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Archive for October, 2010

Ontario Law Society Seeks Input on “Unbundling”

A little late to the party by comparison with other provinces, the Law Society of Upper Canada is now seeking comments on how best to treat the practice of “unbundling” legal services in the rules of conduct. Specifically, a report (undated) prepared by the Policy Secretariat, “Unbundling” of Legal Services and Limited Legal Representation, [PDF] has made a number of proposals for change in the rules governing lawyers and paralegals, and the law society invites responses to these.

In this context, the society means by “unbundling”:

… the provision of limited legal services or limited legal representation. It is

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

WIPO Meetings on Licensing

On 4 and 5 November 2010, The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is hosting meetings on Emerging Licensing Modalities, as part of its initiative on Facilitating Access to Culture in the Digital Age. These are global meetings with speakers and participants from around the world, with representatives of a variety of stakeholders. Many speakers are experts in their fields and countries. Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig will be the keynote speaker. The Themes for the meetings are:

Licensing Content Online: New Trends
Competition and Licensing of Music
Software: Tailoring Licenses to Markets
Research and Education: Emerging Licensing Platforms . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information

Billing Targets: Are They Driving Women Lawyers Out of the Profession?

Recently a male partner said to me that while practicing law in a firm has always been more challenging for women, he believes that today it is almost impossible. This bold statement surprised me – not because I am unaware of the many challenges that women lawyers face but because I look at how far we have come over the past 30 years and cling to the hopeful belief that progress is being made.

When I remember how challenging it was for women to obtain articles or be kept on as associates with the assumption that women would leave as . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

LexisNexis – Lexis for Microsoft Office

When LexisNexis announced its new Lexis for Microsoft Office (LMO) product this past February, Simon Chester briefly discussed this new product here on SLAW.

The foregoing LexisNexis press release describes the product as “a new set of research capabilities that will enable legal professionals to access content and services from LexisNexis and other sources while operating directly within Microsoft Office applications.” LexisNexis has more info here. The product was formally launched earlier this summer in the United States with the company now exploring introducing it in its other markets.

Earlier today I attended a lunch / demo by . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Jurisdiction Over or Law Applicable to Personal Information

Is anybody – any international body – studying the legal basis for jurisdiction over personal information as it crosses national borders, or considering the law that should be applicable to such PI?

This could be thought of as ‘law applicable to the cloud’ in these days of cloud computing, though I don’t think it’s limited to that.

The Hague Conference on Private International Law in April 2010 noted [PDF p.18] as an ‘additional subject’ for work, more I think in the lines of a watching brief:

The Council invited the Permanent Bureau to continue to follow developments in the following

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Workplace Law as Information Law, Part I – Information Governance Versus Personal Use

I’ve been asked to speak early next year on how information and privacy issues are shaping the future of employment law. In preparation, I’d like to share three developing thoughts here that relate to: (1) the impending clash between information governance and personal use of corporate IT systems; (2) internet use and the “virtualization” of workplace harms; and (3) labour stability, departing employees and information-related harms. Part 1 is below. Parts 2 and 3 will follow. Please comment.

What does the “information governance” movement mean for employers?

In my view, the building pressure to govern corporate information is bound to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Hammurabi… Live!

The great Code of Hammurabi, nearly 4,000 years old, was written in cuniform script in Akkadian, a lingua franca for much of the middle east and north Africa at the time.

Thanks to the efforts of scholars at Cambridge, you can now hear what it might have sounded like. (Obviously, there’s no way to know with any certainty how Akkadian sounded, but certain clues, comparisons, and good guesses can give us an idea.) Here is a link to an MP3 file on Slaw’s server; you can also access the recording on the Cambridge site.

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Update: iPad for Lawyers – Not Just a Toy

An earlier SLAW post by me commented on the fun aspects of the iPad.

Since then, in addition to my personal Gmail email, I have added my work email to the iPad email client, along with syncing my work Calendar and Contacts, and now regard the iPad as a true BlackBerry replacement (to the point on my recent work trip to the United States I left my laptop and BlackBerry at home, making do quite nicely with only the iPad, relying on WiFi at the hotel and conference centre and using the Skype app for when I needed a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Office Technology

Single or Many? Managing Accounts for Database Subscriptions

Over the last five years, electronic resources have become an increasingly more important part of the services provided by law libraries. Administering electronic database subscriptions can be a time-consuming process; managing an electronic subscription includes, but is not limited to, evaluating the resource, negotiating a contract, training users, dealing with passwords, and billing back costs (if necessary). This column discusses a specific aspect of managing database subscriptions: the advantages and disadvantages of using individual user IDs rather than organization-wide passwords.

One problem with the growing number of online database subscriptions is the associated increase in the number of passwords that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Alberta Court Rules Change November 1 2010

Time flies when you are having fun. For those of us in Alberta anticipating changes to court rules on November 1, 2010, time has flown quickly indeed.

I have written about the new Alberta Rules of court here and here and here, but just in case, I thought it worthwhile to touch on this topic one more time.

I have spent quite a bit of time lately helping with the final checks of my firm’s court precedents collection. Alberta’s Rules are significanly changing and so the form of documents that will be filed on and after November 1, 2010 . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation