Language Log has a good post on the recent Harper-plagiarism brouhaha, which you can read about on Canadian Press or BBC News. The BBC piece republishes the Liberal Party ad that graphically shows the parallels between Harper’s speech and that of the Australian Prime Minister at the time. But Language Log takes the audio feeds and overlaps them so that you can hear the similarity more or less simultaneously. More important, Mark Liberman explores the issue of copying in the political arena and compares it to that in the academic world, finding useful differences. . . . [more]
We see the term “cloud computing” a lot these days. Its a term that’s hard to define – like Web 2.0. It essentially means having your software work “out there” somewhere, and/or your data reside “out there” somewhere – rather than on a computer in your own home or office. Think of it as commoditized outsourcing. The term is sometimes used to include SAAS and other concepts, and sometimes in a much more limited way. From a legal point of view, the issues and risks for using any flavour of cloud computing are the same – although the . . . [more]
The Global Legal Monitor, a publication of the Law Library of Congress, has been posted about on Slaw here and here and other posts as well. Today, the Law Librarian Blog reports that this useful service is no longer a monthly pdf, but rather a continually updated website with an RSS feed. Thanks Law Library of Congress! Hat tip to Ron Jones. . . . [more]
We talk occasionally on Slaw of wine law — and that’s as it should be. But beer is also a tipple close to my heart, and so I was pleased to learn that a brew I like will be available for sale in Ontario’s Liquor Control Board stores, and not just on draught at pubs that are hard to find. The beer in question comes from the remarkable Scotch Irish Brewing Company of eastern Ontario, makers of the wonderfully bitter Sgt. Major IPA (here I forbear from going into a digression on the history India pale ales and their need . . . [more]
The Canadian Bar Assocation’s Practice Link has a substantial and practical article by Luigi Benetton, “How to Secure Your Laptop Before Crossing the Border.” Benetton sets out ten steps you can and should take if you’re planning to travel to the U.S. with a laptop used in your practice:
- Be Anonymous [… which is not a sure thing, hence… ]
- Travel with a “Bare” Computer
- Turn Off Your Computer, Early
- Back Up Your Data
- Use a Different User Account to Hold Sensitive Information
- Partition and Encrypt Your Entire Hard Drive
- Protect FireWire Ports
- Store Data on Small Devices
Joe Hodnicki over at the Law Librarian Blog shared this Clay Shirky presentation last week. The title of the talk was “It’s Not Information Overload, It’s Filter Failure“.
I’m with Joe here. This kind of thinking works on so many different levels. And perhaps someone, someday, will use a Guinness with Shirky as their contest prize. Would hook me in, anyway. :)
. . . [more]
Has the Internet changed our practices on the proof of foreign law?
Canadian lawyers and judges are, almost by definition, comparativists. We take for granted from the start of our careers that we may have to look to English law, or American or Australian. Civilistes look at French doctrine, to Planiol, Tunc or the Encyclopedie Galloz.
One doesn’t need to spend much time in Michel-Adrien Sheppard’s wonderful collection at the Supreme Court of Canada to recognize the importance of comparative law to that court. Homage to Claire L’Heureux-Dube.
Our judges would regard as odd the debate between Justices Tony Kennedy . . . [more]
As the Ottawa Citizen reminds us, the new national do-not-call system goes into effect this Tuesday:
Canadians fed up with unsolicited telemarketers will be able to register Tuesday on a national do-not-call list established by Canada’s telecommunications regulator and operated by Bell Canada… Residents can register their home and cellphone numbers to block unwanted telemarketers…
The number to call is 1-866-580-3625. The CRTC sign-up page for the do-not-call list is here. It will take up to a month for the telemarketers to comply.
Note that, as the CRTC acknowledges, this will only “reduce the number” of calls, because the . . . [more]
I’ve been wrestling with XML to try to get a Canadian legal style in place for Zotero. Caron Rollins and others at the Diana M. Priestly Law Library at UVic already devoted considerable energies to creating such a style for Endnote gratis. Zotero’s import feature for Endnote styles (currently disabled in the beta download) would save me considerable time and trouble. I wonder where the user-generated contributions to Endnote are in this dispute. Any thoughts . . . [more]
Ron Friedmann of Prism Legal Consulting Inc. has surveyed the current state of legal outsourcing in his fantastic article Why and What Lawyers Should Consider Outsourcing on LLRX.com (September 1, 2008).
In the article, he discusses the evolution of outsourcing in law firms and talks about outsourcing in terms of overall law firm management and cost efficiency. He summarizes the benefits, and has put together an excellent table outlining administrative and legal functions that might be outsourced by a firm. He discusses challenges HR departments face, especially with regard to maintaining the right amount of secretarial staffing, and he also . . . [more]
I’ve just come across an interesting cooperative enterprise uniting clinical work from seven U.S. law schools ((Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington, and Santa Clara University)) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Chilling Effects Clearinghouse has created a searchable database of cease and desist letters, a significant proportion of which are designed to bring a halt to legitimate online activity. You are invited to submit a C&D letter to the database; and the Chilling Effects team will annotate the letter, translating some of the legalese into intelligible prose. There is also a form to fill . . . [more]
Jurafide stands out and is of particular interest because it is designed for non-American lawyers marketing to American clients. Doesn’t seem to get more niche than that.
The site is intended to provided a competitive advantage to American businesses searching for lower costs, emerging markets, or other international opportunities.
They also seek to promote collaboration in international trade issues, and provide a global reach to smaller firms that . . . [more]