Legal Tech For The Legal Elite: Observations Of Two Conferences | Above the Law

Robert Ambrogi

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I just spent five days at two conferences dedicated to the 10 percent in law who make up big firms and big corporations, wondering how legal tech and innovation became the domain of the legal elite, and how true change will come about in law without more voices at the table.

The first four days of my week were at Legalweek, the conference formerly known as Legaltech and still primarily focused on technology. On Friday, I detoured to Inspire.Legal, a new “unconference” devoted to “inspiring creative new solutions” to “the most pressing problems facing our industry.”

They were very different events. Legalweek is a venerable trade show, started in 1982, where buyers of legal technology go to shop for products and attend educational sessions. Inspire.Legal is a brand-new, fresh, and creative attempt to explore the problems that face the legal industry and begin to craft solutions.

But in addition to their same-week timing and New York City venue, the two shared one defining characteristic: They were predominately by, for, and about the roughly 10 percent of the legal industry dominated by the world’s largest law firms and corporations.

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New Medicare App Tells Users What’s Covered–AARP

by Dena Bunis, AARP

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If you’re not sure whether Original Medicare will pay for a particular test or medical service your doctor says you need, the answer could be as close as a new app on your phone or other mobile device. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled the new tool called “What’s Covered” on Monday.

It is available in GooglePlay and the AppleApp Store. You can look for a particular service or test by typing a description into the search bar, and the app allows you to browse all services via an alphabetized list of everything from acupuncture to yearly wellness visits. It also provides a list of preventative services that Medicare pays for, and a help feature lets you call the Medicare hotline (800-Medicare; 800-633-4227) or takes you to the full Medicare.gov website.

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Pacer should be free, according to amicus brief by Posner and 6 other retired judges–ABA Journal

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Plaintiffs who claim Pacer fees are illegally excessive are getting lots of support in amicus briefs filed in their pending federal appeal.

Among the amici are seven retired federal judges who argue that Pacer should be free, report the New Republicand Law.com. The judges include former Circuit Judge Richard Posner of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The judges’ brief argues that docket-access fees reduce judicial transparency and the legitimacy of the courts. Other retired federal judges filing the brief include Shira Scheindlin, W. Royal Furgeson and Nancy Gertner.

Other amici supporting the plaintiffs include former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, the original sponsor of the law at issue in the suit; several legal research platforms; media organizations; the American Civil Liberties Union; and the Cato Institute.

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Pacer cost slightly more than $3 million to operate in 2016, but it brought in more than $146 million in fees, according to the New Republic article.

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The next privacy worry is Ring doorbells and Nest security cameras. Here’s what you can do about it. – The Washington Post

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Ding-dong, your doorbell is looking a bit creepy.

Ring video doorbells, Nest Hello and other connected security cameras are the fastest-growing home improvement gadgets since garage-door openers. These cameras, often built into buzzers, alert your phone when someone is at your door and save footage online. Mine has helped me get deliveries and catch porch pirates stealing packages. Earlier this month, one caught a man licking a family’s doorbell for three hours.

What’s not to love? Invading people’s privacy — and Big Brother at our doorstep. It’s up to us to set the rules to avoid Big Doorbell.

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