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Archive for ‘Technology’

Barreau Du Quebec Position on Hourly Billing Report Long Overdue

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]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Making Canadian Culture Go Viral

I’m not even sure who watches television any more.

Most of us stream content these days, and much of that content isn’t even Canadian. So why is our Federal government still spending millions of tax dollars subsidizing traditional media?

That’s a question Mélanie Joly, Canada’s new heritage minister, is asking Canadians. Yesterday she announced an open consultation “to strengthen the creation, discovery and export of Canadian content” in a new digital world. She told the CBC,

As we adjust to the realities of rapid technological advances and changing consumer behaviour, I am launching consultations to better understand the challenges

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Sabbaticals for the Self-Employed

This mountain gorilla really knows how to take a break.

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 . . . [more]

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

Of Tweeters Laureate and Judicious Public Outreach

Last week’s BC Provincial Court’s #AskChiefJudge Twitter Town Hall went off with nary a glitch, and even received some fanfare in the Vancouver Sun for its being the first (known) instance of a time when a Canadian chief judge has taken to Twitter to answer live questions. Dave Bilinsky and Colin Lachance both shared news of this last week.

It proved many things—one of them being 2010 really is a pretty long time ago.

The Courts’ Affair with Twitter Since 2010

Back in 2010 only a fraction of courts even held a Twitter handle—7% according to a CCPIO report of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Technology

CALIcon 2016: “The Year of Learning Dangerously”

CALIcon is coming. In fact registration for the June 16-18 conference taking place at Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta is now open. I haven’t had the opportunity to attend CALI’s* “Conference for Law School Computing” but very intrigued by their theme this time around: “The Year of Learning Dangerously.”

One of the nice things about CALIcon is the availability of sessions from previous conferences including a YouTube archive grouped by year. These are full one hour sessions with abstracts, video and often slides and other documents. I took a quick look at last year’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, 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

Panama Papers – Points to Ponder

The Panama papers revelations are worth pondering on many levels. (This Wired article is a good summary.)

My first reaction to the high level tax evasion and corruption allegations was to blanch at the thought that someone had basically given the entire contents of a law firm’s document management system to a third party.

As a lawyer, the fact that law firm files were leaked causes me to wince. After all, solicitor-client privilege is a fundamental tenet of democratic society. Law firms take the security of their files very seriously, and getting access to this information would not be an . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Metrics: Beyond the Billable Hour

Law firms love measuring the billable hour. The current yardstick for worth. But by focusing only on the billable hour, law firms lose. They lose valuable data.

Think about how much data runs through a law firm:

  1. What do clients request?
  2. When do clients request it?
  3. Why are clients asking for that work? When do they need it done? What motivates the request? Is it tied to a specific time of year?
  4. How satisfied was the client? What feedback did the client provide?
  5. When do clients ask to reduce the bill and by how much?
  6. What type of work was
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

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

E-Mail – More Secure Than a Postcard

The Apple – FBI tempest got me thinking about email security. (Even though that fight was over device security, not email platform and transmission security.)

Email security has improved over the past couple of years, no doubt in part due to the Snowden – NSA revelations. Many providers of hardware, software, internet infrastructure, and online services have taken steps to implement encryption in general, and to plug the gaps in the chain where encryption was missing. Some, for example, had gaps as they passed email to other mail providers unencrypted, even if they encrypted it while they had it. Encryption . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Of Conference Debriefs and #ABATECHSHOW 2016 Chicago Travel Tips

A good conference can leave little time to explore a city itself. Hence, I’ve pathetic little Chicago lore to pass on. No Field Museum meditations, no Magnificent Mile shopping tips. Chicago may not best be described as “the appurtenance to the Hilton along Michigan Ave” but honestly, after attending the 2016 ABA TECHSHOW, I am hardly in a position to describe it any better.

The only souvenirs I acquired bleeped in when I disengaged airplane mode on a layover in Minnesota… 95 Twitter notifications from lawyers and startups I engaged with at the conference. Fellow conference attendee, LSUC’s Phil Brown, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology