Canada’s online legal magazine.

Which Hat Do You Wear?

Personally, I’m on a campaign to bring the fedora back in style but if you are an NFL fan you might choose to wear a baseball style hat with your favourite team’s logo prominently displayed (hey, it’s January 15 it’s about time for me to make a post relative to sports). If you have purchased this hat recently it’s likely to be made by Reebok, which is the genesis of a U.S. court case between the (deep voiced commentator) National Football League and Amercan Needle a hat manufacturer, with potentially far reaching implications which have been commented on widely in . . . [more]

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

The Friday Fillip

I’m the guy who, as a kid, used to make a list of unfamiliar words just to contemplate them in their strangeness, reluctant some times for months to puncture the mystery with a dictionary. There’s something profoundly interesting to me about written language in and of itself — as an object, rather than as a means to meaning. I enjoy the sight of it, bulked on a page, the shape of certain words, the way it can be made to come to a perfect halt at some right margins…

And then there’s this:

कृपया साल के हर एक दिन Slaw . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

“Does the Internet Make You Dumber?”

Here’s a nice little comeditorial from Search Engine. It is the first entry in their new YouTube channel.

It does not mention the law, but it has implications: if the internet makes us dumber, does that mean online legal services will be poorer, since the lawyers providing them will not be so sharp? Or does it mean, instead, that we’ll all be getting more done, though none of us might be able to claim the credit exclusively? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Webmasters Offer Advice to EU President

The editors and webmasters who work on the various internet presences of the European Community have written an open letter to the re-elected President, José Manuel Barroso, and the incoming Commissioners on “Harnessing the power of the internet for better communication.” As you might expect there’s some good advice here from people who know first hand what’s happening to communication systems currently. After all, the EU website has some six million pages — which makes it larger than Slaw.

The letter, available in both French [HTML] and English [PDF] begins by reminding (one hopes) the President that:

The audience for

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Embrace New Ideas

♫ I’ve got a wealth of new ideas
I’ve got so many new ideas
I’ve got so many new ideas
I’ve got so many new ideas
(Show me, show me, show me all your new ideas)…♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by The Dykeenies.

In Nicole Garton-Jones’ post on “A Different Way to Look at Law Firm Strategy” we delved into the issue of trying to promote innovation within a law firm.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive the Ohio State University Leadership Center’s latest Leadership Newsletter by Beth Flynn, M.S. on this very issue. I sought and . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Instant Information Needs and Alberta’s Cabinet Shuffle

The need for instant information is well illustrated by family and friends desperate to know the condition of their loved ones in Haiti. Anyone who works in libraries can share a story about someone whose need for information was vital. Often what is considered vital information is coloured by personal perspective. Yesterday, one perspective on what is considered vital information might have been Alberta’s cabinet shuffle.

If that was a vital piece of information, the information need would have been fulfilled.

First came elevator rumours about a cabinet shuffle. Then media reports of cabinet shuffle rumours. On the morning . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Helping Haiti

So many of us are shocked and saddened by the devastation from the earthquake in Haiti. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) advises against non-essential travel to Haiti, asking that only those with the skill sets needed go as they don’t have enough infrastructure in the country to support more people.

They advise the best way for Canadians to help is to donate money, not food or clothing. The Government of Canada today announced they would match giving of Canadians dollar-for-dollar up to $50 million in response to this tragedy. Because scam artists are already at work online . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Marketing in the Olympic Wake: Part II, the Gift of Yoga

My earlier post looked at Lululemon Athletica’s tongue-in-cheek special edition clothing line, named the “Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 & 2011 Edition.” The launch of that campaign invited a scolding from the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC) and tiptoed through the provisions of the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act (OPMA).

Luluemon reportedly seeks to increase its brand exposure and will offer the gift of yoga to Vancouver – and all its visitors – during the Olympics. However, its joint press release with yoga-centre operator Yyoga does not mention the word OLYMPIC, or WINTER, or . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Should Judges Join Facebook?

This is a follow-up to the Dec. 16, 2009 post Facebook and the Bench.

Earlier this week in the Montreal Gazette, there was an article about whether Canadian judges should be on the popular social networking site Facebook:

“Amid escalating debate in the U.S. about judicial antics online, the Canadian Judicial Council has turned its attention to whether there should be some ground rules for judges who want to join Facebook and other social networking sites (…)”

“While there are no known cases of Canadian judges on Facebook, participation in the U.S. has reached a level that

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

World “Fair Use” Day

Yesterday, I abandoned my office for several hours to attend “The First Annual World’s Fair Use Day” at the Newseum in Washington D.C. It was organized by the D.C.-based non-profit consumer advocacy group, Public Knowledge. There is lots of information and coverage on this event at http://worldsfairuseday.org/. I will limit my comments to some personal musings (in chronological order as the day unfolded.) . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Fee Fie Foe Firm – Update

In response to my query in my earlier post on Fee Fie Foe Firm from a short while back in which I wondered how there could be 1,500 Canadian law firms targeted or searched by their custom search, I have had an update. Damien McRae, a knowledge consultant from Australia and founder of Fee Fie Foe Firm, has confirmed to me in an email that his site does in fact search/target 1500 selected Canadian law firms (as opposed to using some sort of automatic scraping of URLs).

Although I had meant to add some better refinements to my Custom . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

Google to China – Back Off or We Are Out of Here

The blogosphere and twitterverse are buzzing today about the stand Google took yesterday in China. Google basically said it would no longer censor results for Chinese users as required by the Chinese government, and if the government didn’t like it, they would leave.

Seems that the last straw was a series of cyber attacks on Google and others trying to steal proprietary information, and trying to read the gmail accounts of human rights activists. Google claims the Chinese government is behind those attacks.

This is a bold move by Google. We often see how businesses, governments and courts struggle with . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous