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Keep Your Hands Off the Marijuana Tech, Man

Legal marijuana is on a roll, but not in one tech space.

CES, the world's largest consumer electronics convention, will not allow vendors to showcase cannabis technologies. That would be e-cigs and vapes to the non-smokers out there.

It's unusual because Nevada, site of the annual trade show, has legalized medical and recreational pot. It looks like what happens in Vegas, doesn't include marijuana tech.

When the new year rolls around, everyone sets resolutions. Sometimes, we set resolutions for certain parts of our lives. And this being a blog dedicated to all things legal tech, we figured, why not compile a list of some of the best tech focused New Year's resolutions for tech-savvy lawyers?

Here are five of our favorite:

3 Biggest Legal Tech Stories of 2018

For much of the world, B.C. marked a time "Before Christ." But in the legal tech world, B.C. could refer to another time.

At the annual meeting of the American Bar Association, leaders said B.C. may someday refer to a time before Carpenter. That was U.S. v. Carpenter, a tech case that many believe marked a turning point in Fourth Amendment law.

In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court said police need warrants to obtain geolocation data about suspects from cell phone service providers. It was one of the biggest legal tech stories of 2018.

Did you know that there is now a National App Day? No, it's not a real holiday, or even one of those "bank holidays." Yes, it's a marketing gimmick created by some company that wants to market their own apps, and, you know that website that tells you what "National fill-in-the-blank Day" it is. Notably, it's only on year number two.

And in order to properly honor these companies' bold proclamation of December 11 as National App Day, below you can find five types of apps, with no specific app suggestions, that lawyers should probably all be using.

How to Hack Your Way to a Law Job

A "legal hacker" is probably not what you think it is.

Legal Hackers is the name of a grassroots movement of lawyers, technologists and others who share information to solve legal problems through technology. Since starting in 2012, it has grown to more than 100 cities across the United States and other countries.

If you knew that already, did you know that you can hack your way to a law job? Here's how to do it:

The current FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, has announced that the agency will host a public forum at its Washington D.C. headquarters on artificial intelligence and machine learning, at the end of the month. Prediction: It will be a steaming hot pile of obsoleteness.

The announcement is also a call to those in the industry who may want to participate or even provide demonstrations on how machine learning and AI can make an impact on the communications of today. Pai was quoted explaining that the commission wants to explore what AI and machine learning mean to the future of communication. Prediction: Expect corporate infomercials.

Hofstra's 'Courtroom of the Future'

The "Courtroom of the Future" is not a courtroom; it's the future of courtrooms.

But Hofstra University has one -- a working model for law students to learn how to practice in the future. It features trial practice software, digital presentations, video-conferencing for witnesses, and more.

Judge Gail Prudenti, who is dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra, says legal tech is a priority there. That's because lawyers of the future are going to need it.

Over Protests, Court Approves Huge Telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is the largest mountain in the world, bigger than Mount Everest when measured from the sea floor.

Because of its height and position on the Earth, it is also the site of some of the world's largest telescopes. One -- planned to be the biggest in the Northern Hemisphere -- has been at the center of protests because the mountain is considered sacred in traditional Hawaiian culture.

Even so, the Hawaii Supreme Court has approved a construction permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope. It may not work out in the long run, however, because Mauna Kea is also a volcano.

The Law Isn't Ready for Wells Fargo's AI

Michelle Neufeld, head of compliance for Wells Fargo's financial institutions, sees compliance and technology like a family relationship.

Governments are the parents, and financial institutions are the children. It's all good as long as the kids follow the rules.

But there's a problem with technology -- especially artificial intelligence. The parents don't really want the children to share that information.

Whether you love'em or hate'em, those rentable eScooters are everywhere these days. In many cities across the country, these rentable electric scooters are strewn about sidewalks and are causing real problems for the pedestrians that choose not to scoot.

Fortunately, because we lawyers are the heroes the public needs (though may not want, or know they need), one attorney has decided to take the eScooter scourges to task, filing a class action lawsuit against both Bird and Lime, the two biggest eScooter renters. The case alleges that these companies are negligent (if not criminally-so) and have "draconian" end user agreements that seek to limit the companies' liability for accidents and injuries caused to and by their users.