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 »

U.S. gay pride parades sound a note of resistance — and face some of their own
Gay pride parades Sunday in New York, San Francisco and other U.S. cities are spotlighting resistance to what participants see as new pressure on gay rights, while contending with the prospect of protests over the events' own diversity and direction.
Istanbul police enforce ban on gay, transgender pride march
Turkish police stopped people from gathering in large numbers for LGBT pride in Istanbul on Sunday, but smaller groups made impromptu press statements defying a ban imposed by the governor.
New 'I felt I wanted out,' Prince Harry says of Royal Family
In an interview published in the Mail on Sunday, Prince Harry said the time he spent in the army was "the best escape I've ever had" and that he thought about giving up his title.
more »

Canada »

Live Blog Toronto Pride parade draws revellers from around the world
One of the biggest parties of the year is taking over city streets this afternoon, the climax of a month full of events celebrating Canada's LGBT community.
New Canadian softwood producers brace for 2nd wave of U.S. lumber duties
Canada's softwood lumber industry is bracing for a second wave of U.S. duties expected to come Monday that could put further pressure on producers, particularly smaller ones, to cut jobs.
Via figuring out how to retrieve train from Churchill cut off by rail closure
There are no roads or other rail lines to Churchill and two locomotives and five passenger cars are sitting, silent, at the station.
more »

Politics »

CRA wants tougher rules for tax-cheat amnesty program
The Canada Revenue Agency is proposing tougher rules for tax cheats who voluntarily come forward looking for amnesty. The rules would hit sophisticated taxpayers with more penalties and require them to identify advisers and firms who helped with dodgy offshore tax schemes. Critics welcome the changes, but say more needs to be done.
How a rookie MP from Victoriaville became Scheer's new Quebec lieutenant
Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer has chosen Alain Rayes, the MP for Richmond-Arthabaska and the rookie who helped him woo Quebec voters during his party's leadership race, as the new political lieutenant for the province.
New Canadian softwood producers brace for 2nd wave of U.S. lumber duties
Canada's softwood lumber industry is bracing for a second wave of U.S. duties expected to come Monday that could put further pressure on producers, particularly smaller ones, to cut jobs.
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»

Professor fired for racially charged remarks on Fox News
A New Jersey community college has fired an adjunct professor after officials say she made racially insensitive comments on Fox News.
Transformers tops box office, Big Sick's limited release finds success
Michael Bay's Transformers: The Last Knight scored a franchise-low debut but still easily topped the North American box office with an estimated $43.5 million US in ticket sales over the weekend.
Lady Gaga on Pride: It's a time to shine light on equality
Lady Gaga, a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, says Pride weekend is a time to shine a light on equality.
more »

Technology & Science »

Blog It's worth the drive to totality: perspectives from an eclipse chaser: Bob McDonald
A veteran eclipse chaser gives a preview of the solar eclipse that will be visible in the U.S. in August.
Want to do business in Russia? Be ready to hand over your source code
Authorities are asking Western tech companies to allow them to review source code for security products such as firewalls and anti-virus applications before they can be sold.
Research into exoskeleton walking devices big leap forward for human-robot interactions video
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. have developed a new system for human assistance with robotic devices known as exoskeletons that could have widespread impact on the way human performance is enhanced by devices of many kinds.
more »

Money »

Coming soon to a mall near you: condos and office space video
Canadian mall owners and developers were already in the process of getting approval for major makeovers - now Sears gives them all the more reason to move fast.
Airbag maker Takata expected to file for bankruptcy Monday
Drowning in a sea of lawsuits and recall costs, Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. is expected to seek bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the United States early Monday.
Warning labels might be coming to cheese: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet
Miss something this week? Here's the consumer news you need to know.
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]
Canada's Lance Stroll makes history at Azerbaijan Grand Prix video
Canadian driver Lance Stroll finished third on Sunday at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, becoming the youngest rookie to race to a podium finish on the F1 circuit.
Video Lance Stroll is making Jacques Villeneuve eat his words video
The Canadian rookie raced to a record-setting finish at the Azerbaijan GP despite the former champion's criticism
Historic support from Canadian sports teams, players for Pride
An historic number of athletes, coaches, management and staff from Toronto sports teams and organizations will be attending this year's Pride Parade in Toronto.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »