Welcome to my blog! In the coming months I’ll be writing on a variety of topics related to technology and law. I’m also excited to share some of my experiences with you, including my:
Technology is changing our world, including the law.
There are many opportunities for technology to disrupt the law. If we travelled back a hundred years and stepped into to hospital in 1917, it would look very different from today. We might convince a doctor to leave their operating room and return to the 21st century with us, but they would not longer be able to practice medicine. Advances in antibiotics, genomics, and stem-cell therapy are some of the technologies that have changed the delivery of health care.
Instead, if we entered a court room in 1917 and convinced a lawyer to travel 100 years back with us, they’d quickly be able to represent clients. Compared to advances in medicine, not much has changed in the practice of law. Yes, our legal institutions have evolved, the law has advanced, legal research now involves searching databases instead of stacks of reporters, and lawyers today work in networked offices. But our time travelling lawyer would represent clients using similar arguments, gathered through the same methods of detailing facts and reading cases, and presented in a familiar court setting. These are all areas were technology can increase access to justice.
The technological revolution in law is just beginning. Machine learning technologies are changing how lawyers approach legal problems and perform legal research. Startups like Miralaw and ROSS Intelligence are using AI to build issue spotting and case summary tools. Legal Knowlege Engineers are building apps that help people resolve disputes. British Colombia, for example, has legislated a fully online Civil Resolution Tribunal to resolve small claims disputes. Smart contract blockchains like Ethereum are surging in the market. Data-driven litigation intelligence, like that offered by Loom Analytics offers news ways to quantify judicial decision making or quickly perform due diligence for discovery documents. Neural networks like those developed by Dr. Wolfgang Alschner are writing new treatries with interesting implications for writing treaties and contracts.
The substance of law is also changing as technologies create new social dynamics and legal issues. Legislation, case law, regulations, and our legal institutions are evolving to address these problems. Issues of privacy, ownership of data, and regulation of the internet are pressing topics that generate significant debate. Open access has become a popular tool to share knowledge while managing copyright issues. International treaty negotiations and kegislative review of key intellectual property legislation raise questions about how to facilitate innovation in Canada.
This is an exciting time to be working in technology and law. I invite you to follow and engage with me here, on twitter and github. I welcome comments, which you can submit through this interactive form.