Monday, July 12, 2021

“Alexa, do this”


Alexa, do this”

Garon, Jon M., Law Professor’s Desk Reference – Introduction and Table of Contents (June 11, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

“Law school faculty members are expected to be legal scholars, effective teachers, and engaged institutional partners, but the information essential to develop these skills has not been published in one single source, until now. LAW PROFESSOR’S DESK REFERENCE provides faculty members a foundation for student learning, effective teaching, and student engagement. It offers strategies for teaching face-to-face, online, and blended education. It provides a roadmap to help faculty develop meaningful scholarship, and it addresses law school administration, shared governance, academic freedom, hiring, tenure, and accreditation. More than a reflection on legal education, the book provides a “user’s manual” for the legal academy.”

A model to predict how much humans and robots can be trusted with completing specific tasks

To quote from a scene of the Australian movie The Castle, there is an item of Australian tax law that really does depend on “the vibe”. In this particular ruling, the words used however are “ambience” and “atmosphere”.
Taxation ruling TR 2007/9 describes the circumstances when an item used to create a particular atmosphere or ambience in a consumer-facing environment, for example in a cafe, restaurant, licensed club or hotel, constitutes an item of plant for the purposes of determining whether a deduction is available under either Division 40 (for depreciating assets) or Division 43 (for capital works).
Think, for example, of a restaurant that has decorated its dining area as a medieval banquet hall. As part of the medieval theme, replicas of stone walls are constructed out of painted polystyrene and are fastened to the walls, as are themed lights that look like flaming torches.
The polystyrene walls and the themed lights do not form part of the structure of the building, but retain a separate visual identity with the sole purpose of creating an atmosphere or ambience to entice customers and add to their dining experience. Being so related to the restaurant's business, the Commissioner holds that the items come within the ordinary meaning of “plant” and are therefore deductible as such.
  • AI Resources on the Internet 2021 – Articles, studies, reports and investigations abound on how AI is impacting all aspects of our lives inclusive of privacy, social media, healthcare, the economy, the financial system, education, communications, law, the courts and technology. This timely, broad overview of resources, sites and applications by Marcus P. Zillman spans subject matter and disciplines as well as the many permutations of the technologies that drive artificial intelligence.
  • Knowledge Management, Efficiency, Geometry and Frieda Riley – Jerry Lawson shares the preface to his upcoming book about knowledge management for law firms in which he highlights indelible lessons his high school Geometry teacher Miss Frieda Riley taught him to make a point about efficiency and lawyers.
  • Non-Library Jobs & Advice on How to Get One: an introduction to INALJ’s series of interviews – Naomi House was inspired to do this series because of the drastic changes to the availability of traditional library jobs during this pandemic. She highlights library and information professionals who work outside libraries but use their skills as well as many who have lost their jobs or been furloughed. These interviews are an introduction to transferable skill sets as well as resources for those looking for work in those fields.
  • Client Portals: A Must-Have Service for Today’s Law Firms – Jim Calloway is Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association Management Assistance Program and co-author of the ABA books “How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times” and “Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour: Strategies That Work.” In this article he explains how beyond secure document sharing, client portals for law firms can serve as a “virtual lobby” for clients and potential clients.
  • Research Data Curation and Management Bibliography – This bibliography by Charles W. Bailey, Jr., the publisher of Digital Scholarship and a noncommercial digital artist, includes over 800 selected English-language articles and books that are useful in understanding the curation of digital research data in academic and other research institutions.
  • Postal banking could provide free accounts to 21 million Americans who don’t have access to a credit union or community bank – About a quarter of census tracts with a post office don’t have a community bank or credit union branch, suggesting postal banking could provide a financial lifeline to the millions of Americans without a bank account, according to our new research by Terri Friedline, University of Michigan and Ameya Pawar, University of Chicago.
  • Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 27, 2021 – Four highlights from this week: Your iPhone’s WiFi will break after you join this hotspot; How to Recover Files in Google Docs and Microsoft Word; The Young Fall for Scams More Than Seniors Do. Time for a Warning; and South Korea’s Nuclear Research agency breached using VPN flaw.
  • Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 19, 2021 – Four highlights from this week: Senate bill boosts penalties for cyber criminals; Anti-Vaxxers Review-Bomb Bars With Vaccine Requirements; Why employees need counterespionage training; and ‘An uprising’; Youth activists bring digital rights to forefront.
  • Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 13, 2021 – Four highlights from this week: Why ransomware attacks are becoming a national security risk; This is how fast a password leaked on the web will be tested out by hackers; 7 Telltale Signs You’re on the Phone With a Scammer; and Fastly internet outage won’t be last: How to prepare, protect yourself.
  • Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 6, 2021 – Four highlights from this week: Two New Laws Restrict Police Use of DNA Search Method; On the Taxonomy and Evolution of Ransomware; Amazon’s Ring Finally Discloses Police Requests; and The Limits of Law and AI.

Four-day week ‘an overwhelming success’ in Iceland BBC 


‘Alarming rise in theft’ forces Target stores in San Francisco to shorten hours KTVU

A $500,000 Home On The Northern Plains To Hide From The Future Defector

Where people are migrating in, and out of, the West High Country News

Artificial Lawyer: “…As we all know (not news) lawyers are also increasingly engaged under Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs), particularly fixed fees, and certain areas of law are fiercely competitive, with clients consistently driving down prices, whilst maintaining expectations as to quality. See Richard Tromans’ article on 30 June on the rise of AFAs – AFAs Increase to 16.8% – Could Be Good News for Legal Tech. In this context efficiency is top of mind, particularly in departments such as banking and finance, corporate, and real estate. Statements such as ‘Efficiency – we’re not that kind of firm’ are now few and far between, although surprisingly are still uttered from time to time. It is not surprising that the conversation in these departments has moved from whether ‘To automate or not to automate?’ to questions such as ‘Show me the appropriate use cases?’ and ‘Which legal tech will bring the greatest efficiency to my process?’. It is also refreshing to note that for more progressive firms, efficiency is not the only driver when it comes to accelerating the pace of legal tech adoption. The Clarilis team works with law firms daily in this space to produce a customised Value Analysis report to help them quantify the potential impact of deep automation and consider, alongside efficiency, outcomes such as increased margin, higher recovery rates, and the financial and competitive benefits of liberating fee earners from the mundane. Intangible benefits such as better work/life balance and lawyer wellbeing can then become a natural by-product of automation which are, in themselves, key drivers of talent acquisition, development and retention…”