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Archive for ‘Technology’

Of Cloud Computing and Concrete Parachutes

The British Columbia branch of the Canadian Bar Association’s annual conference is an excellent way to earn CPD while connecting with friends in the BC legal profession. Attendees enjoy a well hosted slate of speakers, great company, and time away from the usual hustle, plus it’s usually held somewhere much warmer than BC. Normally this temperature difference is climate-related—although this year in Phoenix, during the final seconds of Jack Newton’s session on cloud computing, the mercury in the room rose a little higher than even the Valley of the Sun could take credit for.

Jack, a fellow SLAW contributor and . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Should the Rules of Professional Conduct Require Competence in Technology?

The recent revisions to Ontario’s Rules of Professional Conduct do not contain the words ‘computer’, ‘information technology’, or ‘electronic’, except in the latter case for a reference to the electronic registration of real estate transfers.

Is this a desirable demonstration of technology neutrality or a missed opportunity to give useful direction to the profession on an increasingly important aspect of the practice of law?

Monica Goyal, who makes her living in the law-and-technology world, suggests in her recent column for the Law Times that the rules should give some guidance.

Do you agree?

If not, have you read the long . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Office Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Did the LSBC Just Kill Cloud Computing for Lawyers in BC?

As a frequent public speaker, I’ve seldom found myself speechless on stage, however, last week I stood in front of an audience of over 200 lawyers in stunned silence for the first time in recent memory. I did so after the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) President, Jan Lindsay, boldly pronounced that, in no uncertain terms, BC lawyers are prohibited from using US-based cloud computing providers.

To set the stage, let me rewind to Friday, November 14. I was invited to talk at the CBABC Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, AZ. My topic, “The Security and Ethics of Cloud Computing,” . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Ontario Consults on a Potential E-Signature Regulation for Real Estate

The Ontario government is consulting on whether to make a regulation under the Electronic Commerce Act to govern electronic signatures to be used on agreements of purchase and sale of real estate.

Draft Regulation

1. For the purpose of subsection 11(4) of the Act, the following class of documents is prescribed: agreements of purchase and sale of land in Ontario.

2. A legal requirement that a document of the prescribed class be signed is satisfied by an electronic signature only if the method of signature used:

a. Is reliable for the purpose of identifying the person who signs;

b. Ensures . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

CRTC Provides Guidance on CASL Software Provisions

The CRTC has just published their thoughts on the interpretation of section 8 of CASL that requires consents for certain types of software installations.

They also discussed them in an IT.Can webinar. Their interpretation is helpful, and addresses some of the uncertainty around the provisions. But some aspects are still unclear, and some of their interpretations may not be entirely supported by the wording of the act. That may be fine so long as the CRTC is enforcing it, but a court does not have to defer to CRTC interpretation. I suspect there will be further clarification coming at some . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Ogletree Deakins Wins Intranet Innovations 2014 Award

Last week at the KMWorld 2014 conference in Washington, DC, Step Two Designs out of Australia once again handed out their annual international Intranet Innovations Awards. This year Ogletree Deakins, an international labour and employment law firm based in the U.S., is winner of the Gold Award for Intranet Rework:

ODConnect, Ogletree Deakins’ intranet, was specifically acclaimed for its client-matter sites and search capability, which judges said provided “a rich set of intranet improvements to support lawyers in their everyday work” and demonstrated “an intranet developed with clear priorities and strong business alignment.” The judges also highlighted “really

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Jargon

Wired magazine has a regular column called “Jargon Watch” that defines terms relevant to existing and future tech and other issues. They are sometimes amusing, sometimes food for thought, sometimes telling of our culture. The November issue has some definitions I thought readers might relate to, including:

Rogeting: Using a thesaurus to disguise plagiarized writing. Such word substitution can thwart anti-plagiarism software, but the tactic becomes comically obvious when overdone, especially with contextually inappropriate synonyms. for instance: Rogeting “legacy networks” into “bequest mazes.”

Nearable: A smart, connected object that can share data about itself with a smartphone or computer. Retailers . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Does Your Firm Have a Social Media Policy?

So your firm has one or more social media accounts they use to deliver its message. But do you have a social media policy for your employees to use? In this day and age, many of your employees have personal (Facebook) and professional (LinkedIn) accounts that may be effectively associated with the firm, based on the employee’s sharing of information. It’s best to have a general guideline to help the lawyers and staff at your firm know the risks and to guide them through how their online activity may affect their professional lives.

A few points to consider when creating . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

International Standard for Treating Personal Information in the Cloud

The International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have adopted a new international standard for the protection of personally identifiable information by public cloud computer service providers.

It is intended to set out best practices for companies operating in this area, such as Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine.

Here is a description of the standard by a privacy advice site.

Is this likely to be helpful to your clients, either those having their information stored and treated in the cloud or those who offer cloud services? Will it influence your contracts?

In particular, will it . . . [more]

Posted in: International issues, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Net Neutrality Zone Trap

The dead puck era in the National Hockey began roughly in 1995 and lasted through the lockout of 2004. The dead puck era was marked by stifling defense and low scoring games as teams employed a defensive strategy known as the “neutral zone trap” (sub nom the trap). The basics of the neutral zone trap was that a team would dump the puck into the offensive zone and then mount little or no forecheck in the offensive zone in favour of placing all of their players in the neutral zone in order to impede the other team from advancing through . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

CASL Software Provisions & CRTC Interpretation

In addition to the anti spam provisions of CASL, it contains provisions against malware starting in January 2015. It imposes disclosure and consent requirements for software providers in certain situations.

Unfortunately, those provisions are perhaps more ill-advised and unclear than the anti-spam provisions. They have the potential to make life difficult for software companies, create additional record keeping responsibilities where none are needed, and could even hurt Canadian consumers if foreign software developers simply don’t sell their products in Canada to avoid compliance.

The IT law bar is collectively scratching their heads trying to understand what the provisions mean in . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Administration of Justice: Who Is Responsible for Technology?

In September, at the Opening of the Courts, a very similar speech was given by the Chief Justices of Quebec and Ontario to their respective audiences. Unknowingly in tune, the highest ranking provincial judges of both provinces deplored the heavy, inaccessible and saturated court system.

Chief Justices Nicole Duval Hesler, François Rolland and Élizabeth Corte pleaded for the augmentation of judicial staff. But more importantly, they came to the conclusion that despite the current efforts to use staff more efficiently, the court system can simply not satisfy the increasingly high demand. Thus, as per Justice Rolland, “[n]ous n’avons plus le . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology