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Archive for the ‘Legal Technology’ Columns

Convenience Is King

I recently saw an exciting legal tech product that has a lot of potential. I think it could make a lot of people’s lives much easier. And a partner wants to mandate its usage! You can probably see where this is going. It was a struggle the moment we tried to get others on board: elements didn’t line up with others’ preferences; people were upset about the learning curve; there was massive passive resistance.

This was just one of many similar experiences. It seems technology and persuasion are not sufficient – and barely necessary – to create sustainable mainstream adoption . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Electronic Frontier Foundation Takes on Online Speech Moderation With TOSsed Out

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced on May 20th that it had launched TOSsed Out, a new iteration of EFF’s continuing work in tracking and documenting the ways that Terms of Service (TOS) and other speech moderating rules are unevenly applied to people by online services. Sometimes, posts are deleted. Sometimes accounts are banned. For many people, the internet represents an irreplaceable forum to express their ideas, communicate with others, etc.

We have long been fans of the EFF and were delighted to hear that cybersecurity guru Bruce Schneier is leaving IBM, in part to focus on teaching cybersecurity to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Responsible AI: A Review

ITechLaw, C. Morgan, ed., Responsible AI: A Global Policy Framework, 2019

Can technology lawyers think outside the box? They may be better at it than some of their legal colleagues because the box itself is redesigned so frequently, the walls knocked down and rebuilt in different places, the interactions among the sections rethought, the whole picture scarcely recognizable over the years.

In this spirit, perhaps, a number of members of ITechLaw, the international body once known as the Computer Law Association, addressed their minds to the legal and policy challenges of artificial intelligence, still known as AI.

This field . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Where Law, Information, and Technology Meet

The law is built on information. And with rapid advances in technology, the volume of legal information is immense and growing exponentially. It can be difficult to keep up. There are countless gigabytes of digital data on computers, phones, tablets, servers, and the Cloud, accessed anywhere and everywhere through the interface of a digital screen. Emails, text messages, and attachments are sent and replied to and forwarded hither and yon; electronic records are stored and deleted, sometimes following established protocols, often not. Technology evolves, and the hard drive of today soon becomes the floppy disk drive of tomorrow.

The law . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Technology

The Biz-Ification of Law

“Competitive markets are not much fun for sellers” – Richard Posner

It’s common knowledge that the billable hour is holding back the profession. Additionally, it’s clear that professional conduct rules insulate lawyers, prevent other professionals from getting involved, and stifle innovation. Yet, despite the billable hour still going strong and no changes in professional conduct rules, we are seeing an unprecedented boom in innovative legal services. It feels like something bigger must be going on.

Market cycles

While the literal number of lawyers remains a significant factor, more important is its ratio to finance, insurance, and real estate (“FIRE”) . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology, Practice of Law

Making It Rain: Effective Lawyer Marketing in the Digital Era

“We don’t believe in digital marketing. We believe in marketing in a digital world.” – Clive Sirkin, CMO of Kimberly Clark

And a digital world it is. We live in a world where three year olds have their own tablets (and operate them quite expertly, thank you very much) and people can work on a project across the globe from their kitchen table in their pajamas. While it is an exciting time, it is also a very challenging time to reach people and to stand out effectively in the crowd. Understanding Mr. Sirkin’s quote is a great first step. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing, Legal Technology

Blockchain Legislation – Too Soon?

The blockchain continues to be a popular topic for entrepreneurs, journalists and technology lawyers. Also, in the United States, for legislators. Several states have enacted legislation about the blockchain in some manner. This note reviews what they do and why. To the best of my knowledge, Canadian legislators have not ventured into the blockchain universe. Feel free to note if and how they have, or if you think they should, in Comments.

Several states have done legislation. The most usual provision is to amend the state’s version of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (similar to the Uniform Electronic Commerce Act . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

How to Stop Being “Behind”

There appears to be a sentiment pervasive in the legal blogosphere that lawyers are “behind”:

  • “The pace of change in legal services is not slowing down while lawyers’ day-to-day practice of law continues to lag far behind” (Remaking Law Firms)
  • “Law Is Lagging Digital Transformation” (sic.) (Forbes)
  • “’Change’ Is a Mantra for Law Firms, But Will They Tune In?” (com)
  • “When It Comes to Innovation, Lawyers Are Being Left Behind” (com)

Given that “behind” is a relative term, you would think that every other industry has totally reinvented itself. Yet that is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology


The title of this post stands for Artificial Intelligence for Access to Justice. It sounds a little like buzzword festival. Rest assured however – there is no mention whatsoever of block chain or design thinking further down in the text.

A few months ago we sent out an invitation to industry partners to join Lexum Lab (Lexum’s R&D team) to test a few AI / Deep Learning applications that are in the making. More specifically, Lexum Lab and the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) are collaborating on the development of a link prediction algorithm for law. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Legal Technology


As we write this, we are a week out from ABA TECHSHOW 2019, which author Simek had the honor of co-chairing along with our longtime friend Lincoln Mead.

There was a lot of conversation before, during and after TECHSHOW about the future of legal tech conferences, especially ABA TECHSHOW itself. Before the conference began, our friends Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy recorded a Legal Talk Network podcast on-site on the TECHSHOW EXPO floor discussing the future of legal tech conferences. You may listen to the podcast here.

During the conference, we talked at length with other members of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Identity Management and Trust Services at UNCITRAL

A few years ago, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was reported here to be considering a project on identity management and trust services. That report outlined some of the legal and practical issues that these matters raise, and some of the options for going forward.

To nobody’s surprise, UNCITRAL did adopt a project on this topic, and its Working Group on Electronic Commerce has been considering it since 2017. A list of the principal policy documents and records of the Working Group’s discussions is here.

Recently the UNCITRAL Secretariat has released two Working Papers in . . . [more]

Posted in: International law, Legal Technology

The Right to Be Forgotten – Insights From Germany

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have set the basic framework for the right to be forgotten. Recent case law from Germany offers an insight into its application on the ground.

The right to be forgotten as initially created in the Google Spain case (C-131/12) and now further developed in art. 17 GDPR provides data subjects with the right to have their personal data erased by a data processing controller (most prominently search engines) under specific circumstances. For search engines, though, balancing the diverging rights and interests of publishers and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Technology