Technology

Wearable Tech May Aid in Personal Injury Claims

“In the world of personal injury law wearable tech may become a pivotal element in bringing justice to those who have become victims,” according to Law Technology Today. The article explores the use of items like Smartwatches when making a personal injury claim, along with the possible issues that could arise from misusing the technology.  

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Star Trek Copyright Suit Could Impact Software Developers

A copyright battle over of a 2014 short film’s use of Star Trek themes and Klingon – the language spoken by fictional humanoids – could impact legal disputes over programming languages. The Language Creation Society recently sided with the creators of Prelude to Axanar in an amicus brief, saying that if the language is copyrighted, then all ideas subsequently expressed in it could be too. Quartz explains how the lawsuit could impact software developers’ ability to copy codes and also outlines other cases where symbol copyrights are being debated. 

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Attorneys Question Avvo's Fixed-Fee

The ABA Journal reports on several issues attorneys across the country have raised with Avvo, an online legal directory. Attorneys contended the site’s fixed-fee legal services could violate rules against fee sharing in several states. Avvo Chief Legal Officer Josh King defended the fee arrangement, saying, “You can’t apply the ethics rules unless there’s consumer harm.” Another lawyer raised concerns about unearned fees held by Avvo each month and said the company is diverting interest that would otherwise go to fund legal aid. 

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Website Will Rate Lawyers Based on Court Records

Two Harvard University undergraduates are launching a website that will rate lawyers based on publicly available court records, Law Sites reports. The site, called Legalist, will analyze court records to match clients with lawyers who win similar cases based on detail and location. The author cites concerns about using winning or losing as a measure of lawyering skill. “It is often the best lawyers who are willing to take on the toughest matters with the lowest odds of success,” Robert Ambrogi writes. 

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Fitbit Exposes Lies in Rape Case

A Fitbit fitness tracker recently provided crucial evidence when data pulled from the device contradicted the claims of an alleged rape victim. A Pennsylvania woman claimed an intruder raped her in the middle of the night, but according to the affidavit, data from the Fitbit showed “she was awake and walking around the entire night prior to the incident and did not go to bed as reported." The woman was ordered to two years of probation and community service. Read more from The Wall Street Journal

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UT Law Professor Wins Antitrust Writing Award

Maurice Stucke, a professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, received a 2016 Antitrust Writing Award for a legal article he co-authored regarding artificial intelligence. The article, “Artificial Intelligence & Collusion: When Computers Inhibit Competition,” discusses the legal and ethical questions that are emerging as artificial intelligence development and implementation throughout society continues to develop. Stucke is a former trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

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Conference Explores Artificial Intelligence and Law

“Will your next lawyer be a machine?” A two-day conference exploring the use of artificial intelligence in law wraps up today at Vanderbilt Law School. The Tennessean reports Richard Susskind, an expert on the intersection of technology and the law, encouraged attendees to consider the various ways technology could impact their profession in coming years. He said that successful lawyers should begin preparing for the impact computing could have on their research and decision-making.

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Robot Lawyer Headed to Nashville

The world’s first artificially intelligent attorney is coming to Vanderbilt University Law School this week. Andrew Arruda, CEO and co-founder of Ross Intelligence, will be show the company’s super-computer lawyer at an event – titled "Watson, Esq.: Will Your Next Lawyer Be a Machine?” – during the school’s two-day conference beginning tomorrow. The Nashville Business Journal reports Arruda does not expect his machine, dubbed “Ross,” to replace attorneys; he believes, rather, Ross will act as a research assistant and expand client services. 

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Artificial Intelligence Could Improve Access to Justice, Professor Says

Larry W. Bridgesmith, coordinator of the Program on Law and Innovation at Vanderbilt Law School, writes for The Tennessean on how the legal profession may be transformed by the capabilities of artificial intelligence. "Improving efficiency and reliability could result in more appropriate justice for more people, especially those who are most in need of adequate legal representation in civil and criminal matters,” he writes.

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Student Facing Charges for Emojis in Threat

A 12-year-old Virginia girl is facing criminal charges after making threats against her middle school using emojis in an Instagram post. The case may force authorities to determine exactly what emojis – cartoonish symbols depicting emotions and items – mean, The Washington Post reports. The article details other recent cases where the use of emojis and emoticons in criminal proceedings has been debated.

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