Homework Assignments

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Homework Assignment #1

PART 1

Your assignment is to create two lists:
Five good things about running a virtual law practice. What are the advantages over an entirely office-bound practice. What are the efficiencies gained, money made or saved, etc.
1. Virtual Law Practice is not dependent to certain area / state / country.
2. Lower rental costs.
3. Connecting more legal experts in different locations.
4. Higher options for market penetration for smaller law firms. Easy access to the office: click away. Various options of legal practice business models and different methods of charging legal advice.
5. Can cover almost all legal services (especially in combination with real legal practice).

Five things that could go wrong running a virtual law practice. What are the mistakes you can make, problems you could encounter, issues raised, etc.
1. Trust issues: For some people and some lawyers it is hard to discuss or post private legal issues on the internet.
2. Security and personal data issues: possibilities of data leak, loss or breach if the system is not secured enough.
3. Lost of physical contact with people, hard to recognize people's behavior
4. Virtual legal practice is not possible for all kinds of legal services.
5. Digital divide: Not everyone has a computer or can use computer, especially elderly, poor, disabled etc.

PART 2

1) eLawyering is often described as the “utilization of the Internet and e-mail networks for the delivery of legal services.”3 On a conceptual level, eLawyering combines law and technology to enable lawyers to service effectively the market for legal services, while at the same time “increas[ing] opportunities for communication and mentoring among practitioners.”4
- Allen W. Chiu. 2004. The Ethical Limits of eLawyering: Resolving the Multijurisdictional Dilemma of Internet Practice Through Strict Enforcement
Available: http://www.lawtechjournal.com/notes/2004/01_040809_chiu.php [2/13/2012]
3. Erin Walsh, Some Call It eLawyering: Is It a Brave New World or an Ethical Quagmire?, 12 Bus. L. Today, Jan. 2003, available at http://www.abanet.org/buslaw/blt/2003-0102/walsh.html (last visited March 29, 2004).
4. Am. B. Ass’n, Elawyering Basics, available at http://www.elawyering.org/what/basics.shtml (last visited March 28, 2004).

2) Online technologies offer innovative ways to deliver legal services. By automating tasks traditionally performed by attorneys and by making legal products available on the Internet, these technologies make legal services more affordable and accessible. For example many vendors now offer downloadable bill-of-sale documents. For reasons that will be discussed below, legal service technologies are likely to evolve into fully integrated, multi-sided platforms that automate simple tasks and interface with attorneys for more complex ones. Although these technologies threaten to disrupt traditional models for delivering legal services, they should be embraced by consumers and legal professionals alike.
- Johnson, Chris. 2009. Leveraging Technology to Deliver Legal Services by Chris Johnson. Harvard Journal of Law & Technology Volume 23, Number 1 Fall 2009. Available: http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/articles/pdf/v23/23HarvJLTech259.pdf

3) A "virtual lawyer" is a professional authorized to practice law, who works with people all geographically dispersed, and whose law practice is carried on by means of a computer or computer network in such a way that it appears and feels like a physical law office, yet provides greater responsiveness, higher efficiency and better quality work product.
- http://thevirtuallawyer.blogspot.com/2007/02/virtues-of-building-virtual-law.html

Homework Assignment #2

PART 1

In your wiki homework page, list (at least) FIVE benefits/advantages to Document Automation.
  1. Time effective / no repetitious work
  2. Less errors
  3. Sharing the knowledge among legal colleagues
  4. Lay people can create legal documents with no legal assistance at all
  5. Possibilities to make law people friendly (Q&A, choices ...)
In your wiki homework page, list (at least) FIVE pitfalls/problems/barriers to Document Automation.
  1. Tailored services? / sometimes life is to complicated to put the situation in a document form
  2. Preparing the form takes time / is it worth to prepare automated document for just few cases?
  3. Why need of legal documents if we can post data directly where is requested
  4. Error in one document means error in all documents
  5. Language issues: All kinds of abbreviations and exceptions (in my case of Slovenian Language we have a lot of them!)

PART 2

1) http://www.goodwinfoundersworkbench.com/
I perform a short test of automated document system, where I created a document Consent of Sole Incorporator with Document Driver. The system offers a user friendly web page with disclaimer and possible technical issues at the start. The creation of documents worked with no problems at all. During the creation it is also explained of the following steps and explanation of terms. You can create also a document with no names at all and fill the names in the document of-line later. At the end you can download document in docx and change the documents as well.

2) http://informiran.si/ - Slovenian example for automated documents
I tested a slovenian automated document system where several simple legal document can be created. The site is primarily intended for lay people with no legal knowledge or by small companies or entrepreneurs, who can not afford to get a lawyer to prepare a document. But it is not particularly useful for legal experts. It covers different life events or situations, where certain legal document is needed, e.g. labour and employment, state administration and municipalities, legal affairs, accounting and taxes, education. We created a document for consensual divorce. We had several options if a married couple had children, real estate, car etc. which they agree who will take care of or get. If a created document is not for free you can see one third of the final document and proceed to payment options. At the end you download a document pdf, so after changes are not possible. They offer also various free brochures for completing legal procedures with appointment to create documents later on-line. During their working hours they offer on-line help with chat.

Homework Assignment #3

In Slovenia we have unified system of courts (http://www.sodisce.si/), which consists of courts with general and specialized jurisdiction. Courts with general jurisdiction include 44 local, 11 district, and 4 higher courts and the Supreme Court. Specialized courts include 4 labour courts and a social court, which rule on labour-related and social insurance disputes, and the administrative court, which provides legal protection in administrative affairs and has the status of a higher court.

IT Centre at Supreme court is a separate organizational unit of the Supreme Court and responsible for selecting and supplying IT equipment for the courts, its maintenance, construction of specialized software, special emphasis is given to cooperation in the education of end users. Therefore all software is developed, implemented and maintained for all courts by the IT centre.

1. Does the court support efiling? If yes, what is the best URL?
In Slovenia there are some procedures where e-filing is adopted and available on the e-filing portal: https://evlozisce.sodisce.si

2. Does the court support efiling for self-representing litigants?
Different e-filing is available for different groups:
a) General registered users (everybody, also self representing litigants),
b) External qualified registered users (lawyers, notaries, executors) and
c) Internal Qualified users (judges, court assistants, administrative staff)

3. Does the court website have an online docket or calendar? (if yes, include a link)
Each court in Slovenia has its own online bulletin board with scheduled trials in different procedures (RSS available).
Examples:
Local court in Maribor (Civil): http://www.sodisce.si/okramb/razpored_aktualnih_obravnav/pravdne/
District court in Celje (Criminal): http://www.sodisce.si/okroce/razpored_aktualnih_obravnav/kazenske/
Higher court in Koper: http://www.sodisce.si/viskp/razpored_aktualnih_obravnav/
Labour court and a social court in Ljubljana: http://www.sodisce.si/dsslj/razpored_aktualnih_obravnav/

4. Does the court website have any forms that can be used online or downloaded? (if yes, provide a link)
There are different forms available in pdf for several different procedures: http://sodisce.si/sodni_postopki/obrazci/

Homework Assignment #4

UNBDUNDLING LEGAL SERVICES / LIMITED SCOPE REPRESENTATION

1. Define two (2) discrete tasks that could be “unbundled” from different areas of law practice.
- Reviewing legal documents and anonymizing and "cleaning" the documents of personal data prior publication for certain legal entities who are obliged to publish certain documents i.e. reports, financial report, organizational report, meeting minutes, but they don't have legal resources to do that.
- Preparing Terms of use for different web pages, on-line shops etc.
2. Define a task that lends itself to being converted into a “digital application?” such as a website, smart phone app or downloadable program.
- Step-by-step explanatory guide how to sell a house with checklists, legal forms and documents, reminders and appointments to different authorities to complete a task.
3. List some of the risks (at least three) involved in “unbundling legal services?”
- Loosing a client if a competition is more cost efficient.
- Unable to solve a legal problem, if the situation gets complicated and you have to appoint a client to attorney.
- Dependency on digital literacy skills of your clients.
- Information technology and security related issues.
4. Think of a “digital application” that could automate a legal task, AND bundled with legal advice to be sold for a fixed fee? (re-bundling concept). Describe it in your homework.
- Invoicing service, where the service provider is an intermediary between the seller and a court. In case of non-payment the request for payment is automatically sent and e-filed to the court in small claim procedure according to our law (in Slovenia, EU). Small companies and entrepreneurs don't have resources to deal with legal issues.

Homework Assignment #5

Since I am from Slovenia (SI) in European Union (EU) I will post the information about my country and EU.

SI Primary legal sources: http://www.pisrs.si/
SI Official journal of legislation: http://www.uradni-list.si/
SI Court decisions: http://www.sodisce.si/znanje/sodna_praksa/
EU legislation: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/index.htm
EU court decisions: http://curia.europa.eu/
EU national law (all EU countries): http://eur-lex.europa.eu/n-lex/index_en.htm
European Court of Human Rights: http://www.echr.coe.int/ECHR/Homepage_En/

Homework Assignment #6

1) https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms
Sharing Your Content and Information
You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:
1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
3. When you use an application, your content and information is shared with the application. We require applications to respect your privacy, and your agreement with that application will control how the application can use, store, and transfer that content and information. (To learn more about Platform, read our Privacy Policy and Platform Page.)
4. When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).

2) https://twitter.com/tos
Your Rights
You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).
This license is you authorizing us to make your Tweets available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same.

Q1: Are there similar components between the two (or more) clauses? How are they the same? How are they different?
Terms want are similar that that they want:
- non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post (by Facebook) and
- worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute (by Twitter)

The main difference between clauses about users content is, that Facebook want to have the IP rights of the content as long you don't delete it on contrary where Twitter wants that content be public and for use by anyone.

Q2: Write a standard clause that uses the similar elements from the EULAs you analyzed. For areas that are dis-similar, include both
options in parentheses.
... soon to come ... (busy week :)