Whether it’s a new legal practice area, a law firm merger or the latest in tech-enabled litigation strategies, the field of “law new” is one of constant change. It’s also one of growth and opportunity, with the potential to help all lawyers discover new sources of revenue and new ways to approach their practices.
Law New is a new series that provides information on the many ways in which law is being innovated and transformed. Each month, we will feature a different topic and a featured story that reflects the dynamism of the field.
In the first article of our law new series, we look at how a technology-driven legal startup is changing the way in which patent litigation is conducted. The company, called TrialPad, has reimagined how patent litigation is conducted by automating tasks that would otherwise be done manually and by leveraging artificial intelligence. The result is a more efficient and cost-effective process for litigators, saving firms both time and money.
The process of enacting a law begins with the development of a policy idea. The idea can come from a senator’s constituents, an interest group or State agency. Once the idea is settled on, it must be drafted as a bill. Bill drafting is a complex task, usually completed by a Senate staff member who has specialized legal training.
After a bill is drafted, it must be introduced in the Senate. Once a bill is introduced, the Senate votes on it and, if passed, it becomes a public law known as an Act. An Act can make changes to existing laws or create new laws, depending on the subject matter of the bill.
When a public law is passed by the State Senate, it must be sent to the Governor for approval. The Governor has ten days (not counting Sundays) to sign or veto the Act. If the Governor signs a bill, it becomes law. If the Governor vetoes a bill, it remains in effect until the legislature next meets.
New York City is introducing a new law to help protect residents from the impact of the ongoing fentanyl and opioid crisis. The law, named after Matthew Horan, who died from an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2020, requires local pharmacies and health care providers to distribute drug testing kits to the public. It also prohibits medical institutions and hospitals from reporting unpaid bills to credit agencies.
The law also amends the City’s data breach notification laws to align them with State requirements under New York’s SHIELD Act. The legislation requires City agencies that experience a breach of personal information to promptly disclose that information to affected persons and the City’s Chief Privacy Officer. The City will also provide a public-facing website with a list of the covered breaches. The law is effective May 7, 2022.