March, 2013 Archives – Slaw
Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for March, 2013

You Tube and Access to Justice

Maintaining its commitment to online access to justice, the UK Supreme Court is now uploading to YouTube oral summaries of its judgments from the Bench.

Argument in important cases is already available live on-line, through a partnership with Sky News (see here ) but is not being uploaded due to volume and space constraints.

Details of hearing dates together with case summaries can be found on the Court’s website and are worth diarizing. It is very difficult to retrieve the data if you miss the live broadcast.

There is also a superb blog with detailed commentaries on cases. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology, Technology: Internet

E-Mail Pro Tip #4: Create Disposable Emails With Gmail’s ‘+’ Notation

When signing up for online services or newsletters, most of us feel some level of anxiety about handing over our closely-guarded e-mail address to an unknown and potentially untrustworthy third party. To work around this problem, some create “throw-away” e-mail addresses that can given out indiscriminately, but having to deal with multiple e-mail addresses can be a significant headache.

Gmail (and Google Apps) offers support for a more convenient solution to this problem: an instant “throwaway” e-mail address can be created by appending a “+” sign, followed by any combination of words or numbers, to your e-mail address. E-mails sent . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

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 forty-one 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. Environmental Law and Litigation   2. Kelly Santini LLP’s Employment Law Blog for the Suddenly Unemployed   3. Slater Vecchio Connected   4. ABlawg.ca    5. BC Injury Law Blog
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Ronald Dworkin and Canadian Legal Ethics

Legal philosopher and Oxford and NYU Law Professor Ronald Dworkin died last month. Dworkin was arguably the most influential legal mind of his generation. Throughout his many writings, Dworkin argued that there was a moral content to law and to many of the phrases contained in the American Constitution. He strongly influenced legal scholarship and teaching in the United States and around the world, including Canada. Dworkin’s fingerprints can be seen in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, its interpretation by the Supreme Court of Canada and in much academic writing in this country. 

Dworkin has also cast a giant . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

A Mention of a Google Alerts Alternative

Another Google product which may soon disappear is Google Alerts. Alerts are absolutely essential to keep track of a brand or an issue online, especially for crisis communication and reputation management. It’s important for lawyers dealing with these issues to identify web mentions as they occur and to respond proactively as needed.

Unfortunately I haven’t been pleased with the service for several years, noting the results were spotty and largely incomplete. Although I don’t have enormous “Google trust issues,” I have been looking for years for an effective alternative to Alerts without much success. Danny Sullivan at . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at cases.slaw.ca.

This week's summaries concern: Party to a crime / Crown duty to Métis / Bankruptcy / Automobile insurance / Injurious affection / Child welfare:
Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Think You Are a Good Driver? Let’s See What Your Car’s Black Box Has to Say

Most people are completely unaware that their car has a black box. The device is known as an Event Data Recorder (EDR) and while it’s not yet mandatory, approximately 90% of cars on the road are equipped with this device. If you are wondering if your car has one, it should be disclosed in your owner’s manual. 

EDRs are similar to commercial aircraft flight-data recorders, but don’t record voices or GPS locations and only retain information during a crash event, and from 5 to 30 seconds immediately before. Some of the recorded data includes:

  • airbag deployment
  • speed
  • engine RPM
  • brake
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip: Paper

Paper, that stuff our money used to be made out of, that intermediate medium between vellum and pixels — the afterlife for some 150,000,000 forty-foot trees each year in Canada alone. It’s so clearly doomed in many people’s minds that we’re able to look at it as something apart now, to see it, as it were, where before it was simply always and everywhere. So let’s look.

How Google sees it.

We’re getting close to April 1, so it’s appropriate to take a look at one of Google’s April Fool’s Day jokes: the one from 2007 on Gmail Paper: . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Is Google Committed to “Free”?

Simon touched on Google’s latest offering Keep in a post yesterday, and how this product comes on the heels of Reader being abandoned. I’ve slowly come to grips with my Feeddemon and Google Reader partnership drawing to a close, but there’s something more frustrating at play here.

What I’m finding troubling is the lack of trust I now feel for Google and their commitment to “free”. Google was supposed to be the safe bet, but it clearly wasn’t. And now we’re forced to question what’s next? Gmail? Analytics? Apps? Feedburner? … We may just be a “spring cleaning” away from . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

The Ugly Side of Legal Blogs

It is astonishing to me that there are practising lawyers who take time away from helping clients to write (often foul-mouthed) blogs and comments attacking those who advocate different ways to deliver legal services. In the minds of these attackers, we have “666” tattooed to the backs of our heads.

The old saying, “Is this the hill I want to die on?” comes to mind for those with boundless energy to expend trash-talking people who think differently.

It’s as if the attackers don’t follow what’s happening in the world around them (which is also exceptionally poor risk management):

Megan Seto . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Unbundling Legal Information

Because law belongs to the people, the governments and courts that issue law must make it available to the people. This is a simple and widely accepted fact.

In practice, as governments and courts carry out their responsibilities to make law available, they do so in a wide variety of ways. For example, the digital versions of federal statutes available from Justice Canada are “official”, and they exist in forms and with rights extended to all and sundry that permit reuse and republication without royalty or permission. However, in some provincial jurisdictions, a surprising range of limitations exist. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues