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Archive for ‘Technology’

Lavabit 2.0 — Revenant of the Encryption Wars

Email encryption, data breaches and a lawyer’s duty to choose technologies with competence—these are recurring topics here on Slaw and elsewhere. At least two revelations in the last week call us to hark back on this.

First, there is the Law Society of BC’s recent fraud alert from January 19 about fraudsters again targeting lawyers disbursing trust funds. Millions of dollars in a real estate transaction payout were redirected by fraudulent notice of changes in instructions. The recent LSBC alert warns “We do not yet know how the fraudster knew the details of the transaction.” This is eerily similar to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

How to Print Without Shame

The paperless-office religion probably makes you uncomfortable. The preacher says kill the paper, printing is a sin. Don’t fret. Here is why you should not be ashamed to print.

I write this for lawyers, and I am not talking about mandatory printing. Courts are more likely to go extinct when blockchains end commercial disputes and self-driving cars eliminate motor vehicle accidents than to go completely electronic. (But courts hearing criminal and constitutional cases will be with us forever it seems.)

I am also not criticizing paperless. I am a huge fan. I am sure you know why paperless is . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Electronic Filing: Can We File Pleadings Electronically in Ontario?

In Ontario some small claims pleadings can be filed electronically.

In December 2016, Regulation 487/16:Rules of Civil Procedure,
filed December 23, 2016 under the Courts of Justice Act was approved.

The Regulation speaks to, among other things, electronic filing:

ELECTRONIC FILING OF ORIGINATING PROCESS FOR ACTION

14.04 (1) A statement of claim (Form 14A (general) or 14B (mortgage actions – foreclosure)) or a notice of action (Form 14C) may be filed electronically, if the statement of claim or notice of action may, under rule 13.1.01, be filed in a court location for which the software authorized by the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Internet Archive Launches Trump Archive

Earlier this week, the Internet Archive, a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library best known for its huge (!) Wayback Machine web archive, launched the Trump Archive.

As a January 5, 2017 blog post explains:

The Trump Archive launches today with 700+ televised speeches, interviews, debates, and other news broadcasts related to President-elect Donald Trump (…)

It includes more than 500 video statements fact checked by FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker covering such controversial topics as immigration, Trump’s tax returns, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and health care.

By providing a free and enduring source for TV news

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

May a Plaintiff Compel a Defendant’s Lawyer to Identify His/her Client?

A U.S. court has ordered a lawyer for a defendant in a defamation action to identify his client. Could this be done in Canada? Is it routine? I know that there is Canadian case law on requiring Internet intermediaries to identify users, for both civil and criminal proceedings. I am not aware that lawyers can be required to do so – but maybe that is just because i am no barrister.

The lawyer claimed attorney-client privilege in refusing to answer. If a lawyer shows up in a court proceeding on behalf of a ‘John Doe’ client, is the identity of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

10 Things to Watch for at the Intersection of Tech and Law in 2017

  1. CASL, Canada’s anti-spam legislation, has been with us since July 2014. It’s a terrible piece of legislation for many reasons. In July 2017 a private right of action becomes effective that will allow anyone who receives spam as defined by CASL to sue the sender. CASL sets out statutory damages, so the complainant does not have to prove any damages. Class actions will no doubt be launched. The sad part is that breaches of CASL are to a large extent breaches of the very technical requirements of the statute, rather than the sending of what most people would call spam.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Should Law Firms Institute “20% Time”?

Most law firms hope to exist for many decades to come. But most law firms’ focus their energy on meeting quarterly or yearly targets.

But research shows that companies pay a steep price for not extending their gaze beyond the next 3-12 months. These companies tend to have significantly lower growth over the long-term.

One way that firms can increase their long-term longevity is through instituting “20% time”. In the book Drive, Daniel H Pink writes that “20% time” refers to the percentage of working time that employees are encouraged to work on any project that they wanted.

Google . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Police Access to Recordings of in-Home Computer “assistants”

A lot of people now have computers they can talk to and get answers from – Siri, Alexa, Cortona, etc – not to mention interactive talking dolls.

A man in Arkansas was recently charged with murdering another man in his home. The accused person had a number of such devices in his home, including an Echo device made by Amazon. While the device is set up to activate itself when addressed in a particular way, or by name, sometimes they record in other circumstances.

The police have asked Amazon to turn over any recording made during the relevant period. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Have You Heard of the MTO AV Club?

Remember high school and the AV club? Showing 16mm films in the gym to your classmates? Well that’s a different AV. This AV stands for “automated vehicle” which, as you know, are “driverless or self-driving vehicles that are capable of detecting the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning system coordinates.” Almost a year after establishing the first Canadian self-driving car pilot project the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will begin testing AVs on Ontario roads.

This program is a collaborative endeavour of MTO, Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure and the Ontario Centres of Excellence. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Who Will You Nominate for the 2016 Clawbies?

It’s December, and you know what that means: it’s Clawbies season! That’s right, it’s time to start nominating blogs for the 11th annual Canadian Law Blog Awards.

As always, you can get all the details over at clawbies.ca, but here’s the short version of what you need to know:

  • Nominate up to 3 of your favourite Canadian law blogs, podcasts, or video blogs via a blog post or Twitter (be sure to tag your nomination tweets with #clawbies2016).
  • Don’t nominate your own blog (really). By nominating others, your own blog will be automatically considered!
  • Nominations are open until
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Proposed Nova Scotia Accessibility Legislation

On November 2, 2016, the Nova Scotia government proposed accessibility legislation to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Nova Scotians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of everyday life by promoting and encouraging the prevention, reduction and removal of barriers.

Moreover, the government intends to help make Nova Scotia a more accessible and inclusive place to live and work. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Can a Robot Administer Oaths?

Not until legislatures allow this. But technically yes.

There are two kinds of legal tech.

One does not require the state’s approval. The other one does. And, as is usually the case with lawyers, there is a grey area.

Let’s talk about the grey area first. I met a lawyer friend at a Starbucks a few days ago. It was a networking/war story meeting just like most social situations with lawyers.

We talked about the paperless office. He said he could not be paperless because he did real estate transactions. Among other things, my friend needed to meet with clients . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology