Canada’s online legal magazine.

Remember the Basics – Check the Facts

In this world of super fast document retrieval it is sometimes important to remember the basics. I was just asked for a decision where the style of cause and the citation both contained errors. The “help I can’t find this case” is usually one of my favourite problems. This Thursday after a mid-week Canada Day off is a lot like a Monday.

The citation that was given to me was a 1983 case from the O.L.R.s – obviously that was incorrect as the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviationreports that the Ontario Law Reports was published between 1901-1931 only. Rather . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

More on Legal Sofware as a Service (SaaS)

Steve Matthews has mentioned his client CLIO and their blogging about SaaS here on Slaw previously. I expect he doesn’t want to inundate us with client talk, but some of their recent blogging begs to be mentioned. They have just completed a 10-part blog series “10 Things Every Lawyer Should Know About Legal Saas” as follows:

Part 1: What is Software-as-a-Service? A discussion of what exactly Software-as-a-Service is, and how it compares to the more traditional desktop computing model.

Part 2: Why (Or Why Not) Choose a SaaS Solution? Why SaaS offers compelling advantages over traditional desktop software

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Six String Nation: A Tribute to Canadian Culture

In honour of Canada Day I share with you a video introducing a new book about the Six String Nation project by writer, radio host and producer Jowi Taylor. I was recently fortunate to hear Jowi speak and had the opportunity to try out the guitar. The longer story is over on my personal blog.

Happy Canada Day!

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous

Library of Congress Global Legal Monitor Adds Topical and Country RSS Feeds

The Global Legal Monitor, published by the Law Library of Congress in Washington, is a publication that provides regular updates on legal developments from around the world on a vast array of topics.

Content comes from official sources, judicial decisions, and other legal news sources.

As of last September, it has offered an RSS feed for updates for all news stories.

It now also offers dozens and dozens of free RSS feeds broken down by topic and/or jurisdiction. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Social Media in the Courtroom – New Technology a Legal Balancing Act

Thought Slaw readers might like to read my Free Press column this week about social media in the courtroom. It talks about some of the good things – like journalists (the real kind) getting permission to tweet during trials. And some bad things – like witnesses texting while on the witness stand.

My conslusion is that – like with most new technologies in general – Trying new technologies in the judicial process, questioning how things are done, and taking innovative approaches are all good things. But we must balance them with some thought about whether it’s the right thing to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Verified Accounts Shifts Onus to User

Twitter launched a beta version of verified accounts recently, “to establish authenticity with people who deal with impersonation or identity confusion on a regular basis.”

We’ve had similar features on sites like ClaimID to help establish which online identities are really ours, and which ones are not.

This would shift the onus for celebrities and high-profile users to get verified, instead of suing retrospectively when others create an account in their name. And indeed, Twitter is starting with these folks first before expanding the feature to everyone else.

But you still have to be using Twitter in order to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Increased Personal Information Privacy Breaches in Saskatchewan

As covered by CBC News earlier today, Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner Gary Dickson expressed his concern about an increase in privacy breach complaints in the province in his 2008-2009 Annual Report. His office opened 62 new breach of privacy investigations over a recent 12 month period. According to today’s Press Release from the Commissioner, Dickson said:

this explosion in the volume of breach of privacy complaints however constitutes the single most significant change in our caseload since the appointment of a full-time Information and Privacy Commissioner in 2003.

He called for improvements in the areas of leadership, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Beatles’ Song Copyright

According to the headline of an article in Wired, “Jackson’s Death Puts Lucrative Beatles Copyrights in Play.” Part of the tangle that is the estate of Michael Jackson is 50% ownership of the copyright to the songs composed by the Beatles. Jackson beat out McCartney in a 1985 auction of the rights (for a mere $47 million) and sold half ownership to Sony. Jackson’s half was subsequently given as collateral for one of the loans he obtained.

Of course, it will take some time to sort out who owns and who owes what. One imagines lawyers will be . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

The LCO & Consultation: Part II

A few posts ago, I talked about how important face-to-face (in person) consultation is to the LCO. Today I’ll provide some examples of actual recent consultations relating to particular projects. This doesn’t mean that we’re opposed to using technology to extend our consultations (in fact, we are looking at getting software to help us do exactly that), but we’ll continue with the old-fashioned kind. The consultations I’ll mention relate to our projects on the Provincial Offences Act and with respect to persons with disabilities. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Hey, Yu! Anybody There?

This too shall pass, a wise man once said. It certainly was the case with the state formerly known as Yugoslavia. And for that reason it will soon be equally true for the stranded .yu country domain suffix. According to the Yugoslav Internet Domain Name Registry “propagating information on .yu domains on the Internet will cease on 30 September 2009.”

The fact of the matter is that nations come and nations go, as anyone with a less than recent map of Europe or Africa could tell you. And political change is not the only source of instability: global warming has . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law