The Ethicality and Legality of Facial Recognition Technology

The advent of relatively effective and scalable facial recognition technology has prompted a spirited policy debate about the appropriateness of its use in law enforcement contexts. Some commentators have raised both ethical and constitutional concerns over the implementation of these technologies. While the Supreme Court has not yet directly addressed the use of facial recognition systems, there is some indication it may feel compelled to do so in the near future.  China Leads the Way Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 2, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Case Briefing Software to Assist Litigators in Writing Briefs Just before the start of Legalweek New York excitement erupted when ROSS Intelligence CEO Andrew Arruda hyped the announcement of ROSS’s new product EVA. EVA uses artificial intelligence to assist litigators in writing briefs by streamlining the process of case law research by finding details relevant to new cases. The goal is to make case research, citations, and studies as easy as possible. Currently, Continue Reading →

Enforceability of Smart Contracts under the Statute of Frauds

What is a Blockchain: Blockchains are digital ledgers maintained by a network of computers. Anybody with internet access can set up an account to use a blockchain. The account is comprised of a public and private key. The public key can be analogized to an email account where the private key is like the password. Using the account allows to owner to send and receive tokens (such as bitcoin) and other information. All the transactions Continue Reading →

Does fMRI Lie Detection Have a Future in the Courtroom?

Background Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a brain imagining technique developed in the 1990’s based on blood oxygenation levels in the brain. The underlying property upon which fMRI relies is hemoglobin’s tendency to exhibit different magnetic properties when oxygenated than when deoxygenated. By inducing a strong magnetic field on the subject and observing how the hemoglobin responds to the field, neurologists can determine which parts of the brain are experiencing greater blood flow during Continue Reading →

Automated Notices for Copyright Infringement: Pitfalls and Remedies

Background of Notice and Takedown Since the birth of the internet, online service providers (OSPs) have butted heads with copyright holders over whether OSPs should be responsible for copyright-infringing material posted by their users. Should Google be liable for infringement when it provides links to websites that post photographs without a copyright license?[1] Should YouTube owe damages for hosting a video that plays a song or shows a clip from a movie protected by copyright?[2] Continue Reading →

Gill v. Whitford and the Math of Gerrymandering

On October 3, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford, 137 S. Ct. 2268 (Mem) (2017), the latest case to reach the court contesting partisan gerrymandering. First coined in 1812 to lampoon a Massachusetts governor (Elbridge Gerry) and a particularly ugly congressional district (allegedly resembling a salamander), gerrymandering is the practice of crafting voting districts to give one group an electoral advantage over another. Erica Klarre, Gerrymandering Is Illegal, But Only Mathematicians Can Continue Reading →

Rapid DNA Testing: Verification or Collection Tool?

This year, the first local police precinct received and began using an on-site Rapid DNA testing device. Within 90 minutes, a cheek swab of any suspect can be run, exonerating or verifying their identity. If this program is a success, more criminal investigations will be solved with greater efficiency than ever before.  However, the limitations of the devices are pronounced. They cannot, for example, be used to help parse the controversy surrounding interpretation of complex Continue Reading →

Artificial Intelligence and its Impacts on the Legal Profession

In a 2015 Altman Weil survey of law firm managing partners, 47% said that, in the next five to ten years, they could envision a law-focused artificial intelligence (AI) tool replacing paralegals, 35% could envision the replacement of first-year associates, and 19% could envision the replacement of second- and third-year associates. As a current law student, I can’t help but wonder whether I can beat the clock and survive a robot invasion. Artificial Intelligence and Continue Reading →

Blockchain in the U.S. Regulatory Setting: Evidentiary Use in Vermont, Delaware, and Elsewhere

Joanna Diane Caytas* I. Introduction In February 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery faced a conundrum: following settlement of a shareholder action after a contested merger, shareholders representing 49,164,415 shares claimed settlement proceeds, but the class contained only 36,793,758 shares.[1] By definition, holders of over 12 million of these shares must have lacked entitlement to settlement disbursements, yet all claimant shareholders presented valid evidence of ownership. Investigation by class attorneys failed to establish the “current” Continue Reading →

If You’re Going to Delete All My Facebook Posts, Then You Might As Well Do It Right

Judicial benchslap stories are juicy legal fodder, and this story was no different. Recently, the legal community eagerly gossiped about a federal judge that lashed out against a well-known New York law firm. The offense? Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York was infuriated that the firm had sent a mere junior associate instead of a partner to a hearing on two cases that “implicate[] international terrorism and the murder of innocent people Continue Reading →