Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Recently in Legal Technology Events Category

Judges and state bars have had various things to say about the technological competence of lawyers, but so far, only one state bar includes technology training as part of a lawyer's CLE requirements. Perhaps not surprisingly, given that their bar association is just so dang social media savvy, the one state is Florida.

However, two more states may soon be adding their names to the list of places where lawyers are going to be required to take continuing legal technology education. Those states are North Carolina and Pennsylvania. That is, unless the lawyers in those states take action soon.

In a lengthy, 75-page decision, judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York just ruled that the President's blocking of Twitter users from the @realdonaldtrump account violates those users' First Amendment rights.

The decision goes into painstaking detail about not just the legal merits, but also into the technical details of how the platform works. In short, the court found that a government official's Twitter page is in fact a public forum when used by the government official, officially for official purposes. Curiously though, the ruling of the court fell short of ordering the President to unblock those he has already blocked.

While there are certainly critics and skeptics of the relatively recent push from some major law firms to establish tech incubators, these firms are clearly breaking much-needed new ground for the legal industry.

As reported in Above the Law, three major UK firms have recently made headlines over their newest batches of incubatees. Some of the new projects promise to revolutionize document review or even regulation and compliance using machine learning and AI. Other projects focus on helping lawyers make more money in less time. Regardless, the mere fact that these big law firms, which only recently announced their tech incubator programs, are already expanding, is a good sign for legal tech.

Top Legal Tech Predictions for 2020

Here today, dead tomorrow.

Sorry, but somebody wiser than Nostradamus said there is nothing certain about the future but death and taxes. Still, everybody loves a prophet -- as long as there's good news.

So here are what others say about legal tech in 2020. I'll reserve judgment to the bitter end -- death or taxes, whichever comes first.

Legal Scholars, Engineers Fight Against War Robots

Don't worry that robots might kill your job prospects; worry that they might kill you.

This is not a test. It's a real-life situation, and not a scary-movie scenario. Well, it was a movie but that's not important right now.

What's important is that military experts want AI to have an automatic trigger. And of course, they are aiming at lawyers.

While the taxi industry is taking a hit across the country, in San Francisco, one credit union is fighting back, but not against the rideshare industry. San Francisco Federal Credit Union has sued the city's transit authority, the SFMTA, as a result of broken promises regarding taxi medallion sales that the credit union helped finance.

When rideshare services like Uber and Lyft began to take off, taxi drivers in markets across the country saw their pay swiftly decline as they lost market share. In some markets, like San Francisco, where taxi drivers are required to own, lease, or rent a medallion, the cost of a medallion plummeted. And in places like San Francisco, medallions were sold for $250,000 each. Unfortunately for the credit union (and the drivers), many of the drivers who financed medallions could no longer afford the payments.

Self-driving tragedy struck over the weekend in Tempe, Arizona when an Uber self-driving test vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian. Despite having a human driver in the car monitoring the autonomous vehicle, a woman reportedly crossing the street just outside a crosswalk was struck.

While not much more is known to the public at this time, one thing is for certain: Uber is taking this incident seriously. The ride-hailing giant stated that it would immediately stop all testing on public roadways nationwide. Prior to now, there haven't really been any major reports of catastrophes, or even other deaths, caused by self-driving cars.

Is Congress Ready to Allow Cars With No Steering Wheel?

It won't be long before you look at the car next to you and see no driver, but no steering wheel? No gas pedal? And no brakes?!

General Motors already has plans to make that kind of self-driving car. It is the latest thing in driverless design, and it's cause for serious debate.

Current safety rules require cars to have a steering wheel and pedals, but Congress is considering an exception. After all, proponents argue, who needs them when there is no driver?

Net neutrality is one of those things that you don't even realize is necessary ... until it's gone. Unfortunately, Americans may be forced to experience the non-neutral World Wide Web in the very near future, unless we can all collectively #SaveTheInternet.

On April 23, less than 60 days from now, the final nails in the net neutrality coffin will be getting hammered down. But before that date comes, there are several challenges to the law's repeal that still must be overcome, though it may require a movement and more than a hashtag.

Is Legal-Industry Cryptocurrency a Good Idea?

According to reports, an off-shore company called Legaler will create cryptocurrency for the legal industry.

Stevie Ghiassi, chief executive officer of the company, wants to raise up to $35 million for blockchain technology that lawyers can use for transactions with clients and service providers. Legaler also said it will use the technology to help charities with crowdfunding.

Not to quote Chicken Little, but didn't the digital currency market just fall 30 percent? And who in heaven is Legaler?