By the end of the year, the Lone Star State will have a PACER-like court records system.
The Texas Supreme Court took the next step in expanding re:SearchTX, which grants access to state court records electronically filed anywhere in Texas, so that lawyers can download documents in any case—and so can the general public—at a cost of 10 cents per page up to a $6 maximum per document.
The system has operated since February 2017 with limited access for judges, court clerks and attorneys of record to access documents in their own cases. This new order opens access further to attorneys—they’ll be able to access any case, not just their own—and other registered users who provide personal information like their name, address, phone number and more.
Published on Texas Lawyer on Oct. 4, 2018.
As executive director of Step Up to Justice, a Tucson, Arizona-based privately funded legal aid nonprofit, Michele Mirto wields a shoestring budget and just three staff members armed with legal technology. They lead an army of volunteer lawyers in resolving low-income clients’ civil matters—mostly family law but also guardianship, consumer law, bankruptcy, and wills and probate.
It’s too easy for attorneys to be aware that something isn’t perfect in their practices and accept the situation instead of pushing back. So says longtime legal innovator Nicole Bradick. “What it’s all about is identifying something not working as well as it should be and thinking of possible solutions,” says Bradick, who in January launched a legal technology company, Theory and Principle, that aims to do just that: “Ask why is this happening, and are there any changes we can make to fix the problem?”
The cryptocurrency and blockchain technology industry is already crowded with firms eager to nab high-tech startups as clients or help legacy clients navigate a brave new world.
But some BigLaw firms have gone further. Over the past 2½ years, several of the largest firms in the world have joined legal working groups aimed at bringing crypto and blockchain attorneys together to share information, learn from one another, and help craft best practices.
Although she spent the first six years of her career in Big Law, California attorney Dorna Moini always knew that her true passion was in human rights and access to justice.
After graduating from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2012, Moini, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Iran, worked at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton and then at Sidley Austin.
But Big Law practice wasn’t her calling. Her experiences gained from frequent travel between the United States and Iran, plus a fellowship as an undergraduate helping draft legislation to outlaw slavery in northwest Africa, and her pro bono work as a Big Law associate provided a window into the stark divide in access to justice here and abroad. And she was driven to do something about it.
Once upon a time there was a hero who took down the corrupt French Maid, who had manipulated and stolen from the Dread Pirate Roberts on The Silk Road.
It sounds like the plot line of a swashbuckler movie, but actually, it’s part of the tale of Kathryn Haun’s rise as a federal prosecutor who helped lay the groundwork for the government to capture cryptocurrency criminals.
Right now, the value of just one bitcoin is hovering around $5,000, leading to rampant media coverage, pushing digital currency lexicon into the mainstream. But wide adoption depends much on the safety and security of the new technology, which is often compared to the Wild West.
Haun, first as a federal prosecutor and now as a bespoke legal consultant for emerging technology companies, has contributed much to beefing up security in the industry. In the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, she was the first digital currency coordinator. She handled cases that taught prosecutors to work through challenges in convicting cryptocurrency criminals, and sent loud-and-clear messages to digital currency companies to increase financial safeguards.