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Archive for ‘Technology’

Standardizing Legal Data to Extract Insights

This submission is part of a column swap with the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) bimonthly member magazine, AALL Spectrum. Published six times a year, AALL Spectrum is designed to further professional development and education within the legal information industry. Slaw and the AALL Spectrum board have agreed to hand-select several columns each year as part of this exchange. 

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a worldwide, standard taxonomy—adopted by all major vendors, firms, and clients—to make legal data interoperable? Well, happily for us all, just such a taxonomy exists. It’s called SALI. And this standard taxonomy/ontology . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology

Tips Tuesday: cHANGE Case in Microsoft Word

We’ve all been there, started typing a sentence without realizing our caps lock was on ONLY FOR IT TO END UP LOOKING LIKE THIS. Ordinarily, we’d probably backspace and re-type it, but what if I told you there was a handy feature in Microsoft Word which can change your sentence case for you in one click eliminating the need for deleting and re-typing?

Let me introduce you to the “Change Case” feature. IF YOU END UP IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS all you have to do, is highlight the text you want to fix, and then press SHIFT + F3. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Tips Tuesday: Save Your Closed Brower Tabs

Ever closed a browser tab accidentally and been unable to find it again? Sure, you could try to go through your browser history to attempt to locate it, but if you’re like me you likely keep your tabs open for days (sometimes weeks) at a time making a search through your history futile.

There are two ways that you can recover closed tabs. The methods vary between browsers and therefore, these tips will apply to Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome (sorry Microsoft Edge users!). The first method is to “Recover Last Session” or review “Recently Closed”.

In Google Chrome:

  • Click
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

Tips Tuesday: Quick Parts for Quick Drafting

Do you have a particular portion of an e-mail or an entire e-mail that you end up sending repeatedly? It could be something as simple as a reporting e-mail or an e-mail where you discuss your fees. It could also be a just a single paragraph that you use often or even just a sentence.

Let me introduce you to “Quick Parts”. Let’s say that I always use the same text for my annual return reports to my client and I didn’t want to keep typing that out over and over again.

You can go into the last e-mail that . . . [more]

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

Tips Tuesday: Previous Versions Saves the Day

Ever accidentally wrote over a template or deleted a document out of a folder that you didn’t want to delete? Ever wanted to check what documents were in a folder on a previous date? Allow me to introduce you to the “Previous Versions” function in Windows Explorer.

The Scenario

You’re working in a folder with a bunch of disclosure documents in it. You’re working on reviewing them and deleting documents that you don’t need at the same time. In doing so, you delete a very important document that you didn’t intend to delete. This document was a PDF that was . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Tips Tuesday: Creating an “Unread” E-Mail Folder

Are you someone who uses e-mail filters to try and keep some semblance of organization in your inbox? Ever filtered too well and ended up missing an important e-mail because it skipped the inbox and got stuck in a sub-folder?

This tip will help you to filter your e-mails with confidence knowing that you will never miss an unread e-mail again. Let me introduce you to the “Unread” folder. This is a folder that you can create that can crawl all of your e-mail folders for unread e-mail messages and pull them into one common folder for you to view . . . [more]

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

Tips Tuesday: The Cross-Referencing Feature

Ever been drafting an agreement which makes references to other sections or paragraphs in the agreement, added or removed a section, then realized that all of your paragraph references are now incorrect and you’ve got a big mess on your hands?

Cross-referencing is the solution to this problem. Cross-referencing is a Microsoft Word feature that saves you from this very problem. The catch? Your document must have some sort of headings from the style guide or automatic numbering from which the cross-referencing menu can reference.

Cross-referencing works by inserting a link to the paragraph which you are referencing, allowing it . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Office Technology

Biometric Scanner Ruled Legal in Workplace

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

Not too long ago, it was the stuff of science fiction and action films-the locked door that opened by a retinal scan. The keypad required a fingerprint as additional security. Well, what was at issue in 2023 CanLII 5478 (BC LA) isn’t too far removed from those one-time fantasies. Here, an employer implemented a biometric finger scan system for employees to use, and it had a good reason that had nothing to do with security. Would vastly improved recordkeeping and human resources services suffice as justification? Some employees got fired for . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Tips Tuesday: Quick Reference Legislation in Your Browser

Today’s Tips Tuesday is a little trick that I use to save myself time when I need to reference a statute quickly. I use CanLII for the majority of my legal research and for all of my statute referencing. Instead of navigating to CanLII’s home page each time and searching the statute, I use bookmarks instead.

In my browser’s toolbar, I created a Legislation folder and have bookmarked all of the statutes that I might need to reference in my practice. For me this list includes:

  • Alberta King’s Printer
  • Alberta Rules of Court
  • Civil Enforcement Act
  • Condominium Property Act
  • Employment
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Tips Tuesday: Using “Read Aloud” to Catch the Typos Your Brain Has Autocorrected for You

Today’s Tips Tuesday features a tip regarding one of the most under-rated features in Microsoft Word: Read Aloud.

Located under the “Review” tab in the ribbon, Read Aloud does exactly what it sounds like: it will read your document back to you, aloud so that you can hear the grammatical or wording errors you may have made when drafting. 

If you’re like me you like to torture yourself by going back and re-reading through a draft of a document or an e-mail that you just sent, and without fail this is when you catch a typos. It’s embarrassing and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Robot Courts: Will It Be Accepted?

Given the backlog in our courts and administrative tribunals in Ontario, it is likely that artificial intelligence will begin to be used for routine, procedural matters to reduce delays. In the book Online Courts and the Future of Justice, Richard Susskind writes that our courts are moving towards radical change rather than more of the same. Susskind predicts that artificial intelligence will be used to adjudicate and contain claims, and that the 2020s will be a period of redeployment of lawyers and judges. By 2030, our courts will be transformed by technologies, many of which are yet to be . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

ABA TECHSHOW’s “Startup Alley”: The Canadian Contingent

Leading up to ABA TECHSHOW 2023 this March 1st thru 4th, our Slaw friend and occasional writer Colin Lachance has alerted me to these five Canadian legal tech startups who have made the Top-40 for this year’s Startup Alley.

  • CiteRight is an essential litigation tool that simplifies legal research and writing by allowing users to save cases, generate automatic citations and produce court documents.
  • Jurisage AI accelerates legal research through instant access to case law insights.
  • Fidu helps legal teams ditch the billable hour for good in exchange for flat fee and subscription legal services by systematizing and scaling
. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Technology, Technology: Office Technology