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February 2014 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The February 2014 issue of Connected is available online.

The bulletin covers news about the impact of new social media on courts.

Most of the items are about the United States, but there is coverage of other jurisdictions from time to time. The bulletin is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

In this issue:

  • NCSC’s Social Media and the Courts Network gets an update (a new site that provides information on how courts are currently using social media)
  • Courts using social media to warn public of scams
  • Harvard’s
  • . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

What’s in Your Pocket?

What phone, that is.

At one time a Blackberry was the de facto standard for lawyers. (For the record, I have used various types of portable device over the years, but never a Blackberry. I’m now using an Android phone. I have an iPad as well, which you couldn’t pry away from me, but when it dies I won’t replace it with another iPad.) Lawyers in our firm who use a Blackberry are dwindling in number. Our IT department tells me that Android phones are becoming more popular. Even some iPhone users have switched to Android.

For some reason, Windows . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

May Lawyers Advise Clients to ‘Clean Up’ Social Media Pages?

The question relates to the discoverability of social media information and whether having something on a ‘private’ page makes any difference. Case law has dealt with this too. My own summary is that any document relevant to civil litigation has to be disclosed by a party, wherever it is and however private it is. However, the opposing party will not be given free access to fish among private documents on mere speculation that there is something relevant there.

Once lawyers know this (and presumably most litigation lawyers now do), can they advise their clients to move stuff to private sections . . . [more]

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

Does a Machine “See” Our Data?

In my seemingly never-ending quest to grasp the underlying technical components that feed into the various linked data efforts out there, I happened on an interesting talk given at last year’s SymfonyLive* conference. This presentation, by Markus Lanthaler, was called “Building Next-Generation Web APIs with JSON-LD and Hydra.”

If you’re interested in JSON coding at all I would recommend the first half of this presentation for Lanthaler’s nice overview of the differences between JSON and JSON-LD (JSON for Linking Data).

However, what really struck me in this presentation were a couple of slides he . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Social Intranets Enable Knowledge Management

A few weeks ago I was fortunate to see Gordon Ross speak on a panel talking about the social intranet and KM for legal knowledge management practitioners in the public sector. Ross is a partner with the Vancouver-based consulting firm Open Road and the Vice President responsible for strategy and professional services for their social intranet platform ThoughtFarmer. He has written a blog post outlining his thoughts from that talk: How Social Intranets can Support Legal Knowledge Management.

While the post is quite a theoretical discussion, pointing to thinking by Max Boisot in his 1998 book Knowledge Assets around . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Office Technology

Canadian Critical Infrastructure Security

As many of you know, the US National Institute on Standards and Technology (NIST) recently published its Framework on Critical Infrastructure Security. Here is one of many articles about it that gives a good summary.

Does Canada need something similar? If so, who would be the appropriate authority to issue it? Will the US framework spill over in any event to Canada, to set a civil standard of care for cybersecurity practices?

A number of American lawyers are advising that boards of directors of ‘critical infrastructure’ operations — a very broad class — have to be aware of these guidelines, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Google’s New Map Gallery

Check out Google’s new Map Gallery.

Sourced from various governments, nonprofits, and businesses, this newly launched service works as a jumping off point to locate historical and resource-based map collections. Once a map of interest is identified, the user can click in and see that map as an overlay, layered together with Google maps. See the examples below to get a better idea:

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Two-Minute Engagement

A recent piece in University Affairs profiles Toronto lawyer Arshia Tabrizi and his academic community engagement start-up, Vidoyen. The name, the article explains, blends “video” and “doyen.” But I’m not sure how many Deans, if any, are on the roster: The site does, though, boast “academics, scholars, experts and thought leaders.”

The site features two-minute video mini-expositions falling in a range of categories. In a quick look through the categories, I don’t see any law professors or practitioners, other than Mr. Tabrizi himself. The slate of advisors includes Former Mayor David Miller and David Cohn, the Director of News . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Major Apple Security Flaw Requires That You Update Your iPhone or iPad

Apple fans often brag that Apple devices are far less susceptible to hackers and security breaches than PCs and other devices. While that was the case in the past, you can no longer use Apple devices and blissfully assume you can’t or won’t be hacked or infected with malware.

Last Friday, without a lot of fanfare, Apple released iOS update 7.0.6. iPads and iPhones use the iOS operating system. This update fixes a coding mistake that could allow a hacker to capture the information you think you are securely sharing with an online merchant or when logging in on a . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Writing With Hemingway

Like many in the legal profession, I spend a significant proportion of my days working at the craft of writing.

Sometimes, I write on risk management topics for Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association. Weekly, I sit down to write a post for publication here on Slaw. From time to time, I also write reports, meeting minutes and more.

Because I work mostly alone, I often have found myself lamenting the absence of another set of eyes to review what I have written. No matter how many times I review my drafts, it seems I always miss something that any good . . . [more]

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

NSA Dragnet Ensnares Law Firms

The most recent Snowden revelation, as reported by the New York Times, has revealed that even law firms have become ensnared in the NSA’s ever-growing communications dragnet.

The top secret document, leaked by Edward Snowden, reveals that a US-based firm was targeted by the NSA over the period of time it represented Indonesia in trade talks with the US government. Controversial FISC court rulings grant the NSA permission to monitor the communications of Americans, even communications within the scope of attorney-client privilege, provided those communications are deemed to have intelligence value and are with foreigners.

Given these revelations, US-based . . . [more]

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

Location, Location, Internet Connection?

The old adage is that there are three things that matter in real estate; that being location, location and location. But a recent item here in Nova Scotia caught my attention for turning that axiom around a bit. That being the story of a man who is appealing his property tax assessment due to the availability of high speed internet access or more specifically the lack thereof. The linked story contains most of the details but I’ll try to impart the readers digest version (or perhaps we should change that axiom to “the blog version”) here. In short, his house . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology