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Bar News - April 13, 2012

NH Bar Journal - Internet and the Law: Winter 2012 Issue

Siri is My Client: A First Look at Artificial Intelligence and Legal Issues
Attorney John Weaver, of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, explores a relatively new example of a technology widely available to consumers, artificial intelligence, with a particular focus on the iPhone’s Siri application. "This article looks at a few of the legal issues related to Siri, focusing on intellectual property and liability issues. What happens when Siri creates something new that has commercial value? What happens when reliance on a Siri search results in property or bodily damage?"

NH Rule of Evidence No. 504 The Marital Privilege in the Ago of Email, Texting and Social Media
Attorney Peter Lawlor looks at a traditional rule in the modern context. "Rule 504 and its statutory antecedents have always included non-spoken communications between husbands and wives including a ‘letter or other communication’. However, the proliferation of written communications between spouses in an electronic format...warrants consideration as to whether resort to this medium would have the effect of waiving the privilege or otherwise rendering such communication ‘not a marital confidence’ in light of the absence of privacy that New Hampshire’s courts have ascribed to such means of communications."

Riding the Wave: Social Media in Local Government
C. Christine Fillmore, staff attorney for the Local Government Center, provides advice on social media perils, potential uses and policy suggestions in the context of local government and other public entities. "Imagine that social networking is a river. It’s moving pretty fast these days. If our clients are on a raft going through the whitewater, the only way to steer is to paddle just a little bit faster than the current is moving."

Interaction of Social Media and the Law, and How to Survive the Social Media Revolution
Attorney Steven J. Venezia, of Upton & Hatfield, looks at social media from the general practitioner’s point of view, looking at ethics, discovery, social media and juries, free speech, and employment issues, in this broad survey, and he concludes with a series of recommendations. "It is important that individuals maintain a working knowledge of social media and cloud computing as change inevitably continues. It is also important not to let a fear of social media prevent utilization of its limitless potential."

OMG, TMI: Civil Discovery and Social Media
Attorney John Alexander, of the Ransmeier and Spellman firm, looks more closely at the judicial treatment to date of discovery requests in civil litigation aimed at unearthing personal information from social media outlets. His article includes a number of cites to unreported decisions in this developing field. "Attorneys will have to evaluate on a case-by-case basis whether gaining access to online content justifies the necessary cost and effort, bearing in mind that a social media user can delete posted materials with a few keystrokes."

Client or Con? Con Artists Excel on the Internet at Making Lawyers Their Marks
Attorney Ellen Eidelbach Pitluk, an ethics attorney for the Texas State Bar provides an entertaining history of cons leading up to the current variety haunting the Internet and our email inboxes. This article is expanded from the version published in The Texas Lawyer. "Lawyers have become victims of increasingly sophisticated fake clients, who sometimes use shills, fake websites, and identity theft to legitimize their scams."

Balancing Civil Liberties with Clinical Care: Reviewing the Recent Change in the Involuntary Admissions Statute
Clinicians from the New Hampshire Hospital, Alexander de Nesnera, Paul Shagoury and Elizabeth Howell Woodbury, present the findings of a study tracking the results of a small but significant change to the state’s involuntary admissions statute that they assert improves outcomes and reduces the need for petitions for non-emergency involuntary admissions following a slightly longer initial involuntary admission period.

Lex Loci
Attorney David Ruoff, our regular Lex Loci writer, returns with a review of a broad range of noteworthy cases in criminal law, land-use, right-to-know law, attorneys’ fees and professional discipline. "Salvatore Rabbia v. Max Rocha, decided November 29, 2011, at first glance looks like a complicated debtor-creditor UCC case, but it really distills down to whether funds that were held in an attorney’s escrow account were subject to a creditor’s security interest. The short answer is that they were not."

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