Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Software practices law without a license

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

While here in Canada we're still learning to use tax software to file online, over in the United States even more advanced online software applications are practising law.

Which, in the case of the Ziinet Bankruptcy Engine, may not be a good thing. A judgement against Ziinet's owner was upheld after a court ruled the software made too many decisions to be considered a clerical tool.

The Wired blog 27B Stroke 6 has a copy of the judgment, which said, in part:

The software did, indeed, go far beyond providing clerical services. It determined where (particularly, in which schedule) to place information provided by the debtor, selected exemptions for the debtor and supplied relevant legal citations. Providing such personalized guidance has been held to constitute the practice of law. ... (The) system touted its offering of legal advice and projected an aura of expertise concerning bankruptcy petitions; and, in that context, it offered personalized -- albeit automated -- counsel. ... We find that because this was the conduct of a non-attorney, it constituted the unauthorized practice of law.

It seems you can indeed get anything on the Internet these days, though as wired pointed out, the defendant retained a human lawyer for his defence.

Thanks to BoingBoing and Futurismic for the link.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Hudson

Montreal

This is totally stupid. No wonder lawyers have such a poor reputation, if they feel threatened by a web site that helps you fill in the blanks.

Posted January 15, 2008 08:44 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Barack Obama says no one more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president video
Barack Obama took to the stage for his final Democratic convention as a sitting president, saying he was "more optimistic about the future of America than ever before," and that Hillary Clinton was eminently qualified to be the next U.S. president.
Updated Second attacker in France hostage-taking was also known to police
The second attacker in the deadly assault on a Normandy church was a 19-year-old from eastern France who had been spotted last month in Turkey as he supposedly headed to Syria — but who returned to France instead, French officials say.
Analysis 'I am really afraid now': Violent attacks rattle European nerves
Europeans are on edge after six violent attacks in France and Germany over the past two weeks, the CBC's Derek Stoffel writes.
more »

Canada »

Phoenix Falling Phoenix overhaul leaves compensation worker laid off, over $100K owed to her
A former federal compensation adviser who was laid off and chose to retire when Ottawa transitioned to the new Phoenix payroll system now finds herself on the other end of the phone, trying to get answers on over $100,000 she's owed in termination benefits.
Quebec police retire before hearings over alleged sexual misconduct in Haiti
Two Quebec police officers accused of sex-related breaches while working as United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti have retired before facing any disciplinary action, raising fresh questions about Canada's ability to hold its peacekeepers accountable.
'A shady game': Air Miles hiding merchandise from us, claim customers
Air Miles is hiding certain merchandise from collectors who have enough points to buy it, claim some customers.
more »

Politics »

Backroom battle underway over new frigate design data
A key battle that could shape the future of the navy's multi-billion dollar frigate replacement program has been playing out behind-the-scenes in Ottawa this week. At stake is a demand by the federal government that warship designers sign over access to a vast swath of intellectual property data.
MPs to grill senior bureaucrats in emergency meeting over Phoenix payroll mess
Senior bureaucrats who oversaw the disastrous rollout of the Phoenix payroll system will face MPs Thursday at the Commons government operations and estimates committee. Officials are briefing the media at 11 a.m. ET before the committee meets at 2 p.m. ET. CBCNews.ca will carry both events live.
NDP says meetings between PMO and parliamentary budget officer were 'inappropriate'
The NDP has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to express concern about what the New Democrats describe as "inappropriate meetings" between members of the PMO and the parliamentary budget officer.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Big-top comeback? Cirque du Soleil brings Luzia to Toronto amid global expansion plans
Unveiling Luzia, its latest eye-popping artistic confection, Cirque du Soleil says it is refocusing on live shows — its "bread and butter" — while also moving forward on its ambitious menu of expansion projects worldwide.
Appeal filed in Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven copyright case
Lawyers have appealed a jury decision that cleared Led Zeppelin of accusations it lifted a riff from an obscure 1960s instrumental for the intro to its classic rock anthem Stairway to Heaven.
$2.5M Salvador Dali sculpture vandalized in Quebec City
A staff that stands in front of the sculpture’s central figure was broken off sometime overnight on Monday.
more »

Technology & Science »

'A shady game': Air Miles hiding merchandise from us, claim customers
Air Miles is hiding certain merchandise from collectors who have enough points to buy it, claim some customers.
Great Red Spot makes Jupiter hot, study suggests
Why is distant Jupiter as warm as Earth? The answer may be The Great Red Spot, an enormous storm big enough to swallow three Earths that has been raging on Jupiter for at least three centuries, a study showed on Wednesday.
Hackers can record everything you type on certain wireless keyboards
A computer security research team has identified a weakness in several brands of low-cost wireless keyboards that could allow hackers to view and record every word, number and password typed by a user from up to about 75 metres away.
more »

Money »

'A shady game': Air Miles hiding merchandise from us, claim customers
Air Miles is hiding certain merchandise from collectors who have enough points to buy it, claim some customers.
Tim Hortons plans Philippines expansion
Restaurant Brands International, the multinational owner and operator of Tim Hortons and Burger King, has partnered with a group of investors to establish a master franchise joint venture company in the Philippines.
Alberta to audit coal mines to ensure there's money for cleanup
The Alberta Energy Regulator is planning to audit nine coal mines to make sure there are enough resources to clean up after the mines close.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Rogers Cup: Eugenie Bouchard reaches 3rd round for first time video
For the second day in a row, Canada's Eugenie Bouchard upset a higher-ranked opponent as she defeated top-10 player Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-0 Wednesday at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
Milos Raonic wins, Denis Shapovalov eliminated at Rogers Cup video
Canadian Milos Raonic downed Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday evening in the second round of the Rogers Cup, while teenager Denis Shapovalov fell to Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3.
Player's Own Voice Cycling partners share friendship, fierce competition
After dabbling with retirement four years ago, Canadian cyclist Monique Sullivan is ready to leave her mark at the Rio Olympics. Only this time, new partner Kate O’Brien has Sullivan more motivated than at any other point in her career.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »