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Archive for December, 2013

Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime Dangers: Lock Down Your Browser and Avoid Surfing Dangers

Cybercrime dangers are many, complex and ever-changing. Hardly a day goes by without another news report of a data breach or other cyber-related scam or theft. Cyber criminals have considerable resources and expertise, and can cause significant damage to their targets. Cyber criminals specifically target law firms as law firms regularly have funds in their trust accounts and client data that is often very valuable. This article, from the December 2013 issue of LAWPRO Magazine, reviews the specific cybercrime dangers law firms need to be concerned about, and how they can mitigate their risks.

After email, your Internet browser . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime Dangers: Avoid the Dangers of Email

Cybercrime dangers are many, complex and ever-changing. Hardly a day goes by without another news report of a data breach or other cyber-related scam or theft. Cyber criminals have considerable resources and expertise, and can cause significant damage to their targets. Cyber criminals specifically target law firms as law firms regularly have funds in their trust accounts and client data that is often very valuable. This article, from the December 2013 issue of LAWPRO Magazine, reviews the specific cybercrime dangers law firms need to be concerned about, and how they can mitigate their risks.

Email has become a primary . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

2013 Canadian Law Blogs Awards (Clawbies) Announced

If you haven’t done so already, head on over to the Clawbies website to get the full story on this year’s winners. I’ll only say here that the award for the “Best Canadian Law Blog” goes to First Reference Talks piloted by the wonderful (and Slaw blogger, too) Yosie Saint-Cyr.

Oh, and the three Best Practitioner Blogs are David Fraser’s Canadian Privacy Law Blog, Lisa Stam’s Employment and Human Rights Law in Canada, and Russell Alexander’s Family LLB.

And the Legal Culture Award this year goes to Andrew Langille’s great Youth and Work. . . . . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Polycentric Conversations and Rules to Keep Them Going

Four weeks ago I was in Abu Dhabi, at the annual meeting of the Global Agenda Councils of the World Economic Forum. The Council on Rule of Law, which I chair, issued a report on the fast increase of governance outside purely state structures that is aimed at dealing with complex transnational issues such as human rights, labour standards, the environment, cybercrime, health, and corruption. Situations where the state is not enough. There’s a lot of that kind of governance around when you start looking for it and it will increase. Many examples of transnational, multi-stakeholder governance flounder. Why? At . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Sensible Judgments

I don’t often write about court decisions. As a law librarian and not a lawyer, I try to leave this to the legal experts of Slaw. Sometimes, though, I feel compelled to point out specific decisions from the Alberta Courts.

Since it is New Year’s Eve, this day of frequent imbibing, I draw your attention to a relatively recent decision from Alberta Provincial Court Judge Bart Rosborough: R. v. Omeasoo, 2013 ABPC 328 (CanLII). In this decision, Judge Rosborough writes about bail conditions frequently imposed on alcoholics – refraining from consuming that which they are addicted to. Paula . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Powering Your Practice With Databases

I recently met with my elderly mother’s Accountant who had a Financial Planner in attendance. When I told them of my legal IT consulting work, they were almost sympathetic as the lawyers they knew were averse to the use of databases. This was in stark contrast to themselves, and most members of their profession. Their view was that lawyers were archaic in their information management practices.

It is not just referral sources who are speaking up, clients are also losing patience with lawyers, with one corporation, KIA Motors developing a test of their IT skills.

Although I am not privy . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Cyber Risk Insurance Options: Do You Have the Coverage You Need?

The prevalence of cyber-related crime has been steadily increasing for a number of years. Many businesses invest heavily in the necessary IT infrastructure to protect their data, but despite best efforts and intentions, the frequent news stories in the press should serve as confirmation that breaches do occur.

The cost implications of having personal or financial information stolen are significant, especially for law firms, because the information they hold can be confidential and even privileged, and is often very sensitive. When you consider all the potential first- and third-party liabilities a major breach could place on a law firm, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Web Law Predictions for 2014

It’s getting down to the final few weeks of December. As some Slaw readers might remember, my year-end focus is on two activities: 1) the Clawbies, and 2) forecasting trends and making predictions about where the Internet is heading. 

(If you’re interested, you can look back to see how successful (or how terribly wrong) I’ve been in prior years. Here are my crystal ball attempts for 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.)

So without further ado, these are the trends that I see emerging in 2014:

1. Biometric Authentication Finds a Market

Other companies unsuccessfully tried . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Creative Commons 4.0 Licenses

At the end of November, Creative Commons announced the release of an updated set of copyright licenses, dubbed version 4.0. The aim, as it has been since the start of the Creative Commons movement, is to let producers and owners of content make that content legally available for re-use by others with no conditions or some few conditions attached, depending upon the particular license chosen.

Version 4.0 contains a number of important improvements. It has greatly improved the usefulness of CC licenses around the world by taking many countries’ copyright and other laws into account. As well, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

What Do Bad Exam Answers and the Lawyers of the PMO (Maybe) Have in Common?

We don’t know whether the lawyers who worked in the PMO during the Duffy debacle – Nigel Wright and Benjamin Perrin – engaged in unlawful or unethical conduct. What we do know, though, is that two men with stellar public reputations, one (Perrin) described as a “hero” by Hillary Clinton (here) and the other (Wright) as a man “of good faith, of competence, with high ethical standards” by Jason Kenney (here), became embroiled in a public relations debacle – investigated by the RCMP, disavowed by the Prime Minister and publicly castigated for their potential involvement in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Google Street View Case Granted a Rehearing

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted a new hearing this past Friday in Joffe v. Google, Inc., while affirming the decision in September that denied a motion to dismiss by Google.

Google had requested the class action be dismissed on the basis that their actions in collecting information for Google Street View was not illegal due to an exemption in the Wiretap Act, on the basis that they transmitted the data over a WiFi network. The Street View vans had used the service set identifier names and media access control address from routers . . . [more]

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

Legal Business Development: Make Your Own Luck!

Some people just seem to have all the luck. Born into the right family, went to the right schools, landed the right job, works with the best clients and they make it all look easy. Maybe it shouldn’t be chalked up to “luck.” What else could it be? Huffington Post contributor and author of Embrace The Chaos, Bob Miglani writes… 21 Reasons Why Some People Get So Lucky in Life. He realized that some people… “Became ‘lucky’ because they think differently and take certain actions.” Below are several of the reasons that I think are particularly applicable to lawyers: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing