Canada’s online legal magazine.

Productivity 2.0

Confession: I make lists.

Although I usually go to the store without a grocery list, I always have a to do list front and center at the office. So much to do, so little time, it is important to be able to prioritize.

Since adopting a BlackBerry, I find myself using the MemoPad function, which syncs to my Outlook Notepad. This is great if I am the only one who needs the list, but what if I wanted to share the list with my team? I could share my Outlook mailbox or some folder in it, but that is not . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Technology Coverage in Canadian Lawyer Magazine

A tip of the hat to Gerry Blackwell at Canadian Lawyer magazine for his writings on technology. More specifically, in this month’s issue (unfortunately not available through a link) he discusses the progress that colleague Elizabeth Ellis has made at her firm with SharePoint 2007. Last month, he also managed to take my rambling comments and convert them into an article on knowledge-sharing.

I enjoy Gerry’s writing and he was very interested and approachable in discussing technology issues. To his credit, he balanced my comments on the use of technology with the importance of the “people” factor in knowedge sharing, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing

Laptops for Lawyers – Netbooks Versus Laptops

I have spent the last week deciding between whether to buy a netbook or a laptop.

A netbook was tempting for both the low price ($300 to $400 range) and as an experiment with Linux and OpenOffice (for some netbooks). However, a large number of online reviews pointed out the limitations of netbooks: smaller keyboard, not much memory, and sluggishness, especially those using Windows XP or Vista.

Ultimately, the advice from a colleague helped me decide in favour of a laptop. His advice? Is it for travel or is it for work? Since I wanted to use it for work, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information

A Changing Landscape

It’s not how it used to be. E-discovery is becoming more run of the mill with even small law firms working on small matters accepting that the contents of their clients’ computers are just as important as the contents of their filing cabinets. At the same time, clients are demanding lower costs; in part because the economy demands it, and in part because e-discovery can be very expensive (although it doesn’t have to be – and clients are beginning to pick up on this). The proliferation of technology, service models, service providers and increasingly accessible data repositories has increased the . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Devices Are in the News – and Everywhere Else

I’m sure I’m not the only one watching the anti-Twittering struggles of Alberta Speaker Ken Kowalski with mixed feelings (see the Globe and Mail story here). I think the Speaker is correct in demanding that Members pay attention to the proceedings while they are in the Chamber – after all, it is their job to do so. However, the Speaker has villified the hand-held device, where the real culprit is its operator. I once attended a session of the Ontario Legislature during my undergrad days, and observed MPPs writing Christmas cards. Is Twittering any more offensive to the dignity . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

U.K. Still Lacks Cohabitation Rights

An item in the Times Online law section surprised me this morning. It referred to a private member’s bill coming for second reading before the Lords tomorrow “to create a framework of rights and responsibilities for couples in England and Wales who live together but who are not married.” The Cohabitation Bill is promoted by Lord Lester of Herne Hill. (Nothing about this in Lords of the Blog. Perhaps tomorrow. BTW: someone help them get the “wordpress” out of their URL, please: Way too amateur.)

I suppose I knew that the U.K. lacked this sort of protection for . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Canadian Politicians and Web 2.0

Three items here.

When I was in Newcastle-upon-Tyne last month I met an old friend Councillor Ron Beadle, who told me of the ways in which English politicians are using Facebook as ways of keeping in touch with constituents and supporters. I’m more likely to get responses from English politicians that way. Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta’s new book Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom has much on how the Obama campaign deployed Web 2.0 technologies.

But let’s come closer to Canada.

In last week’s NDP leadership convention in Toronto, Peter Tabuns had more money. But there is a fascinating . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology

UN Database on Violence Against Women

In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly called on the Secretary-General of the organization to establish a database on the nature and consequences of violence against women, and on the impact and effectiveness of policies and programmes to combat it.

The database was launched last week.

There are a number of ways to search the data:

  • Country pages
  • Advanced search (type of government or policy measure; form of violence; country/region; year; and keyword)
  • Good practices

Sources for the information include:

  • States parties’ reports to human rights treaty bodies
  • Information provided by Member States in follow-up to the Fourth World
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Proposed New Law Admission Test From Berkeley Profs

Berkeley professors Marjorie M. Shultz (law) and Sheldon Zedeck (psychology) released a report last September, only now picked up on by the New York Times, that releases the results of a study done with a newly devised law school admission test and that recommends that this line of inquiry be pursued on a larger scale, with an eye to replacing the standard LSAT.

Motivated in large part by the recent striking down of reverse discrimination laws and practices in the California and the consequent reduction in the numbers of Black and Hispanic law students in that state, as well . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training


A couple of years ago I posted about IBM’s Many Eyes, a place to turn your datasets into graphs, charts and other ways to make their meanings visible. Timetric is another site/web-app enabling you to display your series of data in useful charts etc. It’s set up such that you can embed the graphic results of your work in a blog or web page and have them updated as your data is updated. Of course, to do that you have to upload your data to Timetric, as with the IBM site, and embed their display of it. But for . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Public Forum on Copyright Issues

Our readers may be interested in an event in Toronto next week. I got a flyer in my mailbox from Olivia Chow, the MP for my riding, advertising a public forum on “how to build a vibrant online arts presence while ensuring fairness for both artists and users.”

The speakers are Charlie Angus (the NDP’s “digital affairs critic”), Michael Geist, Don Quarles, Stephen Waddell and Victoria Owen. It’s scheduled to take place next Wednesday, March 18 at 7 p.m. at the University of Toronto.

See the Flyer . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law