The pillars of digital security
Since 2013, I have run a paperless office and paperless courtroom. I conduct trials from an iPad.
I wondered about professional ethics and discovered, to my surprise, nobody around the world had written a comprehensive and systematic guide on how to ethically use technology in legal practice.
So, I wrote the book myself:— The pillars of digital security. How to ethically use technology in legal practice.
Drawing on international sources in common law countries, it's been used by lawyers and judges across the USA and Canada, in the United Kingdom, throughout New Zealand, and around Australia.
American Bar Association
Law Practice Division
In 2014, I was the first lawyer practising outside North America—in history—to be appointed to the governing council of the Law Practice Division.
The 400,000 member American Bar Association is divided into sections and divisions, one of which is the Law Practice Division. The Division is responsible for providing lawyers' with resources they need to improve their practice, focusing in the four areas of marketing, management, finance, and technology.
ABA Techshow is the largest legal technology conference in the world, run by lawyers for lawyers. Once a year in Chicago, Illinois over a thousand lawyers descend over 3 days for more than 50 CLE seminars, 20 dinners, 2 football fields of vendors, and an opportunity to network with legal and computer experts you would never meet anywhere else.
In 2014, I was the first Australian lawyer invited to the teaching faculty in history.
In 2015, I was again asked to join the invitation-only teaching faculty.
Click on the video to see me explain Techshow's value, and click the link below to learn about the next Techshow.
The Future of Law
and Innovation in the Profession
The Law Society of New South Wales established the Future Committee in 2016 and, in turn, the Future of Law and Innovation in the Profession (flip) Commission of Inquiry to better understand the changes taking place in and around the legal profession and to provide the profession with recommendations that will enable lawyers to better accommodate new concepts and ideas, and adapt to changes that are taking place and will inevitably continue to do so.
I was the only barrister invited by the President of the Law Society to testify before the inquiry.
Click on the video to see my testimony, and click the links below to access resources.
Evernote is a digital extension of your biological memory.
For years I have used Evernote in my personal and professional life, and have lectured about its use many times.
In 2014, when I was invited to the teaching faculty of ABA Techshow 2014 I presented a multimedia presentation titled "How to optimize your use of Evernote."
In 2015, I returned and presented a joint paper with my American colleague and criminal defense lawyer Robert "Bob" Sisson about how we each used Evernote in our criminal and civil practices, delivering another multimedia presentation titled "How to Never Forget Anything—Incorporating Evernote into your practice."
Click on the links below to access resources.
Costs disclosure before settlement
The Legal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL) requires costs disclosure before settlement: s.177 LPUL. Section 177, properly construed, means clients must know how much money will be put in their pocket, or taken from it if the matter settles.
Failure to disclose has 4 consequences for lawyers:
- the lawyer's costs agreement is void
- the client need not pay the lawyer's legal costs until they have been assessed—at the lawyer's cost
- the lawyer must not commence or maintain proceedings to recover the legal costs until they have been assessed—at the lawyer's cost, and
- the lawyer's failure may constitute unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct—and in the case of solicitors, by any principal of the law practice.
When calculating how much money will be put in a client's pocket, or taken from it, lawyers sometimes apply the Denuto Principle, made famous by the fictional solicitor Denis Denuto in the motion picture The Castle when addressing the Federal Court:
"In summing up, it’s the constitution, it’s Mabo, it’s justice, it’s law, it’s the vibe and aah no that’s it, it’s the vibe. I rest my case."
The Denuto Principle seldom discharges professional obligations. But, there is a better way.
My costs disclosure settlement computer is an intuitive electronic spreadsheet designed to make identification of, and compliance with, professional obligations easy. It automates just about everything dull and mathematical. Lawyers must focus on only 2 things:
- their own costs, and
- their own experience of costs assessment (also known as taxation of costs).
Legal Innovation & Technology
Tech Fest 4–5 June 2018
A collaboration between the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) and The Eventful Group, and in association with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC Australia), join me at Australia's most dynamic legal technology conference, the Legal Innovation & Technology Tech Fest.
I will be presenting a session titled "Balancing Cyber Security with Legal Innovation."