Between July 2016 and February 2017, the federal government is consulting Canadians on planned federal accessibility legislation. The goal of the law would be to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of every day life. It is expected that the new legislation will incorporate many features from Ontario and Manitoba’s accessibility laws that would include the process or processes that the Government would use to develop the accessibility standards, as well as the areas or activities to which the standards would apply. . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Technology: Office Technology’
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]
France now has a law against after-hours emails to employees. Does this make sense to you? Could you get your work done on this basis? Is that question your concern, or is it up to the employer to organize your time more effectively?
Can such a law apply to professionals or others who do not punch a clock?
Are the benefits worth the inconvenience … given that the benefits go to the employees and the inconvenience to the employers, to a large extent.
When France legislated its 35-hour week, over 15 years ago, one consequence was that people had a . . . [more]
While lawyers in Canada were debating whether licensed paralegals should have a limited role in family law, and before that contemplating entity-based regulation, alternative business structures, and the articling crisis, change was already happening without them.
This week the century-old American law firm, BakerHostetler, announced they have hired their first digital lawyer, ROSS, the artificial intelligence system based on IBM’s Watson. What can ROSS do for this firm, one of the largest in the country?
“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]
On March 24, 2016, the Barreau du Quebec (Quebec Bar Association) released a report « La tarification horaire à l’heure de la réflexion » (in French only and translated to say Hourly Billing: A Time for Reflection) calling for an end to hourly billing by lawyers and law firms in the hope of improving access to justice for the public and a better work-life balance for lawyers. . . . [more]
Many law firms and organizations now offer sabbatical programs as a workplace benefit. As long as employees meet defined criteria and plan carefully, they’re able to take a few months off without much risk.
But given that I’m self-employed and that I work alone most of the time, I didn’t think that a sabbatical was really an option for me. A carefully cultivated – or lucky – opportunity could come knocking at any moment. What if I wasn’t around to answer the door? When you’re self-employed, you need to save money for the vacation and make up the lost . . . [more]
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
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]
If you’re in a rush, skip on over to the official security blog at Malwarebytes for the original post on this possible anti-ransomware breakthrough. It’s early news about a beta release tool at this point, and not ready for prime time, but it could be a ray of hope for law firms who live in fear of infection by the most dreaded of malware variants: the cryptovirus.
I feel like this may particularly be a good sign for small firms who cannot afford active threat protection services from premier providers. If average users can rely on standard anti-virus tools, it . . . [more]
Large and small organizations in the private and non-profit sectors have a new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance deadline coming up on January 1, 2017.
1) Large organizations (50+ employees)
Starting January 1, 2016, provincially regulated organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario must work to comply with the design for public spaces standards under the built-environment to address barriers impeding access to outdoor public spaces by persons with disabilities, but not those barriers inside buildings. This task must be completed by January 1, 2017.
This standard covers a variety of public spaces such as exterior . . . [more]
Microsoft has just ended support for Internet Explorer versions 10 and earlier. That means Microsoft will no longer provide security patches, which makes them risky to use from a security perspective.
Anyone still using those versions should update to IE 11 immediately. Those using Windows 10 can use the Edge browser instead. Edge works well, but unfortunately does not yet support add ons like password managers. Another option is of course to use Chrome.
If there is a need to use an earlier version of IE because of legacy internet applications that are not up to current standards, IE 11 . . . [more]