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When Shannon Liss-Riordan started suing major tech companies last Spring, she was hailed as the woman who could take down "the entire on-demand economy." Uber and Lyft were her two primary targets, but companies like Amazon were in her sights as well.

The Boston labor lawyer's main complaint was employee classification; that on-demand services like Uber and Lyft classified their drivers as independent contractors, making those bear significant employment burdens, while simultaneously managing them as employees.


Welcome to the firm, robot lawyers!

Last week, BigLaw firm BakerHostetler announced that it was partnering with ROSS Intelligence to bring artificial intelligence to its Bankruptcy, Restructuring, and Creditor Rights practice. ROSS will be used to help BakerHostetler's non-robot lawyers research more quickly and intelligently. Will other firms follow their lead?

When the ride-hailing company Lyft agreed to settle a proposed class action with its drivers, commentators noted that the tech company was getting off easy. For $12.5 million and some small concessions that did not include classifying drivers as employees, Lyft could have escaped a major challenge to its business model.

Except, just a few months after the deal was struck, a federal judge rejected the settlement, finding the terms unacceptable to both Lyft drivers and the state of California. The parties will have to give settlement negotiations another go if they want to avoid trial.

The federal government experienced 77,183 cyber incidents last year, according to a recent report by the Office of Management and Budget. Those incidents, more than 200 a day, covered everything from denial-of-service attacks against government websites to the theft of over 20 million personnel files.

The massive amount of cyber incidents represents a 10 percent increase from previous years, though federal agencies are getting better at preventing cyber attacks, according to the report.

3 Ways Millennials Are Disrupting the Legal Industry

Lawyers have a bad reputation for being stuck in the past. Compared to other professionals, lawyers do not take well to technological changes.

That's problematic because we're living in a time when technological advancements are drastically changing communication and professional services. Science historian James Burke reminds us: by the time you learn and understand something, it's already obsolete. And millennial lawyers are right on that razor edge. Let's look at a few simple ways young lawyers are disrupting this industry.

If you missed your flight to NYC for this year's Legaltech New York conference, there's no need to miss out on some of the legal innovations that were presented there. In one of the more interesting Legaltech events, nine startups gathered for "Legal Disruption Lightning Rounds." (Think "Shark Tank" but without the proprietary content.)

These start ups seek to change how we we settle disputes, draft contracts, and record fulfillments. Here are three that stand out to us.

The blockchain is the technology behind "cryptocurrencies" like Bitcoin and it could quickly make its way into the legal tech sphere. No, don't worry, blockchains aren't another "robots will replace lawyers" fad. Nor are they another way to ease your eDiscovery woes.

Instead, blockchains are being touted as a way to aid encryption and authentication in legal documents and within firms. And that could have a significant impact on how you actually practice law.

If you've seen video of self-driving cars cruising through the streets of Manhattan or San Francisco and it slightly terrified you, you weren't alone. Self-driving cars still struggle with things like rain. Can they really handle Bay Area bikers or New York pedestrians?

But whether you fear or love self-driving cars, they're probably here to stay. And now if they stay, they'll be both supported and regulated by the federal government. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that the government will be investing nearly $4 billion in test projects and creation new regulations for autonomous cars that could be in place within six months.

What Will 2016 Bring to the Legal Industry?

Will this be the year lawyers are replaced by computers? Are law firm destined to be attacked by hackers in 2016? We hope not!

In the spirit of camaraderie, we feel it's our obligation to highlight some of the most likely legal predictions for 2016.

Law Firms Generate Huge Business for IT Companies

Professions that revolve around providing services generally plan to increase their spend on Information Technology in the coming year, according to new research by CompTIA.

Among the industries included in the study are law firms who joined the burgeoning group of professional services sectors that have opted for a more direct management style of the IT in their businesses.