Could 80 percent of cases be resolved through online dispute resolution?

Perhaps in five to seven years, as Colin Rule sees it, half of U.S. citizens who file court cases will have access to online dispute resolution software walking them step by step through their matters, resolving up to 80 percent of cases. Rule, a nonlawyer mediator, is vice president for online dispute resolution at Tyler Technologies. In this episode of the ABA Journal’s Legal Rebels Podcast, Rule speaks with Angela Morris about the possibilities–and pitfalls–for this technology.

Listen to the podcast here.

Michele Mirto: Stepping up A2J while cutting cost

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.

Link.

PDF: michele_mirto_a2j_cutting_cost

BigLaw firms are working together to influence how blockchain technology will operate in the future

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.

Link.

PDF: biglaw_cryptocurrency_blockchain_smart_contracts

Lawsuit accuses sheriffs of underfeeding inmates, pocketing meal money

When Alabama inmates asked what’s for dinner, the sad answer was often a plate with spoiled meat or food contaminated with rodent droppings.

Meanwhile, the state’s sheriffs charged with their upkeep were reportedly pocketing inmate food funds—spending the money on things such as beach homes, personal investments, electronics and home lawn services.

These allegations are the basis of a lawsuit filed by the Southern Center for Human Rights and Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice against 49 Alabama sheriffs after the SCHR received hundreds of letters and calls from inmates about problems with food at county jails across the state.

Link.

PDF: alabama_underfeeding_inmates_meal_money