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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Law Might Be Code

Larry Lessig is famous for, among many other things, his dictum that “Code is law,” meaning that code in both legal and computer senses is a means of social control. Turns out, unsurprisingly, that people at his former home of Stanford University are working to see if they can actually make laws into computer code.

The wonderfully named Hammurabi Project from Stanford’s Center for Computers and Law is converting a few patches of U.S. legislation into machine readable C# in an attempt to express the logic and relationships of those provisions in a way that might allow facts . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

LinkedIn Tips and Tricks

The features on professional networking site LinkedIn change frequently, so it is worth spending some time periodically to update your profile.

Earlier this month I attended the AIIP (Association of Independent Information Professionals) annual conference. I took a bit of extra time to attend one of the pre-conference workshops put on by Scott Brown, owner of Social Information Group, on using LinkedIn. It was good to have a current, detailed look at the network and its current features.

Allow me to share a few things I learned:

  • some of the formatting options are hidden under unrelated sections in
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

Does Sugar Cause Cancer?

In this New York Times article, Gary Taubes joins two apparently well established medical facts:

  • sugar causes liver fat, and consequently insulin resistance, resulting in elevated insulin levels
  • insulin encourages the growth of cancerous tumours

Would this relationship be a basis for legal action? The Canadian sugar industry ships $800 million worth annually. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

The Plague of Email Disclaimers

The topic has entered my ken a couple of times recently from unconnected sources (here at the ABA TechShow and in the Economist), so I figure the time may be ripe to do something about the plague of verbiage that infects the bottoms of many emails sent by “important” firms and people. I’m talking about the disclaimers that tell the recipient — often in 8 point type — that the email may contain privileged information, is meant only for the person to whom it is addressed, and should be eaten if it winds up in the wrong hands.

Although . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Justice on a Full Stomach

A new study of Israeli judges reported on recently in the Globe and Mail strongly suggests that if you’re a prisoner looking for leniency, you may want to wait until His Honour has finished his cream cheese and lox.

Researchers studied 1112 rulings by Israeli judges presiding over parole hearings. At the opening of the court session, 65% of rulings favoured the prisoner but the chance of a favourable ruling dropped nearly to zero by the end of the morning session. Amazingly, after the lunch break favourable prisoner rulings jumped back to the 65% level before beginning a steady decline . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

ILTSO Tackles on-Premise, Cloud and Mobile Legal Technology Standards

Standards for on-premise, cloud and mobile technologies used by lawyers have, to-date, been lacking. While an abundance of recommendations, best practices and other guidelines have been issues by Bar Associations and other organizations, there has not been a single, comprehensive document lawyers could look to for clear guidance on what minimal standards should be adhered for on-premise, cloud and mobile technologies.

The International Legal Technology Standards Organization (ILTSO) aims to change that. ILTSO is a non-profit organization consisting of attorneys, bar association representatives, IT professionals, and business leaders with a stated mission of “helping attorneys and clients better understand the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

From PechaKucha to ABA TECHSHOW

A good part of Slaw is playing hookey today, visiting the ABA TECHSHOW at the Chicago Hilton. It’s the 25th Anniversary show, so we are having fun looking forward and back – and seeing how far we’ve come since the days of DOS and 20 MB hard drives.

Last night, we were entertained by an IgniteLaw session in which twelve speakers gave provocative and creative talks about legal technology and the future of law practice. . . . [more]

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

Website 201

As promised, more from the ABA Techshow, and more from Steve Matthews, who presented on website basics for lawyers.

Getting noticed and ranked high by search engines is very important for firms, because most of the traffic to your site will come from searches on Google and the other search engines. So how do you engage in “search engine optimization,” or SEO as it’s called?

Page SEO factors

  1. Use page titles and make them unique and descriptive; it helps search engines understand what you’re about. When you’re browsing, look up at the top of your browser: you’ll see the title
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Website 101

Here on Slaw we pretty much take for granted some of the basics of IT, prime among which might be the value of a website to practicing lawyers. But, of course, it’s just not the case that all lawyers have—and make good use of—websites. So for those of you who fall into that category (or who have a friend who does) here’s a little something.

As it happens, I’m at the ABA Techschow in Chicago listening to Slaw’s Steve Matthews explain the basics with respect to the necessary infrastructure, Website 101: Build and Rebuild.

Domain names
Use short, memorable . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Law Lab

When you have a second to lift your head from the day-to-day, moment-to-moment legal work on your desk, you might take a look at what some people are envisioning with respect to your future legal work. The Law Lab — “A Petri Dish for Legal Innovation” — (a not entirely… savoury image, perhaps) — is a joint venture of Harvard’s Berkman Institute and the Kauffman Foundation of Entrepreneurship with the mission:

to investigate and harness the varied forces — evolutionary, social, psychological, neurological and economic — that shape the role of law and social norms as they enable cooperation, governance

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

Significant Increase in Bad Cheque Frauds Targeting North American Lawyers

LAWPRO has seen a significant increase in bad cheque frauds targeting lawyers all over North American over the last two months, and over the last week several new names are being used on the ongoing collaborative agreement frauds. We are also seeing more activity in the last few weeks on frauds involving a real estate purchase deposit and a settlement of an employment related personal injury claim. Over the last few months several hundred lawyers from across North American have reported to us that they received various versions of these messages attempting these frauds. See below for more details on . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet

LegalIT 5.0: La Preuve Issue Des Média Sociaux – Capture, Préparation, Présentation

Un peu difficile de choisir la session quand il y a trois sujets thématiques parallèles..! C’est le cas d’ailleurs aujourd’hui toute la journée, sauf pour les plénières. La session en rubrique est populaire la salle est comble! C’est vraiment un sujet d’actualité qui intéresse beaucoup les participants.

Nicolas Vermeys, de l’Université de Montréal, a ouvert la session avec une mise en contexte. Nicolas mentionne que plus de 7,000,000 de Canadiens sont présents sur facebook, selon le Commissaire à la vie privé, rendant ainsi ce site le plus populaire au Canada. C’est pourquoi sa présentation est principalement axé sur facebook et . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice