LawNext Episode 71: Legal Futurist Richard Susskind on Coronavirus, Courts and the Legal Profession — from .lawsitesblog.com by Robert Ambrogi

Excerpt:

Ever since the publication of his seminal 1996 book, The Future of LawRichard Susskind has remained the world’s most-recognized and most-respected speaker and author on the future of legal services. But even he could not have foreseen the sudden relevance of his latest book, Online Courts and the Future of Justice.

On this episode of LawNext, Susskind joins host Bob Ambrogi for a conversation about the legal profession and the judicial system in a time of global pandemic. Will the pandemic fast-forward law’s leap into the future? Will there be fundamental change in legal services delivery? Will courts move online more quickly than even he had thought? Susskind shares his thoughts on these questions and more.

Also see:

remotecourts dot org worldwide

 

CodeX FutureLaw 2020 -- a conference in March 2020 that provided an in-depth exploration of the ways that technology is transforming the law

Welcome to FutureLaw 2020, hosted by CodeX – The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. Typically held live on the Stanford campus, the FutureLaw conference focuses on the way technology is transforming the law, and redefining the methods in which individuals interact with legal systems and institutions.

Due to the current health emergency, CodeX FutureLaw 2020 has been turned into an online event to provide an opportunity for our legal tech community to connect and learn about legal tech innovations from around the world. On this webpage, you can access podcasts and videos featuring the academics, entrepreneurs, lawyers, investors, policymakers, and engineers spearheading the tech-driven transformation of our legal systems.

 

Basic legal technology skills are “foundational” for today’s legal market — from hlrecord.org by Shannon Bales

Legal technology is often an afterthought for many lawyers in the practice of law and that is a mistake. In the coming years legal tech literacy (or lack thereof) will produce a sea change in the fortunes and careers of lawyers and firms. Firms that can couple legal services with efficient process, workflow and legal tech skills will win the business while those who don’t will wither.

 

Desperate times call for innovation — from abovethelaw.com by Cori Robinson
New York expands standby guardian statute and permits video witnessing of estate planning documents.

Excerpt:

First online notarization, then the legalization of surrogacy, now an expansion of the standby guardian law and authorization of video witnessing of estate planning documents. Governor Andrew Cuomo of COVID-19-stricken New York is a gift not only to trusts and estates attorneys, but to all citizens.

 

From DSC:
Let’s hope that Cisco Webex learns from Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, and likely other products/vendors as well — in terms of providing easy-to-setup and use, seamless breakout rooms.

The breakout rooms in the Cisco Webex’ Training Center product are audio-only, which represents a major gap/disadvantage for numerous courses out there. (And, last I knew, there aren’t breakout rooms in the Cisco WebEx Meeting Center product.) The idea of community, presence, and collaboration is supported by providing audio and video. Video is critically important in certain courses.

Plus we are finding at WMU-Cooley that we need to create main rooms PLUS additional breakout rooms and assign students to each breakout room. But then, audio and video issues abound. Such a complex setup requires that the faculty member (i.e., the host) of such meetings needs to be pretty savvy in order to make things work well. 

The transitions of going from the main meeting room to breakout rooms needs to be quick and easy. Bb Collaborate did a great job with this, and I hear Zoom does a good job with this as well. Cisco Webex does not.

Cisco — if you’re going to be in the world of higher ed and in the K-12 world, you need to fix this ASAP. 

Flipping things around…Zoom, you had better learn from Cisco Webex if you want to play in the worlds of education as well. Your “Zoombombing” and security-related issues are not good.

Also see:

 
 

Pandemic II: Justice system down — from law21.ca by Jordan Furlong

Excerpt:

We need to recognize a couple of things about our justice system, in order to fully appreciate the fate that awaits it in the COVID-19 era and the tasks that now lie in front of us.

The first is that the system has nowhere near the capacity or resilience required to handle an emergency of this magnitude. Like our hospitals, which are about to be overrun with virus patients, our courts are perpetually underfundedtechnologically handicapped, and already overloaded.

Case backlogs are common, hearings are routinely adjourned, and even straightforward cases stretch out over months and years. There is an entire body of constitutional law that addresses how long you can delay a person’s trial before their rights are violated, and it should tell us something that we don’t even find that remarkable anymore.

What this crisis has revealed is the central operating assumption of our justice institutions, which has now become our stumbling block: Everybody comes to the courthouse.

Richard Susskind has made many insightful observations over the course of his career, but I suspect one will outlast all the others: “We have to decide if court is a place or a service.” For hundreds of years — right up until last month, in fact — court has been a place. By the time this pandemic has truly run its course, court will be a service.

 

Q: For those who prefer or need to handwrite their essays, what are some ways/methods that students can use to scan in — and then submit — their essays into Canvas?

A:  Below are a few different options, potential solutions, and resources:

 

The Best Mobile Scanning Apps -- 2020

 

  • Students can also scan in their essays via most combination printers/scanners these days. Then they can insert those scans into a Word doc and submit it.
  • A Google search presents many different ways to scan in items into a Word document. That Word doc can then be submitted or saved as a PDF file (and then be submitted as as PDF file).
  • Also see How to create a PDF of handwritten assignments — from Canvas @ Yale. Yale recommended the following apps:

Yale recommends Scannable

 

Yale recommends Genius Scan for Android devices -- i.e., for scanning documents

 

Also see:

  • The new Office app now generally available for Android and iOS — from microsoft.com by the Microsoft 365 team
    Excerpt:
    Integrating our Lens technology to unlock the power of the camera with capabilities like converting images into editable Word and Excel documents, scanning PDFs, and capturing whiteboards with automatic digital enhancements to make the content easier to read.
 

 

Excerpt:

5. Telemedicine
Have you received the emails from your healthcare professionals that they are open for telemedicine or virtual consultations? To curb traffic at hospitals and other healthcare practitioners’ offices, many are implementing or reminding their patients that consultations can be done through video. Rather than rush to the doctor or healthcare center, remote care enables clinical services without an in-person visit. Some healthcare providers had dabbled in this before COVID-19, but the interest has increased now that social distancing is mandated in many areas.

 

Trial by video conference? Not yet, but coronavirus forces Bay Area courts to embrace more virtual proceedings — from sfchronicle.com by Bob Egelko

Trial by court? Almost there.

Also see:

8 technologies you should be using in your depositions and trials in 2020 — from jdsupra.com
From virtual proceedings and paperless depositions to real-time technologies and mobile capabilities, technology has become an integral part of practicing law today.

Excerpt:

As legal technology continues to advance and evolve, trials and depositions bear little resemblance to the paper-centric proceedings they used to be in decades past. The days when litigation meant being buried in boxes and boxes of documents and exhibits are long gone.

From virtual proceedings and paperless depositions to real-time technologies and mobile capabilities, technology has become an integral part of practicing law today. If you want to get the most out of your next deposition or trial, you need to be familiar with the top technologies that are changing the game in 2020.

 

FCC enacts $200M telehealth initiative to ease COVID-19 burden on hospitals — from techcrunch.com by Devin Coldewey

Excerpt:

The FCC has developed and approved a $200 million program to fund telehealth services and devices for medical providers, just a week or so after the funding was announced. Hospitals and other health centers will be able to apply for up to $1 million to cover the cost of new devices, services and personnel.

The unprecedented $2 trillion CARES Act includes heavy spending on all kinds of things, from direct payments to out-of-work citizens to bailouts for airlines and other big businesses. Among the many, many funding items was a $200 million earmarked for the FCC with which it was instructed to improve and subsidize telehealth services around the country.

 


Also see:

#telehealth#telemedicine#telelegal

 


 

Law by Design — a book by Margaret HaganLaw by Design -- a book by Margaret Hagan

Excerpt:

Why combine law with design? Even if these two fields have traditionally not intersected, I see three main points of value in bringing them together.

  1. Experimental Culture: To be more forward-thinking in how we as legal professionals generate solutions for problems in the legal sector;
  2. User Centered Innovation: To put greater focus on the client and the lay person who has to use legal systems, to deliver them better services tailored their function and their experiential needs;
  3. New Paths for Legal Work & Serving Justice: To build a new set of professional paths and opportunities for people who want to work in law — and especially those who see that traditional ways of being law students and lawyers do not enable them to make the positive changes in society that originally drove them into law.

Also see:

Design and the law with Margaret Hagan -- a podcast out at the Legal Talk Network

 

From DSC:
Given the attached graphic…what do you suppose, how might this type of thing impact #telelegal (i.e., akin to what’s currently building with #telemedicine for the healthcare industry)? 

If things blow over in 3 weeks, not much will likely change within the legal realm. But if the impacts from the Coronavirus  go on for 6 months or more (like we still have with tighter airport security resulting from what occurred on 9/11/2001), I’d say we’ll see more lawyers strike out on their own and/or join firms that support telelegal. Or, we’ll see fewer people go into law…which is NOT what our society needs given our current Access to Justice (#A2J) crisis involving civil law cases.

Another possibility could be an explosive growth in legaltech / cloud-based apps for providing legal services.

Regardless…this is what a wave looks like when it starts to build. Firms, individual lawyers, and even law schools can ride it or be crushed by it.

 


Addendum on 4/1 and this is NOT an April Fool’s joke:


 

My thanks to a friend for causing me to further reflect on this article: “Can computers ever replace the classroom?” [Beard]


From DSC:
I’d like to thank Mr. Eric Osterberg — a fraternity brother and friend of mine — for sending me the following article. I wrote back to him. After thanking Eric for the article, I said:

Such an article makes me reflect on things — which is always a good thing for me to try to see my blindspots and/or to think about the good and bad of things. Technologies are becoming more powerful and integrated into our lives — for better at times and for worse at other times.

I’m wondering how the legal realm can assist and/or help create a positive future for societies throughout the globe…any thoughts?


Can computers ever replace the classroom? — from theguardian.com by Alex Beard
With 850 million children worldwide shut out of schools, tech evangelists claim now is the time for AI education. But as the technology’s power grows, so too do the dangers that come with it. 

Excerpts:

But it’s in China, where President Xi Jinping has called for the nation to lead the world in AI innovation by 2030, that the fastest progress is being made. In 2018 alone, Li told me, 60 new AI companies entered China’s private education market. Squirrel AI is part of this new generation of education start-ups. The company has already enrolled 2 million student users, opened 2,600 learning centres in 700 cities across China, and raised $150m from investors.

The supposed AI education revolution is not here yet, and it is likely that the majority of projects will collapse under the weight of their own hype.

The point, in short, is that AI doesn’t have to match the general intelligence of humans to be useful – or indeed powerful. This is both the promise of AI, and the danger it poses.

It was a reminder that Squirrel AI’s platform, like those of its competitors worldwide, doesn’t have to be better than the best human teachers – to improve people’s lives, it just needs to be good enough, at the right price, to supplement what we’ve got. The problem is that it is hard to see technology companies stopping there. For better and worse, their ambitions are bigger. “We could make a lot of geniuses,” Li told me.

 
 

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