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Archive for August, 2010

What’s Nu?

One of my favourite funny memories of time spent in Germany is of a moment in the square of a small town when a chant went up from among the layabouts that decorate these public spaces: “Johnson! Johnson! Johnson! . . . ” And, lo, here came Johnson strolling from behind some building naked as a jaybird. Hausfraus — it was shopping time — turned away, moved away, and this Moses parting the bourgeois sea, not acknowledging his claque, which kept up the chant, sauntered free. But as he approached the fishmongers, where I was watching from, (with some uneasiness, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Mentoring: Important for Men – Crucial for Women

A concern that I hear frequently from women lawyers is the lack of recognition and compensation for those partners – often women – who devote time to building up the human capital in their law firms. This includes time spent mentoring younger lawyers or working on the firm’s education, articling or associate development committees. When it comes to dividing up the partnership profits at the end of the year, it is typically only billable hours and collected revenue that counts and not time spent ensuring a stronger future for the firm. 

For many women lawyers, this is frustrating because mentoring . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Google Launches Gmail Priority Inbox

Yesterday the Twitter was awash with messages about this revolutionary new Gmail Priority Inbox. The beta version just arrived in my email, and have to say that I am already in love with it. Essentially what it does is bring new, unopened, important messages to the top, then lists those messages that are “starred” (which I have flagged with a star), and then lists everything else. It learns which are important messages over time depending on which are opened and which are responded to. In other words, its accuracy gets better over time.

This entertaining little video explains it . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Oxford English Dictionary and the Future of Print

We care about print here at Slaw, though we’re the home of pixel-lex. Print is what we grew up with, even the tykes among us; it’s still the base for much of our professional primary sources; and though we love our tech — because ambivalence points both ways, after all — when it comes to reading the touchstone for comparison is always the printed book. So when one of the great publishers is heard to say that one of the great books is “out of print,” we pay attention.

It seems that the Sunday Times carried a story in which . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology

First Nations Land to Settler Land Disconnect

Unforeseen circumstances have landed me in Campbell River, British Columbia for a few days. I’m trying to make the most of this detour by taking in whatever Campbell River has to offer. One of my better-spent days included a visit to the Campbell River Museum which has substantial displays devoted to the First Nations of the region, their history, material culture, place names, stories, and the colonization attempts by the Spanish and British. I know in general terms how that turned out – the British were the successful colonizers. And I know all to well what that meant for First . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Welcome to in Custodia Legis – Mapping the Law of the US

We didn’t get around to noticing the Law Library of Congress’ new blog In Custodia Legis, which explains its name and aim here.

Today, it featured a new post on the developments at Thomas to make legislative information more accessible. There aren’t a lot of comments yet, but it’s early days.

The high spots for me were on Social Media and a Legislative Map at the State level, which looks simple but is only simple to use.

Social Media Box

In addition to easier access to the Library’s social media, there is a new box to highlight ways . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Law School Tech Talk: New Podcast From CALI

With the Law Librarian Conversations podcast settling into its new home at CALI (the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction), the new podcast Law School Tech Talk has now been started. David Dickens, Consulting Technologist at Pepperdine Law, is the host along with co-hosts and regular contributors: Jonathan Ezor (billed as “resident law prof”), Debbie Ginsberg (“Law Librarian”), and Ben Chapman (“another veteran IT guy”). They hope to cover all angles of law school technology.

From the email I received about the show:

  • We hope to have live shows for you about every two weeks; they should run 30 minutes, give
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Authentication and Trust – Some Preliminary Thoughts

Before giving legal effect to any piece of information, people want to know whether the information can be trusted. What is this information? Where does it come from? How sure must they be of the answers to those questions?

At a basic level these are not even legal questions. They are not addressed particularly to the content of the information, though the content can help answer them. They are about the medium and not the message. They are questions of authentication.

Authentication questions apply to information in any form and in any medium. Electronic documents do not need ‘more’ or . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Canada – the Best Kept Secret in the U.S.

Because of our point-based immigration system Canada is know for attracting some of the best and brightest around the world, resulting in a phenomenon known as the brain drain. But Canada often experiences its own drain, with many professionals and stars seeking bigger markets and opportunities in the U.S.

In a recent edition of The Medical Post, Matthew Sylvain notes an interesting phenomenon (Brain drain reversed? August 17, 2010). American physicians are moving to Canada, albeit in small numbers.

The most obvious reason is the economy, and Sylvain cites John Mabbott of Health Match B.C. in pointing . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Madam Justice Fran Kiteley to Keynote

The organizing committee of the 2010 ODR and Consumers Conference to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia Nov. 2-3, 2010 is pleased to announce that Madam Justice Frances Kiteley will be a keynote speaker at the Conference.

Madam Justice Kiteley:


Co-Chair since 2006 of the Canadian Centre for Court Technology (which she joined in 2005) and member of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Prior to her elevation to the bench, Madam Justice Kiteley was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1976; she was in private practice in Toronto for 19 years and was elected as a Bencher . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

The Friday Fillip

In a stunningly inaccurate prediction, I announced to a friend a few years back that parasols would move into the mainstream here in Canada as we worried more and more about sun damage to our skin. As you may have noticed, it didn’t happen. Perhaps it may still, awaiting only some prominent person to champion the thing, in the way that Englishman Jonas Hanway in the mid 1800s popularized the use by men of umbrellas against the rain despite the taunts and ridicule he got for using a woman’s device.

Everyone’s doing it now, of course. And umbrella makers rejoice . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Who Are You? No, Really.

A monk asked Joshu in all seriousness: “Does a dog have Buddha-Nature or not?” Joshu retorted: “Mu!”

The problem of “identity,” as we would style it today, is the sort of thing that zen masters make their students struggle with, as in the famous dog koan set out above, which tackles the matter elliptically. “Who am I?” — “Who are you?” — are questions that human beings have been worrying since the dawn of consciousness, presumably.

Now, I’m not going to get all gnomic on you here: it’s not the place for it. But the deep question is not so . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Technology