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Study: Police Body-Cams Make Little Difference on Use of Force

Some people in Washington think that what they do sets the standard for the rest of the world.

We're not talking about the president. We're talking about the people who work for the mayor's office.

In a new study, they say that police body-cams don't make a difference in changing police behavior. Maybe not in Washington, but they are making a difference elsewhere, as explained below.

As Tech Giants Step on Startups, What About Their Lawyers?

Silicon Valley has evolved since silicon chip makers saturated the area in the 1970s and tech companies later grew into monsters like Apple, Facebook, and Google.

The valley also became the focus of investors, with about one-third of venture capital going to tech startups. But that was then, and this is now.

Reports say that startups are at a 30-year low, and they blame the behemoths. For lawyers facing similar pressures, it may be survival of the technologist.

L.A. Police Letting the Drones Out, Sparking Privacy Concerns

If you were worried the cops were following you, don't look over your shoulder. Look up.

The Los Angeles Police Department has approved a new program for drones. It's not the only police agency to use the flying copters, but it will be the largest.

If there is a silver-lining for potential law-breakers, at least the drones won't be weaponized.

Is Waymo Getting Ready to Launch in Phoenix?

Self-driving cars have been bumping along Silicon Valley roads for some time, but the first self-driving service will likely roll out in Phoenix.

According to reports, Waymo is getting ready to launch a commercial service on the Arizona flatland. The company recently announced partnerships there as part of a campaign to sell driverless safety.

"Imagine climbing into the backseat of a car and just pushing a button to go," the campaign goes. "Everyone moves around safely, drunk and distracted driving become a thing of the past and we all get time back in our day."

The U.S. Supreme Court may be the most authoritative court in all the land, but it is surely among the least technologically advanced, particularly in the federal judiciary. And since only a couple of the High Court justices reported even using email, and the fact that you can sometimes hear the paper pages flipping on the audio recordings, one can safely assume that the SCOTUS courtroom is an electronics free environment.

In the actual rules for counsel arguing cases, it is clearly written that no electronic devices, including cell phones, PDAs, computers, or other electronic devices, are allowed in the courtroom. Although clearly there's a double standard, SCOTUS justices are not overwhelmed by massive computer monitors.

Every year, the Supreme Court takes up a case or two that help to clarify how recent technological advancements should be analyzed under the law. This term is no different, with SCOTUS having agreed to hear the Carpenter case, which could lead to significant changes in how law enforcement officers obtain cell phone metadata during investigations.

However, even cases that are not directly about technology can often make waves throughout the tech community. For example the Chrisie v. NCAA case could change the landscape, nationwide, for online sports gambling. Additionally, a few pending cases that may be taken up this term could upend some everyday tech practices for both corporations and individuals.

No Drones for Marijuana Deliveries, Says Bureau of Cannabis Control

Where are Cheech and Chong when we need them?

"Hey man, am I driving OK?" Cheech asks in the 1978 classic, "Up In Smoke."

Chong, his partner in cannabis crime, looks around their smoke-filled car and then answers: "I think we're parked, man."

Since California has ruled that marijuana deliveries may be made only by people in motor vehicles, it has snuffed out other means of transporting the drug. It's no laughing matter to companies that make drones and other autonomous vehicles.

Tide Rises on Lawyers' Duty of Tech Competence

The wave started five years ago when the American Bar Association approved a new rule of professional conduct requiring lawyers to be technology competent.

As Nebraska has recently adopted the rule, the competency wave has crested and is about to break. Now, twenty eight states have raised the bar for attorneys to be technologically proficient.

It's only a matter of time before every lawyer has to take a technology class. So, you may as well get started before the ethics wave crashes.

It's no secret that law firms are starting to utilize all sorts of new technology and software. Granted the rate of adoption for new tech at law firms is typically abysmal, one law professor's special project might actually be showing a change in the weather.

The Law Firm Innovation Index is the project of Daniel Linna, a law professor in Michigan. The index works by having bots crawl the web to search for key terms on law firm websites in order to provide a general idea of what technology law firms are using, or which tech industries firms seem to be targeting most. The index only examined firms in the Am Law 200 and Global 200.

Why Your Law Firm Needs a Tech Committee

If you were on a rocketship going to the moon, how long would it take to get there?

Oh wait, you don't have a rocketship and you don't know how to command one anyway. So basically, you're not going to make it.

That's kind of the problem with many law firms today. Relatively few have fully functional tech committees, and some attorneys wouldn't know what to do if they had one.