Delhi: Law and Technology – Independent or Interdependent

The Legal Hackers Delhi Chapter in alliance with Sharda University School of Law organized a panel discussion on “Law and Technology- Independent or Interdependent” on September 22, 2015. The panelists included:

1. Ramanuj Mukherjee, Co-founder, iPleaders
2. James Mukkatukkavunnkal, Founder, Scriboard
3. Maurya Vijay Chandra, Partner, Adyopant Legal

The moderator of the event was Kanan Dhru, Founder of RFGI, Lawtoons, LawForMe and initiator of Legal Hackers India.

Kanan Dhru kicked off the event by stating that that 90% of online data was created only in the past year. Considering that 5 billion people are estimated to have Internet access by 2020, what role applicable laws and regulations will have to play in the coming years is very important.

In response to this, James from Scriboard quoted examples and facts of various jurisdictions and countries where technology is a key element used by the judiciary and in addressing these challenges. He shared his views on why lawyers should adapt to the latest and upcoming technology and why the Indian Judiciary should adopt digital courts. Furthermore, in the future there will be common usage of artificial intelligence, drones and other new technology that will require updated laws. James emphasized his point by saying that there would be 20 billion devices in the world by 2030. “There are days coming where full dive technology will be used in which human neural system will be connected to the computer to read the brain,” added Ramanuj Mukherjee.

On the efficiency of the technology in aiding the Indian legal system, Ramanuj apprised the audience of the fact that more than 30 million cases are pending in the courts of India. He suggested that technology could be used to assist in spreading legal awareness and in simplifying laws and procedures so they can be easily understood by the average person.

The debate then revolved around whether recent technology was improving efficiency of justice administration in the country or instead helping people circumvent the law.  In order to combat the lack of awareness of rights, laws and legal responsibilities of the people in India, the panel discussed possible solutions such as encouraging more legal tech start-ups, creating digital friendly legal offices and continuing to develop new technology for lawyers.

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NY Video: Growing Eco-Tech in an Urban Environment

Under the onus of climate change, the vulnerabilities revealed by Hurricane Sandy, and the strain of a ballooning population on a city with century old infrastructure, it is starkly apparent that the quality of life in New York City will depend on progressive sustainability planning and management, none of which would be possible without adequate fostering of eco-tech solutions.

Eco-tech companies are the bread-and-butter of the sustainability movement, and this panel will discuss the pros and cons of doing business in NYC. What kind of support and/or obstacles do eco-tech companies face in NYC? Does the City government offer adequate support and incentives for such initiatives? If not, what can be done to make it easier for such companies to flourish in an urban environment?


Ido Salama, Sales at Sistine Solar
Sashti Balasundaram, Founder at We Radiate
Ajmal Aqtash, Associate Director of the Center for Experimental Structures
Matthew N. Greller, Clean Technology Attorney and Lobbyist

Sponsored by HP IDOL On Demand, DomainSkate, and Clio. Thank you to our host the Urban Future Lab and the Internet Society New York Chapter for the video!

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First Legal Hackers India Meeting Tackles Net Neutrality Debate

Legal Hackers India is off to a strong start!

India Table

Here’s a note from organizer Kanan Dhru:

Legal Hackers India had its first meet-up in Delhi on 25th April 2015 from 5 pm to 6.30 pm at Kunzum Travel Cafe, Hauz Khas Village. This maiden informal LHI meet-up brought together a group of practicing lawyers, techies, economists, law students, engineering students, and researchers and advisers to the Parliament to carve the way ahead for LH India, Delhi Chapter. We also had among us someone who took up law as a profession after working as a techie for 12 years.

The discussions went on for more than an hour and it was agreed that LHI must offer a platform to technologists and lawyers to come up with innovations to make justice more accessible and expedient for all and to make law more understandable to all. Net neutrality was also discussed, and participants argued on both sides of the ongoing debate. While most agreed that lack of net neutrality would hamper free competition between established commercial entities and fresh start-ups, and free choice of consumers, some also argued that the kind of arrangements reached between e-commerce websites and telecom operators may in fact be beneficial as it would make e-commerce services available to markets where internet is not currently accessible otherwise. And as the cost would be borne by the e-commerce companies, the consumers will actually benefit.

It was agreed however, that this is an ongoing debate. Different aspects such as whether the costs would actually not be transferred to the consumers and whether there is any actual threat posed to free competition, need more deliberation. LH India plans to soon organize another formal meet-up to follow-up on the discussions held on the 25th.

India Banner

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Legal Hackers Congress: Part 3

We opened this morning with Jameson leading an impromptu session on the shared goals of all Legal Hackers, with the group brainstorming a list of descriptors to guide our remaining discussions. John E. Grant then built on that activity with an interactive presentation on project management and efficient collaboration skills for lawyers, introducing discussion processes that our group would use for the remainder of the day.

Ngoc Nguyen was up next with a discussion of legal process automation as applied to bankruptcy law, where consumers often cannot or will not access an attorney to handle their filings. The automation ideas behind Ngoc’s presentation, represented by existing products like Trademarkia, have broad applicability to other areas of law and go to the core of our mission.

Thomas Brooke‘s presentation combined past and present, beginning with lessons from his father’s work on the first truly programmable computer, which inspired Tom to learn how to code, and leading into an update on the growing North Carolina chapter.

Martin Zerbib gave our final presentation of the Congress, demonstrating the creative potential of HP IDOL On Demand, a sustaining partner of Legal Hackers. IDOL is an API for more efficiently organizing large sets of data and may very well form the basis of many future Legal Hackers projects.

Wrapping up, we recapped our weekend’s discussions using John Grant’s organizational techniques. We came away with some great suggestions for a future Congress and expect to be planning one before we know it.

Thanks to all who participated, to SPACE for hosting us, and especially to our sponsors: HP IDOL On Demand, Avvo, Seyfarth Shaw, and Davis Wright Tremaine.


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Legal Hackers Congress: Part 2

The afternoon session began by featuring insights from two of the largest Legal Hackers chapters: New York and DC. First, we heard from Meetup GC and LH advisory board member David Pashman alongside NYLH organizers Warren Allen and Tariq Badat, who shared their perspectives as tech-enabled in-house counsel retaining outside firms.

Next, the DC crew took the floor as Rebecca Williams recapped their recent Le Hackie Awards, a celebration of many incredible civic hacks. We previously covered the Le Hackies and expect it to be a model for many future events across our community. Check out Rebecca’s presentation (a treasure trove of projects) and a recent DC Legal Hackers collaboration with the White House!

The do-gooding continued as our host city presented next, showing off the latest open government and access to justice initiatives coming out of the growing Chicago chapter. Cathy Deng and Derek Eder demoed sites including, a service helping Illinoisans expunge their own juvenile records.


Our focus then turned to chapter development as Jameson Dempsey of DC moderated Aria Safar of Los Angeles, Lauren Mack of New York, and Dan Lear of Seattle in reflecting on their respective chapters’ successes and challenges. The panel led into a breakout session where the entire Congress brainstormed solutions for more engaging and sustainable chapters. The results are summarized on this Hackpad; thanks to Jameson for setting it up!

One more update to come, following tomorrow’s final session.

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Legal Hackers Congress


Legal industry innovators from around the world are converging in Chicago this weekend for the first-ever Legal Hackers Congress!  With representatives here from Chicago, Detroit, New York, DC, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Nashville, North Carolina, Miami, and even Stockholm, Sweden, we could not be more excited to celebrate the growth of our community.

Kicking things off last night, Jonathan Pasky moderated “How to Hack Your Law Firm,” a panel featuring both products for more efficient practice and the firms those products are intended to serve.  Panelists included Stephen Nazaran of PageVault, Aileen Tien of kCura (creators of Relativity), Irina Matveeva of NexLP, Amani Smathers of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and Jay Hull of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

This morning, Dan Linna of MSU Law School briefed us on the importance of improving our profession’s responsiveness to consumers’ needs, noting that the United States recently ranked 66th out of 98 countries in overall access to and affordability of civil legal services.  Dan and others in Detroit and Chicago are bolstering our presence in the Midwest and will host the first Chicago-area legal hackathon on June 6 and 7 (details here).  We also heard from Larry Bridgesmith of Vanderbilt Law School on innovation in the legal academy and the exciting growth of Larry’s chapter, Music City Legal Hackers.

On the international front, we checked in remotely with Daniel Santiago Acevedo in Colombia, Astrid Baldissera in Barcelona and (in person) Robert Gullander of Stockholm Legal Hackers.  Congratulations to all of these outstanding new chapters!

The morning session closed with a talk by LH advisory board member Sarah Feingold, Etsy’s first in-house lawyer, who shared wisdom from her eight years with one of New York’s premier startups.

More to come after lunch!

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Let’s Talk PACER

DC and NY are gearing up for back-to-back talks on PACER, the federal courts’ online court records system.

Carl Malamud is hitting the road, and is speaking at both events, to discuss, among other things, a full day of PACER protest to take place on May 1, 2015, in honor of Aaron Swartz.

If you’re interested in participating in Carl’s campaign, check out

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NY Video: Open Patent Licensing for Fun and Profit

A traditional patent license involves a payment for permission to use a new technology. But a series of new licensing models are bringing the power of open innovation into the patent arena. Can these new licenses help improve the patent system or win the patent wars? Will they incentivize R&D and attract top engineering talent? Will they stand up in court? Can they curb abusive patent litigation?

This panel discusses the evolution of technology licensing through the lens of the Defensive Patent License, Twitter’s Innovator’s Patent Agreement, License on Transfer, and more.

Michael Kasdan, Attorney and Partner, Wiggin and Dana LLP

Jason Schultz, Professor, NYU Law
Andrea Casillas, Director of Linux Defenders, Open Invention Network
Brian Chase, General Counsel, Foursquare
Kevin Prey, Member of the Board of Directors of LOT Network, IP Counsel at SAP

Sponsored by HP IDOL On Demand, DomainSkate, and Clio. Thank you to our host General Assembly and the Internet Society New York Chapter for the video!

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Bogota Legal Hackers Is Alive!

We are proud to announce the first South American chapter of Legal Hackers.

Daniel Santiago Acevedo has spearheaded the Bogota, Colombia chapter, and we are pumped to hear about their first event Thursday March 12.

Until then, buena suerte, Bogota!

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NY Video: 3D Printing in a 2D Legal Landscape

3D printing is most certainly the next major disruption in distribution since Napster.  Yet unlike file-sharing, 3D printing takes the digital into the physical realm, giving it the potential to challenge nearly every imaginable industry on Earth.  With daily stories of printed spaceship parts and custom bikinis beside headlines like “3D printed organs for all”, can the legal community hope to shape a consumer 3D printed world or is it doomed react at every turn?

This panel examines the issues from three perspectives:  1) the current legal landscape and how it may impact consumer 3D printing, such as IP, product liability, food and drug, and controlled substance/items laws; 2) current efforts at making 3D printing a legitimate fixture in the consumer realm; and 3) minor and bold solutions to avoid a fractured legal framework for consumer 3D printing, ranging from IP and tort overhaul to mandatory licensing schemes.


Kaiser Wahab, Attorney and Partner, Riveles Wahab LLP
Zachary Lichaa, Public Policy, 3D Hubs
Jeff Trexler, Attorney, Writer, and Professor

Sponsored by HP IDOL On Demand, DomainSkate, and Clio. Thank you to our host The Yard and the Internet Society New York Chapter for the video!

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