Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Technology’

List of Fastcase 50 Legal Innovators for 2015

Earlier this month, Fastcase, an American-based electronic provider of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions), unveiled its list of Fastcase 50 winners for the year 2015:

“The Fastcase 50 for 2015 highlights entrepreneurs, innovators, and trailblazers — people who have charted a new course for the delivery of legal services. In law firms – including some of the nation’s largest – with new delivery models, legal tech startups, legal publishers, academia, and the judiciary, these pioneers are giving the world a first look at what’s next for law and technology.”

Simon Fodden, the founder of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Of Lexbox and the Promise of Convenience for CanLII Users

CanLII has a new friend. Its name is Lexbox.

It’s a product from Lexum — the Montreal-based company responsible for the undergirding technology of CanLII — which first emailed me and a clutch of other legal research types back in late March with an invite to help test the experimental tool when it was still in a closed beta phase.

We were told then that the aim of Lexbox (and you can read a lot more about it here) is to simplify how lawyers store, monitor and share online legal information. Having kicked the tires over the past . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

Chatting in Secret

The Intercept has an article entitled Chatting in Secret While We’re All Being Watched that’s a good read for anyone interested in how to keep communications private. It was written by Micah Lee, who works with Glenn Greenwald to ensure their communications with Edward Snowden are private.

Even if you don’t want to read the detailed technical instructions on how to go about it, at least read the first part of the article that explains at a high level how communications can be intercepted, and the steps needed to stop that risk.

Communicating in secret is not easy. It takes . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology

Legal Innovations: A Few of Our Favorite Things

Innovation means different things to different people – to some, it’s about a small tweak that makes a big difference; to others, it’s a complete disruption in the force.

In Canada, the discussion about legal innovation has lately become bogged down in the debate over alternative business structures (ABS). But that’s not where innovation begins or ends.

On July 23, Friedrich Blase of Thomson Reuters and Natalie McFarlane of LawLignment will host a CBAFutureschat to discuss favourite legal innovations – just what do you define as a legal innovation? What tools make your business model possible? What innovations have you . . . [more]

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

Bad Idea: Don’t Google How to Rob a Bank

Why Googling about how to rob a bank is not recommended is just one item in the June 2015 issue of the U.S. bulletin Connected.

The bulletin, which covers news about the impact of new social media on courts, is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

It is a great place to find out about how courts are trying to adapt to the world of Facebooking judges, tweeting witnesses, Instagramming lawyers, and jury members doing their own research on the Internet. Most items are American but they have . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology: Internet

Machine Learning: Truth, Lies and “Gold Standards”

There’s an interesting article in the recent issue of AI Magazine called “Truth Is a Lie: Crowd Truth and the Seven Myths of Human Annotation.” AI Magazine is considered the “journal of record for the AI community” and is a product of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. It’s a “delayed open access” journal which is nice because that means the articles are openly available 15 months after they’ve been published.*

One reason this article caught my attention is because I’ve been thinking about Kevin Lee’s comment on my post a couple of weeks . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

New App Fights Back Against Police Carding

A new smartphone app has been developed to guide and assist members of the public through often difficult and contentious police interactions.

LegalSwipe is a free app, available on both the iTunes and Android markets. It provides step-by-step interactions through a decision tree, prompting the user to ask specific questions such as whether they are under arrest. It then tells the user what they should or should not be doing or saying with these police interactions.

The app is the brainchild of Christien Levien, a law student who completed his articles in criminal law and is currently studying for . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

The Bucket and the Water

As someone focused on process improvement and knowledge management I have a relationship with IT. In this case, I am speaking of IT as a group of professionals responsible for keeping the technology “lights on” in my organization. Often IT is called on to do more than keep the lights on. I have been spending time lately thinking about what it is that I ask of IT and whether my needs and expectations line up with the way that our IT groups is resourced. I have started asking myself if my need or expectation is the bucket (technology) or the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Artificial Intelligence and Law

I did manage to get myself out to San Diego for the 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. As mentioned in my short introductory post about the conference in early May that ICAIL 2015 was took place from June 8-12 at the University of San Diego. The view from the elevated USD campus was spectacular and made spending time in the Joan R. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice and surrounding gardens all the more pleasurable. Congratulations to the organizers for providing a well-run and fruitful conference.

When I think of artificial intelligence (AI) my thoughts . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Digital Currency – the Senate Reports

Are you keeping track of the law on digital currency such as Bitcoin? Are your clients using it, or wanting to? Are you?

The Senate of Canada has issued a report supporting its use. Here’s a story on the report (in case you don’t subscribe to Crypto Coin News…).

Objects in the future are closer than they appear (sometimes). . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorist Act, 2015) Passed by Senate Despite Massive Opposition

Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorist Act, 2015) has been passed by the Senate despite massive opposition against its privacy unfriendly invasive powers. See, for example, commentary by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, this article by security law professors entitled “Why Can’t Canada Get National Security Law Right“, and this post on Openmedia.ca .

Yet in the United States, the USA Freedom Act was just passed that pulled back a bit on the ability of the NSA to collect domestic data.

There seems to be no evidence that all this invasive spying and data collection actually reduces or prevents terrorism . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

E-Learning for Legal Organizations, Explained

Law firms and legal departments often rely on technology to create cost-effective training options. Mistakes can be costly, though. If you choose the wrong platform or make incorrect assumptions, both you and your program could lose credibility.

In the second half of an interview with Holly MacDonald, driving force behind Canadian e-learning innovation consultancy Spark &+Co, we learn what to consider when creating an e-learning module, and which trends might help sustain progress. (The first half of the interview discussed what individual lawyers should look for when selecting an e-learning course.)

Q. Which mistakes do organizations commonly . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology, Technology: Office Technology