11.01.2023
Lawformer News

Lawformer and Level 7 Legal join forces

Over the last five years, Legal Technology has been growing and transforming the industry at an exponential rate. Legal professionals are under pressure to do more with less - driving the need for technology even higher. Whilst observing this process, we realized that tech alone will not create the efficiency and productivity that our clients need. It has to be thoughtfully combined with strategic hiring, change management, and a cohesive team that is ready for innovation. 


Lawformer and Level 7 Legal have partnered up to shape the future of the legal industry. We share similar goals and are working to solve similar problems in different ways. Founders of both companies believe that change in the legal industry begins at the outset - with universities and law schools. Both teams want to equip new lawyers with the tools and skills required to build a healthy, sustainable career in law. What tools and skills, you may ask? We believe that a modern lawyer must be equipped with practical skills such as drafting using playbooks, legal research, management, and process management – as well as high EQ, communication and people management. By collaborating, we are creating a healthy ecosystem for future lawyers to rely on when launching their career. 



About Lawformer


With the vision that every lawyer can draft high-quality contracts fast, we created Lawformer - a digital library of attorney-drafted clauses available for any type of contract. Lawformer was founded through collaborative efforts of experienced lawyers and tech specialists, with the goal to help simplify contract drafting and legal research processes. 


Lawformer aims to:


- Help entry-level lawyers master contract-drafting and become more employable and well-prepared for the law firm environment.

- Optimize their time and energy.

- Allow senior lawyers to shift their focus towards more strategic tasks.

- Increase revenue and customer satisfaction for law firms.

- Establish an international network of lawyers, law students, and legal tech enthusiasts united around the ambitious goal to shape the future of the legal profession. 



About Level 7 Legal


The origins of Level7 Legal began in 2020 when the CEO/Founder Charlotte Smith moved from the UK to California and launched Limitless Lawyer coaching services. Charlotte began working closely with General Counsel, Chief Legal Officers, Law Firm Associates and Partners to actualize their vision for their personal life, career and cohesive teams. 


The mission of Level 7 Legal is to ensure every legal professional is performing in an inspiring, healthy environment. Achieving organizational optimization and health in the legal industry by building effective, motivated work cultures. Embedding performance management, coaching, and change management programs into every legal team. 


- Level7 helps legal teams unite around a shared mission and purpose. 

- Creates the environment to nurture and develop legal talent. 

- Empowers diverse teams to perform at their highest potential while preventing burnout and disengagement. 



Founders of Lawformer


Founders of Lawformer are experienced transactional lawyers, legal tech and tech specialists previously working with top-tier law firms and international organizations. Three out of five founders of Lawformer (Nako Edisherashvili, Teo Vasadze and George Gugunishvili) collectively have over 20 years’ experience of working as transactional attorneys and contract drafting. Mariam Chaduneli holds a master’s degree in Innovation Technology and the Law, from the University of Edinburgh. She has experience leading innovation and digital transformation projects with the World Intellectual Property Organization and the University of Oxford, giving her unique insights into the digital innovation trends and needs. Lawformer's tech partner, Noxtton, a multidimensional tech and consultancy company, and the CTO, George Javakhidze, have built global tech products for international brands operating in FinTech, LegalTech, and EdTech. Giving Lawformer in-house technical expertise and enabling continuous product innovation and updates.



Founders of the Level 7 Legal


Charlotte and Level7 believe by supporting individual mindsets, assessing and restoring energy, and building trusted partnerships within the organization, you create a cutting-edge legal team.

Charlotte founded Level7 after working in the legal profession for 15+ years, as an attorney and executive coach. Noticing a pattern in the pain points identified by her Legal and Executive clients, Charlotte’s mission was to find a comprehensive solution that would support professionals at all levels of the Legal organization on their journey.

Charlotte Smith is an award-winning lawyer turned leading performance coach who works with world-class legal teams at cutting-edge, rapid growth companies. A UK native now based in the Bay Area, she is considered a leading expert - having coached hundreds of lawyers and legal teams through the pressures of rapid-growth organizations.

 

Marie Widmer is a S.F. Bay Area native with 10 years of experience in the legal industry, from interning in small civil litigation firms in Atlanta to building operations for in-house teams in the Bay Area. She attended law school at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. She has held roles in BioTech, FinTech, Web2, and Web3, building out internal processes and launching tooling and programs for legal, including CLM, eBilling, Ticketing, and privacy. Her love for Legal Operations is driven by the people in this industry. People are the most important part of the legal industry, and Legal Operations leaders are key to building and managing teams of lawyers and legal professionals who are healthy, balanced, and creative.



What can people expect from this partnership? 


This year we will be launching an amazing series of joint content, including legal talks, thought pieces and practical guides for our audiences. This will be especially helpful for law students and entry level lawyers determined to learn to navigate the complex, fast-evolving legal industry. Follow us on social media and make sure you do not miss our webinars, networking events and career opportunities from those that have done it successfully.

31.12.2022
Lawformer News

Lawformer 2022 Highlights

2022 was an exciting and, in many ways, a very successful year for Lawformer. Below are the top 10 reasons why.



Lawformer Launch


After over a year of development and testing, Lawformer was successfully launched in July 2022. We are extremely grateful for all the guidance and support we received over this period. Our special thanks go to Noxtton, for their invaluable work on this project.



Impact Hub Tbilisi Startup Pre-accelerator


From March to June 2022 we were part of the Impact Hub Tbilisi Startup Pre-accelerator, a two month intense program that allowed us to master crucial topics from product development to market validation, digital marketing, branding, communication and finances. In June, we were among 16 successful startups that pitched in front of a large group of investors during the Demo Day.



Partnership with UC Hastings Startup Legal Garage


In September 2022 Lawformer formed a partnership with Startup Legal Garage. Since 2009, Startup Legal Garage has operated under the auspices of UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, providing startups with legal resources for free. Through our partnership, members of Startup Legal Garage have been providing consultations and legal services to startups using the Lawformer Clause Library and other legal resources available on our platform. 



Legal Geek


Lawformer was selected among some of the most innovative global startups to be represented at the UK’s standout LegalGeek Conference (Famous Startup Alley) on September 28-29, 2022. Legal Geek is one of the largest legal tech conferences, attracting people from over 40 countries from Government Ministers, general counsels, academics, former athletes, tech execs, law firm leaders and third-sector experts. 



European Legal Tech Association (ELTA) membership


In October 2022 we became members of one of the largest legal tech organizations in the world - the European Legal Tech Association (ELTA), representing one the most influential global communities of experts in legal innovation, LegalTech and digital transformation. It brings together legal tech experts and enthusiasts from Europe and beyond to promote and advance legal technology and its widespread adoption. 



London Startup Conference


On October 20, Lawformer was represented at the London Startup Conference 2022, which brought together over 250 founders, investors and startup enthusiasts from the UK, Silicon Valley and beyond. 



Globalize UK


On November 18, 2022 Lawformer was among the selected group of Georgian startups represented at the Globalize Conference in London, UK. The Globalize UK Conference brought together startups, innovators and tech experts to discuss opportunities that facilitate successful expansion into the UK market. We are proud to be a part of the Globalize community.



Joining Barclays Eagle Labs


In December 2022 we joined Barclays Eagle Labs among 24 most promising startups in the global LawTech community. Barclays Eagle Labs LawTech community brings together most promising LawTech businesses and industry-leading law firms to help solve the challenges that the industry is facing and facilitate collaborative solutions using new and emerging legal innovation.



Winning a 150,000 Grant


In December 2022, we were selected among top 20 innovative startups to win ₾150000 grant in Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency’s startup Competition. The goal of the program is to develop innovative products and services with international potential in Georgia, commercialize them, and stimulate the creation of innovative enterprises. The program received a total of 207 applications and we are extremely proud to have been selected among 20 best startups by the investment committee, which is composed of high-level international venture investors: Marvin Liao, Bill Reichart, Steve Hoffman, Naomi Kokubo, and Sasha Michaud.



Touch 2022 Conference


In December 2022 Lawformer was selected among ten innovative Georgian startups to pitch at Touch 2022 - the largest tech conference in the Caucasus region. As part of the conference, our pitch was selected among the top 3, and we presented in front of the large investor audience.



Thank you for reading about our 2022 highlights. We are grateful for an amazing journey so far and cannot wait for what is yet to come. Follow along in 2023 as we take on new challenges and redefine the way lawyers approach their work routines. Wishing you all a happy holiday season from all of us at Lawformer.





04.11.2022
Legal News

Clause Libraries – best solution for mastering contract-drafting

Clause libraries usually provide template clauses that were pre-drafted and approved by lawyers. Having access to a library of this sort, gives students and entry-level lawyers an opportunity to transition to the law firm or in-house lawyer career smoothly and master contract drafting skills.


Clause library is beneficial to lawyers in many ways, including:


Saves time on manually searching for contracts similar to the ones that you are drafting, and searching for specific clauses, cleaning them up to tailor them to your current draft. – Instead of following the outdated patterns you can simply filter a template clause library by the type of contract you are drafting, select, copy and paste the most suitable template clause into your contract. You can even save it in your own dashboard for later use.


Simplified onboarding and training process – by providing access to the template clause library, companies lighten up the transition process for the newcomers. Instead of overwhelming them with archived contract examples, employers can allow employees to explore contract clauses and different formulations of those themselves in order to learn how each clause is used in the context of a specific type of contract. This also significantly decreases the hours senior-level staff spend on contract revision and entry-level lawyer supervision.


Additional functionalities – some clause libraries offer additional functionality to simplify the overall drafting or research processes. For example, the Lawformer clause library suggests you “recommended clauses” based on your previous activity. On the same platform you can explore “Definition of Terms”, through which you can easily comprehend the meaning behind any legal term that you might find in the clause library.

 

 

We believe that every lawyer can draft high quality contracts fast. Join Lawformer today.



27.10.2022
Legal News

Lawformer joins the European Legal Technology Association (ELTA)

We are excited to share that starting this month, Lawformer will become a member of ELTA - European Legal Tech Association. 


About ELTA


ELTA is one of the most influential global communities of experts in legal innovation, LegalTech and digital transformation. It brings together legal tech experts and enthusiasts from Europe and beyond to promote and advance legal technology and its widespread adoption. The unique nature of ELTA’s community lies in its diversity. The organization works with all types of stakeholders relevant to the legal tech field, from law firms to corporate and government departments, to startups, academia and individuals.


Lawformer x ELTA


Lawformer and ELTA have joined forces with the aim of promoting the legal tech field and reaching out to individuals and organizations that can have a significant impact on how technology shapes the future of the legal profession. One of the key goals of Lawformer is to bring together lawyers, law students and legal professionals that are passionate about technology and its role in the legal field. Hence, becoming a member of ELTA will be a major step towards achieving this goal and connecting with individuals and organizations that share the same aspirations.


What to look forward to


As a result of our collaboration, we’ll be providing interesting workshops and webinars aimed at empowering the next generation of tech-savvy lawyers. We will be regularly sharing news updates from the legal tech industry, and information about exciting job opportunities you can tap into. Most importantly, this partnership will facilitate access to a rich and diverse network of legal tech professionals in Europe and beyond and networking opportunities for lawyers, students, and startups.


Follow our website and social media for regular updates on exciting opportunities you can tap into.

15.10.2022
Case Briefs

Weekly Roundup of Landmark Cases Vol. 4

On a regular basis, we identify five interesting case briefs for our subscribers and summarize them in a blog. Below you can find an overview of selected judgements from international and regional courts that shape the modern interpretation of law.



Marbury v. Madison (U.S. Supreme Court)


In this landmark case, the U.S. Supreme Court established the principle of judicial review in the United States, meaning that American courts have the right to abolish laws and statutes that contradict or violate the Constitution of the United States. The case commences in early 1801 after president John Adams lost the presidential election to Jefferson and just two days before his term as president ended, Adams appointed several dozen Federalist Party supporters as judges in an attempt to frustrate Jefferson and the supporters of the Democratic party.



Rosenfeld v. Fairchild Engine & Airplane Corp. (Court of Appeals of the State of New York)


Rosenfeld is a stockholder who alleges that directors wasted company funds in order to maintain their status as directors, and no benefit was intended for the company. The court dismissed the claim asserting that the use of funds was justified because the incurred costs were fair and reasonable. In this decision the Court of Appeals of the State of New York stated that when there is a good faith dispute concerning a significant policy, the directors should be able to use corporate resources to fund proxy solicitations to ensure that the upcoming vote receives the attention that it is due. 



Beizaras and Levickas v. Lithuania (ECtHR)


The case concerns a gay couple from Lithuania who received a large number of hateful, degrading and threatful comments after publishing a photo of them kissing on Facebook. In this case, the ECtHR held that by downplaying the danger of these violent comments, the authorities had at least tolerated the violence. The Court concluded that the hateful comments “were instigated by a bigoted attitude towards that community and that Lithuania’s criminal justice system lacked a comprehensive strategic approach (effective remedy) to protect people from racist and homophobic hate speech.



Airbnb Ireland v. AHTOP (ECJ)


The case concerns a dispute between Airbnb Ireland and the French Association for professional tourism, which claims that Airbnb did not merely connect two parties through its platform but it also acted as an estate agent without holding a professional license. The Court found that services provided by Airbnb Ireland satisfied conditions to be classed as ‘information society service’. Hence, France cannot require Airbnb to hold an estate agent’s professional license as it did not notify the Commission of that requirement in accordance with the Directive on electronic commerce.



In re Walt Disney Co. Derivative Litigation (Delaware Supreme Court)


The case concerns the hiring and firing of Michael Ovitze as executive president and director of The Walt Disney Company. Ovitze was fired without having committed gross negligence or malfeasance, while serving as president. Hence, the company had to provide no-fault termination payment (NFT) and he walked away with $140m for a year's work. The question was whether the directors comply with their fiduciary duties in connection with the president's hiring and termination. The court ruled that the directors did not act in bad faith, and were at most ordinarily negligent, in connection with his hiring and the approval of the employment agreement.



Thank you for reading our weekly summary. Complete versions of these and other case briefs can be accessed in our case brief library.


Follow our social media to discover more legal content every day.

24.09.2022
Lawformer Blog

Your Personal Data as a Digital Economy Currency


In July 2021 the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution recognizing internet access as the basic human right, iterating that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online”. So the question arises: Is the internet truly free, or do we pay for it with the data we consciously or unconsciously share online? Taking on this question requires digging deep into the business models of some of the largest social media platforms.


It is no secret that the largest revenue streams of Google, Facebook (Meta) and Instagram come from advertising, which is specifically designed to target users based on their location, demographic and online behavior. Over a decade, Facebook advertised that the platform was "free and will always be" - a slogan that was quietly removed from the platform in 2019. Soon after, Zuckerberg admitted that the platform needs to review its privacy policies.


In a 2010 interview with the Washington Post, Mark Zuckerberg claimed that Facebook would give its users better control of their data by adding more simple privacy features and an easy way to turn off all third-party services. However, Facebook - Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018 demonstrated that these promises had failed to come into existence. The investigation showed that Facebook had allowed the third party (Cambridge Analytica) to harvest the data of millions of users, without them being aware of it. More recently, Meta-owned Instagram was fined €405m for violating children's data privacy by facilitating the publication of the child user’s phone number and/or email address as well as by making some child data public.


Data protection legislation makes it clear that using someone's personal information without their knowledge and consent is illegal. Article 7 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates that the consent must be clear, informed, specific, unambiguous and withdrawable. A particularly problematic situation arises if illegally transferred data is later used to profile a large number of users, target them with tailored political ads, and affect their voting decisions as a result. 

 

 

Why is our personal data so valuable?

 

In 2017, the Economist published a story titled "the world's most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data". Since then, a great deal of discussion has focused on the reasons for such demand for data and the need to regulate big tech. A study conducted by Cambridge’s Psychometrics Centre and Microsoft Research proved that statistical models are able to predict personal details using Facebook Likes alone. Using only a few information points, these models demonstrate high accuracy in determining personal and sensitive details, such as male sexuality 88%, political affiliations 85%, religious beliefs 82%.


Such profiling successfully serves one inherent purpose, to gradually modify users’ behaviors and sell them products, services and narratives that they never intended to buy. Hence, It is no surprise that social media companies view their customers as a source of income, having attributed different values to individual users: for Google you are worth $182, for Facebook $158 and for Amazon the value is as high as $733. 


So, how do we make sure that using these ‘seemingly’ free online services does not turn us into digital products? Particularly in an environment where one cannot even check the weather forecast without being chased by ads for raincoats, umbrellas, and sunscreen.


 

Explore more legal content every day by following Lawformer on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

13.09.2022
Lawformer News

Lawformer partners with Startup Legal Garage

We are excited to announce the partnership between Lawformer and Startup Legal Garage.


Starting this month, members of Startup Legal Garage will provide consultations and offer legal services to startups using the Lawformer Clause Library and other legal resources available on our platform. Startup Legal Garage works with firms from countless innovative industries from around the United States and in the heart of Silicon Valley. Through this partnership, students involved with SLG have gained access to the Lawformer Clause Library which will enhance their practical skills in contract-drafting before graduating law school.


What is Startup Legal Garage?


Since 2009, Startup Legal Garage has operated under the auspices of UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, providing startups with legal resources for free. Supervising attorneys at Startup Legal Garage come from top large and boutique law firms in Silicon Valley.


At Startup Legal Garage participating startup is assigned to a legal team composed of a supervising attorney from a top intellectual property or corporate law firm and two law students from UC Hastings. Together, they provide legal deliverables and advice that are invaluable to an early stage startup's development. 



What is Lawformer?


Lawformer is an international platform founded by lawyers for lawyers that helps simplify contract drafting and legal research processes. Through collaborative efforts of experienced lawyers and developers, we have created a unique library of contract clause templates.


Apart from contract-drafting, Lawformer helps lawyers and law students access other useful resources to simplify and accelerate legal research. Our platform combines regularly updated case briefs - summaries of important judicial decisions of international and regional courts condensed in two-three pages instead of the usual sixty. By analyzing your search and activity history, our smart system recommends case briefs that may be relevant to your research, which is basically like having a research assistant for free.


Most importantly, Lawformer is an international network of lawyers, law students, and legal tech enthusiasts united around the ambitious goal to shape the future of the legal profession. If you share our passion, drop us a line and let’s discuss our future together.

08.09.2022
Legal News

Instagram Fined €405m for Violating Children's Data Privacy

The Irish Supervisory Authority, Data Protection Commission (DPC) has fined Meta-owned social media platform Instagram €405m for violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The decision came as a result of long-running investigations started in September 2020 on the basis of information provided to the DPC by a third party, and in connection with processing identified by the DPC itself.


This is the second highest fine issued under the GDPR (first being the €746 million penalty against Amazon) and the highest one yet imposed by the Irish Data Protection Commission. Last year, DPC fined another Meta-owned platform WhatsApp €225m for infringements of data protection regulations, followed by a fine of €17m on Meta resulting from an inquiry into a series of 12 data breach notifications.


This specific case concerned two types of processing performed by Facebook Ireland Limited in relation to children’s data. The first type of processing allowed child users between the ages of 13 and 17 to have business accounts, which required and/or facilitated the publication of the child user’s phone number and/or email address. The second type of processing concerned the fact that Facebook Ireland Limited operated a user registration system for the Instagram service through which the accounts of child users were set to public by default. By doing so it made public the social media content of child users, unless their accounts were otherwise set to private by changing the account privacy settings.


Meta claims that the inquiry focused on old settings that they had updated over a year ago and they have since released multiple features to enhance the safety of children and keep their information private. In a statement to RTÉ a Meta spokesperson said: "Anyone under 18 automatically has their account set to private when they join Instagram, so only people they know can see what they post, and adults can’t message teens who don’t follow them. "While we’ve engaged fully with the DPC throughout their inquiry, we disagree with how this fine was calculated and intend to appeal it. We’re continuing to carefully review the rest of the decision."


Although Meta plans to appeal the decision, organizations working on child safety recognize the decision as a step toward safeguarding children's safety online. These organizations actively advocate for the adoption of the Online Safety Bill by the new prime minister of the UK, which is meant to give children strongest possible protection against online threats.

04.09.2022
Legal News

Top Legal News Stories and Blogs: Weekly Roundup Vol. 2


Weekly roundup of top legal news stories and blogs brought to you by Lawformer.


In 2018, the United States (‘US’) Department of Defense submitted a legislative proposal to the US Congress outlining the establishment and structure of the US Space Force (‘USSF’). Does the Establishment of Specialized Space Military Corps Ipso Facto Violate International Law?


Source: Opinio Juris


After capturing Kabul on August 15, 2021, Taliban authorities have imposed severe restrictions on women’s and girls’ rights, suppressed the media, and arbitrarily detained, tortured, and summarily executed critics and perceived opponents, among other abuses. What is the solution?


Source: Human Rights Watch


Facebook faced political scrutiny recently after it was revealed the company had handed over private messages between a young woman and her mother to Nebraska authorities investigating the death and disposal of a fetus. How can tech companies deal with Search warrants for abortion data?


Source: The Washington Post


Almost 1.5 million victims of crime in England and Wales have decided not to pursue their cases, feeding concern that public confidence in the criminal justice system has collapsed. The figures come after the police’s official inspectorate said that a failure to stop thieves and burglars threatens police’s “bond of trust” with the public.


Source: The Guardian


It seems almost certain that we are heading into an economic downturn. Less clear is what impact the slowdown will have on the legal job market. What Impact will the downturn have on legal hiring, and what can you do to prepare?


Source: Law.com


Is AI putting lawyers out of business? If the AI continues to eliminate starting positions of paralegals and research assistants, it is interesting to see how the beginners will manage to still obtain the practical training that is so vital for climbing the legal career staircase.


Source: Lawformer


Only three months after Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainian courts delivered the first convictions for war crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine since February 2022. Prosecuting war crimes: are Ukrainian courts fit to do it?


Source: EJIL: Talk


The Dutch parliament approved legislation to establish work-from-home as a legal right, making the Netherlands one of the first countries to grant remote working flexibility by law.

 

Source: Bloomberg UK


Millions of people around the world illegally download and stream digital content. This, in legal terms, is called piracy, or violation of intellectual property rights. Despite the fact that piracy is illegal, many argue it is not immoral. Is downloading pirated content the same as stealing?


Source: Lawformer



Thank you for reading our weekly summary. Follow our social media to discover more legal content every day.

27.08.2022
Legal Blog

Piracy Dilemma: Is Downloading Pirated Content Stealing?


Digital TV Research suggests that the amount of revenue lost to piracy has increased from $6.7 billion (2010) to nearly $31.8 billion (2018), while the TV Piracy Forecast’s report estimates that the figure will reach US$52 billion by the end of 2022.


Millions of people around the world illegally download and stream digital content. This, in legal terms, is called piracy, or violation of intellectual property rights. Despite the fact that piracy is illegal, many argue it is not immoral. For example, fundamentalist libertarians believe that all ideas and artistic creations should be held in the public domain, freely accessible to all. They argue that intellectual property restricts free circulation of ideas and expressions that the society could benefit from.


Others think that illegal downloading is the equivalent of stealing, and not only it imposes significant legal costs to the creators, but also discourages them from continuing their work. A number of countries have aggressive policies in place to prevent online piracy. Australia, for example, often shows this message before movies:


“You wouldn’t steal a car, you wouldn’t steal a handbag, you wouldn’t steal a television, you wouldn’t steal a movie. Downloading pirated films is stealing.”


Those in the centre believe that there is still a difference between downloading illegal content and stealing someone’s coat. Due to the virtual nature of it piracy, a lot of people are not even aware that they are committing an illegal act by downloading a film they want to watch. After all, we are told so much about the free nature of the internet. The key difference between piracy and actual stealing is that when you download the content, you do not exclude the owner or anyone else from using it, while in case of stealing a tangible item, you claim it entirely for yourself and everyone else, including the rightful owner is excluded from enjoying it.


Some even suggest that illegal file sharing might in fact be beneficial for the owners. It is true that by downloading the film illegally, you avoid paying the fee to the owner, but the more accessible the product becomes by massive sharing, the more people will want to consume it, which increases its popularity.


In reality, radical approaches to the issue of privacy often lack common sense, and a balance must be struck between protecting intellectual property and imposing sanctions similar to those imposed on common thieves. Such sanctions, on the other hand, need to differentiate between different types of intellectual property, the implications of illegal sharing and the reasonable ways of regulating it. 


Leave a comment and tell us where you stand on issues related to online privacy.


21.08.2022
Case Briefs

Weekly Roundup of Landmark Cases Vol. 3


On a weekly basis, we identify five interesting case briefs for our subscribers and summarize them in a blog. Below you can find an overview of selected judgements from international and regional courts that shape the modern interpretation of law.


Bayatyan v. Armenia (ECtHR)


The case concerns a Jehovah’s witness residing in Armenia, who refused to perform a military service due to his religious beliefs. The applicant was prosecuted and charged by Armenian officials for evading his military duties. The ECtHR ruled that any system of compulsory military service imposes a heavy burden on citizens and in this specific case, the sentence amounted to interference which was not necessary in a democratic society within the meaning of Article 9 (Freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the Convention.


Osman v. Denmark (ECtHR)


The case concerns a Somali national who obtained a Danish residence permit and moved there with her family in 1995. She was then taken back to Kenya by her father, allegedly against her will when she was still 15. At the age of 17 she applied to be reunited with her family in Denmark, but her application was denied claiming she had been absent from Denmark for more than 12 months and a new residence permit applied to children under 15. The ECtHR found a violation of Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life) stating that the decision not to renew her residence permit interfered with both her private and family life.


Salini v. Morocco (ICSID)


The dispute concerns two Italian companies Salini Costruttori and Italstrade and the Kingdom of Morocco. The tribunal has to decide Whether the request for arbitration was premature and thus inadmissible. Whether the Italian companies had given up on their rights to take arbitration to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes by concluding a contract submitted to domestic rules which gave jurisdiction to municipal courts over disputes arising from the contract.


Ville de Nivelles v Rudy Matzak (ECJ)


The Court considered whether time spent by a firefighter, who was at home on ‘stand-by’, qualified as ‘working time’ under the Working Time Directive (WTD). The ECJ dealt with the following questions: Does the Directive allow for member states to exclude the job done by some recruited people from the definition of working time? Should the term working time and resting period be applicable to the concept of home-based on-call jobs? Does the Directive preclude home-based on-call duties as working time even if it requires such attention from the employee, (answering the call within 8 minutes) that it might hinder them from working elsewhere?


In re Fulton (U.S. Court of Appeals)


In this case, the Bankruptcy Code is examined in light of Thompson v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., which holds that the possession of an asset and preventing its beneficial use violates the automatic stay. The City of Chicago retained 4 separate people’s cars due to their inability to pay traffic fines. Each of them filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and asked for the City to return their cars. The city refused the claim and by doing so, it violated the automatic stay. By applying the Thompson v. General Motors Acceptance Corp. case to the facts, it can be determined that the city violated the automatic stay. As a result, the 7th Circuit affirmed the case.



Thank you for reading our weekly summary. Complete versions of these and other case briefs can be accessed in our case brief library.

Follow our social media to discover more legal content every day.

13.08.2022
Legal Blog

Is AI Putting Lawyers Out of Business?


AI is transforming how we live and work. It is performing more and more tasks that were traditionally done by humans and is doing so in a faster and more cost-effective manner. Recently, it has started to cut jobs not only for unskilled workers, but also for those requiring more analytical reasoning, discussion, and interpretation.


The question is: can artificial intelligence help the overburdened public defenders, courts and justice workers perform better? Seemingly yes.


Currently, the legal system heavily relies on paralegals and researchers to obtain, analyze and label information for law firms, which is often expensive and leads to increased rates for clients. However, artificial intelligence is increasingly used by law firms to perform due diligence, research and document processing. In fact, it is predicted to eliminate the positions of paralegal and legal researchers within the next decade. 


The AI can be used to conduct this research much faster, avoiding unwanted expenses and accelerating the judicial process. It can also be a preferred way of interviewing clients as people tend to be more honest with machines incapable of being judgmental. By adopting the AI that performs tasks faster, the lawyers might not be able to bill as many hours, but it will certainly increase the firm efficiency which will eventually improve its reputation and drive more clients toward it.


The AI could also be useful in court rooms for tasks such as jury selection, as it will effectively gather data about potential jurors, their accident history, whether they have served before, the verdicts of previous trial and jurors political affiliations. Some predict it will also have the ability to analyze jurors’ facial reactions and body language to determine positive or negative bias.


Artificial Intelligence can transform and benefit the legal profession if we approach its implementation carefully. It is important to understand that they have unconscious biases. The AI is only as good as the people who teach it and the data used in the teaching process. 


It is unlikely that AI will replace the need for critical thinking in the near future. We will still need educated, skilled lawyers to perform the complex thought process of the legal profession. However, if the AI eliminates starting positions of paralegals and research assistants, it is interesting to see how the beginners will manage to still obtain the practical training that is so vital for climbing the legal career staircase.

 

07.08.2022
Case Briefs

Weekly Roundup of Landmark Cases Vol. 2

On a weekly basis, we identify five interesting case briefs for our subscribers and summarize them in a blog. Below you can find an overview of selected judgements from international and regional courts that shape the modern interpretation of law.


Yukhymovych v. Ukraine (ECtHR)


In this decision, the ECtHR raised two questions: whether the use of lethal force against the applicant's son was justified in the circumstances of the case and whether the conducted investigation was effective. In determining the latter, the court considered the length of the investigative actions and certain irregularities in the process.


Occidental v. Ecuador (ICSID)


The Tribunal discussed two possible infringements of rights, id est the right to specific performance and right to non-aggravation, which the Claimant (Occidental Petroleum Corporation) argued were violated. To respond to the Claimant’s request for provisional measures, the Tribunal considered urgency of providing such measures and whether they would cause irreparable harm to any of the parties involved.


Roe v. Wade (US Supreme Court)


In the landmark decision of 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that the US constitution, namely the right to privacy allowed women to decide on terminating pregnancy. The court established a pregnancy trimester timetable which would govern all abortion regulations in the US by determining when abortion is entirely a decision of a woman vs when the government can intervene to regulate it.


Slovenia v. Croatia (ECtHR)


The decision is thought to have determined new admissibility criterion for inter-state applications under the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

The application was lodged by Slovenia concerning the unpaid and overdue debts owed to Ljubljanska Banka by Croatian companies. The question is: can a state (Slovenia) lodge an application to protect Ljubljanska Banka’s rights?



M.L v. Norway


The case concerns an applicant diagnosed with an emotionally unstable personality disorder and mild mental retardation, and their rights as a parent.

In this decision, the court raised the question as to whether the member state violated the applicant’s right to private life by depriving them of parental rights when their child was adopted by a foster family.



Thank you for reading our weekly summary. Complete versions of these and other case briefs can be accessed in our case brief library.


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31.07.2022
Legal News

Top Legal News Stories and Blogs: Weekly Roundup

Weekly roundup of top legal news stories and blogs brought to you by Lawformer.



The United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring access to clean and healthy environment a universal human right. 


Source: UN News



The Russian Federation recently adopted a law obliging banks and state agencies to hand over their clients’ biometrics, including facial images and voice samples to the government database. 


Source: OpinioJuris



The Supreme Court will not allow the Biden administration to implement an immigration policy that prioritizes deportation of people arriving in the US illegally who pose the greatest public safety risk. 


Source: Guardian Law



On Wednesday, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sought a court order to block Facebook parent Meta Platforms from purchasing virtual reality (VR) firm Within Unlimited. 


Source: Lawyer Monthly



A month has passed since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. What has happened since and what it means for abortion rights?


Source: Lawformer



The Law Commission of England and Wales provisionally suggests that the English law should explicitly recognize a category of legal objects alongside 'things in possession' and 'things in action'. This is to cope with digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens. 


Source: The Law Society Gazette



Is It Time to Get rid of the Billable Hour? The blog explores whether it is time to get rid of the billable hour in the legal profession, what issues they present and how to address them in a more efficient manner. 


Source: Lawyer Monthly



Twitter Inc. scored an early win against Elon Musk in its fight to make him complete his $44 billion buyout, as a Delaware judge agreed to fast-track the case with an October trial date.


Source: Bloomberg



Thank you for reading our weekly summary. Follow our social media to discover more legal content every day.

22.07.2022
Case Briefs

Weekly Roundup of Landmark Cases


Lawformer brings together summaries of important court decisions, simplifying legal research for lawyers and law students. Lawformer case brief is an executive summary of a court decision. The exact structure depends on the issuing institution, but each case brief summarizes important facts and reasoning of the court in a simple, clear language, easily understood by lawyers and non-lawyers alike.


On a weekly basis, we identify five interesting case briefs for our subscribers and summarize them in a blog. Below you can find an overview of selected judgements from international and regional courts that shape the modern interpretation of law.


A. and others v. The United Kingdom (ECtHR)


The case concerns the detention of eleven applicants on terrorism grounds by UK authorities pursuant to antiterrorist legislation passed after the 9/11 attacks. The court unanimously held that holding prisoners indefinitely under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 was incompatible with Article 5 (Right to liberty and security) of the European Convention on Human Rights.


M.N and others v. Belgium (ECtHR)


The case concerns the members of a Syrian family who requested visas on humanitarian grounds from the Belgian Consulate in Beirut, Lebanon.

The court deemed the application inadmissible stipulating that individuals who apply for visas at embassies with the intention to seek protection, do not necessarily fall within the jurisdiction of the ECHR State Parties in the sense of Article 1 ECHR, unless they display other relevant links to that particular state.


IOS Finance EFC SA v. Servicio Murciano de Salud (ECJ)


The case concerns late payment in commercial transitions and the creditor's right to request remuneration.

The Court stipulated, that the very purpose of the Directive (on combating late payment in commercial transactions) is to contend with late payments in commercial transactions, thus the creditor is entitled to ask for the interest and compensation from the debtor, even if the debtor is a public authority.


Waltuch v. Conticommodity Services., Inc (United States Court of Appeals)


The case concerns plaintiff, who sought indemnification for unreimbursed legal expenses from his former employer. 

The Court ruled that a corporation cannot bypass a “good faith” requirement to indemnify an employer in a manner that is inconsistent with the state statute, but the employer is entitled to indemnification if the charges against them have been dismissed.


Burdov v. Russia (ECtHR)


The case concerns the applicant was exposed to radioactive emissions during an emergency nuclear operation in Chernobyl. He was continuously granted benefits by national courts, but these decisions remained unenforced. The Court held that there had been a violation of Article 6 (right to a fair hearing) and Article 1 of Protocol 1 (protection of property) of the Convention as the state continuously failed to enforce monetary payments to the applicant.



Thank you for reading our weekly summary. Complete versions of these and other case briefs can be accessed in our case brief library.


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15.07.2022
Legal News

Roe v. Wade Overturned: What it Means for Abortion Rights

In its decision issued on June 24, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and abolished the constitutional right to abortion, allowing individual states to limit or ban abortion completely.


What is Roe v. Wade?


This landmark ruling of 1973 made abortions legal before a fetus could be viable outside the womb, between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. It all began when a Texas woman who was pregnant was denied access to an abortion because the state of Texas prohibited abortion except in cases where the mother's life could be endangered. She filed a lawsuit under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” and eventually brought the case to the US Supreme Court where she and her Lawyers argued that the abortion laws of Texas and Georgia were unconstitutional as they infringed on a woman’s right to privacy. 


By a vote of seven to two, the court decided that governments did not have the capacity to ban abortions, since women had a constitutional right to choose. The court, however, did not establish the right to privacy as absolute, instead, it tried to balance a woman’s right of privacy with a state’s interest in regulating abortion.


As a result, the Court announced a pregnancy trimester timetable to govern all abortion laws in the United States. Within the first trimester, it is entirely up to the women to decide on abortion. Throughout the second trimester, governments can regulate/limit abortion to certain extend, but cannot ban it. In the third trimester, the state can ban abortion to save a fetus that could survive independently outside the womb, unless the woman's life or health is in danger.



The recent decision of the Supreme Court


In the recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court deliberated that the constitution did not expressly or implicitly protect the right to access abortion. It said: “the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision”. Judge Samuel Alito wrote that “abortion couldn’t be constitutionally protected. Until the latter part of the 20th century, such a right was entirely unknown in American law.”


Human Rights Implications


A recent Supreme Court decision opens the door to individual states to heavily regulate or outright ban the abortion. As a result, thirteen states (Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming) have already banned abortions and it is predicted that a total of 26 states will follow.


It is important to understand access to abortion in conjunction with other important human rights, such as privacy, security, nondiscrimination and so on. Since the Supreme Court has restricted the right to abortion for millions of women, it is intriguing how the US will continue to meet international human rights standards that guarantee access to safe abortion procedures.

01.07.2022

Introducing Lawformer

If you have been following our social media, you are probably wondering what Lawformer is and what exactly it is that we are doing. Lawformer is an international platform founded by lawyers for lawyers that helps simplify contract drafting and legal research processes.


How do we do this?


A team of experienced lawyers and developers have been working together to bring our vision into reality. We have created a unique library of template contract clauses and contract outlines that are integrated into a digital document builder. Using these resources will not only save your time, but will make your experience much more simple and enjoyable.


In addition to these, if you are a lawyer or a law student, you can access other useful resources that will contribute to accelerating your legal research. Our platform combines regularly updated case briefs - summaries of important judicial decisions of international and regional courts condensed in two-three pages instead of the usual sixty. By analyzing your search and activity history, our smart system recommends case briefs that may be relevant to your research, which is basically like having a research assistant for free.


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It is important that you can customize your experience with the individual user dashboard, where you can save and edit content of your choice, receive regular updates on new content, and get recommendations based on your previous activity. You will also have access to our blog, a single hub for legal news stories, career opportunities and events you do not want to miss.


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