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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

New Legal Trends Report Provides Data Insights for Small- to Medium-Sized Law Firms

In the 4,000-year history of the legal profession, unbiased information sharing has never been the norm. Instead, insights have remained siloed in large institutions—or traded anecdotally among groups at networking events.

That changes with today’s release of the Legal Trends Report. The Legal Trends Report is being published by Clio, the world’s most widely-used legal practice management platform (disclosure: I am the founder and CEO of Clio). By leveraging anonymized, aggregate data from 40,000 active Clio users and over $60 billion in billing volume, the Legal Trends Report provides new insights into topics including average billing rates by state, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended, Technology, Technology: Internet

New Law Library of Congress Reports on Encrypted Communications and Foreign Intelligence Gathering

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., reported earlier this week on two recent comparative law reports published by the institution.

The first, Government Access to Encrypted Communications, “describes the law of 12 nations and the European Union on whether the government, pursuant to a court order or other government process, can require companies to decrypt encrypted communications or provide the government with the means to do so”.

The other one is an updated version of an earlier report entitled Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws that examines the legislation regulating the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Early Neutral Evaluation Programs in Family Law Disputes

The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family has just released a new research report, An International Review of Early Neutral Evaluation Programs and Their Use in Family Law Disputes in Alberta, which includes a literature review of early neutral evaluation programs in Manitoba, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States, and makes recommendations about the implementation of such a program in Alberta. The findings from the literature review are very positive and are likely applicable throughout Canada.

Generally speaking, early neutral evaluation programs are court-based programs that require the parties to a . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

Does Legal Analytics Really Need “Big Data” to Make Predictions?

If you’re at all interested in legal technology, you’ve probably grown tired of the recent influx of fear-mongering articles about “robot lawyers” that are going to put legal professionals out of a job. This sub-genre of legal tech reporting features a lot of buzzwords. There’s “machine learning”, “NLP (natural language processing)”, “AI (artificial intelligence)”, and “predictive analytics”, to name just a few. Regrettably, a lot of these articles discuss legal technologies only in very vague terms, or sometimes don’t bother with definitions at all. And it’s very difficult to have a nuanced conversation about legal tech when it seems like . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Of Copyright, Copyleft and the Unique Creative Commons Needs of PLEI

Unlocking Intellectual Property

Last May, Vancouver Foundation, Canada’s largest community foundation, announced it would develop and adopt an open licensing policy. This is a big deal for an organization that spends over $50 million yearly on its grantees and programs. The right policy could amplify the impact of the Foundation’s spending, and create knock-on benefits shared by other groups working for good causes. On the flip side, a flawed one could dilute the incentives (real or perceived) for grantees expected to share success, credit and perhaps even intellectual property with unknown others.

Meanwhile, Clicklaw Wikibooks, a project I . . . [more]

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

Access to Private Standards Incorporated Into Law

From time to time governments make law by referring to non-governmental rules. These are often technical matters on which standards are developed by outside experts. For example, a regulation might require manufacturers to comply with a safety standard of the Canadian General Standards Board or the International Standards Organization.

When this happens, should the government have to ensure that the outside standards be accessible to those affected by them? Many standards bodies finance their operation at least in part through the sale of their standards. In other words, access to the text of the standards is not free. Is that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation, ulc_ecomm_list

Statutes of Limitations & Mrs. Trump

Politico published a story today on Mrs. Trump’s immigration history: “Gaps in Melania Trump’s Immigration Story Raise Questions.” The issue stems from Mrs. Trump’s status if/when she worked in the US during 1995 & 1996. It seems that she may have been working without authorization, a violation of immigration law (in Canada and the US), which would constitute “visa fraud” (in Canada, “misrepresentation”) and lead to an investigation. I am guessing that Mr. Trump is consulting his lawyers to see if Mrs. Trump’s US citizenship is at risk. It may be.

In her own words, Mrs. Trump described how she . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

Best Guide to Canadian Legal Research Sustained

I was delighted to see the announcement that Catherine Best’s fantastic work at will continue on under an excellent editorial board after her retirement. Catherine generously donated the site to CanLII and the site has been renamed The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide.

What a fabulous legacy.

The Best Guide is one of those resources that act as a starting point for fresh legal researchers, a reminder for the occasional researcher, and a review for the experienced. It is a frequently referred to resource in student training programs, including the Edmonton Law Libraries Association HeadStart program, which, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Influence of Quebec Case Law in the ROC: The Situation and Stakes of the Translation of Judgments

Last fall, Leader of the Bar and former Chief Justice of Quebec, Mtre Michel Robert, gave a lecture on the language of judgments. His remarks were reported in the February 2016 edition of the Journal du Barreau. Upset about the lack of visibility of Quebec case law outside this province, Mtre Robert claimed that the reputations of the Quebec Court of Appeal and Superior Court suffer disastrously because their judgments are not translated.

I think these remarks deserve a closer look, one that takes into account the joint effort of the Quebec judiciary and SOQUIJ to promote Quebec case . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Law Library of Congress Report on Miranda Warning Equivalents Around the World

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. published a report a little while ago about Miranda Warning Equivalents in more than 100 countries around the world, including Canada.

In the United States, so-called Miranda rights are named after the US Supreme Court decision of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966) that determined that a person detained by law enforcement and interrogated must be made aware of the right to remain silent, the right to consult with an attorney and have the attorney present during questioning, and the right to have an attorney appointed if they can’t afford one. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Three Business IP Scams to Watch For

It’s summer vacation season, and worth a reminder about some common business IP scams to watch out for. Staff covering for vacations and unfamiliar with these may be more vulnerable to them. While there are lots of scams out there, these three are the ones I get asked about most by clients.

The trademark registration scam. Scammers monitor the trademark application process, and send an invoice to the trademark applicant that looks like it is part of the trademark application process. If you read it very carefully it says it isn’t an invoice, and it is a pitch for a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

LégisQuébec Official Legislative Website Now Free

LégisQuébec, the website that contains official versions of Quebec laws and regulations, this week went totally free.

The site which offers access to current and former versions of Québec statutes and regulations used to require a subscription for many of its more advanced features.

The revised site has documents in HTML, PDF or EPUB formats.

The material includes the consolidated statutes and regulations for Quebec, historic versions of legislation and regulations, the Table of Amendments to Statutes and the Table of Amendments to Regulations. Information on what period is covered by the historical versions is available in the FAQ . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation