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Archive for ‘Technology’

5G: The Latest Shiny Object Still Needs Some Polish

We have been inundated with information about 5G phones recently. Is it the new shiny object we need right now? The short answer is no.

Telcos have been touting their 5G networks, and cell manufacturers are touting their new 5G phones. Some articles rave about how 5G will be a game-changer. We have mentioned before in our Tech Law Weekly newsletter that conspiracy theorists have protested against or destroyed 5G towers fearing they cause everything from cancer to covid.

5G is a new radio communications technology that is faster than the current 4G cellphone speeds, and more importantly, has . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Creating Online Parks and What Courts Can Learn From Them

“The public park is only one of many institutions that was created to enact America’s egalitarian values. At the turn of the 20th century, public libraries opened nationwide to help foster literacy. In the 1910s, a few communities in the Midwest embraced the radical notion of free, universal secondary education: high school.”- Eli Pariser (“To Mend a Broken Internet, Create Online Parks“).

In the article by Wired Magazine, “To Mend a Broken Internet, Create Online Parks“, the author Eli Pariser explains that “Now, accelerated by the pandemic, we spend much of our time living and conversing . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

On a Clear Day – You Won’t Be in a Police Lineup

Clearview AI’s business model is to scrape images of people from wherever they can on the web. Then sell facial recognition services – mostly to police – based on that database. Some police forces in Canada used their services. But investigations by Canadian Privacy Commissioners and other public outcries resulted in Clearview AI pulling out of the Canadian market.

Readers of our Tech Law Weekly newsletter watched this unfold.

You may have put your picture on your social media profile or your business website – but did you agree to it being harvested into a massive database so you could . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Online Juries: Is It Possible?

It has recently been reported that jury trials may resume soon. The Toronto Star reported the following: “Canada’s justice system has no intention of holding Zoom jury trials — or cancelling them. That means … thousands of others may soon find themselves called into an Ontario courthouse, reporting for jury duty amid the ongoing pandemic — a prospect that’s left the legal community wondering how it’s all going to work.”

Perhaps blockchain technology could be used for jury trials? I previously discussed the use of blockchain for juries. I have reposted part of the article below as a potential solution . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

Ontario Introduces CaseLines to Courts

Following the Civil Submissions Online and Family Submissions Online portals, first introduced starting in 2017, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice announced on July 29, 2020 that a two-week test phase of CaseLines will be launched on Aug. 10, 2020 for select civil motions and pre-trial conferences. The Online Portal will not be integrated with CaseLines at this time.

Starting Aug. 24, 2020, CaseLines use will be expanded to all civil, Divisional Court, Commercial and Estate List, and bankruptcy matters in Toronto. After that, it will be expanded to the rest of the province.

The new CaseLines service will replace . . . [more]

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

Conference Papers: “Artificial Intelligence: Thinking About Law, Law Practice, and Legal Education”

It’s been well over a year now but presentations from the 2019 Artificial Intelligence Conference held at the Duquesne University School of Law are now available.

Artificial Intelligence: Thinking About Law, Law Practice, and Legal Education” was a two-day conference which covered topics “ranging from autonomous vehicles to robotic surgery, and from smart phones to smart speakers.” Presenters included legal educators, practitioners, policy makers, and computer scientists. The speakers addressed the many ways that the development of artificial intelligence is affecting the legal profession, legal education, law and society.

Jan M. Levine, Professor of Law and Director, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Seeking Equality in Tech Legal Advances: Living With Disabilities

Advancing technological means to accessing legal processes, information or decision-making (and more) has been on-going for years now. The coronavirus pandemic has hastened some of the shifts to technology (online hearings or declaring affidavits, for example) and has made those enthusiastic about faster, wider changes even more so. But in one way, nothing has changed: how do we ensure that technological advances increase access to justice for marginalized groups and not leave things the same, or even make the situation worse (because of lack of computer literacy or access to computers, among other factors). It is crucial to include engagement . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

The Vanishing Trial: The Era of Courtroom Performers and the Perils of Its Passing

In the “Vanishing Trial: The Era of Courtroom Performers and the Perils of its Passing”, trial lawyer Robert Katzberg reminds readers of the importance of the jury trial, why it is in danger of vanishing, and what makes a good trial lawyer. His arguments are grounded in stories from his experience of being a trial lawyer for over 40 years.

Katzberg began his career clerking, moving on to become a public prosecutor, then entering private practice. Where he has been till this day, specializing in white collar crime.

In the book, Katzberg describes the transition to the defense . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews, Technology

Does a Computer Generated Letter Need a Signature?

This morning I had by email a long-wished-for letter (laid out like a typical business letter, with letterhead and date and address etc.) from the company financing my car, telling me my loan was now paid in full. It finished with the usual cordial invitation to contact them if I should need any further services, then ‘sincerely, [name of company]’, then:

“NOTE: This letter is computer generated; no signature is required.”

And sure enough, it looked like an old computer printout, as if it had holes up the side to feed it through a printer, and an ancient font, pre-Courier. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

How to Think Better About Technology Risk in Four Simple Steps

1. Is it real?
2. What does it cost if it happens?
3. How does it compare to the status quo?
4. Are there other risks that are important, too?

Whether we have overcome our storied risk aversion, or we have merely been given a more important risk to avoid, the legal profession in Canada is now struggling to adopt technology at a very fast pace.

And as might be expected, success is not evenly distributed. The difference between the people who take this opportunity for change and those who miss it will be how they think about risk.

Here’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Word Wizardry for Lawyers

I spend a lot of time in this column talking about the future of legal technology. Today, I’d like to give you something a little more practical, and help you use the technology you already have.

Let me share with you the one thing that I wish every lawyer and law student knew about Microsoft Word: Multilevel lists.

In the toolbar of Microsoft Word you will find Multilevel lists just to the right of bullets and numbered lists.

Click on that button, and a menu appears. You’re going to want to click on “Define New Multilevel List…”

In the screen . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Virtual Court Proceedings: Fictional and the Real Thing

Addicted as I am to tv dramas (and sometimes comedies) about the law, I’ve been watching All Rise. Located in Los Angeles, it follows the professional lives of various characters involved in the criminal court there (and as a “popular” show, it also follows their personal lives). Sometimes it raises some important legal issues, but its finale was its best performance: it did a fine job of responding to the coronavirus crisis by being filmed on Cisco Webex, with all the actors working from their own homes. Apart from the kind of personal issues many people are facing in our . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Technology