As technology evolves to offer new services that were unthinkable even a decade ago, state and local taxing authorities struggle to keep up. All too often, the will or ability to amend tax laws to address novel industries and technologies is lacking; instead revenue administrators aggressively interpret existing tax laws in an attempt to capture new revenue. This is pushing a square peg into a round hole, as demonstrated by the conceptual gaps of recent City of Chicago guidance: Personal Property Lease Transaction Tax Ruling #12 and Amusement Tax Ruling #5.These sister rulings, issued simultaneously on June 9, 2015, take opposite approaches to characterizing transactions: the lease transaction tax ruling focuses on the means of providing a service using computer hardware and software; the amusement tax ruling looks at the ends of a customer's desire to be entertained. These inconsistencies are a result of extending old taxes to new services and create opportunities for taxpayers to … [Read more...] about Taxing the Means or the Ends? Chicago Cloud Computing Rulings’ Confused Approaches Can Support Taxpayer Challenges
Difference between cloud computing and web services
The term “cloud computing,” — a process by which remote computers are used to store, manage and process data — is no longer an unfamiliar term. According to at least one estimate, “approximately 90 percent of businesses using the cloud in some fashion.” American Airlines is assessing major providers of cloud services for an eventual relocation of certain portions of its customer website and other applications to the cloud.Public clouds are those run by a service provider, over a public network. For example, Amazon Web Services offers public cloud services, among others. A private cloud is operated for a single entity, and may be hosted internally or by a third-party service provider. A hybrid cloud is a composition of two or more clouds, such as a private cloud and a public cloud, such that the benefits of both can be realized where appropriate. Each of these cloud infrastructure types has different advantages … [Read more...] about Three Steps to the Right Cloud for Your Business
“Are you in the cloud yet?” “What do you think of the cloud?” “Does your firm have cloud storage?” These questions, and more like them, have been flying around (no pun intended) for quite some time now. But do you truly know what “the cloud” is, and do you know how it impacts your law firm’s online security?According to a January 2013 Google Consumer Survey, 60% of people thought that Dropbox, iTunes, Gmail and hosting weren’t cloud services even though they all are. In the U.S., less than 25% of people claimed to have a clear understanding of what ‘the cloud’ means, and 60% don’t have a clue what the cloud is.Chances are that you are already in the cloud. LexisNexis, Google, WestLaw, Skype, Verizon, Google Talk, Citrix, T-Mobile–if you use any of these company’s services, you have a cloud presence. Even your phone’s voicemail is in the cloud!What Does Being In The Cloud … [Read more...] about Online Security: Your Head Is Already In the Cloud
Daniel Lewis was midway through his second year at Stanford Law School when he became convinced there was a better way to do legal research.The thought came to him while doing work for a nonprofit in 2011. He was trying to understand where his issue fit within a broad group of cases his research had found. In his mind he pictured a view of his issue triangulated against the most important cases at the center and all the other, less important cases circled around them.“It took shape in my mind as sort of a visual process of trying to figure out where on this map I needed to locate myself and what the other cases were that I needed to be aware of,” he recalls. As he discussed that idea with other students, he discovered many of them shared his approach of trying to contextualize their research visually.With the rough contours forming in his mind of a better legal research mousetrap, Lewis took the idea to various people at Stanford, most influentially Jeffrey Heer, a computer … [Read more...] about Visual law services are worth a thousand words–and big money
Law2020™ is the brainchild of Bryan Cave's Strategic Technology Partner John Alber and the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA). I have had the privilege of working with John and the ILTA organization over the past 4 years as a part of the conferencing planning committee. This year I am serving as a Conference Vice-President for the upcoming international conference being held in Nashville, TN from August 21st – 25th, 2011.The concept of Law2020™ is based upon an anticipation of the legal industry encountering the same market dynamics that have challenged the newspaper industry since 2000-2010. The online environment changed newspapers' production, employment and consumption. The ACC Value Challenge has placed law firms under a microscope like that the newspaper industry is under, thus requiring the legal industry to make strategic changes to meet the new needs of clients. Will law firms see a similar shift due to the economy … [Read more...] about Law2020™- What Will It Take for Law Firms to Thrive?