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New Legal Tech Group Changing the Legal Landscape

Judith Flournoy, a leader of a new legal tech association, says she thrives in 'a constant state of change.'

As the Association of Legal Technologists holds its inaugural conference this weekend in Arizona, "a constant state of change" seems a fitting attribute for one of its board members. Other members include business and tech leaders who collectively could change the landscape of legal tech.

Actually, that's what they want to do. They are bringing together law firms and tech providers to "think differently" to solve problems in the ever-changing field of legal technology.

It's both the saddest and cutest story ever. After all, it involves an autonomous security robot getting canned by an animal shelter. One of Knightscope's gloriously cone shaped security robots, aptly named K9, has been taken permanently off duty by the San Francisco SPCA.

The SF SPCA got their robot in order to patrol around their building and in their parking lot, allegedly to deter homeless individuals from congregating around the building, and hopefully stem some of crime they've been experiencing. However, after repeated complaints from the homeless individuals that frequent the area, the organization decided to discontinue K9's use.

Forensic Evidence From 'Black Mirror' Is a Work in Progress

If we lived in the Black Mirror world, we could be condemned by our memories.

That's because authorities in the sci-fi drama can see memories just like we can watch a DVD. Press rewind to the time of the crime, and your life is literally on display.

Thank goodness (or too bad, depending on your perspective) that kind of forensic evidence is just for television. Or is it?

Sometimes there's a CLE that some lawyers just shouldn't miss. And if you're a California lawyer interested in keeping up-to-date on all the new legal technology laws, eDiscovery issues, or social media ethics, that CLE is taking place on February 10 in Los Angeles.

At The Rutter Group's program The New and Future Reality: How Technology is Affecting LitigationThe Rutter Group and the California Judges Association have assembled 20+ presenters, including 10 California judges, to cover a broad range of topics relating to the use of tech and the practice of law. Whether you need to learn about what to do when a juror misuses social media, or you need some help figuring out how to avoid being hacked, the all-day, 7 MCLE credit program (including 1 ethics credit, breakfast, and lunch), has you covered. (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is FindLaw's sister company.)

A jury recently awarded Amazon $3.6 million against one of their Marketplace vendors, Beautyko. Unfortunately for Amazon, this massive verdict won't cover their losses related to the underlying dispute. Nevertheless it is still a win which potentially reinforces the public trust in their "zero tolerance" policy for vendor fraud.

The lawsuit alleged that the vendor manipulated Amazon's automated purchasing system to offload millions in unneeded inventory onto Amazon. When Amazon requested that Beautyko accept the return of their inventory, the company refused. Unable to justify the overstock of inventory Amazon liquidated the inventory, incurring a nearly $4 million loss in the process.

How Facial Recognition Is Used by Law Enforcement

If someone updates George Orwell's 1984, they should explain how Big Brother grew up.

Yesterday, it happened through DNA evidence. Today, it's happening with facial recognition software.

In the latest chapter on the technology's application, police used the software to catch suspects who stole circuit breakers from businesses in Southern California. As Big Brother Borg says, "Resistance is futile."

SEC Shuts Down Cryptocurrency Initial Coin Offering

If you are crypto-curious about investing, maybe you should save your real currency and just read this story.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is shutting down an initial coin offering by PlexCoin. In its first enforcement action, the SEC's cyber fraud unit alleges the offering is fraudulent.

It's a major development in the virtual currency market. The demand has been so furious, regulators have not known how to deal with it -- until now.

Law Firm Takes on 'Bro Culture' in Tech, Opens LGBTQ Lab

Nixon Peadody is an evolving law firm.

Since its founding in 1999, it has merged with at least five law firms and grown into an international enterprise employing about 700 lawyers. Earlier this year, it brought another type of business into its fold -- StartOut Growth Lab, an incubator for LGBTQ businesses.

Thomas Gaynor, managing partner at the firm's San Francisco office, says it is about changing culture. He said it is especially a challenge for LGBTQ startups in the tech world.

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.