Canada’s online legal magazine.

LCO More Adventurous With Technology!

We recently tried something new with our consultation process and we’ll likely do it again. Lauren Bates, head of our project on developing a coherent approach to the law as it affects persons with disabilities, participated in a web based consultation with the assistance of Citizens with Disabilities – Ontario. Citizens with Disabilities provides on-line conference rooms that can accommodate various size groups for meetings, courses and interviews, among other uses, through their on-line Conference Centre. Apart from the convenience of format, there is the obvious advantage of accessibility. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Gain Customers by Turning Them Away

Author and marketing guru Seth Godin has a post today on his blog that rings true for anyone selling anything – including lawyers.

He talks about products where a buyer’s perception of them may not be the reality – leading to frustration after the product is purchased.

His conclusion:

“There are lots of things you can do to make the sale. They often are precisely the opposite of what you should do to generate word of mouth. I know, you can’t have word of mouth unless you have a sale, but a sale that leads to pain is hardly worth . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Citation by Shortened URL

What do the experts do in order to cite long URLs, especially in printed publications where the reader will be seriously challenged to type out into a browser the line-long (or more) address?

Is it acceptable to use services like or to provide a short, typable URL for one’s sources? The former at least says that the links one creates do not expire (probably as good a promise as one would get for the original site/cite).

The McGill guide says that one could cite an article just by the top level of the domain where it appears, e.g. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Online Rebranding – Too Important to Be Left to the Professionals

Recent announcements timed for the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries included the usual update from the major publishers on recently rebranded businesses and products.

This time, Thomson Carswell became “Carswell, a Thomson Reuters Business” and “Westlaw-ecarswell” became “WestlawCanada”. Both name changes are undoubted improvements over what was there before and make sense in the long term, but they are really just the latest in a long series of changes that have taken place since The Carswell Company was acquired by the The Thomson Corporation. On the plus side, the print products continue to be associated . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

CRTC Hearings Continue

The CRTC hearings we reported on previously were supposed to have finished yesterday, but according to the CBC actually continued today. See: Internet throttling benefits customers: Rogers, Shaw (, July 13, 2009). The CRTC apparently postponed Bell Alliant’s appearance at the hearing until this morning.

Additional sources are listed on my previous post here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Tin Foil Hat Time in B.C.

As you may have read in various news reports, one David Jonathan Ross is suing the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia and the Attorney General of Canada because, he claims, the R.C.M.P.

attended at his residence near Hope, British Columbia. He alleges that he (and possibly others) was under investigation and was subjected to surveillance techniques that included “neurophone, advanced neurophone and subliminal messaging”. He says that, as a consequence, he suffers from headaches, sleeplessness, loss of normal brain function and related consequences.
Ross v. British Columbia (Public Safety), 2009 BCSC 930

Not surprisingly, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Ontario Privacy Commissioner on SSL and Gmail

The office of the Ontario Privacy Commissioner has released a document praising Gmail for making connection via SSL available for all communications through their website. “If You Want To Protect Your Privacy, Secure Your Gmail” [PDF] points out that when you communicate with your email server over a public wifi network, your communications are vulnerable to interception unless you encrypt them. SSL, or “secure socket layer,” is a cryptographic protocol in fairly common use — you’ll have seen it in operation if you do internet banking or make payments over the internet, and you can recognize . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

Legal Research Outsourcing – News From India

While our India readers are doubtless aghast at the Law Commission’s bold reforms on stamp duty – you can pay any transaction/court fee by demand draft/cash/postal order/banker’s cheque instead of through non-judicial stamp papers or special stamps – and at the breakneck speed of Indian Commissions of Inquiry – less than two months for a J&K fatality inquiry, and at Stalin’s announcement of a financial city – our North American readers will be puzzling over the implications of stories in today’s Evening Standard in London and the American Lawyer in New York. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Technology

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Things were heating up in the world of biotech this week!

Hot deals — some of the biggest numbers Canadian companies have seen this year:

Hot entrepreneurs — new sources of capital and new training bode well for a fresh crop of companies:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology

Ontario’s Adoption Records – Now Open

In May 2008, Ontario passed the Access to Adoption Records Act, 2008, S.O. 2008, c. 5. As of June 1, 2009, adoption records in Ontario are now open. From an ad placed by the Ontario government in a local newspaper:

This means that adopted adults and birth parents can apply for post-adoption birth information from birth records and adoption orders.

An adopted adult, 18 years of age or older, can now apply for a copy of his or her original birth registration and adoption order. A birth parent can receive information from the birth registration and adoption order of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation Canada’s New Direct-to-Consumer Online Legal Service

A sign of the times: for those who have been let go at work but feel too intimidated by the potential cost of a lawyer to seek legal assistance, comes the new service FiredWithoutCause to fill the gap. Have a read through the description below. I’m curious to hear from lawyers in the audience whether you see this type of service complementing or competing with your work?

From FWC’s social media press release (SMPR) from July 10, 2009: is a confidential online service that helps people understand their legal rights and maximize their severance package. The service provides:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology