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A Factual Question

A study from the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review reportedly finds that the question of whether an exchange is a sale or a licensing agreement is not entirely a matter of contract. According to Gizmodo, Boing Boing, and Sivacracy,

…just because Sony or Amazon call it a license, that doesn’t make it so. “That’s a factual question determined by courts,”…

From the summary:

The (Potential) Legal Validity of E-book Reader Restrictions By Rajiv Batra, John Padro, Seung-Ju Paik and Sarah Calvert

Many users are unhappy that e-book readers, such as the Sony Reader and the Amazon

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

What Was It?

The latest issue of the Virginia Law Weekly contains a look back at the law school from 1958 to 1967, a period so far back in history that even I was back in school.

But I was surprised to read one sentence about the firm library:

In 1962 the head law librarian attended a meeting to assess the workability of a “computer-like” machine designed to index and retrieve whole bodies of legal information

Okay Slaw, what was this about? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Can It Really Help Business?

For many of us, E-Discovery has become a thorn in our side as we attempt to ensure that our organizations are able to be compliant with the court’s demands – particularly when dealing with the US Courts. Perhaps it’s time to look at some of the benefits of an effective e-discovery capability within an organization.

Of course the first value that is often commented on is related to Records Management and the ability to facilitate and strengthen the Records Management goals, thereby leading to a connection with Risk Management and the Chief Risk Officer’s portfolio. This generally is successful through . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Slaw Timeline

Herewith a new feature: the Slaw Timeline for the past week. Clicking on the link or on the graphic below will take you to a PDF file that shows you the posts on Slaw this week at a glance. Best of all, the title of each post is linked to the entry, so you can catch up on any reading you missed. And if you pop all the Slaw Timeline files in a folder (or go to our Timeline Folder) you’ll be able to consult a graphic record of where we’ve been.

Let me know what you think.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

The Friday Fillip

This is Good Friday for Christians, those at least who use the Gregorian calendar. And this post is about using that calendar and a formula in order to calculate when Good Friday and Easter should be celebrated each year. To make it more than simply topical, let me point out that this calculation has been known since the middle ages as “computus,” which seems right for those of use who use “computers.”

…And for those of us who are drawn to (I do not say “revel in”) complexity. Because at the heart of “computus” you’ll find “epact . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Videos of SCOTUS Judges

LawProse, Inc. has a remarkable set of videos of interviews with eight of the justices of the United States Supreme Court — 26 videos in all. If you’re a court watcher or interested in the psychology of judges and judging — or if writing for judges is your thing — this is a feast for you. An article by Tony Mauro on the U.S. Supreme Court Monitor describes the videos as showing the

justices speaking passionately, sarcastically, angrily, into the camera as they answer questions about brief writing, oral advocacy and their own love-hate relationships with the written word.

Apparently . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Don’t Even Mention JD

From the land of “Herr Doktor Doktor” via Language Log:

…Ian Thomas Baldwin, who holds a PhD from Cornell, and now serves as researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena… [had] been accused of “title abuse” by the German police under a little-known Nazi-era law that specifies that only people who hold PhDs or medical degrees from German universities are permitted to be called “Dr.” [But] persons with a PhD from an accredited US institution can now use Dr. in Germany without jeopardy. As I understand this, however, PhDs from Japan, Canada, and other

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Miscellaneous

What’s Hot – According to New York Legal Tech

Here is a link to a summary of the attendee survey results from the ALM Legal Tech Conference in January.

Odd that it took this long to compile – at ABA Techshow in 1988, we were doing automated audience surveys, using unbelievably primitive tools, but real-time.

Here is the answer list to one question:

What topics do you see as hot technology issues in 2008?

Electronic Discovery 69%
Online Collaboration 32%
Knowledge Management 36%
Document Management 53%
Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity 29%
Data Security 48%
Other 13% . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Technology

Animal Law Courses Spreading Across Canada

The most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly features an article entitled Animal law: from the classroom to the real world? that describes the emergence of animal law as a serious field of study and perhaps legal practice:

“If the law schools are any indication, animal law is a growth area. University of Toronto has just become the seventh law school to offer animal law on its curriculum, after McGill, Dalhousie, University of Alberta, University of Ottawa, University of Victoria and Université du Québec à Montréal(…)”

“Just as actually practising environmental law was seen as a pipe dream of law

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Steve Matthews – CBA National – “Who Do You Think You Are?”

A tip of the SLAW hat to SLAW’s own Steve Matthews for his article called “Who Do You Think You Are?” in this month’s edition of the CBA National magazine. Among other things, Steve writes on protecting your online brand and developing an online network. Nice work Steve. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law