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Archive for ‘Technology: Office Technology’

AI: The Robots Are Already in Control (Part Two)

In my last blog post “The Robots (AI) Are Already in Control (Part One)” I reminded users about the headaches involved with system migrations. Our working lives are already controlled by technology. This was to set the stage for the next part of the conversation.

Before I go down that rabbit hole, let me say that I appreciate technology, but I am a late adopter. I’d rather let everyone else pour time and money into sorting out new technology issues, and then adopt after the kinks have been worked out. Automating my working life is a fun question that I’m . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Office Technology

The Robots (AI) Are Already in Control (Part One)

The robots are already in control. Having witnessed several systems migrations, I’ve been saying this for at least a decade.

Robots Gone Mad

Remember how the Phoenix pay system wreaked havoc on public servant pay back in 2016? Did you know that system has cost more than $2.4 billion? The problems persisted well into 2022. A full timeline for implementation was nicely set out by the Ottawa Citizen.

Now think about Ontario’s Social Assistance Management system. It cost over $294 million to build and fix after being implemented in 2014. Major issues were experienced as a result. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Office 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: 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: 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

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

In-Person Conferences: Will You Show Up?

I have been told the CBA Immigration section is the most active of all the sections within the CBA. For years, the highlight for this section has been the CBA Immigration Law Conference where we regularly see 400 to 500 practitioners descent into a Canadian city to discuss recent policy & program updates from IRCC & CBSA. We review significant caselaw and hear from the lawyers who argued those cases, including lawyers from the Department of Justice who offer their perspective, and we opine (sometimes with vigor) on all the changes we would like adopted. I have been attending these . . . [more]

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

Does a Computer Generated Letter Need a Signature?

This morning I had by email a long-wished-for letter (laid out like a typical business letter, with letterhead and date and address etc.) from the company financing my car, telling me my loan was now paid in full. It finished with the usual cordial invitation to contact them if I should need any further services, then ‘sincerely, [name of company]’, then:

“NOTE: This letter is computer generated; no signature is required.”

And sure enough, it looked like an old computer printout, as if it had holes up the side to feed it through a printer, and an ancient font, pre-Courier. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Word Wizardry for Lawyers

I spend a lot of time in this column talking about the future of legal technology. Today, I’d like to give you something a little more practical, and help you use the technology you already have.

Let me share with you the one thing that I wish every lawyer and law student knew about Microsoft Word: Multilevel lists.

In the toolbar of Microsoft Word you will find Multilevel lists just to the right of bullets and numbered lists.

Click on that button, and a menu appears. You’re going to want to click on “Define New Multilevel List…”

In the screen . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Houston, We Have a Problem With Your Termination

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

In modern times, employers and investigators alike must be increasingly technologically savvy. Evidence can take on many forms, including texts, emails and information posted to social media accounts. Many employers provide phones to their employees which are password-protected and rely on virtual storage of data in the “cloud.” As the workplace becomes further digitized, and as more offices become mobile or virtual, workplace investigations will increasingly target such elusive electronic data. As illustrated in the recent British Columbia labour arbitration decision District of Houston v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local . . . [more]

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