Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) became law long ago when it comes to internet time, way back in the 1990s. The main thrust of the CDA was an effort by Congress to regulate indecent content posted online. Section 230 was included within the CDA to provide general immunity to Internet service providers with respect to third-party content posted on their sites. While the indecency regulatory aspect of the CDA was struck down by the United States Supreme Court as violating the First Amendment, Section 230 survives to this day and has been the critical legal backbone that has allowed a good part of the Internet to flourish, especially social media. Continue reading What To Do About CDA Section 230 And ISP Immunity?
The short-term lodging landscape has changed radically in recent years. Rather than always book hotels when away from home, people now frequently book to stay in the homes or apartments of other people through sites like Airbnb and VRBO. The growth in this area is reflected by the $30 billion estimated worth of Airbnb. But does this mean that these short-term rental sites are completely free of legal concerns? No.
According to a recent Fortune.com article, regulations passed in various jurisdictions threaten the online, short-term rental model. For example, New York has passed regulations that Airbnb says could damage its business in New York City — its largest market in the United States. Hours after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill, Airbnb filed a federal lawsuit claiming the law will cause “irreparable harm.” Continue reading Platforms Like Airbnb and VRBO to Thrive or Facing Legal Reckoning?
It may be hard to believe, but we already have closed the books on 2014, and we now have started making our legal way into 2015. The year 2015 at first blush sounds futuristic, and in many ways we really are living in the legal tech future we could have barely imagined not that many years ago.
When I started practicing law approximately 30 years ago, advanced technology meant that legal secretaries used mag cards in their electronic typewriters. When we conducted legal research, we actually went into the law library and cracked open real, hard-backed books. Once upon a time, it was a very, very big deal to receive a fax.
Back then, we used dictaphones to dictate letters, memoranda and briefs. When it came to document production, we actually met in conference rooms with opposing counsel and exchanged boxes of hard copy documents for in-person review. When we made telephone calls, we were tethered to the phones and phone cords at our office desks. And, of course, when we were working, we definitely were physically present at our law offices.
In what seems like a heartbeat, those days are gone. Continue reading It’s 2015: The Future Is Here for Legal Tech
It is that time of year again. Soon, we will have turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams, and pumpkin pie on our plates, if we are fortunate. But more importantly, it is a time to reflect with gratitude on those aspects of our lives for which we are thankful.
Things to Be Thankful For
Of course, toward the top of the list, assuming we have such luck, we should be thankful for our health, family, friends, loved ones, home, and work.
We also can be grateful for the fact that we live in a country that strives to be governed by the rule of law. We do not sanction the resolution of disputes by violence and armed conflict. Instead, we allow parties through their lawyers to present their cases for decisions of law by judges and findings of facts by juries.
Back in the day, President Bill Clinton touted the development of the “information superhighway,” and Vice President Al Gore not entirely accurately was reported to have stated that he had invented the Internet.
Since then, the Internet has exploded and grown exponentially. There have been many benefits, such as the potential to purchase a tremendous number of goods and services online, as well as the ability to communicate freely via social media portals such as Facebook and Twitter.
Social media no longer is the province of only those who are college-aged or younger. Indeed, businesses of all types now seek to capitalize on social media connections, and law firms are no exception. Many firms now have their own Facebook pages, for example, and many lawyers are seeking to attract attention through a variety of other social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Also, more and more, information is being stored in the cloud.
Notwithstanding this gravitational pull toward clouds and social media, lawyers need to remain mindful of ethical and practical constraints, so that they do not feel more pain than joy in this context.
Once upon a time, the production of information in civil litigation primarily consisted of the exchange of hard-copy, paper records. Those days are long gone.
We now are in the electronic age, and productions feature all sorts of electronic data. It is important to get it right when it comes to eDiscovery, as the downside consequences for getting it wrong can be severe.