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Archive for November, 2010

Criminal Code Amendments Introduced

I could have titled this post MORE Criminal Code amendments introduced. Between House of Commons Bills C-2 and C-52, 11 are related to the Criminal Code or its related legislation (youth justice, criminal records). November 1, 2010 saw the introduction of Bills C-51 (Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act) and C-52 (An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to support investigations). Bill C-46 from the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session 2009 was similar to Bill C-51, but died on the order paper with the end of the session.

There is an interesting Department of Justice Backgrounder on C-51. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Aussie Rules for Lawyers

I recently migrated to Sydney, Australia with my Australian-born wife and our three children. Australia’s remote location seems to allow a freedom to experiment without the pressure to conform to U.S. or European norms that one experiences in a country like Canada. Or perhaps Australia is simply, as a friend calls it, a “nation of iconoclasts”. In any event, I have observed over the years that regulatory change related to the legal profession in the common law world begins in Australia and then moves around the globe, first to the UK, and finally to North America. As a newly . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

This week in biotech was all about the early stage, and there is no earlier stage in biotech than university tech transfer offices and their progeny.

Universities’ technology transfer offices (TTOs) lie at the interface between university researchers and industry, often with the mandate to monetize the University’s innovations and technological assets. A new study looked at series of in-depth interviews with 20 senior technology transfer personnel at six Canadian universities and two research hospitals and discovered a disconnect between the social and financial goals of tech transfer. One example of a recent success in this area comes from . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Stop Using @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com E-Mail Addresses for Your Law Office

Free e-mail services from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others make getting up and running with an e-mail address a trivial effort. The unfortunate side effect of choosing to use a free email address for a law office – or any business for that matter – is that these free e-mail addresses are burdened with a negative perception: price sends a signal, and using a free e-mail service as a core part of your businesses front-office sends the wrong message.

Just a few ago, cost was a reasonable justification for solos and small firms to choose a free e-mail service. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Tweeting, Jurors and the Florida Clampdown

If you’re summoned for jury duty in Florida keep your thoughts on your civic responsibilities and leave your personal electronics at home.

Many of you have cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Even though you have not yet been selected as a juror, there are some strict rules that you must follow about using your cell phones, electronic devices and computers. You must not use any device to search the Internet or to find out anything related to any cases in the courthouse.
Between now and when you have been discharged from jury duty by the judge, you

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

The Wickwire Debate – Conflict About Conflicts

Today’s posting comes (almost live) from the Schulich Law School at Dalhousie University where Richard Devlin and the organizing committee managed what many would have considered impossible – made legal ethics interesting and relevant to a student audience. Dalhousie staged a lively well fought and provocative debate about the hottest current issue in professional ethics in Canada, the issue of Conflicts of Interest.

We at Slaw have had postings on the CBA Task Force Report on Conflicts of Interest and the Federation of Law Societies response.

Today’s Wickwire Lecture – named after F.R. Wickwire, a leading member of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Future of Headnotes

I believe that a book without an index is not as useful as a book with a good index. 

A case headnote can provide a complete index to a judicial decision.

Headnotes are at risk because the full text of legal decisions without headnotes are now available free on the Internet from multiple sources. This free access has resulted in a dramatic reduction of print subscriptions to law reports.

Is there a need for headnotes? Headnotes tend to save time for a searcher by providing an index to a decision and by providing index material for digests. When a judicial . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing