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Archive for ‘Reading: Recommended’

Wikipedia, Inspiration, and Secondary Sources

I enjoyed reading Philip Roth’s “Open Letter to Wikipedia,” published earlier this month in The New Yorker‘s Page Turner blog, from which flowed amendments to a Wikipedia entry.

In quick summary, as I understand events: Mr. Roth read a Wikipedia entry on his The Human Stain. He noticed “a serious misstatement” about the inspiration of the story. He petitioned Wikipedia for correction of the entry on his novel. Correction was not immediately granted. The New Yorker published Mr. Roth’s Open Letter. This letter recounted Wikipedia’s explanation that Mr. Roth, the author, “was not a credible source: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

Top 10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do

A few weeks ago LifeHacker posted the “Top 10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do” to its LifeHacker Top 10 collection.

I had this post on my list to post personally and for LAWPRO and practicePRO’s follower’s today, but decided I would give it a mention on SLAW as I think that the advice in it is just so critical to every computer user.

This is a must read post. The steps mentioned are simple to do and they will save your bacon in the event you experience one of the more common computer . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Gardner: The Law as Ass

Slaw readers who enjoy a little legal philosophy might take a look at the OUP (Oxford University Press) Blog post by John Gardner, “When law is part of the problem“, in which he addresses one of the issues from his new book of essays, Law as a Leap of Faith. In the blog post Gardner, who is a Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford, sketches his argument that we should adopt the “assymetrical interpretation of the rule of law,” which requires officialdom to observe the laws scrupulously while allowing citizens greater lattitutde in that respect. That is, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Robots at War: Scholars Debate the Ethical Issues

The dawn of the 21st century has been called the decade of the drone. Unmanned aerial vehicles, remotely operated by pilots in the United States, rain Hellfire missiles on suspected insurgents in South Asia and the Middle East.

Now a small group of scholars is grappling with what some believe could be the next generation of weaponry: lethal autonomous robots. …

From the website of the Chronicle of Higher Education . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Technology

Real Estate Matters Top List of Legal Malpractice Claims in New ABA Survey

Real estate, personal injury-plaintiff and family law are the top three areas in the “Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims: 2008-2011,” released today by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability. It is the first time that insurers reported a higher percentage of claims involving real estate than any other area of law in this survey, first conducted in 1985. In all five previous versions of the survey dating to 1985, personal injury-plaintiff matters were No. 1 in generating lawyer malpractice claims.

Eleven member insurers of the National Association of Bar-Related Insurance Companies (link:NABRICO) from the United States and nine . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

LAWPRO’s Domestic Contract Matter Tooklit Helps Family Law Practitioners Reduce Claims

The following article from the August 2012 issue of LAWPRO Magazine introduces LAWPRO’s new domestic contract matter toolkit. The toolkit can be downloaded in full or in part at

Between 2007 and 2011, 830 family law claims were reported to LAWPRO. These claims are costly. Resolving them will cost LAWPRO approximately $21 million. Some of these claims arose due to real (or alleged) problems with domestic contract matters. That is the bad news.

Domestic contracts are complex documents that deal with complicated issues involving emotional clients. The dangers are real and there are many places that errors can . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

Legal Research and Information Literacy

Via a post on the Legal Writing Prof blog, I’m reading an interesting paper, “Say Goodbye to the Books: Information Literacy as the New Legal Research Paradigm,” by Professors Ellie Margolis and Kristen Murray of Temple University. The paper is available for download in the SSRN Working Paper Series.

Purely coincidentally, a similar thought arose this morning in an internal planning meeting about our legal research and writing instruction this fall. It was expressed that to introduce online research resources by reference to or comparison with their print counterparts is likely no longer a suitable approach. The argument is not . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Reading: Recommended

Getting the Final Document Correct: A Checklist for Commercial Transactions

The following is the introductory article to LAWPRO’s new commercial transaction checklist that appeared in the August 2012 edition of LAWPRO Magazine. The full checklist can be downloaded from our Checklists page at

Many commercial matters involve the preparation of one or more documents. These documents are drafted based on communications between the parties to the document and/or their respective lawyers, the specific circumstances of the matter and applicable substantive law.

While the majority of commercial deals in Ontario are concluded without difficulties, all too often LAWPRO sees claims arising due to various real – or alleged – problems . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Diversify Your Practice While Avoiding the Danger of a Malpractice Claim

The new issue of LAWPRO Magazine includes an article entitled Diversify without dabbling: before expanding your practice, expand your competence!. It looks at how how lawyers who are considering expanding the scope of their practice can do so safely and avoid a malpractice claim (dabbling outside one’s comfort zone is often a cause of claims). Watch for the full version of this article at

Here are five tips from the article on how to expand your practice skills safely.

1. Expand purposefully
If you decide to expand your scope of practice, make sure that the decision to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

Toronto Star Article on Frauds Targeting Lawyers

Today’s Toronto Star has an article on the email-based scams that have been plaguing lawyers the last few years.

It claims that these frauds have cost law firms in North America $70 million. That sounds like a huge figure at first, but from what we’ve seen the size of these scams are about $200,000 to $300,000, so it would only take about 250 or so lawyers to fall for it to reach that total. practicePRO’s fraud-reporting email address has received thousands of emails since it was set up, but that’s probably only represents a small portion of the lawyers who . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The Kowalski Bible on Lawyer Conservation

Everyone loves a good story. Numerous studies show that people are more likely to learn and retain information told in the format of a story, probably a vestige from the primary means of relaying information through most of human history.

So what about the story describing the imminent doom of the legal profession as we know it? Mitch Kowalski, who joined the Slaw team this year, just released a book this year which tells this tall tale.

Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century relates a fictitious account of an innovative and visionary law firm, Bowen, Fang . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Jurisprudential Solitudes?

A discussion on the Canadian Association of Law Libraries list this morning strikes me as worth a share here. Dawn Urquhart drew subscribers’ attention to a National PostLegal Post article published on the web yesterday, “Court decisions may be lost in translation.” The article appears in today’s National Post with the somewhat less fair title, “Quebec decisions isolated by lack of translation,” and the even less fair lede, “Lawyers outside Quebec can’t read useful judgments.”

The author cites Ted Tjaden’s excellent post here on Slaw from last year, wherein Ted noted the limited overlap in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading: Recommended