May 16, 2016
The Richmond Journal of Law and Technology is proud to present its fourth and final issue of the Twenty-Second Volume. At its inception in 1995 JOLT became the first law review to be published exclusively online. From this moment on, the Journal has continued to set trends in legal scholarship. As one of the leading publications in the legal technology field, JOLT has the privilege of publishing articles that address topics at the forefront of the law. The articles in the Fourth Issue offer exciting discussions on forward-looking areas of the law and give readers a glimpse into the ways in which technology is transforming the legal landscape. The Journal hopes that these articles will drive advancements in the law and in practice, and we look forward to the discussions they evoke.
In our first article, entitled “Digital Direction for the Analog Attorney—Data Protection, E-Discovery, and the Ethics of Technological Competence in Today’s World of Tomorrow,” authors Stacey Blaustein, Melinda McLellan, and James Sherer outline some of the many challenges facing attorneys operating in the current high-tech legal environment. The article examines the ways in which existing and emerging ethical rules and guidelines may apply to the practice of law in the digital age. Cloud technology and social media are among the prominent technical platforms which, while convenient and efficient, pose significant threats to the technologically incompetent lawyer and his clients. This article is certain to spark further conversation about these issues as they continue to evolve.
Our second article, and final article of Volume XXII, is the selected 2016 JOLT Student Comment. Written byJOLT’s graduating Managing Editor, Megan Carboni, this article makes an exciting and bold proposal to bridge the gap in employment classification for workers in the “sharing” or “collaborative” economy. This new technology-enabled marketplace, spurred by Uber and mimicked by numerous other innovative service-sharing applications, posits a vexing balancing act between meeting the needs of businesses and their quasi-employees. Uber and similar businesses rely on classifying their workers as independent contractors, avoiding the potentially crippling benefits and obligations that these businesses would be forced to provide for their employees. At present there are only two definitions—employee and independent contractor—making it difficult to strike a balance without severely interfering with the employer’s business or employee expectations and needs. This article proposes an innovative third classification, the “dependent contractor,” as the best solution to meet the needs of both employer and employee.
On behalf of the entire 2015–2016 JOLT staff, I want to extend our sincerest thanks for your continued readership. I would also like to thank each of our authors for the time and hard work they have put into these articles. As always, JOLT greatly appreciates the ongoing support from the University of Richmond School of Law and is especially grateful for the guidance of our faculty advisors, Dean Jim Gibson and Professor Chris Cotropia.
On a more personal note, I wanted to extend my utmost appreciation and gratitude to the 2015–2016 JOLTEditorial Board and staff. It has been a pleasure serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Volume XXII and I could not have successfully completed the Volume without the consistent hard work and dedication of the Journal’s members. On behalf of the outgoing class of 2016, I would like to wish Volume XXIII and the new Editorial Board all the best as they continue shaping JOLT’s reputation as the leading publication in the legal technology world.
John G. Danyluk Editor-in-Chief, Volume XXII
Digital Direction for the Analog Attorney – Data Protection, E-Discovery, and the Ethics of Technological Competence in Today’s World of Tomorrow, by Stacey Blaustein, Melida L. McLellan, and James A. Sherer