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Archive for ‘Technology’

Reflections on Technology Changes in Real Estate Practice

This article is by Maurizio Romanin, President & CEO, LawyerDoneDeal Corp. & Nora Rock, Corporate Writer & Policy Analyst, LawPRO.

Facilitating transfers of real estate has been the bread-and-butter of thousands of Ontario lawyers for generations. Despite occasional market wobbles, real estate business has helped firms to flourish in communities of all sizes, often supporting the delivery of family, estates, commercial and even criminal law services. Healthy real estate practices support both lawyers’ own families and access to justice for their neighbours. But there is danger in taking the bread-and- butter work of one’s practice for granted, and in forgetting . . . [more]

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

Texting at the Wheel: Should Police Be Able to Examine Your Phone?

New York State is considering legislation to require drivers involved in auto accidents to allow the police to inspect their mobile phones for signs of recent activity. Presumably signs of such activity would be grounds for charges for driving while distracted, and might lead to evidence to support civil liability as well.

It’s interesting that the technology for detecting such recent activity does not currently exist, but it is being developed as the legislation is working its way through the process.

The developers, the legislators and the police all say that the technology will not permit any review of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

2017 Law via the Internet Conference Call for Papers

The organizers of the 2017 Law via the Internet conference have posted a call for submissions.

The event takes place at the Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey, October 19-21, 2017.

The conference brings together people from the Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) from different countries and continents that together form the Free Access to Law Movement.

The submission deadline for abstracts is July 30, 2017. Organizers are looking for papers on the following topics:

  • Development and Implementation of Standards for Preserving and Presenting Legal Information
  • New Initiatives in Free Access to Law
  • Technical initiatives and developments in
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet

Self Driving Cars – Privacy Points to Ponder

Cars collect a significant amount of information about our driving. That data will increase dramatically as we move to autonomous vehicles – and with more data comes more ways to use it.

This information can be used now to find fault in an accident or convict us of driving offences. Some insurance companies offer discounts if we share that data with them and they decide we are a safe driver.

Cars increasingly rely on electronic systems for safety features, and self driving cars are coming. They will increasingly collect and store data about not just the car itself but also . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

May Lawyers Accept Payment in Bitcoin?

A U.S. colleague with a technology practice was recently asked to take payment for her legal services in Bitcoin. She is not sure she has the right to do so.

What about in Canada? Would any law society here slow such payment? Do payments have to be more subject to regulation via known financial institutions? Certainly the rules about trust accounts demand traditional accounting. Why would a general payment with a digital currency be a problem, though? . . . [more]

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

LSBC Seeks Protection of Lawyers’ Electronic Devices Against Border Search

Not long ago, the US Supreme Court opined in Riley v. California:

Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life.

Riley involved evidence of serious criminal activity (gang shootings, drugs, firearms, etc.).

Notwithstanding this, SCOTUS decried warrantless cell phone searches and laid the groundwork for its conclusion that, in laypersons’ terms, snooping through someone’s cell phone is not just rude… it has become an extraordinarily intrusive act. The Court underscores that these devices contain a “digital record of nearly every . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Internet Archive Wins Webby Lifetime Achievement Award

The Internet Archive, a non-profit that has harvested and preserved billions of web pages and made them available for free, has been awarded a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

One of the Archive’s most well-known and coolest products is the Wayback Machine that lets users see what a web page looked like at various times in the past. The Wayback Machine is the librarian’s best friend.

The Award was given to the Internet Archive in recognition of:

” … its unflagging commitment to making the world’s knowledge available online, and preserving

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Phase 1 of E-Filing Has Arrived

This week the Ontario government has rolled out phase 1 for e-filing. Phase 1 of the e-filing project enables documents that initiate a civil proceeding in the Superior Court of Justice to be issued online and to be paid online.

The pilot project has been launched in five cities: Brampton, Ottawa, London, Newmarket and Sudbury. A province-wide rollout of Phase 1 is planned for later this year. Phase 2 of the project will allow for additional documents to be filed online.

This is fantastic news. By incrementally addressing problems we can begin to modernize our courts. Our courts need to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Google’s Dominance Doesn’t Require Anti-Competition

Google permeates everything we do. Our society could be described as a “Google generation,” for better or worse.

Some suggest that Google undermines our democracy, specifically by fostering greater inequality and eroding our notions of privacy. Others point to Google’s potential role in fighting back against “fake news,” and the crucial role that flows of information and media play in a democracy.

Google’s market share in search engines in Canada is estimated between 60% to over 90%. It’s Google’s dominance in the market that has some concerned about the centralization of power and information flows.

The broader practices of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Privacy Lessons From the Intimate of Things

The Internet is already everywhere, but we expect it to penetrate our lives even further, interacting with all of the devices, infrastructure, and environment around us. This phenomenon is known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT), described in 2014 by Jacob Morgan in Forbes as follows,

Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology

Is a Docusign E-Signature an Original for the Purpose of a Court Rule?

If a court or regulator allows e-filing but requires the filer to retain an original signed document, can that original itself be electronic?

A bankruptcy court in California recently issued sanctions against an attorney who filed electronic documents without retaining an “original” of the documents as required by the Rules – because the documents held by the attorney were signed using Docusign, and they did not qualify as originals for that purpose. Here is an article about the decision.

Here is the rule in the Court Manual:

Court Manual section 3.4(1)(4): Retention of Original Signatures. The registered CM/ECF User

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Crossing the Border With Your Devices — as a Lawyer

I’ve been kindly invited to be a regular/irregular contributor to Slaw, and I’m delighted to take them up on this offer.

Even before the change in government in the United States, I’m often asked — by other lawyers, the media and other folks — about whether you can be required to surrender your electronic devices and passcodes to unlock them on demand by border agents. This question has become a bit more acute as the media is increasingly reporting about individuals being not only required to surrender their devices and their passcodes, but also their social media credentials to border . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology