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Archive for the ‘Legal Technology’ Columns

Technology, Magic and Bill C-11

It was just about 50 years ago that Arthur C. Clarke wrote Profiles of the future: an inquiry into the limits of the possible (New York: Harper & Row, 1962) [Amicus No. 10912514]. On page 19, he wrote:

Suppose you went to any scientist up to the late nineteenth century and told him: "Here are two pieces of a substance called uranium 235. If you hold them apart, nothing will happen. But if you bring them together suddenly, you will liberate as much energy as you could obtain from burning ten thousand tons of coal." No matter how

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Posted in: Legal Technology

Text Message Preservation

(Also by Jesse M. Lindmar)

With an average of 193.1 billion text messages sent every month in the United States, the importance and use of text messages in litigation is ever-increasing. As a consequence, the importance of text message preservation for e-discovery is also growing. Understanding how text messages can be preserved and the pitfalls to avoid is essential. While we recommend engaging the services of a digital forensics service provider who is familiar with the complexities of mobile phone forensics, there are certain situations in which the end-user can at least create a preserved, forensically sound copy that a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Tablets Tablets Everywhere

One thing that became obvious at ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago this year was that lawyers are embracing tablet devices like the iPad in great numbers. Some people claimed that iPads even outnumbered laptops at the event. I’m not sure if that claim would have stood up to a head count but it was certainly plausible. The little tablets were everywhere.

So, fine, if you’re thinking about bringing a tablet device into your practice I have some advice for you.

Connectivity

There’s no getting around it – most tablet devices are barely useful without some kind of Internet connectivity. You can’t . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Smartphones

Any Smartphone in a Storm

There is no perfect smartphone for lawyers. In fact, the most important part of the smart phone is probably the phone part, since it enables you to keep in contact with your clients, your office, and other parts of your life. Once you’ve established that baseline – your phone is a phone – then it becomes a matter of very personal choices. It’s not about who has market share, it’s all about you. This has always been true for solos and smaller firms, but choice is even emerging at larger law firms. Most of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Past Lessons on Legal Project Management?

Legal Project Management (LPM) has received a major boost downunder with the leading Australian/Asian firm King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) launching a program with the assistance of Edge International. Tony O’Malley, Managing Partner Australia, King & Wood Mallesons and Pam Woldow, Edge International give a convincing 5 minute audio explanation of why it is such a good idea.

If it is true as Shaun Plant says in The New Holy Grail of Legal Practice that “much of the practice of law is not about technical legal detail, but managing projects”, and, as Tony O’Malley has said that “Clients have been . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Online Dispute Resolution – an Update

Attentive readers of this blog know that the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has a working group actively considering online dispute resolution (ODR). The working group has met three times and meets again at the end of May. Slaw.ca has had progress reports from time to time, notably here a year ago, and more recently here . It is time for another. I expect that the Canadian delegation, and possibly others, would be interested in your views on the texts that the working group will have before it in May. Comments on this article will come to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Privacy Please!

This column is already dated. Why? Because privacy – or the lack thereof – is daily news. Facebook just announced their privacy policy would be called a “data use policy”. Before that it was Google’s announcement that they would be combining all the data collected by their individual web properties (YouTube, Gmail, Blogger, Google, etc.) about you into one single place, covered by one single “privacy” policy. Security has always been in opposition with ease of use. The conflict between wanting the convenience and interaction of the free web and trading privacy for the privilege is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

What’s Hot in E-Discovery?

Machine-Assisted Review

Let’s start with a very hot if not very sexy topic. You may have heard of new technology called predictive coding or technology-assisted review. Recently, we’ve seen the phrase “machine-assisted” review a lot. They are all the same thing. A rose is a rose is a rose, but we have not yet settled on a name for this nascent technology.

The way most lawyers engage in traditional keyword searches is, as others have suggested, the equivalent of “Go Fish.” The requesting lawyer makes his best guess about which keywords might produce relevant evidence without having much knowledge of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Sirianny of Distance

I was relating to a BigLaw colleague how I had recently spent a weekend at a CLE event in rural Australia where it was a 53 year tradition. Again I learnt a lot from my audience some of whom had probably attended each year.

A striking fact was that 85% of the 134 attendees were male. This was to be contrasted with a colleagues recent experience where her legal team and their client met with the other side. It was an all female event. She suggested that the reason there are so few female practising lawyers outside large cities was . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Myth of Due Diligence

Lawyers have not adequately met the vague notion of due diligence when it comes to legal technology, probably because they are unable to. This realization hit me at a CLE seminar when one of the panelists – perhaps me – made the comment that, if lawyers want to use cloud computing, they should perform due diligence about the company they were going to use. The lawyer’s response was, “how do I do that?”

Due diligence is way of showing one has acted reasonably. When it comes to technology, it’s an assessment of all of the variables that impact the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Digital Consequences of Death (Or Disability)

Click on image to enlarge

 

No one lives in cyberspace, they say. A lot of people spend a lot of time visiting, though. They leave a lot of traces there, and they interact with the non-cyberspace (some prefer the term ‘real’) world from there. The border is more porous than most national borders, these days.

What happens when people with a presence in cyberspace (really) die? Does the presence continue indefinitely, but unrefreshed? What do their survivors do about their activities in cyberspace? How do they deal with online assets, or even discover real-world assets that may be locatable . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Cloud Storage in the Age of SOPA and Megaupload

One thing has become clear in the last few months: Hollywood has declared war on the Internet. Rupert Murdoch and his colleagues, not content with grossing billions of dollars on their blockbuster movies have decided to spent some of those billions to lobby congress to try and get legislation passed that would give them the ability to more quickly (and with minimal due process) shut down file sharing sites that they think are hosting pirated content. Of course, Mr. Murdoch has demonstrated that he has a fairly fuzzy understanding of how links and such work so if it’s up to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology