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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Google Chrome EULA = Ouch!

Via the Register:

Section 11.1 of the new Google Browser Chrome’s EULA:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content, you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and

. . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Document Management a Necessity…

♫ Oh I…
I want to be with you everywhere… ♫

Words and music by Christine McVie, recorded by Fleetwood Mac.

It seems that we are living in a mini-renaissance with new technology applications being released seemingly daily. Google has released Google Chrome (see Simon Fodden’s post of Sept 1, 2008) with the stated justification that the web needs a solid foundation for modern web applications. Law firms face a similar problem – the need for a solid foundation for capturing of all the myriad bits of information that form the electronic client file into one place. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Open Source Here in Google, There in Quebec, and Maybe Everywhere

There’s quite a bit of buzz this week about open source software.

Earlier this summer Google banned open source code on Mozilla Public License claiming spiraling legal costs.

Chris DiBona of the Open Source Team says,

We did this because we have been trying as a company to make a statement against open source license proliferation. You see, we feel it is damaging to the larger world of open source development if there are too many duplicative licenses.

This week Google reversed the ban, looking for greater collaboration through the Eclipse Public License. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Maple Leaf Scare Provides Meat for Thought

Despite a public apology and acknowledgement of responsibility, the tragedy from tainted meats in Canada may not yet be over.

Even in light of this incident, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) seems to be following through with a plan that would lower inspection requirements for domestic meat products, while maintaining higher standards for exports.

Although safety issue don’t appear to be a concern, consumer confidence is at stake. This would affect already cash-strapped beef farmers.

Susan Bourette, a journalist who worked undercover for Maple Leaf in 2004 to write her book, Carnivore Chic: From Pasture to Plate, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Examining Fault/No Fault Medical Insurance

CMAJ, the publication of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), is doing a series examining medical malpractice in Canada. The CMA drew national attention this month when a private health care advocate was elected their president, drawing criticism from various quarters.

Part one in the last week’s issue describes the emotional difficulties, isolation and stress that physicians undergo when dealing with professional litigation.

They then compare tort-based systems around the world and note that our system is not as user friendly.

The pros and cons of a no-fault compensation scheme are then reviewed, and they claim that 50% of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Happy Birthday Canlii

Our friends at Canlii are celebrating eight years. Yes August 29, 2000 it all started.

Now CanLII publishes over 140 databases, gets nearly 25,000 visits per day, 2,500 new cases are added every week and 11 statutory databases are updated monthly.

The announcement has links so you can look back at what it used to look like.

Long may it thrive. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Law Librarians and Virtual Worlds

While we’ve had discussions from time to time about Second Life, but we missed telling you about a novel virtual workshop on innovative forms of library services through virtual worlds. The workshop explored the benefits and challenges of operating a virtual world law library program, leading to practical advice on how to create and present a program or topical resource within Second Life.

The website noted that a legal community is developing in Second Life: over 65 lawyers and firms have an official Second Life presence, the “Second Life Bar Association” has 200+ members, and the ABA has recently . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Cognition for Legal

The race is on to make (and sell to users) the first truly good search engine that deals well with concepts, such that a search for “dog bites man” would include results without the word “dog” or “bites” but that include “Pomeranian” and “attacks,” to give a very simple example. Natural language processing — or NLP — is not easy for machines to learn, of course. Not only must they have a decent thesaurus, but as well they should be able to parse a document and derive some sense of context so that the results of a “dog bites man . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Guantanamero. Guajiro, Guantanamero.

The song has travelled the world, and is recognizable worldwide as a classic Cuban folk tune about a local girl.

Except that’s not what it was always about.

Although the song was first written by José Fernández Diaz around 1929, the modern lyrics can be traced back to a poem, Versos Sencillos, written by a Cuban nationalist named José Martí (1853-1895).

Martí, who studied law in Spain while in exile from Cuba, served as joint consul for Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina in New York in 1881. He actively lobbied for Cuban independence from American ambitions to annex the island. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Are Good Litigators Born?

I’ve always been leery of proponents of a biological basis for intelligence [or running].

I have conceded that genetics play some role on an individual basis, but need to be activated by the environment. Measures of intelligence are far too culturally specific, and ignore many other forms of intelligence. And I wholly reject, for largely scientific reasons, attempts to correlate genetic intelligence with racial or ethnic groups.

The same holds true for great lawyers.

Some of us are born to a long line of lawyers, or have parents that are judges or legal academics. We grew up . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions