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Thursday Thinkpiece: Cheung on Search Engine Liability in the Autocomplete Era

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Defaming by Suggestion: Searching for Search Engine Liability in the Autocomplete Era

By Anne S.Y. Cheung, Associate Professor, The University of Hong Kong – Faculty of Law, in “Comparative Perspectives on the Fundamentals of Freedom of Expression” (Andras Koltay, ed.), forthcoming.

Excerpt: pp 1-14

[Footnotes omitted. They can be found . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

What to Read Before Starting Law School

This fall an estimated 2800 students will begin their three-year journey for a J.D. degree at one of Canada’s 18 Common Law Schools (there are 23 law schools in total in Canada).[1] If they are anything like I was some 23 years ago, these students are excited but apprehensive. The vast majority of new law students have had no contact with the legal system and have not taken any law-related courses. Their knowledge of law comes from popular culture. For me this was L.A. Law, Inherit the Wind, Perry Mason and To Kill a Mockingbird. For today’s law students, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education, Legal Ethics

Do You Have a BYOF Policy?

Here’s a cute but telling article on the privacy and security threats posed by wearable technology – things like smart watches and personal health monitors.

It’s a useful reminder that interconnected devices (Internet of Things stuff) are often lacking basic security or have only basic security, and they are often not updatable either. So they may be infected by security attacks that then get walked into an otherwise protected work environment and spring loose behind the firewalls.

Thus the suggestion of a Bring Your Own Fitbit policy. It’s not just the phones any more.

Views? Do you deal with such . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Crypto Backdoors Are a Horrible Idea

From time to time various law enforcement and government types whine that encryption is a bad thing because it allows criminals to hide from authorities. That is usually followed by a call for security backdoors that allow government authorities to get around the security measures.

That’s a really bad idea – or as Cory Doctorow puts it in a post entitled Once Again: Crypto backdoors are an insane, dangerous idea: “Among cryptographers, the idea that you can make cryptosystems with deliberate weaknesses intended to allow third parties to bypass them is universally considered Just Plain Stupid.”

They build in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

The Curse of Loose­-Leaf Law Books

At the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries last May in Moncton, one of the keynote sessions was on The Future of Legal Publishing. The keynote speakers were Robert McKay and Jason Wilson, moderated by Gary Rodrigues – all fellow Slaw columnists. The opinions offered by these legal information industry experts were informed, insightful and fascinating, and the audience – a roomful of law librarians – was completely engaged. Though each of the speakers had his own vision of law publishing’s future, all were unanimous on one point in particular: there is no future for loose-leaf . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Royal Bank of Canada v. Trang, 2014 ONCA 883

[55] A current mortgage balance is not publicly available information. Just because the legislature chose to make the details of a mortgage publicly available at the beginning of the mortgage relationship does not strip a mortgage balance during the course of a mortgage relationship of the sensitivity it would ordinarily have – . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Post-Vacation Productivity

Summer vacations give us time to relax, recuperate and reconnect. But eventually we also have to deal with reality.

If you’re back at the office trying to recall what it was like to spend the morning reading a novel instead of an opinion letter, here are a few ways to ease your transition back into work mode.

Before you leave

  • Jot down a to-do list sorted by priority and deadline.
  • Communicate clear expectations about your availability while away. Some lawyers refuse to create vacation alerts, lest clients or colleagues think they’re human. Don’t fall into this trap – you won’t
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management

iManage Goes Independent

iManage, a significant player in the work product managment software space for professional services firms, has announced a management buyout of their business from Hewlett-Packard. From the press release:

The iManage leadership team today announced that it has completed a buyout from Hewlett-Packard (HP) for the purchase of the complete iManage business, including its brand, products and services. iManage co-founder and current General Manager Neil Araujo is the CEO of the management-owned company, now one of the largest independent software companies focused on work product management solutions for professional services firms and their clients. Rafiq Mohammadi, also a co-founder

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.

Research

Deep Linking to LexisNexis Canada Sources
Shaunna Mireau

Hat tip to Ted Tjaden for Today’s Tip. Ted is a fan of deep linking to sources including fee based sources of legal research. I am a fan of Ted, including his excellent Irwin Law text Legal Research and Writing which has a companion website. Ted recently shared the pattern of how to deep link to specific material in LexisNexis Canada. . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Time for a Human Rights Defenders Action Plan: the Shrinking Space for Advocacy and Dissent in Canada

Last month Voices-Voix, a coalition of 200 organizations – large and small, local and national – from all corners of the country, released a deeply troubling report detailing what has become a campaign, some go so far as to say siege, against advocacy and dissent in Canada. It is a gloomy but necessary report, well worth a read.

My own organization, Amnesty International, has been centrally involved in Voices since the outset. Voices came together in 2010 because it had become clear that a growing number of groups and individuals who expressed views that went against federal government views on . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Some Highlights of SOLSC15

An interesting thought to take away from the 2015 Sinch Online Legal Services Conference, was the drive to action ideas, prototypes and business models, rather than just leave them to bloom in good time. This was reflected in the intensity of the discussions among attendees and speakers. The potential for “spot fires” of transformative thinking to come together and impact legal niches, seems imminent. The planets may be aligning for some major legal industry events, with big dollars at stake, according to some speakers.

Richard Granat spoke about “Law For the Rest of Us” as 80% of US citizens cannot . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

List of Fastcase 50 Legal Innovators for 2015

Earlier this month, Fastcase, an American-based electronic provider of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions), unveiled its list of Fastcase 50 winners for the year 2015:

“The Fastcase 50 for 2015 highlights entrepreneurs, innovators, and trailblazers — people who have charted a new course for the delivery of legal services. In law firms – including some of the nation’s largest – with new delivery models, legal tech startups, legal publishers, academia, and the judiciary, these pioneers are giving the world a first look at what’s next for law and technology.”

Simon Fodden, the founder of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology