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Archive for ‘Technology’

Big Data Privacy Challenges

Big data and privacy was one of the topics discussed at the Canadian IT Law Association conference this week. Some of the issues worth pondering include:

  • Privacy principles say one should collect only what you need, and keep only as long as needed. Big data says collect and retain as much as possible in case it is useful.
  • Accuracy is a basic privacy principle – but with big data accuracy is being replaced by probability.
  • A fundamental privacy notion is informed consent for the use of one’s personal information. How do you have informed consent and control for big data
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Originals: So Last Century

At one point in time, an original meant something. Now with the proliferation of computers, cellphones, and web based platforms, we create and store most documents electronically. This new reality has redefined the value and definition of an original copy. But like most things, the court system has largely ignored this new development.

In Ontario, our courts continue to demand that the original document be filed with the court. And in doing so, has failed to justify why this is necessary in 2016.

As a relative newcomer to the profession, I ask: why does our court need original affidavits of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Learnings From the Legal Trends Report: The Risk of Trusting Self-Reported Data

In last week’s post I talked about the Legal Trends Report, a data-driven benchmarking report based on actual billing data.

This approach an industry first, and as such the Legal Trends Report uncovers a number of interesting insights that I’ll be digging into over the next few weeks.

However, I personally found one most surprising finding of the Legal Trends Report to be the vast disparity between self-reported data and “real” data derived from real-world usage. Take, for example, utilization rate, the percentage of a lawyer’s day that ends up as being billing time. The Legal Trends Report found the . . . [more]

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

New Legal Trends Report Provides Data Insights for Small- to Medium-Sized Law Firms

In the 4,000-year history of the legal profession, unbiased information sharing has never been the norm. Instead, insights have remained siloed in large institutions—or traded anecdotally among groups at networking events.

That changes with today’s release of the Legal Trends Report. The Legal Trends Report is being published by Clio, the world’s most widely-used legal practice management platform (disclosure: I am the founder and CEO of Clio). By leveraging anonymized, aggregate data from 40,000 active Clio users and over $60 billion in billing volume, the Legal Trends Report provides new insights into topics including average billing rates by state, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended, Technology, Technology: Internet

Does Legal Analytics Really Need “Big Data” to Make Predictions?

If you’re at all interested in legal technology, you’ve probably grown tired of the recent influx of fear-mongering articles about “robot lawyers” that are going to put legal professionals out of a job. This sub-genre of legal tech reporting features a lot of buzzwords. There’s “machine learning”, “NLP (natural language processing)”, “AI (artificial intelligence)”, and “predictive analytics”, to name just a few. Regrettably, a lot of these articles discuss legal technologies only in very vague terms, or sometimes don’t bother with definitions at all. And it’s very difficult to have a nuanced conversation about legal tech when it seems like . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

AI First Is Taking Over From Mobile First

Google debuted new hardware on Tuesday – including new Pixel phones, and an Amazon Echo competitor called Google Home. A key thread to all this is their new Google Assistant replacement for Google Now. (Similar to Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana.)

But the most noteworthy part is their comment that we are switching from Mobile First to AI first. Over the past few years websites and online services have increasingly needed to be mobile friendly, so people can do what they want from whatever screen happens to be in front of them. Advances in artificial intelligence are going to put . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Electronic Chattel Paper – Changing the Medium

A private correspondent writes: “Have you ever heard of any cases on electronic chattel paper that is subsequently printed out (apparently called “papering out” in the biz) and the printed version being considered as an ‘original’?”

Views? What protections are there in law or in practice to avoid duplication of a record that should be unique, or at least have a single authoritative version?

On what basis is electronic chattel paper issued or used in Canada, if at all? UCC Article 9 makes special provision for it, and negotiable electronic records generally, but Canadian e-commerce law has not followed that, . . . [more]

Posted in: International issues, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Regulate This

Most people today are employees who drive cars and get married. Most people today deal with law only when they are fired, ticketed, or divorced. (It’s nice that the vast majority of people never interact with the criminal justice system.) So most access-to-justice issues have to do with employment, personal injury/traffic, and family law. This is because these are the main three areas of social complexity and government regulation in most people’s lives. When there is no complexity or regulation, there are few access-to-justice issues because there is no need for lawyers.

Tomorrow, most people will be freelancers (the gig . . . [more]

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

Cloud Computing: It’s All Good – or Mostly Good

A ZDNet article entitled Cloud computing: Four reasons why companies are choosing public over private or hybrid clouds makes a case for the value of the public cloud.

The reasons:

  • Innovation comes as standard with the public cloud
  • Flexibility provides a business advantage
  • External providers are the experts in secure provision
  • CIOs can direct more attention to business change

This is all good – or mostly good.

The caveat is that the use of the cloud can fail if a business adopts the cloud without thinking it through from the perspectives of mission criticality, security, privacy, and continuity. If a . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Be the Change

It may be 2016 but lawyers still fax like its 1989. This is pathetic, and it’s time that we embrace technological change. Every other industry has moved on, and so should we.

In Ontario, the Ministry of the Attorney General is trying to implement change. On their website, they state that:

[W]e are implementing a comprehensive strategy to build Better Justice Together by:

  • making sure court processes are faster and the justice system is easier to navigate

  • building an integrated system that allows justice partners and participants to better share and access the information they need…

While we wait for . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

The Big Data Problem for AI in Law

Artificial intelligence is a big deal. It will change our society, and the way we do things. Just maybe not immediately, and in law it might be even longer.

The function of artificial intelligence is directly connected to the concept of big data. The superior functioning of artificial intelligence over current processes is based in part on the superior ability of computing large amounts of information, data sets that are so large and so complex that the traditional means of processing this information simply isn’t adequate enough when compared to techniques like predictive analytics.

For this reason, much of the . . . [more]

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

What Does Your Car Know About You?

Our cell phones know everything about us. Who we talk to. Who we Google. Who we email. Who we date. Who we text. When we wake up. Where we go. When we go online. What photos we take. And so on.

Now your rental car may know it too. It is a researcher’s/ businessperson’s/ marketer’s best dream. And there is really nothing stopping it. In an episode of the Exchange, Dr. Ann Cavoukian (Executive Director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute at Ryerson University) speaks out about this latest danger of rental cars stealing personal data when drivers link . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology