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The Friday Fillip: Stealright

Yes, you heardright: stealright.

I haven’t joined the Anarchists Who Nick; I think the kleptocracy we already have is quite powerful enough, thank you; and though I’m old enough to remember Abbie Hoffman and “Please Steal This Book,” the fact that he sold more than a quarter of a million copies of the damn thing kind of took the edge off that razor for me a long time ago.

What I’m on about isn’t even your run of the mill P2P stuff but rather A2A, perhaps: artist to artist. Or, better, artist from artist. Because that’s what artists do, it . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

What Women Lawyers Gain From Women-Only Groups

A recent cover story in Canadian Lawyer “The Case for Ladies Only” questioned the need in 2014 for women lawyers to form organizations or hold events that are for women only. Ignoring the outdated use of the word “ladies” (which in itself shows the need to educate the profession on how women should be treated) the article raises the question about what is the best way to achieve gender parity.  

Given that women’s participation in the profession (thirty-seven percent) is still decades away from equaling that of men and that women have stalled at around twenty percent of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Law Library of Congress Report on Biometric Data Retention for Passport Applicants and Holders

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a new comparative report on Biometric Data Retention for Passport Applicants and Holders.

The report compares the regulation of biometric data obtained in connection with passport applications and the preservation of such data in fifteen selected countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United States.

The Library occasionally publishes reports that compare the laws on a given theme in a number of countries.

Earlier comparative law reports from the Law Library of Congress have covered topics . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Guidelines to Sharia Law in Great Britain

On March 13, 2014, the Law Society of England and Wales announced that it had released guidelines to help solicitors in the United Kingdom apply Sharia law succession rules. Specifically, the guide deals with drafting wills, trust issues and disputes over estates, and explains in detail how to write wills that respect Islamic traditions while complying with UK law. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Apple v. Samsung – the Saga Continues

The news, reported in late February, that Apple and Samsung had once again failed to resolve their smartphone patent dispute through mediation did not come as a big surprise. At this writing, the technology giants were preparing to go to trial in California in late March, although there was still some prospect that continuing discussions with the mediator could produce a last minute breakthrough.

Published reports citing court filings stated that company executives met with the mediator in a full-day session, followed by a number of phone calls, without success.

The background of this dispute includes significant wins by Apple . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The Thursday Thinkpiece: Kafka on the Lawyers

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.

The Trial
Franz Kafka
Orig: Der Process, Berlin: Verlag Die Schmiede, 1925

Translation by David Wyllie

Chapter Seven
Lawyer – Manufacturer – Painter

……

He was no longer able to get the thought of the trial out of his head. He had often wondered whether it might not be a good idea . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Can You Be Prosecuted for a Facebook ‘like’?

A US appeals court found – properly, in my view – that clicking ‘Like’ on the Facebook page of a political candidate was political speech protected by freedom of expression law.

Another US court found that clicking on ‘Like’ on the Facebook page of someone who has a restraining order against any contact by the clicker is contempt of the restraining order. That too seems sensible, if severe. (Restraining orders often need to be severely enforced.)

Here is an account of a bit of a confused British situation, where someone is apparently being investigated by police for Liking a Facebook . . . [more]

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

Class Notes 2: Strategic Legal Research of Blogs

In one of our later advanced legal research and writing class of the term, we turned our attention from traditional primary and secondary material to alternative or less-expected legal research resources. I posted earlier on the portion of the class in which we learned strategies to mine Twitter for legal research. The other broad angle we looked at addressed strategies and tools to assist in finding helpful secondary resources in legal blogs and other open web information sources.

Legal research in blogs

I think it’s fair to suggest legal blogs are so widespread and well-known that they may be . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

5 LinkedIn Profile Mistakes Lawyers Make

LinkedIn is the largest online professional network and the social media platform lawyers are most likely to engage in. But many lawyers are not using LinkedIn effectively, and they’re missing opportunities as a result. Here are five of the top mistakes lawyers make on their LinkedIn Profiles.

1. Missing, distracting or unprofessional photo

LinkedIn is a business network, not a social network, so no selfies or photos with pets, please! Truthfully, I haven’t seen any lawyers who have posted Profile pictures with their pets, but I have seen photos that are obviously selfies (even if they tried to look professional), . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Office for iPad – There’s a Catch

Microsoft released office for iPad last week. They have promised to release Office for Android soon as well.

The good news is that it is free to download. The bad news is that it can only be used as a reader. If you want to create or edit documents, you need an Office 365 account. And if you have a personal Office 365 account, the terms don’t let you use it for commercial purposes.

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud based service that is purchased for an annual fee.

Even if your office has one of the many flavours of Microsoft . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Legislative Update: Manitoba’s New Public Guardian and Trustee Act

Effective April 1, 2014, Manitoba’s Public Trustee Act is repealed and replaced with The Public Guardian and Trustee Act (C.C.S.M. c.P205).

The new legislation was introduced last spring as Bill 36 and received Royal Assent in December 2013 without amendment. The explanatory note to the Bill summarizes the changes made to the pre-existing legislative scheme as follows:

This Bill replaces the existing Public Trustee Act. Key changes include the following:

  • The name “Public Trustee” is changed to “Public Guardian and Trustee”.
  • The Public Guardian and Trustee’s functions are clarified and listed. They include acting as a trustee, estate administrator, litigation

. . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

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:

  • BlackBerry Limited v. Marineau-Mes 2014 ONSC 1790

    [1] The Applicant, Blackberry Limited (“BlackBerry”), brings this application for the following declarations:

    (a) a declaration that the employment contract entered into between BlackBerry and the respondent Sebastien Marineau-Mes (“Marineau-Mes”), dated effective September 27, 2013 and signed on October 16, 2013 (the “Contract”), is binding on the parties thereto, and that Marineau-Mes is obligated, as set

    . . . [more]

  • Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII