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Archive for ‘Administration of Slaw’

Goodbye

As of today I am retiring as publisher, editor, and manager of Slaw. I have asked Steve Matthews, the innovative and talented President of Stem Legal, who has been with Slaw since the beginning, to take over as publisher of Slaw; and I’m thankful indeed that he has agreed. Steve is in charge here now.

This is something of a wrench for me. I started Slaw nine years ago and have managed it since that time; I’ve written more than 2,500 entries and another 500 or so as Administrator. I’ve seen it grow from a crew of half a dozen . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements

Upcoming Law Student Week

This year, as we have done for a few years in the past, Slaw will each day in the coming week host a number of student essays written for Professor Adam Dodek’s first year course in Legal Ethics at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law. As Professor Dodek has said here before:

I have found that our students have great perspectives on these issues because they were so recently members of that ridiculous term that only lawyers use: “lay people”. While law school is certainly a socialization process for the legal profession, law students have not been fully

. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements, Law Student Week

The New Canadian Digital Privacy Act (Bill S-4)

The government of Canada has introduced a bill to amend PIPEDA on privacy matters. The bill appears to be largely the same as Bill C-29 from 2010. It imposes a duty on organizations that have custody of personal information to disclose to the Privacy Commissioner and to affected individuals the fact of any breach of security affecting that personal information, if the breach creates a ‘significant risk of serious harm’ to the individual. Both terms (significant risk and serious harm are defined, or at least given more flavour, in the bill.)

(7) For the purpose of this section, “significant

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

More Thoughts on Information as Property

There have been discussions on whether information can be ‘property’ for legal purposes (such as here and here), and the limits on that equivalence and the reasons for them. The English (and Welsh) Court of Appeal has recently addressed itself to that question again, in Your Response v Datateam Business Media [2014] EWCA Civ 281.

In that case, Your Response was working on a database of Datateam’s customers. In a dispute about payment, Your Response claimed a lien over the database and refused to return it to Datateam in the absence of payment.

The Court of Appeal held that . . . [more]

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

Can You Be Prosecuted for a Facebook ‘like’?

A US appeals court found – properly, in my view – that clicking ‘Like’ on the Facebook page of a political candidate was political speech protected by freedom of expression law.

Another US court found that clicking on ‘Like’ on the Facebook page of someone who has a restraining order against any contact by the clicker is contempt of the restraining order. That too seems sensible, if severe. (Restraining orders often need to be severely enforced.)

Here is an account of a bit of a confused British situation, where someone is apparently being investigated by police for Liking a Facebook . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Authentication vs Hearsay

The Ontario Court of Justice recently had occasion to consider the different grounds on which documentary evidence might be admitted or not admitted into evidence in a criminal case, in HMQ v Mondor.

Mr. Mondor was charged with accessing child pornography via a web site. The police had reconstituted the web site in order to trace certain purchases to the accused. As a result, the electronic records they used were not business records of the seller of the pornography for the purposes of s. 30 of the Canada Evidence Act. The Crown looked instead to what both it and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Electronic Evidence Case – Criminal Law and Social Media

The New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench recently admitted into a criminal case screenshots of a Facebook conversation that took place the day after an alleged sexual assault between the complainant and the accused. R v Nde Soh, 2014 NBQB 20

The court held – properly, in my view – that the screenshots were electronic documents within the meaning of ss. 31.1ff of the Canada Evidence Act, which reflect the Uniform Electronic Evidence Act. It found that the documents were properly authenticated. It decided that the computer system was sufficiently reliable in the absence of any evidence from . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Natasha Chetty

I’m proud indeed to announce that Natasha Chetty is joining Slaw as a regular blogger.

Natasha is the principal consultant at Bellwether Strategies in Vancouver where she works with law firms and legal organizations on strategic planning, reputation management and business development initiatives.

Natasha was one of the first Canadians to have completed major certifications from the Reputation Institute in New York (researchers for the annual Forbes magazine list of the “World’s Most Reputable Companies”). She is also a certified coach who helps lawyers throughout North America to apply legal project management techniques to their client work. She often facilitates . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements

May Lawyers Advise Clients to ‘Clean Up’ Social Media Pages?

The question relates to the discoverability of social media information and whether having something on a ‘private’ page makes any difference. Case law has dealt with this too. My own summary is that any document relevant to civil litigation has to be disclosed by a party, wherever it is and however private it is. However, the opposing party will not be given free access to fish among private documents on mere speculation that there is something relevant there.

Once lawyers know this (and presumably most litigation lawyers now do), can they advise their clients to move stuff to private sections . . . [more]

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

New Columnists on Slaw

It is with great pleasure that I announce that five new columnists are joining Slaw.

Lynn Foley

Lynn is the Co-Founder of fSquared Marketing, a consulting and outsourcing firm. A Board member of the Legal Marketing Association, Vancouver, Lynn holds a dual MBA in Finance and Media & Communications Management.

Lynn will, of course, be joining the Legal Marketing group of columnists.

You may follow Lynn on Twitter @LynnFitzFoley.

 

Elmer Masters

Elmer is the Director of Internet Development at the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instructiona (CALI) where he works on interesting projects involving technology and legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements

Tyler Langdon

Slaw is pleased to announce that Tyler Langdon has joined us as a columnist, writing in the Practice of Law group. His first column will appear this coming Monday.

Tyler is Counsel for Global Legal Operations with McCain Foods Limited and numerous subsidiary companies around the world, having primary responsibility for providing counsel relating to McCain’s Central and South American operations, McCain International Inc., McCain’s Global Technology Centre and the One McCain Project – one of the largest projects in McCain’s history involving standardizing the way McCain does business around the globe. Tyler also supports, along with other members of . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

F. Tim Knight

The perceptive among you will have noticed that Slaw has a new blogger. Tim Knight has joined us, and though he may not be able to start the planned regular blogging until some time in the Spring, he’s likely to post a few entries between now and then. (Tim’s first entry was just posted moments ago.)

Tim is Associate Librarian and Head of Technical Services at the impressive Osgoode Hall Law School Library and has worked as a librarian at the Great Library and at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. We’re particularly glad that he’s joined us, because . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw