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Archive for April, 2010

New Case on Employee Privacy Expectations for E-Mails

The situation on privacy expectations of e-mails for employees continues to develop both in Canada and the U.S. A unanimous decision released by the New Jersey Supreme Court this past week in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc. adds to this area.

Prior to leaving the employer to file a discrimination suit, the employee exchanged 7-8 e-mails with her lawyer through a personal Yahoo! e-mail account through the company’s laptop computer. The employer then retrieved these e-mails through the Temporary Internet Files cache and used them in preparation for the suit. The trial court initially ruled that the employee had . . . [more]

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

RSS Subscribers: Comments Worth Reading

For those of you who read Slaw via RSS or email (and who don’t subscribe to the comments feed), let me point you to a discussion that you might like to visit. There are now fifteen considered and well-written comments on Yosie Saint-Cyr’s post on April 1: “Quebec Government Bill Upholds Gender Equality and Secularism.” Have a look; join the discussion. . . . [more]

Posted in: Slaw RSS Site News

The Blind Side

I have to admit, when I started a recent series of trips to make presentations in the U.S. and Canada, I’d been questioning whether my recent assessments of and predictions for the legal profession had maybe become too radical. Having now returned from speaking with and listening to some of the sharpest and most engaged minds in the business, I’m coming to think I haven’t been radical enough.

Certainly, there was encouraging news. Delivering serious and perhaps discomfiting messages to state bar leaders in Chicago and law society executives in Toronto, I was heartened by the openness to these ideas . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Internet Archive Adds 2 Millionth Digital Book

As a number of Slaw readers will already know, Tara Calishain at ResearchBuzz digs up some great stuff. This week it was the news that the Internet Archive has added its 2 millionth free digital book.

The text chosen, Homiliary on Gospels from Easter to first Sunday of Advent, has a bit of a Canadian angle too, in that it was donated by the University of Toronto.

It was also interesting to observe that the “manuscript was copied on parchment by at least three different scribes“. The journey of the text was jumping right from . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

Today is a holiday in Canada, and for Christians a solemn holiday. I thought that it might be appropriate for this Good Friday to offer you a site about life, life in all its splendid abundance and variety (1.9 million identified species, and growing). Moreover, it’s a site that, like so many nowadays, is built through the cooperative action of us — all of us, potentially.

Sensibly, the site is called the Encyclopedia of Life — with a nice, snappy URL that’s easy to remember: eol.org. But don’t think that this is some feel-good, amateur effort: the Encyclopedia is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ha Ha, April Fool’s…wait, Um, I Guess Not.

This bit of news from Techdirt had me smiling until the truth began to dawn on me. Developers in Texas are taking a page from the sale of digital goods and trying to convince people to accept their claims to eternal payments on the basis of, it seems, creative work:

“Just like authors who write books and musicians who write songs that will be enjoyed for generations to come, those who improve property are also engaged in the creative process, and the economics of the transaction should reflect that reality,” . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Defamation – Liability for Linking

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal to the plaintiff in the British Columbia case of Crookes v Newton 2009 BCCA 392.

The Court blog has a summary of the facts and of the appeal judgment.

Basically, the question is whether someone who posts a link to a defamatory publication has him/her/itself published a defamation. The BCCA held 2:1 that in some circumstances the link could be defamatory — but only if in context the poster of the link called particular attention to it and indicated agreement. The majority held (as had the trial court) that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Plan for Success With a Law Firm Business Plan Precedent and Sample Budget

It was great to be quoted on the benefits for law firms of having a business plan in the April 2, 2010 Lawyers Weekly

There is great advice in this article. Unfortunately, it fails to mention that practicePRO also provides lawyers a sample law firm business plan (in Word) and a law firm budget template (an Excel spreadsheet). PDFs of both documents are also available, and all can be found on our Precedent Documents and Retainers page.

New and established lawyers alike can use these documents to plan for a more successful future.

Cross posted on Avoid A . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Office Technology

But Seriously Folks

What is in a date? Well if it is April 1, people might think that you are kidding. There are some really funny items floating around the legal blogosphere today.

Why would a government ever make April 1 a coming into force date for legislation? What comes into force in Alberta today?

April 1, 2007 was the in force date for the Fuel Tax Act. Sections 3 to 6, 12(a), 16 to 19, 21 to 23, 25, 31 and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Finally Some Real Info About the iPad

It has been interesting to watch the excitement and hysteria about the iPad over the last few months. I especially liked reading some of the off-the-wall comments from people who had never seen, much less touched or even used, an iPad or any other tablet device for that matter.

As we approach the big day when this long anticipated gadget is finally released to the public (that would be April 3 for those that might have missed it – unless you live in Canada where is it “late April” per the Apple.ca site – guess it takes the dog sleds . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Quebec Government Bill Upholds Gender Equality and Secularism

On March 24, 2010, the Quebec government tabled in legislature Bill 94, An Act to establish guidelines governing accommodation requests within the administration and certain institutions, which received first reading that same day. The Bill would create rules on how departments or agencies of the government can provide reasonable accommodation to citizens, certain organizations and public servants. These departments and agencies include health agencies, schools, colleges and universities, and services from child care to nursing homes. To this end, the Bill defines the concept of accommodation, asserts that the government will make any compromise to respect the right to equality between women and men and the principle of religious neutrality of the state, and provides that an accommodation cannot be granted if it imposes an undue hardship on the government department or agency. If enacted, the Bill would come into force on proclamation.
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation