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Archive for ‘Technology’

CASL Software Provisions

CASL – the Canadian anti-spam legislation – contains provisions that require certain disclosure and permission requirements on the installation of software that does certain things, or when software does certain things. This aspect of CASL has been overshadowed by the anti-spam provisions, in part because the software provisions are not in effect until January 15, 2015.

Unfortunately these software provisions are not easy to comprehend or apply in practice. There is a lot of uncertainty around their interpretation. And IMHO they are going to cause far more harm than good. There is a real danger that some software creators will . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Cops Impound Cell Phone of Texting Driver for 48 Hours

A recent shift in the distracted driving law has granted the police the authority to confiscate and impound cell phones of drivers who are caught texting while driving. Drivers caught texting are subject to a fine, and the police may confiscate the driver’s phone for up to 48 hours. Just long enough for that cell phone dependent driver to really feel the loss of their “companion”, but not so long as to justify going out to pick up a loaner.

The hope is that depriving the driver of their beloved cell phone will serve as a greater deterrent than any . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

It’s the Most “something” Time of the Year

Every year at this time I head on over the Beloit College website to see just what the coming year(s) have in store for me and Beloit College produces the very striking “Mindset List”, which never fails to land a few jarring blows. The Mindset List, “provid(es) a look at the cultural touchstones and experiences that have shaped the worldview of students entering colleges and universities in the fall.” And remember even if you are not associated with academia the 1L list are the people that will be applying to work with you in the coming months.

Firstly, let’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Facebook ‘likes’ as Protected Speech (More)

You will probably recall the litigation in the US a couple of years back about whether someone’s ‘like’ on a Facebook page was constitutionally protected ‘speech’.

An employee of a municipal sheriff had Liked the page of a candidate running against the incumbent sheriff. When the incumbent was re-elected, he fired the employee. The court of first instance held that the Like was not political expression and not protected against retaliation. On appeal, that decision was reversed – the Like was political speech – but the firing was upheld for other reasons.

The US National Labour Relations Board has recently . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

E-Filing Comes to Ontario (Gradually)

The Ministry of the Attorney General has announced an electronic filing system for the Ontario Small Claims Court. For the moment, the system is active in only a few court locations, but the Ministry intends to have it working province-wide by early 2015. In addition, the system works for statements of claim and notices of default, but not for statements of defence or settlement conference documents.

A fuller description is here.

What do you think? Does this look like a workable operation, as far as it goes? Is it the basis for a complete e-filing system (i.e. including defence . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Hackers Fast to Take Advantage of Fears Created by Celebrity Nude Photo Leak

This morning I got the following email, purportedly from Apple Support, telling me to take steps to update my Apple ID information (click ‘more’ to expand this post and see the screenshot):

It is a text book example of a phishing scam – the very type of scam that was likely used for tricking some of the celebrities caught in the nude photo leak into disclosing their personal account login information to hackers. (see this Verge article for a detailed timeline and explanation on how the celebrity nude photo leak likely happened.)

Wow – that didn’t take long. Here the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Smartwatch Week

The IFA – the European equivalent of the Las Vegas Consumer Electronic Show – starts Friday – although manufacturers have already started pre-show press conferences. A wide range of consumer electronics and appliances will be on display. The tech press will have extensive coverage, including CNET and engadget.

Smartwatches will be prominent. With Google’s recent launch of its Android Wear smartwatch operating system, several new smart watches are being announced. Some are updates of existing models, and some are new. Examples include the Asus ZenWatch and the Sony SmartWatch 3. Not to be outdone, Apple is expected to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Canadian Law Video Site LegalTube.ca Launched

Congratulations to the folks at LawyerLocate.ca Inc., Natalie Waddell and Mark C. Robins, for launching their new Canadian law video distribution site LegalTube.ca.

The website is aimed at the public, giving easy video access on a wide range of law-related topics. The site is made up of video content from lawyers listed on LawyerLocate.ca, with videos originally housed on YouTube or Vimeo, pulling everything together by topic as well as by participant profiles (lawyers and law firms). I found the site very easy to navigate with major law topics across the top. There is also a category . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

LawTechCamp 2014 This Weekend

The fourth annual LawTechCamp takes place this Saturday at Ryerson University’s DMZ building. LawTechComp provides an opportunity to “bridge the gap between the tech and legal communities and encourage the exchange of ideas and knowledge.”

This is an unconference type event organized against the following schedule:

  • Impact of CASL on Lawyers and Entrepreneurs
  • Panel Discussion: Future of the Legal Profession in the Age of Disruption
  • Panel: Alternative Models of Legal Service Delivery
  • Law Technology Retrospective and Future Insights

In addition Chris Bentley, former Attorney General of Ontario, will deliver a lunchtime keynote talk on “Law, Technology and the Public Interest.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

practicePRO Resource: Technology Use Policies and Resources

Written policies that clearly establish guidelines and requirements governing the acceptable use of firm technology can help reduce cyber exposures and give staff clear direction on what they are permitted and not permitted to do with law firm technology resources.

Use these resources and sample policies to create polices for your firm (These resources supplement the information in the Cybercrime and Law Firms issue of LAWPRO Magazine): The model policies are also available in Word and RTF formats.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Diagramming for Statutory Interpretation

Juana Summers of NPR detailed this week the use of sentence diagramming, a grammar technique once widely used in America,

Burns Florey and other experts trace the origin of diagramming sentences back to 1877 and two professors at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. In their book, Higher Lessons in English,Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg made the case that students would learn better how to structure sentences if they could see them drawn as graphic structures.

After Reed and Kellogg published their book, the practice of diagramming sentences had something of a Golden Age in American schools.

The practice fell into disuse . . . [more]

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