Attorneys have realized that the blockchain technology is here to stay and its effects are just beginning. A group of them recently met at a ‘Blockchain and the Law’ conference to discuss issues touching on the future of the technology for the legal world. The conference afforded attendees the chance to listen to discussions on a wide of range of issues, opportunities, and use cases that are coming up with new technology. A consistent theme throughout the presentations was the fact that blockchain was a matter of when and not if. The speakers seemed to agree on the fact that the technology will become a part of attorney’s lives soon and they needed to consider how to make the most of it.
The event provided a chance for leaders in cross-section fields to give brief presentations about the technology and how it could be related to legal work. The speakers talked about how commerce may be affected by blockchain technology and how the legal sector will be affected by its growth regarding how it delivers its services. In addition to noting that the distributed ledger technology will no doubt change the legal industry, the lawyers also delved into specific use cases to provide the audience a sense of why and how the blockchain needs to be embraced and implemented in legal services.
One of the speakers discussed the specifics of how the blockchain technology will change the world of trademarks. She described an instance of a trademark battle between a makeup store owner and the Kardashian family. According to her, such conflicts can be solved by blockchain as it can show when a trademark was first used by recording its time-stamp. Blockchain technology will no doubt alter law practice in the coming future by creating a more fair, transparent, and affordable system
Employment laws targeting Canadian workers are rarely ever carved in stone. The statutes are always likely to change whenever there is a change of government. New court decisions have also been known to alter certain decisions overnight.
This year has seen policies on privacy protection, equal pay, workplace impact of marijuana legalization, and minimum wages being introduced. Safeguards to protect vulnerable employees have also been put in place. Certain key issues have been dealt with at the federal level, which has gone ahead to affect the entire country. Federal level discussions have included:
Living Wage vs. Minimum Wage
There has been an unending debate on what should be the minimum wage. Currently, the minimum wage is set at $11.43 for each hour. Citizen groups have been agitating to have this increased to $15 per hour. This is what they are calling the living wage. Businesses have however been pushing back as they are aware that this new figure is likely to affect their bottom line.
Workplace Safety and Marijuana Legalization
The central government has put in place measures to ensure that marijuana is legalized by the end of the year. It is, however, something that has raised safety and health issues for the workers. Compared to arriving at work when drunk, there is currently no reliable way to confirm that an employee is high on marijuana.
Privacy Protection for All Employee Information
A new non-workplace court judgment has brought with it a number of implications for the workers. Voluntarily releasing a person’s information that may have been gleaned at the workplace may attract stiff penalties, especially when done without the employee’s permission. This will lead to the application of a new tort being called “public disclosure of private facts.” It, therefore, calls for employees to exercise caution when distributing written material video files or recordings that could affect another party.
The state of Victoria in Australia becomes the first state in the country to legalize assisted dying. After two and a half years of debate, the Lower House granted a win to the state government Premier, Daniel Andrews, who had lobbied for the bill. The law allows residents of Victoria with a terminal disease to obtain a lethal injection within ten days of the request. However, preference goes to those with a lifespan of six months and below. The state joins Netherlands, Canada, Colombia, Belgium, and some states in the US in legalizing euthanasia. Some states in the US allows the doctor to suggest a means through which patients may terminate their lives without necessarily participating in the act.
The law seeks to avert physical suffering for the terminally ill. According to Mr. Andrews, the law allows the sick to die with dignity. A similar bill proposed in Australia was struck down by the Federal government in 1997. A patient benefiting from the injection must have been a resident of the state for the last one year. The drug can be administered on behalf of the patient if they cannot do it themselves.
Before the drug gets administered, thorough vetting of the patient gets conducted. Additionally, a doctor may not at any circumstance suggest the idea of ending one’s life. While those opposed to the bill cited that the decision of euthanasia should be left in the hands of the doctors, Dr. Baker said that the matter is ultimately a job for the government and the society. The amendments made the law more restrictive as compared to similar laws passed in different jurisdictions. However, there’re concerns about the ability to interpret and manipulate the law to suit one’s purpose. In the modern society, it’s possible to prolong life. As a result and by default, it’s also possible to extend suffering and pain. It would only be prudent to avail a method of stopping the pain as a last resort.
Since his election, one of Donald Trump’s main priorities has been the enforcement of immigration laws in a bid to discourage illegal migration. Typically, these efforts have been in the form of directives to relevant government agencies like the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and executive orders. In addition, it has been suggested that the ICE’s budget be increase to boost its capacity to curb illegal migration.
The House of Representatives has also shown the enforcement mentality by passing two significant bills that target illegal migrants. These are the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, and Kate’s Law. They target individual jurisdiction and individuals who refuse to comply with ICE regulations. This clearly shows that enforcement has taken precedence.
Illegal Immigration and Labor
It goes without saying that illegal immigrants aren’t the only people who break the law as far as employment in the US is concerned. Employers who engage illegal immigrants, whether it is for cheap labor or any other reason, are also breaking the law. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, employers in the United States are obligated to have an I-9 form for all their employees.
In this form, they must indicate whether their employees are U.S citizens, permanent residents, or holders of non-immigrant visas that prove they are allowed to engage in gainful employment. This might be a United States green card or passport. Whereas certain aspects of the I-9 form require the help of employees in question, it is the responsibility of employers to fill out the forms. What’s more, they must ensure that form is filled out with accurate information.
The forms needs to be filled out during the first three days of employment before being filed. The Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Immigrant and Employee Rights Division of the Department of Justice have the right to take a look at the forms. It is illegal to backdate I-9 forms.
A new lawsuit from Oakland County in Michigan has alleged that recent changes to the state law may be unconstitutional. The law was originally voted through in 2013, but it has not yet been implemented. It is set to go into effect in November, but this lawsuit seeks a stay on that implementation.
The name of the law is the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission Act. They contest that the law takes away the constitutional authority of the Michigan Supreme Court’s authority to set the rules that govern law in the state of Michigan.
Attorneys for Oakland County state that they do not want to take away the ability for the indigent to have access to an attorney. They say that they just want to make sure that any changes to the law are constitutional. A spokesperson for the Attorney General in the state of Michigan has declined to give a comment on this case. She does not want to address something that has to work its way through the courts. It is the tradition of the government to not make statements about litigation that is still pending.
Detroit News says that the lawsuit intends to take aim at the idea that the state government must reimburse local governments when new state regulations come into play. This is written into the law because it is believed that it would not be fair for the local governments to take on too much of the burden of new regulations.
Oakland County has a budget of just $3 million for indigent defense and would like to be reimbursed to a greater extent for the new changes to the law. There is not yet a date set for the court to hear the case. This is something that will be an interesting test case in the courts.
Law can be a rather tricky field, to say the least. Anyone involved with the field is well aware of just how intricate it can be. It turns out that human language can be remarkably vague and open for differing interpretations. One needs to be able to sort out quite a bit of information from often ambiguous sources in order to work within the legal system. In fact, part of the field is translating legal nomenclature to something the average person can more easily understand. Most people entering into the legal field are well aware of that fact. What’s often more surprising is how often people don’t even exercise the rights they’re entitled to under the law. Rhode Island joins a growing number of states who are trying to help people recognize what they’re entitled to under the law. The first and arguably most important measure is helping people vote.
There’s quite a few reason for states joining this initiative. One of the most important is that it might help encourage people to vote. People often come into the process with the idea that voting for things related to the law will be as complicated as practicing law. Once they actually take part in the process they usually see that this is the true beauty of representational systems of government. The actual participation in the system doesn’t have any real prerequisites other than citizenship. Or at least that’s the case in states which use automatic voter registration to cut through red tape.
It’s also notable that the measure passed with bipartisan support. No matter what political party one agrees with, it’s clear that everyone should have a voice in how they function. By helping people vote the government will be better able to represent everyone’s needs. Because in the end that’s what law is within democratic societies. Law is the process by which a society governs itself. However, that’s only true if the people within a society are actually participating in the process.
Pet owners all over the country are in outrage over the recent ruling over dog walkers and dog sitters in the state of New York. According to this new ruling, dog walkers and sitters are required to have a license if they want to charge clients for taking care of their animals. People have begun taking to social media to talk about the new ruling and how it does not go by what the state’s notion of work and employment.
Dog sitters are now in a twirl about acquiring this license if they want to continue with their job. A lot of people who take up dog sitting do it as a part time job, which is why they feel like a proper license is a bit of an overkill when it comes to whether or not they can offer their skills and make money on the side. Numerous people have also pointed out that a good number of these people who partake in these kinds of jobs are high school students who just want to make a little pocket money on the side. Now, their simple acts of taking care of their neighbor’s cats are deemed as illegal, with a chance of punishment being conferred onto them.
Numerous websites like DogVacay are also facing a backlash because their users are now required to have a license before registering and offering their services. This has caused them to have to put in extra measures to ensure that this new law is enforced. This has caused a severe amount of losses for many people who are involved in this business.
Since the law was passed, numerous people have been issued notices for continuing their operations without a valid license. As of now, the state is making these offenders pay a fine of a thousand dollars.
Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman were both killed outside of a restaurant in 1994. Nicole’s husband was first charged with the murder however that court proceedings led to an acquittal. Even though Simpson was found free of charges, he was brought up in a civil liability for the deaths and was ordered to pay the families $33.5 million dollars worth of damages and most of that has been left unpaid.
13 Years later, Simpson and 4 others stormed into a hotel room in Las Vegas to gather belongings that he says were rightfully his. They stormed the room with guns out and this led to a charge in which he was found guilty of.
O.J. will now go in front of the parole board again in Nevada to plead with them to release him out on parole. Simpson should be the one person who would normally receive parole due to the fact that he has been the model inmate and his conduct in prison has left him with a clean record but what happens when those parole board members recall the murders of the century. In many cases, the history of the person is blocked by the wrong doings or what is said to have happened and the good behavior of the person is still blocked out due to the reputation.
It was this same board that offered him a good parole pardon in 2013 which led to him serving 4 more years on the charges of robbery. This time around, if the parole board decides to go in his favor, O.J. will be free to walk from prison on October 1st.
The parole board typically needs a few days to weeks in order to reach a decision on a parole hearing however with Simpson, the decision will be made instantly due to the high celebrity profile that comes with Simpson.
An unnamed source in the Trump administration says that Trump’s attorneys plan to file a complaint regarding former FBI Director James Comey’s memo leak. This information came from an unnamed source inside Trump’s legal team.
The memo details his conversations with the President concerning Michael Flynn and the FBI’s investigation of possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. Comey released these memos to the press after President Trump fired him.
The contents of the memo were given in Comey’s written testimony, delivered to the U.S. Senate during their investigation into the firing of James Comey.
Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, reportedly plans to submit a formal complaint to the Justice Department as well as the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees.
The Trump administration, the source claims, will seek to evoke executive privilege: a policy that allows the President to withhold information when in the public’s interest.
Comey told the Senate that he gave this memo to a Columbia law professor, asking the professor to share the contents to the press. This memo was, in turn, shared with the Wall Street Journal.
Kasowitz said in a prepared statement that Comey “unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the president.” He moreover claimed that Comey leaked classified information.
Comey maintains that no classified information was put into the memo, worrying that the presence of any such classified information could compromise the contents of the memo. He stated: “If I write it in such a way that I don’t include anything that would trigger classification, that would make it easier for us to discuss within the FBI and the government and to hold on to it in a way that makes it accessible to us.”
It seems likely, given the lack of clear public interest and the possibly incriminating nature of the memo, that Trump’s team will not be successful in claiming executive privilege.
In an interesting turn of events, around 200 democratic members of the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have banned together to sue President Trump. NPR reports that the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday of last week in a U.S. District Court in our nation’s capital.
Democratic members from both houses contend that President Trump is unconstitutionally profiting from the presidency. There are certainly a number of pending business deals and current asset holdings in foreign countries that could be perceived as a conflict of interest when it comes to balances politics, business, economics, and law.
The issue in contention for nearly 200 democratic politicians is the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which Senator Blumenthal and others have asserted Trump has repeatedly and aggressively violated during his few months in office.
Granted the Emoluments Clause was written over two hundred years ago, the language is somewhat dated. The clause, though, reads that presidents “can’t accept benefits…from any king, prince, or foreign state” without the expressed consent of Congress. Trump’s vast business holdings around the globe and his lack of interest in getting the consent of Congress have created serious conflicts of interest in the estimation of many democrats and democratic supporters.
One practical case of where this might be a conflict is Trump’s hotels. If a foreign dignitary spends the night at a Trump hotel, and provides Trump with additional revenue revenue because of that stay, could that stay be perceived as currying favor with the sitting president.
Another area of concern is Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, which might provide a fuller picture of Trump’s holdings and potential conflicts of interest. In the current situation, though, democrats are calling for Trump to divest himself from his holdings or fully disclose his financial and economic ties with foreign countries. Trump claims to have pulled back from the day-to-day affairs of the Trump Organization, but will that be enough for the District Court judge?