All Eyes on Utah: Launching the ‘First Nonlawyer-Owned’ Law Firm — from law.com by Alaina Lancaster
Daniel Wilde, an attorney for Law On Call, which claims to be the first nonlawyer-owned law firm in the nation, says the entire country can benefit from the innovative business models coming out of Utah.

Excerpt:

[The week of April 5], a registered agent service provider announced that it launched the first nonlawyer-owned law firm in the United States.

The move comes after the Utah Supreme Court approved a pilot program that would allow nonlawyers to provide certain legal services—a proposition that’s been kicked around in California, Arizona, Illinois and the District of Columbia. Under Northwest Registered Agent’s Law On Call model, clients can pay a $9 monthly subscription, where they can ring up lawyers directly. They can also hire Law on Call’s attorneys for legal work at discounted rates.

 

Report Maps Growing ‘Justice Tech’ Market, Urges VCs To Invest — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum and his Lawtomatic Newsletter for the resource

Excerpts:

A report issued yesterday documents the growing market for “justice tech” — startups focused on reducing inequities in the criminal and civil justice systems — and urges venture capitalists to invest in these startups.

The report, Justice Tech for All: How Technology Can Ethically Disrupt the US Justice System, was published by two VC firms that focus on impact investing: Village Capital and the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact (AmFam Institute).

 

Survey: Share Your Experience with the Judicial System During COVID-19 — from legaltechmonitor.com by Laura Bagby

Excerpt: 

A team of researchers wants to know how COVID-19 has impacted your experience with the judicial system. The COVID-19 and the Courts?Survey will examine how the pandemic has affected access to justice and the operation of the courts for attorneys, judges, litigants, court staff, and other members of the community.

The researchers seek to learn which changes in court operations during the pandemic worked well and should be kept in place and which didn’t. The results of the study will help plan for future emergencies and provide a basis for thinking about more permanent reforms to how courts work.

 

The metaverse: real world laws give rise to virtual world problems — from cityam.com by Gregor Pryor

Legal questions
Like many technological advances, from the birth of the internet to more modern-day phenomena such as the use of big data and artificial intelligence (AI), the metaverse will in some way challenge the legal status quo.

Whilst the growth and adoption of the metaverse will raise age-old legal questions, it will also generate a number of unique legal and regulatory obstacles that need to be overcome.

From DSC:
I’m posting this because this is another example of why we have to pick up the pace within the legal realm. Organizations like the American Bar Association (ABA) are going to have to pick up the pace big time. Society has been being impacted by a variety of emerging technologies such as these. And such changes are far from being over. Law schools need to assess their roles and responsibilities in this new world as well.

Addendum on 3/29/21:
Below are some more examples from Jason Tashea’s “The Justice Tech Download” e-newsletter:

  • Florida prisons buy up location data from data brokers. (Techdirt) A prison mail surveillance company keeps tabs on those on the outside, too. (VICE)
  • Police reform requires regulating surveillance tech. (Patch) (h/t Rebecca Williams) A police camera that never tires stirs unease at the US First Circuit Court of Appeals. (Courthouse News)
  • A Florida sheriff’s office was sued for using its predictive policing program to harass residents. (Techdirt)
  • A map of e-carceration in the US. (Media Justice) (h/t Upturn)
  • This is what happens when ICE asks Google for your user information. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Data shows the NYPD seized 55,000 phones in 2020, and it returned less than 35,000 of them. (Techdirt)
  • The SAFE TECH Act will make the internet less safe for sex workers. (OneZero)
  • A New York lawmaker wants to ban the use of armed robots by police. (Wired)
  • A look at the first wave of government accountability of algorithms. (AI Now Institute) The algorithmic auditing trap. (OneZero)
  • The (im)possibility of fairness: Different value systems require different mechanisms for fair decision making. (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • A new open dataset has 510 commercial legal contracts with 13,000+ labels. (Atticus Project)
  • JusticeText co-founder shares her experience building tech for public defenders. (Law360)

 

 

ARHT Media Inc.
Access The Power Of HoloPresence | Hologram Technology | Holographic Displays | Hologram Events

Excerpt:

ARHT Media mounted a holographic display at the event in Vancouver and had Sunlife’s executive captured and transmitted live as a hologram to the event from our Toronto studio. He was able to see the audience and interact with them in realtime as if he was attending the event and present in the room.

ARHT Media Inc. launches the Holopod | A holograph of the head of global sales appears on stage. Access The Power Of HoloPresence | Hologram Technology | Holographic Displays | Hologram Events

From DSC:

  • Will holographic displays change what we mean by web-based collaboration?
  • Will this be a part of the future learning ecosystems inside of higher education? Inside of the corporate training world? Inside the world of events and webinars?
  • How will this type of emerging technology impact our communications? Levels of engagement?
  • Will this type of thing impact telehealth? Telelegal?
  • How will this impact storytelling? Media? Drama/acting? Games?
  • Will the price come down to where online and blended learning will use this type of thing?
  • Will streams of content be offered by holographic displays?

 

 

Moving Online Learning from Challenge to Opportunity — from campustechnology.com by Dr. Mark Lombardi
The future of higher education means breaking down classroom walls, embracing digital tools and engaging students with creativity and innovation.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Similarly, Maryville criminology professor Geri Brandt, working in concert with our learning designers and on-site production studio, used 360-degree camera technology to stage a virtual, explorable, interactive crime scene. Extending this online experience further, the criminology department created a “choose your own adventure” virtual experience, where each student response or choice in an investigation leads to a different outcome.

Creativity and innovation on this scale are only possible when faculty work with a talented team of learning design professionals who can translate a vision of interactive and immersive learning into a new student experience. Designing and delivering this active learning ecosystem integrated in online and on-ground learning takes a team of committed professionals and the courage to make it happen.

What if students could choose to learn in environments that are fully immersive, deeply enriching and profoundly meaningful to their courses of study? We encourage our students to explore the world beyond the campus, but what happens when the world is your campus?

 

Telemedicine likely to change how we receive health care post-pandemic — from mlive.com by Justin Hicks

A patient sits in the living room of her apartment in New York City during a telemedicine video conference with a doctor. (Mark Lennihan/AP)AP

A patient sits in the living room of her apartment in New York City during a telemedicine video conference with a doctor. (Mark Lennihan/AP)AP

Excerpt:

As we look to the post-pandemic future, medical experts believe telemedicine will be here to stay as another option to increase access to care, reduce costs, and free up doctors to spend more time with patients who need in-person care.

“When I think about the pandemic, one thing that didn’t change about our lifestyles is people are busy,” Lopez said. “I think we’ll still see growth in overall visits because of the fact that people want access to care and when you lower the cost, it should go up.”

From DSC:
A friend of mine said that he is doing most of his practice now via the telehealth route (and has been for many months now). Then, recently, when I was at the lab, the knowledgeable woman who assisted me said that she thought virtual health was definitely going to stick. Many doctors and nurses will be using virtual means vs. physical visits she said.

Expectations get involved here — for education, for the legal field, and for other arenas.

 

The excerpt below is from The 7 best online whiteboards in 2021 — from zapier.com by Maria Myre

  • Miro for turning ideas into tasks
  • Stormboard for creating multiple whiteboards in a single brainstorming session
  • MURAL for remote, multi-member team meetings
  • Limnu for teaching students remotely
  • InVision Freehand for annotating design files with a team
  • Conceptboard for turning a brainstorming session into a formal presentation
  • Explain Everything for creating whiteboard videos

From DSC:
Other potentially-relevant tools/vendors here include:

Woman using the Cisco Webex Desk Pro

 

Technology and Access to Justice: How Does It Work? — from lawdroid.com by Robin Bull

Picture of a keyboard with the word Justice on one of the keys - clicking on this image will take you to an article called Technology and Access to Justice: How Does It Work?

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

At its most basic level, the term “access to justice” means the ability that a person has in accessing the legal system. This includes, and is not limited to, the ability to afford an attorney and file a lawsuit. There is only a legal right to an attorney if a person faces a criminal charge. There is no right to an attorney if someone is involved in a civil matter.

In the civil system, there is no constitutional right to an attorney. If a person can afford an attorney, great. Sure, there are legal aid organizations set up to provide access to justice. However, many do not have the funds, enough employees, or enough volunteers to help every person who seeks them out. Many Americans cannot afford to pay an hourly rate to have an attorney handle a civil matter. Even if they manage to come up with a retainer, they may not be able to see the matter through to completion or finish paying their attorney.

Here are a few ways that technology and access to justice work together.  

 

Also see:

If regular people lack the abilty to petition a branch of our government without spending their life savings, then we don't have a democracy. Sonja Ebron of Courtroom 5

 

LexisNexis Extends Its Context Language Analytics to Cover Attorneys’ Briefs and Motions — from legaltechmonitor.com Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt:

Last year, LexisNexis introduced Context, a refinement of an analytics tool originally developed by Ravel Law that analyzes the language of a judge’s opinions to determine the cases and arguments the judge finds most persuasive in deciding specific types of issues. As I reported then, that original launch also included Context for expert witnesses, and, since then, LexisNexis has expanded Context to also cover courts and companies.

Today, LexisNexis is further expanding Context with the introduction of Attorney Analytics, the fifth module in the platform, for researching opposing attorneys in litigation matters.

Also see:

 

AI in the Legal Industry: 3 Impacts and 3 Obstacles — from exigent-group.com

Excerpt:

In this article, we’ll talk about three current impacts AI has had on the legal industry as well as three obstacles it needs to overcome before we see widespread adoption.

Consider JPMorgan’s Contract Intelligence (COIN) software. Rather than rely on lawyers to pour over their commercial loan contracts, the banking giant now uses COIN to review these documents for risk, accuracy and eligibility. Not only does this save JPMorgan 360,000 hours per year in contract review, it also results in fewer errors. One can also look to major law firms like DLA Piper, which now regularly rely on AI for M&A due diligence. At Exigent, we’ve had first-hand experience using AI to support document analysis for our clients as well.

2. Legal departments need to build cross-functional expertise
…bringing greater diversity into the legal department is essential if the efficiencies promised by AI in the legal industry are to be realized.

Fortunately, some legal departments have begun to bring data scientists on board in addition to lawyers. And the industry is beginning to open up to hybrid roles, like legal technologists, legal knowledge engineers, legal analysts and other cross-functional experts. It’s clear that a greater diversity of skills are in the legal department’s future; it’s just a matter of how smoothly the transition goes.

 
 

What will the hospital of the future look like in a post COVID-19 world? — from protocol.com by Jeroen Tas and Sean Carney

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

One thing we have realized is that COVID-19 has accelerated three transformational trends that already existed before the pandemic, but are now dramatically reshaping healthcare: the concept of a networked healthcare system, the increasing adoption of telehealth, and the idea of virtual care and guidance. At the same time, we have seen consumers becoming much more engaged in their personal health and that of their families.


From DSC:
Next up…telelegal; and, possibly, more virtual courtrooms.


Also see:

 

Meet the 27 startups pioneering the Justice Tech market — from medium.com by Felicity Conrad

Excerpt:

I’ve compiled a public database of Justice Tech startups — I hope it’s a useful resource to build community, transparency, and scale access to justice.

Over the last few years, the legaltech market has blossomed. It’s seen both a meteoric rise in the number of legal tech startups, as well as VC funding of those startups, culminating in over $1B of investment in late 2020. This influx is terrific for modernizing the legal services industry, but sadly hasn’t moved the needle to serve the 5.1 billion people globally who lack access to justice.

Rather than waiting for legaltech to trickle down to low-income individuals, a small (but growing) cohort of entrepreneurs are founding technology startups to tackle the justice gap head-on. These solutions are a new breed of legaltech — instead of focusing on modernizing the existing legal services market (i.e. contracts, practice management, legal research, etc.), their goal is to leverage technology to directly scale legal services to the billions of people underserved by the existing market.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian