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Archive for ‘Technology’

Why It’s Hard to Sell Tech to Lawyers

And when I say lawyers, I include the courts, law firm staff, paralegals. Everyone who moves the machinery of law.

So here is why it’s hard to sell tech to lawyers.

Everything your law tech can do is already possible by other means.

Here is a list of other means:

  1. Email
  2. Microsoft Word
  3. Spreadsheets
  4. Phone
  5. Fax (disgusting but true)
  6. Folders and files on your computer
  7. And last but not least: human labour

The above is also tech. At some point it was hot new tech (even human labour—see the history of employment and management science). People who designed the above . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

CRTC Advisory on CASL Consent Record Keeping

The CRTC recently issued a media advisory entitled Enforcement Advisory – Notice for businesses and individuals on how to keep records of consent. It doesn’t add anything new – but reinforces what the CRTC is looking for. This is important because CASL requires a business to prove that they have consent to send a CEM (Commercial Electronic Message). CASL has a complex regime of express and implied consent possibilities.

The advisory states: “Commission staff has observed that some businesses and individuals are unable to prove they have obtained consent before sending CEMs. The purpose of this Enforcement Advisory is . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Show Me the Pleading: Show Me the Evidence 


Currently finding pleadings, motion records, or factums filed with the courts online is nearly impossible. It is not only an issue of access to justice, it is an issue of accuracy.
Reading decisions without the filed materials is like being a detective with only half of a magnifying glass. You have the ultimate decision, but you don’t have the underlying pleading, motion record, or argument that the decision is based on. This is problematic. Judges and lawyers need to have access to the material filed to truly appreciate the case law before them. Most decisions turn on the facts, . . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Technology

Hello, My Name Is…

… Pulat Yunusov. This is my first blog post here. You may have read my columns on Slaw (A Proposal for Automated Online Dispute Resolution, Part 1; and What Is Blockchain and Why It’s Important for Law Practice) and a piece on the recent CBA startup competition.

Expect more of the same! I am interested in two things: how law practice is changing and how technology is affecting that change.

I spend most of my public-facing time in my litigation practice. When I founded it in 2011, I wanted to do a few things from scratch . . . [more]

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

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

An OASIS Open Repository for Legal XML Documents

Robert Richards reported yesterday on the Legal Informatics Research Network group that OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) has established a new open repository on Github.* The repository has been created to support the work of the OASIS LegalDocumentML (LegalDocML) Technical Committee a group dedicated to “advancing worldwide best practices for the use of XML in legal documents.”

The repository will contain “schema files, examples, exemplificative implementations and libraries, and documents related to developing a specification for Akoma Ntoso” and they are intending this collection of documents to be “as useful as possible for people . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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

Hassles: Transforming Court Services

When it comes to court services and legal services, there is a huge gap between what customers really want and what they settle for. Those gaps between what people really want and what they settle for represent opportunities for new products.

In Demand Adrian Slywotzky writes that each hassle (a needless step) is a problem and that answers to problems represent possible business ideas. As it currently stands, using court services requires overcoming many hassles. And, like the hassles associated with buying books in stores, the Internet has made many of the steps associated with using court services unnecessary. For . . . [more]

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

Privacy by Design Is Crucial to Avoid IoT Disasters

If anyone doubts that Privacy by Design is not a fundamentally important principle, consider these two recent articles.

This Wired article describes a hack being detailed at the upcoming Defcon conference that can easily read and type keystrokes from wireless keyboards that are not Bluetooth. So you might want to consider replacing any non-Bluetooth wireless keyboards you have.

Security expert Bruce Schneier wrote this article entitled The Internet of Things Will Turn Large-Scale Hacks into Real World Disasters that explains the IoT risks. The fundamental problem is that not enough attention is being paid to security for IoT devices. This . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Rio Olympics Social Media Guidelines

It seems that dubbing major sporting events the “largest social media event ever” is even trendier than the social networking platforms themselves, and Rio 2016 is no exception. All hype aside, the Rio Olympics haven’t reinvented the wheel, and seem to impose similar restrictions as their predecessors.

The IOC describes appropriate uses and prohibitions in their Social and Digital Media Guidelines. All accredited individuals (athletes, coaches, and officials) who are not accredited as media are allowed to “share their experience at the Games through internet or any other type of social and digital media, provided that it . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Teaching Technology to Law Students

Anyone teaching technology to law students might be interested in this new special interest group curated by CALI’s Executive Director John Mayer: Teaching Technology to Law Students.

The site is developing a syllabi commons, a list of software, websites and resources, a collection of articles and videos about teaching tech in law schools, and a list of courses that will be taught this fall.

It has an American focus but looks like it will contain useful information for anyone teaching in this area. If you’re interested in learning more contact John Mayer ( to join the Tech-For-Law-Students . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology