Link Round Up - Aug 25th, 2017
'Link Round-Up’ gives you a glimpse into the articles that got the most airtime around the Loom Analytics water cooler this week. Published every Friday, article topics include access to justice, big data, legal technology, and what’s happening in the Canadian legal landscape.
- Last week we covered the International Legal Tech Association conference fairly extensively, but it seems there is still more coming out of the woodwork. For instance, according to a Lawyerist article by Stephen E. Embry, “One of the more interesting developments of this week at ILTA was a low-key and not very well-attended demo of a Litera redlining program that will work with the Google Suite apps.” The article goes on to point out that legal tech has definitely attracted Google’s attention and imagines what would happen if the tech giant entered the space.
- The opening of Ottawa’s first Indigenous peoples court was announced this afternoon at Ottawa’s Elgin Street courthouse, situated on traditional Algonquin territory. In Canada, indigenous courts are also known as Gladue courts, named for the 1999 SCC R. v. Gladue decision that determined that courts should take into account the background and lived experiences of Indigenous offenders. According to Statistics Canada, between 2015 & 2016, “Aboriginal adults were overrepresented in admissions to provincial and territorial correctional services, as they accounted for 26% of admissions while representing about 3% of the Canadian adult population.” Gladue courts aim to address the overrepresentation of the Indigenous community within the Canadian prison system.
- The day after Donald Trump won the American presidential election, Ontario Court Justice Bernd Zabel decided to wear a “Make America Great Again” hat in court. This week, the Hamilton judge appeared at his own hearing insisting that he was not “a racist, a bigot, or a misogynist.” Alex Robinson writes, “In his testimony, Zabel said he wore the hat as an ‘ill-conceived joke’ that was meant to ‘lighten’ the mood of the courtroom. He insisted he was not a Trump supporter, and said he had simply intended to gloat about the fact he had correctly predicted the election outcome.” The backlash from the media and public was strong and the panel is examining possible penalties, with the most serious potential consequence being Zabel’s removal from the bench.
- Reinventing Professionals is a podcast by Ari Kaplan that offers ideas and guidance on navigating the ups and downs of a legal profession. In his August 18th episode he spoke with Brian Kuhn and Shawnna Hoffman, the co-founders of IBM Watson Legal, about their keynote address at ILTACON 2017. Specifically, the excerpt from Legal Tech Newsdiscusses the practical and ethical aspects of AI in the practice of law, focusing not on “flash or Star Wars [or] the art of the possible”, as Kuhn says in the interview, but on the actual status of AI as it exists today.
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