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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

Hipster Antitrust’s Potential to Make Competition Law Sexy Again

A renewed scrutiny of corporate governance was inevitable in light of the current political climate and the backdrop of the recent recession and notable market failures.

This revisionist approach towards competition law expands the scrutiny beyond notions of consumer welfare standards into non-traditional economic considerations like fairness, underemployment, income inequality, wealth concentration and broader social contexts. Derisively referred to as “Hipster Antitrust,” it finds its modern roots in America in the 1978 text The Antitrust Paradox by Robert Bork, which has already influenced American competition law. Hipster Axntitrust would go further and reconsider historical assumptions in a new information economy . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Artificial Intelligence: What Is AI and Will It Really Replace Lawyers?

This article appeared in the February 2018 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

If you scanned social media or the headlines in many online or print-based newspapers or magazines published in 2017, you were pretty much guaranteed to see posts and articles on artificial intelligence (AI).

Most of these articles suggest that AI is in the process of fundamentally changing our lives at work, home and play. And if you believe the comments in these articles, the good news is that we will have more free time to enjoy virtual-reality worlds and have our self-driving cars take us around the countryside. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Deloitte Class Action Indicative of Legal Future

Earlier this year, Justice Perell approved a replacement class representative in Sondhi v. Deloitte Management Services LP on a motion for what has already been an exhausting certification process in a class proceeding.

The matter involves a class, who although technically are lawyers, have not been considered as such by their employer or the parties procuring their services. These members typically consist of younger lawyers and new graduates who have been unable to otherwise find employment as lawyers in a traditional context.

I do know many of these young lawyers. I know that they are bright and talented, and would . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Cryptocurrencies, Discovery and Financial Statements

One of a family lawyer’s main duties is to have their client’s back when it comes to financial consequences of marriage and separation, whether it’s a cohabitation agreement, a trial, or an application to vary support because of a change of circumstances. Reasonable precautions to probe and investigate the parties’ financial affairs, including investments and business activities, are almost always required. And sometimes proactive measures are needed to protect assets pending distribution by agreement or court order.

The law has evolved, both substantively and procedurally, to equip lawyers with a variety of tools to ensure honest financial disclosure—from simple financial . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Perspectives on the Future of Law – How the Professional Should Respond to Major Disruptions

This article appeared in the February 2018 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

The legal profession is in the midst of significant change, and is headed into a period where there will be even greater change. These changes are driven by disruptions that alter the very nature of how traditional legal services have been performed and provided to clients for decades. These disruptions include:

  • access to justice
  • client empowerment
  • technology
  • alternative legal service providers

This article will give some insights into these disruptors and suggest how members of the legal profession can respond to them.

What is a non-lawyer?

To start, a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Beyond the Bitcoin Crash: Ontario Law Lays a Foundation for Enforceable Smart Contracts

The not-so-smart money has pushed the price of a Bitcoin well above US$6,000. The crash is inevitable. The first-mover “cryptocurrency” is based on an inefficient proof of work model designed for anonymous transactions on a public network. The next generation of blockhain developers, like those working on the Ethereum platform, are less interested in the ideology of anonymous transactions than the practicality of efficient business applications. Corporate adopters like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance have already noted the pace of migration from anonymous public blockchain networks to a combination of public and permissioned private networks. Since “altcoin” currencies are not . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

British Columbia Law Institute Blog Series on Financing Litigation

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) recently published a Study Paper on Financing Litigation that looks at six financing models that have emerged both in Canada and internationally that can help litigants pay for litigation:

  • Unbundled legal services
  • Third-party litigation funding
  • Alternative fee arrangements
  • Crowdfunding
  • Legal expense insurance
  • Publicly funded litigation funds

The Institute has started a 6-part blog series on the topic. Each blog post will showcase one of the financing models.

Two posts have appeared so far.

The first post is on Unbundled Legal Services. The second is on Third-Party Litigation Funding.

It is all part . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Who Dunnit? Artificial Intelligence and Unauthorized Practice

OK, I’m going to talk about AI and unauthorized practice in just a second, but first…

Who can resist those stories with the teen genius? The wunderkind trope. That Dutch teen with the Boomy McBoomface contraption setting out to heal our polluted oceans. That Mark Zuckerberg fella circa 2004, with the other face thingy.

Who is not in awe of an uncalloused mind lit by bedazzling precociousness and disarmingly naive ambition?

Take Joshua Browder, for instance. He’s surely that kid—our teen wonder—for legal automation. He taught himself to code at age 12 and first came to glory two years . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

On the LSUC Dialogue on Licensing, Pt 2: Where Is Access to Justice?

This blogpost addresses a second shortcoming in the foundational framing and materials for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s unfolding Dialogue on Licensing. In Part 1, I argued that the initial arguments and subsequent materials that have framed the Dialogue do not provide a clear or compelling demonstration of a ‘need for change’ in the current system for licensing of lawyers in Ontario. In this Part 2, I argue that a further shortcoming is a failure to adequately acknowledge the relevance of the ongoing inaccessibility of justice in Ontario. Proper recognition of access to justice issues could provide the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Rise of Predictive Programming in the Law

With the rise of technology, new programs are being created to predict the outcome of legal cases. These programs are often built on algorithms.

These algorithms generate outcomes by applying the facts of previously decided cases to the facts inputted by users. This means that the quality of the prediction is only as good as the data inputted by both the user and the programmer.

However, these programs should come with a warning. In “Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era” by Professor Daniel Levitin he states:

GIGO is a famous saying coined by early computer scientists:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Applying Artificial Intelligence in the “Legal Aid Space”

I’ve never been more optimistic more excited about where we’re going with technology than I am today. This is just an absolute, I mean, we’re in the middle of a revolution and I think it’s going to completely impact how we deliver legal services. And I actually think that in this space, in the nonprofit legal aid space, we’re going to make great strides in this, and kind of lead the way in many ways.”–IV Ashton


 

IV Ashton is a Chicago-based attorney and founder of LegalServer, a “web-based case management platform for the legal aid community.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

On the LSUC Dialogue on Licensing, Pt 1: Is There a Need for Change?

Over the summer months, the Law Society of Upper Canada has been conducting a Dialogue on Licensing to prompt information sharing, discussion, input and reflection on the future of the requirements for licensing of lawyers in Ontario. Based on materials disseminated as part of the Dialogue, a series of discussion sessions were held and summary reports released. Submissions were also invited through a broad call open into August. According to a late June update, the Professional Development and Competence Committee (PDCC) of the LSUC will spend the remainder of 2017 reviewing the input, with a view to producing . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice