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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Language of Law

Earlier this week I participated in a bilingual (French–English) conference. Of course, not all participants and presenters were bilingual, so simultaneous interpretation services were offered.

I’m always impressed with simultaneous interpretation. I think it’s a real feat to be able to listen in one language and process the information quickly enough to speak words of the same meaning in another language, while continuing to listen, continuing to process, and continuing to speak. I’m imagining reading a case while dictating a memo while running on a treadmill.

So simultaneous interpretation is wonderful and impressive. What also struck me, though, is that . . . [more]

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

Whatever “Most Influential” Means, Adam, Colin and Malcolm Fit the Description

This month’s Canadian Lawyer has its annual Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession ranking, and I’m delighted to announce that three members of the Slaw community, Malcolm Mercer, Colin Lachance and Adam Dodek have been honoured. Congratulations. Here’s what the magazine says:

Adam Dodek
Vice dean, University of Ottawa
Faculty of Law, Ottawa

Dodek is emerging as a Canadian champion for legal professionalism and legal ethics. He writes and speaks widely on the subject and has been very involved in issues surrounding professional regulation and legal education. Dodek has published several legal books, with his

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous

Rob Ford Conflict of Interest Allegations: What Are the Rules of the Game?

Everyone is watching the mayoralty race in Toronto unfold. Anything involving Rob Ford is scrutinized and reported to great fanfare.

The latest topic involve conflict of interest allegations made against Rob Ford. The Globe and Mail reports that Ford’s family business (in which he continues to retain a financial interest) helped a client of the business lobby the city “in an unsuccessful bid to conduct a strategic review of Toronto’s $9-million in-house printing division.”

What is Rob Ford’s defence? Judging by another article, it seems to be this. “All I did was arrange a meeting between the client and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of Authoritativeness and Crowd-Checking

It’s not hard to light up a debate over the digital legal information revolution and its impact on law. There’s plenty of kindling. What’s hard is to pick an issue and keep the blaze contained. And the sources of fuel keep adding up.

Dutch financial giant ING might have struck a new spark with a report last month on social media and how it impacts news reportage. The full title of the ING report is “An International Study into the Impact of Social Media on the Activities of PR Professionals & Journalists, News & News Dissemination.” It has . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology

#Cbafutureschat Recap: Lawyers Learning to Play With Others

No matter the sport – from soccer to debate club – a team will get nowhere if all its players are specialists in the same position.

But just as there’s no “I” in team, there’s no team in a law firm – not one that can, to stretch that sporting analogy just a little bit further, cover all the bases, so to speak. That is in part due to the regulatory framework under which lawyers work, of course.

Still, there is growing recognition that it might be helpful for lawyers to work in tandem with professionals such as accountants, real . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Some Suggested Holiday Listening From the Beeb

My blog posts have been fairly serious, dealing with issues we face as information professionals at a time of constant change, ranging from exciting digital futures to confronting publishers to saving endangered species (ie, books). However, even librarians and lawyers need to have some time out.

As I have spent a lot of time on planes this year, I thought I would go through some of the ‘must take’ podcasts I listen to on the long flight home. Listening live via the internet is marvellous, but sometimes when there is no wifi, this is just impractical – in the sky, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

#Really?!?

Occasionally I like to crowd-source an answer to a question here at Slaw as I appreciate the insight and experience that Slaw-yers bring to the table. Today is one of those times when I have such a question that I have been turning over in my mind. Before I pose my question I want to state that I ask it in all earnestness; I also want to preface my question by stating that I am a huge fan and user of Twitter, it is currently one of my top current awareness tools. That being said one thing bothers me a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Of Cartoons and True Scotsmen

While you can certainly debate whether ubiquitous internet access is a good or a bad thing, I suspect anyone with a weekly blog commitment to SLAW is looking forward to WestJet’s and Air Canada’s plans to roll out wifi on Canadian flights in the very near future. It is, I’ve learned, very near impossible to write a blog without an internet connection.

Yesterday I instead found myself sitting in seat 12E looking wistfully from my mute and helpless laptop to the pillowy white dunes just beyond the wings of flight WS697. “Cloud computing”, it struck me, was an oxymoron—that and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended

Happy Canada Day

Canada Day is one of my favourite holidays. Every three years, this not being one, my husbands extended family on his mother’s side takes advantage of the Canada Day long weekend to have a Rebellion – other families call this a reunion from what I understand. I suppose it is a bit odd to host a family rebellion on a day celebrating the coming together of our nation, but that is how we roll.

This year, the buzz about Canada Day seems to be focused on the fact that it was not a long weekend. Canada Day is a celebration . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of Baked Beans and the Rule of Law

In episode 6 of season 5 of TV’s Mad Men, there’s a scene where the ad agency is trying to sell Heinz a vision for one of its more lacklustre products, oven-baked beans. Peggy, who’s running the pitch, moves through her mock-up cards and at a measured pace a story unfolds. No matter how unglamorous the legume, it’s the advertiser’s job to win her audience over through storytelling. In this case, she describes how the youth lean in towards one another around the campfire. With their backs to the lonely night, Heinz beans brings familiarity. The product is nothing less . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Mental Health and the Legal Workplace

Lawyers may have recently found themselves giving advice to clients about the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. It’s not mandatory, but this new standard is beginning to receive attention as a convenient source of best practices for employers who want to create a psychologically healthy (and lawsuit-resistant) workplace.

It is one of the first of its kind in the world, and has been adopted by several high-profile organizations, including Bell Canada, Rogers, Great West Life Insurance, Manulife Financial, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and some of Toronto’s major hospitals.

But are law firms . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Basic Rules for Summer Networking Etiquette

Each June, business publications offer up an array of professional etiquette do’s and don’ts. The timing seems right, given the golf tournaments, office barbeques and memos reminding us of “appropriate summer office attire”.

I’ve been thinking about the difference between good manners, etiquette and civility, after fielding a few client queries about social norms. According to Judith Martin (otherwise known as Miss Manners) and her son Nicholas Ivor Martin, manners are “the principles of courteous behaviour” and etiquette “the rules that apply to a particular situation.” Civility, according to Johns Hopkins University Professor and Author P.M. Forni, is “a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous