Thinking Smartly About Smart Contracts-Dennis Kennedy

My first published article of 2018 has appeared in Law Practice magazine and it’s called “Thinking Smartly About Smart Contracts.”

The editors of the magazine approached me a while back to see if I wanted to write a blockchain article that would introduce lawyers and others to the blockchain concept and its implications. I told them that I felt that the article Gwynne Monahan and I wrote last year (“Lawyers Get Ready, There’s a Blockchain Coming“) was still a good starting point. However, I said, I was willing to write an article that was a primer about “smart contracting,” which is a next big step in blockchain evolution. They liked the idea and the result is this article.

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Artificial Lawyer Interview: Jake Heller, CEO, Casetext – Artificial Lawyer

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Artificial Lawyer recently caught up with Jake Heller, the co-founder and CEO of Casetext, ahead of the legal AI company’s launch of two new features for its litigation analysis platform.

So, first, let’s hear about the two new aspects of the natural language processing-driven platform that is seeking to change the way lawyers approach legal research.

The new capability Black Letter Law enables users to quickly identify axiomatic statements of law, which is particularly useful for lawyers researching outside of their core practice areas, ‘as well as for litigators hunting for foundational case law to support a brief or oral argument’.

Meanwhile the new Holdings feature is the largest searchable collection of concise case summaries ever assembled, the company says. To create Holdings, Casetext applied a tactic they call ‘judicial language processing’, exploiting patterns within the US case law corpus to excerpt summaries directly from judicial opinions. This allows ‘any lawyer looking to quickly familiarise herself with the crux of a judicial opinion and nimbly compare and contrast similar holdings across a particular area of law’ says Casetext.

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NYSBA Pro Bono Portal – Empowering New York attorneys to get matched with rewarding pro bono opportunities and to learn new skills.

Following several Executive Orders announcing travel bans and increased immigration enforcement, the legal community has increased its efforts to deliver vital immigration legal services to our communities and thousands of attorneys have volunteered to donate their time and services on a pro bono basis. The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) received many inquiries from its members about how they can help.  In order to best address the rise of attorneys seeking to do pro bono work, while supporting the non-profit and legal service organizations actively serving New York’s immigrant communities, NYSBA paired up with the New York Bar Foundation and Legal.io to create a web-based portal through which attorneys can be referred to volunteer opportunities in a tailored and timely fashion.

NYSBA’s Immigration Pro Bono Portal provides volunteer attorneys with tailored referrals to current and relevant volunteer opportunities at legal services organizations where the attorneys’ specific skills and experience are needed. As a result, attorneys are connected with appropriate volunteer opportunities in a timely manner while legal services organizations are able to provide more services and save valuable resources.

Since July, we have referred over fifty attorneys to more than twenty organizations across the state. In the long run, we seek to assist New York’s civil legal service community in achieving 100% legal immigration representation (currently the nationwide average is about 30%), where representation in deportation and detention contexts is the norm, not an exception.

We encourage attorneys who are interested in volunteering to visit www.nysbaprobono.org and register as a volunteer attorney so that we may provide them with tailored referrals to volunteer opportunities for which they may be well suited. We also encourage organizations across the state that both serve New York’s immigrant population, and have a need for pro bono volunteers, to visit the site and create a listing, indicating their volunteer needs, so we may refer suitable volunteers to them. If you have any questions about NYSBA’s Pro Bono Immigration Portal, please email me at probonoportal@nysba.org or call me at 518-487-5642.

Best Regards,

Yuriy Pereyaslavskiy,

Immigration Pro Bono Fellow

Here’s how to kick nazis off your Twitter right now–Yahoo Finance

Natasha Lomas

While you wait for Twitter to roll out “more aggressive” rules regarding hate speech, which CEO Jack Dorsey promised are coming within “weeks” as of late Friday, here’s a quick workaround to kick nazis off of your Twitter feed right now: Go to the ‘Settings and privacy’ page and under the ‘Content’ section set the country to Germany (or France).

This switches on Twitter’s per country nazi-blocking filter which the company built, all the way back in 2012, to comply with specific European hate speech laws that prohibit pro-Nazi content because, y’know, World War II.

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What is the technology needed for access to justice?–ABA Journal

By Mary E. Juetten, CA, CPA, JD, founder and CEO of Traklight. In 2015, Mary co-founded Evolve Law, an organization for change and technology adoption in the law. She was named to the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center 2016 Women in Legal Tech list and the Fastcase 50 Class of 2016. She is the author of Small Law Firm KPIs: How to Measure Your Way to Greater Profits. She is always looking or success stories where technology has been used to bridge the justice gap, from pro-bono through low-bono to non-traditional legal services delivery. Reach out to her on Twitter @maryjuetten.
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Therefore, clients are demanding mobile applications that provide direct access to a firm. In addition, consumers want education; online questionnaires to gather information rather than in-person consultations; and free legal forms for specific practice areas. Rather than fighting this trend toward creating mobile legal products and services, attorneys can use online information-gathering tools to triage and educate clients and focus on professional judgment for problem-solving.

Firms have made standard forms free, for example Orrick’s Start Forms Library. Also, legal plans have free forms on mobile applications, like LegalShield’s Forms app, which includes more than 15 free forms for common consumer transactions like renting, buying and selling–plus freelance agreements. Taking it a step further, we need to use mainstream technology to create solutions for specific applications within the law. For example, we can utilize chabots to answer frequently asked questions or customizable expert systems for immigration or incorporation questionnaires.

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Check out Orrick’s Start Forms Library

New N.S.A. Breach Linked to Popular Russian Antivirus Software – The New York Times

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Investigators believe the hackers may have penetrated the computer by exploiting Kaspersky Lab antivirus software, a Russian brand widely used around the world, that the employee was using, according to officials briefed on the matter.
 
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The officials did not make their concerns public, and the antivirus software remains popular. But last month the federal government ordered the Kaspersky software removed from all government computers. The F.B.I. has been investigating whether Kaspersky products, especially the well-reviewed antivirus programs, contain “back doors” that could allow Russian intelligence agencies into any computers or networks on which they are running. The company has always denied that it has any links to Russian intelligence.

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macOS HighSierra: Get your Mac prepared

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The new macOS  High Sierra is coming and there are a few things you should know: The first, what are the installation requirements? And the second, how can you prepare your Mac for macOS High Sierra?
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