Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog


For practicing lawyers looking for AI assistance, good help is hard to find. Although there are now several AI tools available, figuring out which ones are worth it and which ones are a waste, can seem like more of a hassle than any of it is worth.

However, if you are able to find an AI tool that fits your needs, all the hassles, trials, and tribulations will be worth it. Below, you can read about a few of the AI tools that are already available for attorneys, and one of them is actually both good and free.

Hackers 'Cryptojack' Tesla Cloud

Just when you thought you had a grasp of cybersecurity, criminals have found another way to hack your computers: cryptojacking.

Tesla recently discovered the problem on its cloud system. The company quickly reported that it did not affect customer privacy or vehicle security.

But the breach illustrates another reason to double-down on cybersecurity measures. It's no time to risk some hacker taking over your computers.

For many lawyers, a big part of the job involves talking on the phone. And whether you're talking to a client, a witness, an adversary, or anyone for that matter, keeping your hands free for typing or taking notes or flipping through you calendar can be rather helpful.

Basically, you need headphones, or a good headset. But really, since it is 2018, you need wireless headphones. Holding a smartphone, or (gasp) a traditional receiver, up to your ear isn't too terribly inconvenient, but being able to use it for your calendar, email, and web while you're on it is a game changer. And while the speakerphone option is always there, that's a disrespect reserved only for your least favorite opposing counsel, and an option that isn't available while working in a semi-public place (like a cafe/train) or on the go.

Below, you'll find a little guidance about the best wireless headphones for lawyers.

Can Crowdsourcing Accurately Predict Supreme Court Decisions?

Someday, anybody will be able to be part of the process at the highest court in America.

Oh wait, that's today. At least there is a website that lets anybody join in forecasting decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court.

By the time you read this blog, there will also be a discussion at Stanford about how such crowdsourcing predicts Supreme Court decisions. So are we there yet?

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Apple opened its glittery, circular, spaceship campus in Cupertino a few months ago. This campus is the of dream of Steve Jobs, which he pitched to the Cupertino City Council in 2011. It reportedly is estimated by the Santa Clara County Assessor to have cost $5 billion.

The gigantic, circular building comes with 45-foot-high curved panels of glass, among other modern, glass features.

FedEx Customer Data Exposed

Remember when you weren't supposed to throw sensitive information in the trash because nosey people could get it?

Well, in case you didn't know, you shouldn't leave that information on old servers either. That includes abandoned Amazon accounts.

FedEx is learning that lesson the hard way. A security company says FedEx forgot 119,000 documents with customer information online -- "a blunder that left the information available to identity thieves and other malicious actors."

Why Your Firm's Data Is Useless Without Human Ingenuity

In the movie Moneyball, a team manager uses analytics to helps the Oakland A's win the World Series.

It's a great sports movie, even though the baseball team didn't actually win the series. They had a great year, but that was a Hollywood ending.

Tony La Russa, the real-life manager, is a Hall-of-Famer in part for bringing analytics to baseball. He says the reality is that analytics will get you in the game, but you also have to rely on human ingenuity.

For some companies, hiring can really be an incredibly burdensome process. In addition to the usual red tape that any hire must go through, the selection process can be downright daunting if an employer receives more applications than it can reasonably review.

Fortunately, thanks to artificial intelligence, tools are being developed to improve the hiring process for employers, recruiters, and even lawyer job seekers. Also, a newly launched tool promises to help by extracting exact qualifications from an employer's job description or post, then matching those to only qualified candidates. Basically, the AI is doing the grunt work that recruiters or human resources personnel normally do.

Advising clients on how to handle their social media before and after filing a case is a minefield. The general consensus is that clients should not post anything about their case, and that posts and comments, even if not public, should be kept to a minimum.

A recent decision from New York Court of Appeal, the state's highest court, makes the above consensus even stronger. The court clarified that Facebook posts, if relevant to a case, cannot be withheld from discovery on privacy grounds. Although the court clearly expressed that individuals do have a privacy interest in what they post to Facebook, that interest, like the doctor-patient privilege, can be waived when it is relevant to the claims being made.

Does Snapchat Really Get Sued So Much?

Snapchat recently disclosed it paid $157.5 million to an ousted founder, a relatively small price to pay for a company that was valued at $25 billion when it went public.

The disclosure prompted speculation about "why Snapchat gets sued so much." But is that really true, or is that an example of muddy downstream media -- recycled mainstream media stories sprinkled with a little speculation?

It's hard to say, but we know that Snapchat is no Uber when it comes to lawsuits. Here are some comparisons: