Technologist - FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog


Over the past dozen years or so, social media has certainly made its mark on the legal profession. Lawyers now connect with clients on Facebook, release legal podcasts, and some even have an Instagram account.

But social media's reach stretches well beyond legal marketing; social networks have change the law itself, along with the way lawyers practice. Here's how.

If you want to understand why a federal district court in Oregon ruled that kids could sue over global warming, you've got to look all the way back to shellfish gathering under Emperor Justinian, among other things. Which is to say, to understand the law and how the law works takes a lot of referencing. And the legal system has developed a host of ways to make sure references are cited and explained, from "The Bluebook" tables, to local rules, to Westlaw Next.

And those systems could be in for an update, if some legal innovators have their way.

Law firm inefficiencies don't just make legal work slower and more cumbersome, they also rob lawyers of income. Firms constantly write down hours for tasks that were spent inefficiently, reducing client bills for work that took too long to complete and taking potential income away from attorneys.

Just how much money do such write-downs cost? Tens of thousands of dollars per lawyer, per year, according to a new study by the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute.

KickassTorrents Owner Indicted for IP Law Violations

The U.S. wants Artem Vaulin of KickassTorrents extradited from the Ukraine to American soil to face various charges related to his site's illegal distribution of more than $1 billion in media. According to CNN, the Ukrainian man, age 30, was arrested in Poland just days ago.

The case is simply the latest in a series of high profile copyright infringement suits that have involved household names like Napster, Megaupload and Limewire. This bust is another massive blow to the online infringer community -- or is it?

Digital Footprints That Small Law Firms Should Track

Before the internet age, discovery was a matter of digging through endless paper files. But the problem is that paper can be shredded, torn, burnt. In today's digital world, electronic forensic evidence abounds in every nook and cranny -- sometimes with great overlap.

Small firms must use some creativity to know where to look when dealing in the digital discovery game. These days, it helps to know exactly what digital footprints you should be tracking.

When it comes to technology and the law, the future might not be here yet, but it's on its way. Despite the legal industry's reputation as a cautious adopter of innovative technology, some lawyers are starting to take steps towards integrating cutting-edge tech into their practices.

But you don't have to be a BigLaw firm or a massive tech enthusiast to start testing out technology that could change the legal practice. There are some you can start using today.

You're a modern attorney, down with the social medias. You've got hundreds of Twitter followers and a professional blog. Maybe you have a few YouTube videos out there, or a social media team that updates your firm's Facebook profile every once in a while.

But Instagram? Should you get on the massively popular social-media sharing site? Probably not. Here's why.

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

Revenge porn is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. Some federal lawmakers agree, and they now seek to push legislation aimed at criminalizing revenge porn.

So, what exactly is revenge porn? It often goes something like this:

There are a lot of cloud storage options out there, for lawyers and laypeople alike. But Microsoft's OneDrive stands out, largely because of its ubiquity. The online file hosting service comes included with Windows 8 and 10 and integrates directly with Microsoft Office applications, like Word and Excel.

But getting the most out of OneDrive takes a bit of finesse. Here are our top suggestions to attorneys and legal professionals who want to make OneDrive work for them.

The Ethics of Technological Incompetence in the Law

Maybe you learned to practice law before hacking became the scourge of institutions everywhere, including the government. If that's the case, you're probably having a difficult time understanding why you should worry about monetary risks associated with being incompetent in technology. Here's one reason to consider: you could be in violation of your professional duties.

It's true. Technological incompetence is the latest ethical violation for which attorneys are finding themselves attending an ethics hearing. What can you do to avoid this fate?