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Archive for June, 2015

Copyright and Clarity

I recently took a course on copyright law. A number of the questions that came up during the course could not be answered with a simple yes or no; often the answer was “in this circumstance, you should talk to a lawyer.” The course made it clear that there are many misconceptions about copyright. For example, several people taking the course believed that you could freely use copyrighted materials if you were not profiting from your use of these materials.

The copyright questions that librarians have to wrestle with often fall into the grey areas of copyright law. As a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Role of Canada’s Museums and Archives in Reconciliation in Wake of Indian Residential School Abuses

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) many calls to action that focus on the information management community (museums, Library and Archives Canada, archivist associations, vital statistics agencies, etc.).

Earlier this month, the TRC released its findings after its years-long investigation into the many abuses against Aboriginal children at Church-run Indian Residential Schools in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This week, the ActiveHistory.ca website published an article by Krista McCracken, Archives Supervisor at Algoma University’s Shingwauk Residential School and Wishart A. Library.

It is called The Role of Canada’s Museums and Archives in Reconciliation: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Are Managing Partners Anti-Social? the Survey Says …

Some of you may have seen the Canadian Legal Digital Survey report (or the infographic that gives you the highlights) that was released by my firm, fSquared Marketing, last week. If so, you may have realized that something was missing. But before I get into that, for those of you unfamiliar with the report, here’s some background.

In recent years, we’ve seen various reports and analyses that seek to understand the needs of in-house counsel. However, the majority of these surveys are initiated by, and focused on, the US market. This implies, perhaps incorrectly, that Canadians both find and consume . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Complaints Against Globe24h Deemed Well-Founded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Last June 5th, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) issued its findings (Complaints against Globe24h.com, 2015 CanLII 33260 (PCC), the “Findings”) in relation with the activities of a Romanian entrepreneur who illegally downloaded a large number of Canadian decisions in order to commercially exploit the desire of the individuals named in these decisions to maintain some degree of privacy. The story of Sebastian Radulescu, the operator of the Globe24h.com website, has been reported by news organizations such as the Financial Post, the CBC and the Globe and Mail. See our summary . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Province Introduces Legislation That Would Protect Whistleblowers From Reprisal, Prevent Disclosure of Identities

On June 11, the Manitoba government introduced proposed amendments to the Public Interest Disclosure Act to protect whistleblowers from reprisal, prevent disclosure of identities and give designated officers greater powers to investigate wrongdoing. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Merit in Diversity

Does merit trump diversity? Can’t both coexist and in fact, isn’t it possible that an individual’s merit is enhanced by that individual’s background, skills and experience?

These questions rolled through my brain as I read yesterday’s Financial Post article, Firms adopting diversity policies but few commit to targets for women on boards. The suggestion is that increasing diversity in membership of corporate boards may have a negative impact on the effectiveness of those boards. Some corporations are hesitant to set targets for gender diversity on their boards, the lawyers interviewed explained:

…the most common reason given by companies for

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Saleh v Nebel, 2015 ONSC 3680

[42] I told Mr. Elkin that the question I had raised concerned compliance or lack of compliance with the order made by Stinson J. I told him that the Supreme Court of Canada has said that the civil justice system in Canada is broken and that more intensive Trial Management is one of the mechanisms . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Cloud Computing Advantage Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

The communications prohibitions in Canada’s sweeping Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) prohibit, unless exempt, a person from sending a “commercial electronic message” without the consent of the recipient. On January 15, 2015, further prohibitions relating to the installation of computer programs came into force.

CASL imposes significant compliance hurdles for traditional software providers due to its regulation of programs “installed” on a computer system. However CASL does not appear to regulate software-as-a-service to the same extent, and so CASL appears to favour the cloud-computing service business model and supports the expanded adoption of cloud computing in Canada.

Broadly, the software prohibitions in . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Librarian Visibility

Three things are converging for me today on the theme of law librarian visibility. The first: On Firmer Ground – a blog promoting the value of law firm librarians – has revived; the second: I am preparing to attend the Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference in Calgary on behalf of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries in August; the third: a look forward in my calendar to Thursday when I will be at the Edmonton Law Libraries Association HeadStart program.

At their core, a reason behind all of these activities is to raise the profile of law librarians with . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Ontario to Outlaw Phantom Real Estate Bids

Starting July 1, 2015, real estate professionals in Ontario will not be allowed to imply that they have received an offer to purchase unless the offer is in writing and has been signed. The new rules, which have been established by the Liberal government and the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), are designed to eliminate the possibility of phantom bids in multiple offer situations.

It will no longer be open to agents to try to drive up the sale price by saying that they have, or are expecting, another offer that in reality does not exist.

Although the existing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.

Research

Legal Research Technology Skills

Shaunna Mireau

Sarah Glassmeyer recently posted on Slaw about The Future of Legal Practice and Technology for Law Professors. Her opening salvo: One of my pet peeves is when people throw around the word “technology” as a catch all to mean anything that can or will involve a computer. A common pattern is “In X number of years, this task will be replaced by TECHNOLOGY.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Communications Breakdown: When a Lawyer Doesn’t Listen

A study for the Law Society of England and Wales by Hilary Sommerlad, quoted in “What Clients Want” by Clark Cunningham, found that 50% of clients polled had worked with lawyers they did not like. The study concluded it was, more often than not, the way lawyers interacted with clients that was the issue. Indeed, the paper describes a true situation “where a specialist lawyer with a ‘big reputation’ had interrupted the client because she believed she had heard enough to ‘get the picture.’”

This had the unintended consequence of leaving the client too frightened to speak up in future . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended