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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Ontario Courts Ease Into the Era of Proportionality

It has been a little over a month since the changes to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure have brought in “proportionality” as a governing principle and brought in specific directions regarding proportionality in the discovery process. This is a summary of a quick case law review I conducted for recent Ontario civil procedure decisions citing the proportionality concept.

By numbers alone, it appears Ontario courts are citing the principle slightly more. I counted 15 civil procedure cases reported on Quicklaw that mentioned proportionality from January 1 to February 14. For the same period last year the number was eight. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

How Secure Are Your Passwords?

The two things everyone using computers is supposed to do are: back up regularly and create difficult, changing passwords. The two things that nearly everyone using computers fails to do are: back up regularly and create difficult, changing passwords. Now, the business about backing up wouldn’t apply to computers used in law offices (would it?). But it’s not so clear that all firms and lawyers in those firms have got a good password policy in place.

We’ve talked about this on Slaw a couple of times recently. John Gregory asked whether a failure to set proper — i.e. complex — . . . [more]

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

Craig Brown on the Apology Act

I’ve covered the Apology Act on Slaw before, and Dan Pinnington has touched on the implication for insurers.

One of my professors at UWO, Dr. Craig Brown, has taken it a step further, and suggests it may even assist insurers. Dr. Brown is the author of Insurance Law in Canada, probably the foremost work in this area.

In a recent article in The Lawyers Weekly he states,

…apologies will likely benefit defendants and their insurers by reducing both the damages payable and the costs of reaching a settlement.

The legislation encourages interaction between the parties to a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

The Business of Law: Hot Topics and Emerging Trends

On February 9, 2010, David Cruickshank spoke at UWO Law on “The Business of Law: Hot Topics and Emerging Trends in the Legal Profession.” Cruickshank is a partner at Kerma Partners in New York City, and provides professional advice to law firms and other services.

My notes from his talk follow. . . . [more]

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

Law Buzz Slowed to a Dim Hum

We haven’t heard much on Slaw about the legal situation with LawBuzz yet.

It’s been covered by the Law Times, Precedent, PRWeb, and Michael Geist, so I won’t go into the details of the case. A blog established by unknown authors (I asked) has also been set up dedicated to the suit. Some potentially defamatory posts were made about AdviceScene, resulting in litigation that has again raised some serious questions about online comment.

I was first exposed to the site in my first year of law school, when a member of our Student Legal Society . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Archiving Data

Most of us today are blithely heading for our own personal data disasters. We generate and store vast volumes of information, but few of us really look after it.

So says the New Scientist. And then there’s the matter of professional data. Ever since solicitors invented deed boxes and tying docs up in pink ribbon — £31.08 for 109 yards — lawyers have fretted over the safe storage of information. Now that much of what’s important isn’t amenable to loops of ribbon or even file folders, old practices alone are no longer adequate.

The New Scientist piece introduces two . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Technology

New TV Channel on the Law

We’re used to seeing law firms breaking new ground in deploying technologies for marketing purposes, but I hadn’t seen a law firm sponsoring a television channel – and one devoted to matters legal.

What’s even more remarkable is where it’s coming from. Not some US powerhouse, or a tech-savvy firm in rural Canada.

No this news comes from Bucharest, (which as Simon reminded us Romania outranks Canada in its electronic infrastructure), where Juridic TV, the first television channel dedicated to public legal information, was launched online on February 8 and will broadcast an around-the-clock daily programme. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing

Figuring Out Your Place in the Race: What Kind of Law Firm Do You Want to Be?

The “future of law” is the theme of the current issue of Law Practice Magazine. It has an amazing article by Merrilyn Astin Tarlton titled “Figuring Out Your Place In The Race.”

When it comes to wisdom and insights on innovation and the future of law practice, few, if any, know and see more than my friend Merrilyn. This article in a must read for any managing partner or lawyer that wants to figure out what their firm needs to do to innovate and succeed in the practice of law.

In the article Merrilyn says “Frankly, let’s just say . . . [more]

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

How Do Lawyers Get Their Information?

There’s an interesting little post on Tim Bray’s blog, Ongoing, entitled “The Listening Engine.” Bray, one of the bloggers I’ve been following for years now, is the Canadian software developer and entrepreneur who co-founded Open Text Corporation and who is now the Director of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems. He’s thoughtful, sensible.

In The Listening Engine he puzzles over how it is that RSS and Twitter are resources that some people simply don’t make use of:

When I first discovered the magic of RSS, I expected that it would sweep the entire online population, including everyone’s kids,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Technology: Internet

U.S. Federal Courts Tell Jurors Twitter, Facebook and Texting Verboten

Wired Magazine is reporting that the Judicial Conference of the United States, the body that develops policy for federal courts in that country, has proposed new model jury instructions that explicitly ban the use of applications like Facebook and Twitter:

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson of Kansas, the chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, told the nation’s judges in a Jan. 28 memo that the new jury instructions ‘address the increasing incidence of juror use, of such devices as cellular telephones or computers, to conduct research on the internet or communicate with others

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Privacy Expectations Despite Weak Passwords and File Sharing?

If one has a weak password for one’s web-based personal information, is it reasonable to conclude that one has a reduced expectation of privacy with respect to that information?

(Here’s an English list (from 2006) of the 10 most common password and a list of the 500 worst ones, from the point of view of security.)

If someone uses “password” as his or her password, should he or she really be able to claim some privacy interest in the information behind it?

What about file sharing? If one has files or folders or most of one’s computer accessible to . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Practice of Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list