Technology Archives – Slaw
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Archive for ‘Technology’

Riverview Law Sees the World Through EY

The recent announcement of EY’s proposed acquisition of one hundred percent of the shares in Riverview Law (closing at the end of August, 2018) has elicited a number of different responses around the globe all speculating on what this transaction means for the future of legal services? Was this a lifeline to Riverview Law? Will clients really want legal and accounting to be done by the same firm? Aren’t the Big Four just marginally less clunky than Biglaw? Will BigLaw be worried? Some of those comments are here.

But like all fast-breaking stories, there is some fog. So it’s . . . [more]

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

Blockchain Judiciary

In Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World, Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott discuss the potential for blockchain in changing our world. Blockchain is a list of records (blocks) that are linked using cryptography. The list of records are permanent, open, and time stamped. The records are linked using algorithms that are almost impossible to break.

Don and Alex Tapscott write that blockchain could be used to transform our judiciary. For example, they cite the concept of CrowdJury. “CrowdJury looks to transform the justice system by putting several judicial processes online, using both . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

List of Fastcase 50 Legal Innovators for 2018

Fastcase, an American-based provider of electronic versions of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions), has unveiled its list of Fastcase 50 winners for the year 2018.

“Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions.

Simon Fodden, the founder of Slaw.ca, was recognized as one of the Fastcase 50 in . . . [more]

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

Devices Gone Wild III: Smart Home Devices Used for Harassment

The American Bar Journal reports that some people are harassing their spouses by remote manipulation of smart home devices, like thermostats, TVs and the like – turning the heat way up, or off, turning TVs or radios on and off, etc.

Is this a problem in Canada? Is there a reason that the spouse left in the home can’t just turn off the devices, or the central control device like Alexa?

Would restraining orders need to deal with this kind of ‘contact’ or abuse expressly? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Should Social Media Use by Judges Disqualify Them From Being Considered for a Supreme Court Nomination?

With Supreme Court Judge of the United States Anthony Kennedy announcing his retirement, there are a host of potential nominees. Included in this list is Justice Don Willet of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal. ABC News contends that some people are taking issue with his potential nomination because of his use of social media. It has been argued that social media use can reveal biases and detract from the perceived impartiality of the bench.

However, ABC News notes that “Legal scholars say there’s no legal provision prohibiting Supreme Court justices from sharing their opinions online or in speeches. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Would It Be Good to Get Rid of Cash?

The Guardian has an article about the number of businesses in the U.K. that are refusing to accept cash in payment, notably for food and drink, and services.

The article and the comments to it point out the difficulties such policies may cause for people who do not have or cannot get bank accounts – but also the benefit for the businesses, who do not have to keep or tally cash.

The comments in particular point out the privacy and control implications of having all one’s transactions recorded – and the data often sold – electronically.

Some other countries, notably . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Lawyers Learning to Code?

OK, I know … you don’t want to hear about how lawyers should learn how to program. And sure, many of you may not need to learn how to code. But with everything that’s bubbling up in and around the profession these days it might not hurt to at least consider familiarizing yourself with what goes on behind the scene.

If you find yourself agreeing with that premise, then you’ll find this nice short post on Programming Resources for Lawyers on the Ex Libris Juris blog useful. It’s brought to us by the folks at the Harris County Law Library . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Pizza Delivery – in the Not Too Distant Future

In the not too distant future…

“Hey Google, order me a pizza – the usual, but a large this time, and have it delivered.”

Google Duplex calls pizza place. Pizza place AI bot answers the phone. The bots talk to each other.

Robots make the pizza.

Pizza is loaded into an autonomous vehicle containing a pizza oven that cooks it on the way to me.

Autonomous vehicle texts me when 2 minutes away.

I meet it at the curb. It authenticates me using voice or facial recognition and gives me the pizza. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Gmail Confidential for Lawyers

Law month, Google released new features for its paying customers of Gmail, including Gmail Confidential Mode. The initial announcement stated,

Today, we’re introducing a new approach to information protection: Gmail confidential mode. With confidential mode, it’s possible to protect sensitive content in your emails by creating expiration dates or revoking previously sent messages. Because you can require additional authentication via text message to view an email, it’s also possible to protect data even if a recipient’s email account has been hijacked while the message is active.

Built-in Information Rights Management (IRM) controls also allow you to remove the option

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Do You Need to Know You Are Speaking With a Robot?

You will probably have heard that Google has developed a system by which a machine can make phone calls to humans, notably to make reservations for hotels and restaurants (and what more human an activity is there?) – and the machine, using AI, can sound remarkably human. Apparently we have here a device that passes the Turing test with flying colours.

Question: should it have to tell people it deals with that it is essentially a robot? A lot of people claim to be unhappy with the idea that they may deal with the machine and not know it’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

The EVA-Lution of Legal Research?

I’ve been out of the loop for a little while and just happened on EVA the free AI-based legal research tool that ROSS Intelligence made available earlier this year. ROSS CEO Andrew Arruda characterizes this “AI system” as ROSS’ new coworker.

Robert Ambrogi blogged about EVA’s unveilling in late January calling it a “brief analyzer.” He expanded on this description:

“…it is also a tool for checking the subsequent history of cited cases and determining if they are still good law, … [and it] also can be used to find other cases that are similar to a given case

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

The Limits of Complex Algorithms in Predicting Recidivism

In the “Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies: Criminological Highlights” published by the University of Toronto, the ability of complex algorithms to predict recidivism or re-offending while on pretrial release is discussed. In a study by Julia Dressel and Hany Farid, the researchers assessed the accuracy of algorithm based prediction system COMPAS.

They looked at data from 7,214 defendants in one county in Florida. They compared the predictions made by COMPAS to two other sources of predictions: (1) Ordinary statistical predictive models and (2) Intuitive predictions by ordinary people.

Dressel and Farid found that COMPAS’s prediction of recidivism (arrest within . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology