified three core issues. 6.35 First, and most importantly, electronic signatures must be secure. Electronic signatures must provide strong evidence that a testator meant formally to endorse the relevant document; electronic signatures must reliably link a signed will to the person who is...
Posted in: Legal Technology

What Lawyers Need to Know About Blockchain

...abase known as blockchain. Ownership of bitcoin means being able to find records on the blockchain with your signature on them and sign them over to someone else. A signature has one owner but one owner can use any number of signatures and sign any number of bitcoin with any signature it controls. (By the way, “wallets” are basically signature-management apps. There is an unfortunate trend to misname things with false analogies in...
Posted in: Legal Technology, Practice of Law

Reliable Electronic Transferable Records

...ing the importance of (b): reliability in principle, or as demonstrated in the abstract, is important, but the fact that the right answer actually emerged will also satisfy a test of validity. This formula was invented for e-signatures in the Electronic Communications Convention. Because the Model Law is technology neutral, it does not limit how these reliability standards can be achieved. It may be that secure software and hardware systems will...
Posted in: Legal Technology

The Mysterious Magic of Routines

...the plaintiffs sued the lawyer who had registered the discharges, alleging that these had been completed without their authorization. The plaintiffs denied having ever attended at the lawyer’s office, and alleged that their signatures on the discharge authorizations in the lawyer’s file were forged. At trial, the lawyer testified that the plaintiffs had been referred to him by a friend of the mortgagor. In support of his authority to register...
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Blockbuster That Is Blockchain: What It Means to the Practice of Law

..., chief trust officer at Evernum, said, “With a blockchain, every transaction is digitally signed, every transaction is chained together, and it’s replicated on hundreds of computers around the world with digital signatures,” noting that Bitcoin has never been hacked in its nine years of existence. But please do read to the end of this story . . . Another speaker, David Fisher, the founder and CEO of Integra ledger, said that...
Posted in: Legal Technology

The Chronic Pain of Using Brain Imaging in Legal Proceedings

...ished experts in brain imaging studies of pain. By applying machine learning techniques to brain image data, the authors were able to develop a sensitive model to measure differences in brain activity to identify unique pain signatures. They propose 7 criteria for a brain measure appropriate for various clinical and legal applications as follows: A precise definition of a pain neuromarker Applicability of the pain neuromarker to individuals...
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

Is a Docusign E-Signature an Original for the Purpose of a Court Rule?

...thic to disparage its competitor. All its EU analysis is not only irrelevant to what US courts will do, but a bit misleading on how it works in the EU. My understanding is that among businesses, people do not use qualified e-signatures because they are too hard to do and to prove. It’s easier to prove by other means who signed a document, and what was signed. The novelty of the e-IDAS regulation is in its provisions about intergovernmental...
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

“Verifiable” E-Signatures

...d got it wrong in these cases. It interpreted “verifiable” to mean “able to be verified on the face of the signature” or at least “from the document itself”. With respect, this is almost never possible with handwritten signatures and should not be imposed as a standard for e-signatures. Any such verification must involve outside evidence, i.e. beyond the signature itself. Handwritten signatures are often illegible and convey no information...
Posted in: Legal Technology

Ending the Signature Fetish?

...m Electronic Commerce Act. The court properly (in my view) looked at s. 18 of the Act (s. 20 of the Uniform Act) on electronic contracts, and not s. 14 on signatures (s. 10 of the Uniform Act). The plaintiff’s focus on signatures was misleading (though the court did not put it that way.) The essence of a contract is consent, not form. It is a rare contract that needs a signature in order to be valid. Thus in the normal course it is a waste...
Posted in: Case Comment, ulc_ecomm_list

Recognizing That Handwritten Signatures Are a Weak Form of Authentication

...ears his or her mark. Yet, even with security experts telling us electronic signatures or other means of identification are more secure than their handwritten counterparts, and even when the law clearly allows for electronic signatures, we still ask for handwritten signatures “to be safe”. For example, Quebec’s Act to Establish a Legal Framework for Information Technology states that: 39. The link between a person and a document, whatever the...
Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Can a Robot Administer Oaths?

...s and the video evidence for any point they might raise in objection to the authenticity or admissibility of the affidavit. It even sounds way more reliable and trustworthy than what some commissioners do today. Hasty client signatures on affidavits without going through the affirmation? Getting people to sign without letting them read? It’s possible with human (no matter how trusted) commissioner but unlikely with bots. The only missing piece...
Posted in: Technology

Trade Agreements to Promote Electronic Commerce

...ng the parties or not foreseen the direction that technology takes or its impact in practice.. The law of electronic commerce is an example. First came the transactions – electronic data interchange, interactive web sites, e-signatures – and then came the laws to encourage and to validate the best practices. International E-commerce Law Reform The ease with which electronic communications cross borders has from the start pushed e-commerce law...
Posted in: Legal Technology