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Cutting Through the Mysteries of Journal and Article Pricing

I’m delighted to be able to offer a guest blog from Rebecca Kennison. Rebecca is the principal of K|N Consultants and has worked extensively in scholarly publishing. What follows is a remarkably acute analysis of Elsevier’s journal pricing practices that she recently contributed to the Open Scholarship Initiative listserv. (This version has been slightly edited to provide additional clarification.) Rebecca is responding to a post by an Elsevier representative, and yet what she has written struck me as speaking to all of us interested in how the major corporate publishers are handling the shift to open access.

Rebecca is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

International Identity Management

It used to be that on the Internet, nobody knew you were a dog … or a trading partner, or a rogue. In this era of Big Data, geolocation, and light bulbs that call home, it may seem that those days are behind us.

But it’s one thing to know who somebody is in order to send them a personally targeted advertisement. It’s another to know with enough certainty to engage in large-value transactions, or to confer on them some public benefit, like a welfare payment or a student loan.

Therefore the management of identity online remains an . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Three Business IP Scams to Watch For

It’s summer vacation season, and worth a reminder about some common business IP scams to watch out for. Staff covering for vacations and unfamiliar with these may be more vulnerable to them. While there are lots of scams out there, these three are the ones I get asked about most by clients.

The trademark registration scam. Scammers monitor the trademark application process, and send an invoice to the trademark applicant that looks like it is part of the trademark application process. If you read it very carefully it says it isn’t an invoice, and it is a pitch for a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

No Votes in Justice — Plea Bargaining and Wrongful Convictions

At the expense of justice, governments improve the cost-efficiency of the criminal justice system but thereby weaken the safeguards against wrongful convictions. Doing so makes more money available to be spent on more politically profitable areas because there are no votes to be gained by improving the criminal justice system. This is a summary of part of a published article that develops this theme: that poor resources given the criminal justice system, increases the probability of wrongful convictions in these ways:

  1. Prosecutors’ method of plea bargaining changes so as to produce more guilty pleas which increases the probability of wrongful
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Groia v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 471

[101] But it is a far different thing to argue, as Mr. Groia does, that a trial judge’s authority to supervise and control the progress of the trial and the conduct of its participants constrains the Law Society’s exercise of its statutory jurisdiction to regulate a lawyer’s in-court conduct in . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Sound Prediction Update – Federal Court Continues to Disagree on Fundamental Disclosure Aspect of Test

Utility is a basic requirement set out in the Patent Act, yet Canadian courts over the past year have continued to approach this concept from very different points of view. The “disclosure” requirement for sound prediction has been both wholly adopted and rejected by the Federal Court. The pro-disclosure side requires that the sound line of reasoning and factual basis be in the patent, whatever the nature of the invention.[1] The anti-disclosure side only requires any explanation in the patent where the invention is directed at a new use[2]. Otherwise the sound prediction may be satisfied . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on research and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

Use Deep Links
Susannah Tredwell

Deep links are links that take you directly to content within a website or database, rather than to the website’s home page. The advantage of deep links is that they allow you to send users directly to content of interest, rather than having to navigate through the menu system. An example of a deep link is http://www.lexisnexis.com/ca/legal/api/version1/toc?csi=386929 which takes you . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Loom Analytics Launches Today

[Necessary disclosure: My company Stem Legal has been working with Loom Analytics for several months now during their beta period. It’s a relationship I’m proud to showcase, but also one we are compensated for.]

Today is an exciting day for Loom Analytics. One of the country’s most interesting legal tech startups has officially closed its beta phase and has opened up registration to legal consumers. Less than 18 months after the Loom team first started working on the idea of a Canadian legal analytics tool, the company (whom you may recall from a Slaw Vendor Quiz earlier this year) . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

New Phishing Attack Pretends to Be Bar Communication

The following warning was issued by Lawyers Mutual of North Carolina. We haven’t had any reports of this in Ontario yet, but lawyers should always be alert to phishing scams that try to trick them into opening an attachment or clicking a link that could instal malware.

There is a new phishing scam targeting bar members across the country. The fraudulent email pretends to be a communication from the State Bar or Bar Association.

There are several versions of this scam. The most common are: “[state] Bar Complaint,” “[state] Bar Association Past Due Notice,” and “Lawyers and judges may now . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Stars in Their Eyes: the Growing Influence of Online Lawyer Reviews

Boring but important fact: law firm clients of all types – sophisticated, unsophisticated, big, small (and everywhere in between) increasingly use the Internet to research, vet, and select their lawyers. This is not news. But what is noteworthy is that online ratings & reviews of lawyers generated by the public are becoming a more predominant part of the overall picture of your firm that prospective clients see when they look you up online. You may want to address that.

Ratings are not new either. I’m old enough to remember when Martindale-Hubbell’s highly coveted AV ratings were doled out in giant-book . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from seventy recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Legal Feeds  2. Blogue du CRL 3. ABlawg  4. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog  5. Barry Sookman

Legal Feeds
Métis law student crowned Miss Universe Canada

A University of Saskatchewan law student is hoping to use her new position as Miss Universe Canada to elevate the discussion . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Assisted Dying Finally Becomes Law

After pushing it through the Senate on Friday morning, the House of Commons finally voted for Bill C-14 on Friday afternoon. The Department of Justice has created a Q&A page on the Bill and some of the related issue.

The Senate attempted to modify Bill C-14 to adjust the issue of reasonable foreseeability, but were unsuccessful in doing so. This issue was especially important in light of a recent decision by the Alberta Court of Appeal, which indicated this criteria was not necessary under the 2015 Carter decision.

The Department of Justice has responded to this concern in an . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation