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 »

Analysis What the first 100 days of power reveal about Donald Trump
Now that Donald Trump has had a few months with the power to do what he always wanted to do, here's what we've seen him do.
North Korea's missile test fire fails hours after UN meeting on nukes
A North Korean mid-range ballistic missile apparently failed shortly after launch, South Korea and the U.S. said, the third test-fire flop just this month but a clear message of defiance as a U.S. supercarrier conducts drills in nearby waters.
Notorious Afghan warlord calls for peace in first public speech
In his first public speech since signing a peace deal with the Afghan government, one of Afghanistan's most notorious warlords on Saturday called for the Taliban to stop fighting and begin negotiations.
more »

Canada »

Retired widow's $50K severance stuck in troubled public pay system video
The federal government's new plan to fix its troubled public servant payroll system is getting a lukewarm reception. The strategy is being rolled out, as more stories of financial hardship are emerging.
Margaret's moment: Age is an advantage, says Atwood video
From new graphic novels to books turned television shows, it all seems to be happening at once for beloved Canadian writer Margaret Atwood.
New 4 immigrant architects and an ashtray: How Expo 67's Canada Pavilion was born
The contract for designing the pavilion that would represent Canada at Expo 67, the focal point of the country’s centennial celebrations, was the "biggest and most important architectural commission to come along in a hundred years," says Caroline Robbie, daughter of Canada Pavilion co-designer Rod Robbie.
more »

Politics »

Retired widow's $50K severance stuck in troubled public pay system video
The federal government's new plan to fix its troubled public servant payroll system is getting a lukewarm reception. The strategy is being rolled out, as more stories of financial hardship are emerging.
Analysis Common interest will ensure Canada-U.S. trade conflicts get solved: Chris Hall
Canada remains confident a deal can be reached with the United States on softwood lumber without repeating the drawn-out trade litigation of the past.
Millennials, boomers meet as Conservative Party-crashers
Inspired by a Macleans magazine columnist, moderate conservatives in search of a political home are meeting to question the Conservative Party and perhaps even try to tear it in two.
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»

Margaret's moment: Age is an advantage, says Atwood video
From new graphic novels to books turned television shows, it all seems to be happening at once for beloved Canadian writer Margaret Atwood.
Fyre Festival postponed after reports of Hunger Games-like conditions emerge
The inaugural Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, promoted by social media celebrities and supermodels, was postponed Friday after attendees reported dilapidated accommodations, and top-billed performers pulled out.
Atlantic electro musicians find fame abroad, but fly under radar at home
The traditional music industry is playing "catch-up" when it comes to recognizing electronic music, according to some artists who have decided to create a new Maritime-wide music association to support urban artists.
more »

Technology & Science »

Blog Robots boldly go where no one has gone before: Bob McDonald
For space exploration, robots deliver a lot of bang for your buck.
Humpback whale babies 'whisper' to their moms to avoid detection by predators
New research suggests newborn humpback whales "whisper" to their mothers, which could be to avoid detection by predators such as killer whales.
This box can see through walls — and it could shake up home security
Aura looks for intruders based on the subtle disturbances in wireless spectrum their movements make, like ripples in a lake.
more »

Money »

Analysis Everything you need to know about Home Capital's woes and the impact on the housing market video
Canada's housing market is always a hot topic, but this week it was a heretofore little-known mortgage lender called Home Capital that made headlines as clients withdrew hundreds of millions in savings in a matter of days.
'Not for the faint of heart': Why getting a marijuana producer licence is a long shot
The regulatory gates to Canada's legal marijuana regime are open, but only a crack. Health Canada has received 1,630 applications for licences to grow or sell medical cannabis as of March 31. Only 43 licences have been approved so far, representing just 2.6 per cent of the total applications.
Bombardier faces lengthy legal battle with Boeing that could hurt CSeries sales
Bombardier faces a lengthy legal battle with Boeing after the aerospace giant filed a complaint with the U.S. government and the process could hurt sales of the new CSeries commercial jet, say trade experts and industry analysts.
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]
Recap Talbot stands tall as Oilers steal victory in Anaheim video
Patrick Maroon had a power-play goal and Cam Talbot made 39 saves as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in their second-round series.
Jays' frustration mounts after another blown lead in loss to Rays video
Logan Morrison hit the third of Tampa Bay's three home runs in the eighth inning as the Rays rallied for a 7-4 win over the struggling Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.
Andre De Grasse's mission: Beat Usain Bolt before he retires video
Don't let the smiles and back slaps fool you. While Andre De Grasse and Olympic legend Usain Bolt struck up a friendship in front of the world at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Canadian sprinter wants desperately to topple the Jamaican before the icon calls it a career.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »