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It's back to the drawing board for Uber and thousands of its drivers. U.S. District Judge Edward Chen rejected a proposed settlement between the two yesterday, saying that the agreement falls short of what is "fair, adequate, and reasonable."

The drivers' class action lawsuit alleges that Uber had misclassified its drivers in California and Massachusetts as independent contractors, instead of employees, denying them the protections of state and federal labor laws. The settlement left the question of the drivers status unanswered, in exchange for a potential $100 million payout and some small changes to Uber policy. Chen's rejection of the settlement is a significant blow to Shannon Liss-Riordan, the attorney representing the drivers, who has been criticized for allegedly selling the Uber drivers short.

Looking to spur some innovation in your legal practice? Maybe it's time to take some advice from Matt Homann, founder of Invisible Girlfriend, an actual, real-life company that offers a digital version of a real girlfriend "without the baggage." (Don't worry, there's an Invisible Boyfriend service too.)

What's the founder of a sort-of-sad fake girlfriend company know about the law? Well, before he was creating digital fauxmance, Homann was a solo practitioner, and he's dedicated years to thinking about innovation and the law. Homann recently spoke to the Atlanta Association of Legal Administrators about innovation in law firms, and some of his ideas seem worth considering.

BigLaw is moving into the cryptocurrency sphere, now that Steptoe and Johnson have announced that they're opening a blockchain and digital currency practice. Blockchain is the technology that underlies Bitcoin and other alternative digital currencies. It's been hailed as potentially revolutionary, capable of transforming everything from the legal sphere, to land registries, to international finance.

"The blockchain, like the internet, is going to have an impact on just about every existing type of institution in the years ahead," according to Jason Weinstein, the Steptoe partner co-leading the new practice area. And when that digital technology leads to real-world legal issues, Steptoe wants to be the BigLaw firm clients turn to first.

Colonizing Mars isn't as easy as Matt Damon makes it look. Before you're abandoned to the empty wasteland of the Red Planet and forced to learn to live off surplus rocket fuel and potatoes, you've got to get through the federal government.

And getting government approval to go beyond the Earth's orbit is no simple task, as one company learned recently. Moon Express recently became the first government-approved private mission to a celestial body, and they only wanted to go to the a few hundred thousand miles beyond the stratosphere. Before you boldly go where only government astronauts have gone before, you apparently need to clear a few legal hurdles.

Micah Johnson, a disgraced Army vet, is thought to have shot and killed five police officers and injured seven others in Dallas last Thursday. Johnson was killed in turn, hours after being cornered by police in a nearby parking garage. But Johnson didn't fall to police gunfire. He was blown up.

In what appears to be a first, the Dallas police used a Multi-function Agile Remote-Controlled Robot, or MARCbot, to end Johnson's life. The MARCbot, also known as a "bomb robot," was a simple military robot with an explosive attached to its arm, sent to dispatch the suspected Dallas shooter without endangering police officers' lives. But the use of the bomb robot has raised significant issues about the blending of military and police technologies and the delivery of deadly force when dealing with dangerous suspects.

It might be time to tap the breaks on the push for self-driving cars. Last Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into what could be the first fatality caused by a self-driving car: the death of Joshua Brown last May, who was killed after his self-driving Tesla collided with a tractor-trailer.

Here's how the fatality could impact this emerging industry, and the laws and regulations that govern it.

Passenger Drone Company Test Flies in Nevada

It's strange to think that drones were regarded by many legal naysayers as mere annoyances a couple of year ago. Pretty soon, they said, these things would go the way of the Macarena and would fade away from relevance.

Boy, did they call that one wrong. Now drones are getting so prolific that federal and local laws have been enacted just to track them. They're peeking into our homes, helping us conduct war, may deliver our packages, and now a manned Unmanned Aerial System may be flying you to work.

Tron Meets Justice: Virtual Reality in the Courtroom

The relentless march of technology advances onward with virtual reality not only changing how we recreate, but also how we dispense justice.

Researchers from Staffordshire University in England have been handed a $200,000 grant to develop methods of presenting crime-scene evidence to jurors and other courtroom participants through the use of virtual reality technology, according to the Wall Street Journal. But are there drawbacks to entering the Grid?

There's no shortage of legal tech startups. There are entrepreneurs and innovators across the country looking to bring the latest technology to the legal market, from cutting-edge artificial intelligence applications, to basic document management streamlining. There are even social networks just for lawyers.

But what there isn't is mass adoption of new technology. Lawyers and law firms remain particularly slow to embrace new tech, making it harder for startups to gain valuable venture capital funding. Can obstacles to a true legal tech boom be overcome?

Government agencies are usually pretty slow to adopt technological advancements. The federal Veterans Affairs Administration, to give one example, is still notoriously paper-dependent, with its non-digitized files stacked so high they could pose a safety risk to workers. And lawyers are no better. Even forward-thinking firms have been slow to adopt technologies that are already common in other industries.

But, some government lawyers are bucking the trend, putting data analytics to work, and slowly changing the justice system as a result.