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Archive for ‘Technology: Internet’

Online Courts: Using Technology to Promote Access to Justice

Congratulations to Canada for its online Small Claims Court that will become mandatory next year. The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) in British Columbia is slated to hear small claims cases online next spring. The jurisdictional threshold for “small claims” has yet to be established; however, the mandate is that it will eventually rise to approximately $20K USD. CRT adjudications will have the same effect as court orders and will provide the population inexpensive, fast, and easy access to justice for a range of civil disputes.

It is expected that CRT will divert 15,000 small claims cases from the courts each . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology, Technology: Internet

Ontario Firm Narrowly Avoids $500,000 Email & Phone Hack Attempt

An Ontario lawyer called LAWPRO inform us of what appears to be an email hack attempt (similar to what is described here) against his firm and one of his clients, with the goal of diverting closing funds from a transaction into a different bank account. An email to the client appeared to come from this lawyer, and a follow-up phone call was made to the client which displayed the lawyer’s firm number.

Below we have reproduced the steps of the incident and his response, with some edits to remove the firm and client information.

Here is the fraudulent email . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Canadian Bar Association Runs a Startup Competition at Its Annual Conference

Imagine the taxi industry investing in Uber. Well, maybe it should have.

Despite the comparisons between lawyers and the taxi industry, the preeminent lawyers’ organization in Canada—the Canadian Bar Association, is running the Pitch—a contest to select the best legal tech startups in the country. The Pitch takes place at the CBA Legal Conference on August 12, 2016. The CBA partnered up with important players from the startup world to reward the winners.

The China Angels Mentorship Program will consider all Pitch finalists for at least a $200,000 investment.

The winners of the Pitch will also get . . . [more]

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

Augmented Reality, Diminished Privacy, Increased Conflict?

The new “augmented reality” game Pokemon Go has in a few days more downloads than Tindr. Perhaps the age range of the players is wider.

In any event, to augment your reality, the makers (a spinoff from Google) want a LOT of personal information. TechCrunch has the story, or one version of it. Is the reason that the game is not yet available in Canada our privacy laws, notably PIPEDA, which requires (as well as informed consent) that the collection, use and disclosure of PII be reasonable? Can the game maker justify the extent of the information collected by . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Loom Analytics Launches Today

[Necessary disclosure: My company Stem Legal has been working with Loom Analytics for several months now during their beta period. It’s a relationship I’m proud to showcase, but also one we are compensated for.]

Today is an exciting day for Loom Analytics. One of the country’s most interesting legal tech startups has officially closed its beta phase and has opened up registration to legal consumers. Less than 18 months after the Loom team first started working on the idea of a Canadian legal analytics tool, the company (whom you may recall from a Slaw Vendor Quiz earlier this year) . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

New Phishing Attack Pretends to Be Bar Communication

The following warning was issued by Lawyers Mutual of North Carolina. We haven’t had any reports of this in Ontario yet, but lawyers should always be alert to phishing scams that try to trick them into opening an attachment or clicking a link that could instal malware.

There is a new phishing scam targeting bar members across the country. The fraudulent email pretends to be a communication from the State Bar or Bar Association.

There are several versions of this scam. The most common are: “[state] Bar Complaint,” “[state] Bar Association Past Due Notice,” and “Lawyers and judges may now . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Of Smartphones in an Age of Privacy Breaches and Paranoia

“Several were almost tharn—that is, in that state of staring, glazed paralysis that comes over terrified or exhausted rabbits, so that they sit and watch their enemies—weasels or humans—approach to take their lives.”
– Richard Adams, Watership Down

Go to enough legal tech conference sessions and you’ll eventually catch the fear. It may start with a shocking statistic or factoid —”80% of big law firms have been targets of hackers” or “The FBI unofficially recommends paying the cryptovirus ransom”— and it will escalate quickly into a litany of sinister sounding jargon and neologisms.

Phishing scams. Botnet zombie armies. Malvertising. Heartbleed. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

World First – Twitter Town Hall With Chief Judge Crabtree

♫ Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends…♫

Lyrics and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, recorded by The Beatles.

On Thursday April 14 between 1-3 pm pacific time, a world-first happened. Chief Judge Crabtree of the British Columbia Provincial Court hosted a Twitter Town Hall. Ian Mulgrew of the Vancouver Sun wrote about it: “Chief Judge hashes issues out on Twitter for first time.” The Canadian Bar Association – BC Branch storified . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

#AskChiefJudge – B.C. Provincial Court Twitter Town Hall

Given the opportunity, what would you ask the Chief Judge of a Canadian court?

In what is certainly a Canadian-first, Chief Judge Crabtree of the BC Provincial Court hosting a live Twitter Town Hall on BC Law Day, April 14, 2016 from 1-3pm Pacific Time.

Tweet your questions to #AskChiefJudge and follow the hashtag.

A new standard of engagement

While certainly unique, this effort seems a natural progression from the offline and online work this particular court has done to engage with the legal community and public at large.

The B.C. legal community will be very familiar with the extensive . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Some Recent Posts and Articles on Lawyers and Technology

There have been a number of things written lately about lawyers and technology indicating that this conversation has begun to emerge.

Here are a few selections that have crossed my screen over the last couple of months:

  • Bennion, Jeff. 2016. ‘Debunking 3 Legal Technology Myths’. Above the Law. Accessed March 31. http://abovethelaw.com/2016/02/debunking-3-legal-technology-myths/.
    • “Lately, I’ve talked to a lot of people who have some misconceptions about what it means to be a tech-friendly law office.”
  • Casanovas, Pompeu, Monica Palmirani, Silvio Peroni, Tom van Engers, and Fabio Vitali. 2016. ‘Semantic Web for the Legal Domain: The next Step’. Edited by Pompeu
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

New Lawyer Cyber Dangers and How to Avoid Them

Like the local bank, your practice holds valuable information and money. Your computer systems may contain client information, trade secrets, and intellectual property. Your trust accounts have large sums of money. A cyber breach or trust account theft will harm your clients and potentially cripple your practice. Security guards, specialized safes, and sophisticated procedures protect the local bank. What safeguards have you put in place for your practice?

Perceived to be less sophisticated than banks and big companies, lawyers make easy targets for tech-savvy criminals. The payoff, which can include emptying trust accounts and taking advantage of confidential information, is . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

Alberta Ransomware Advisory

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta has developed guidelines to assist public bodies, health custodians and private organizations with preventing and responding to ransomware cyberattacks. The Advisory published in March 2016 in PDF can be downloaded here.

According to most information technology experts, antivirus vendors and security professionals, “Ransomware” is considered a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system and files until a sum of money is paid within a certain deadline, to an unknown party. The sum of money to be paid varies from as little as $25 to . . . [more]

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