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Webcast Interview of Professor Richard Susskind on “the End of Lawyers”

Just posted on the web is a recent discussion between Mark Harding, Group General Counsel, Barclays and Professor Richard Susskind, OBE on “The End Of Lawyers?”.

If you didn’t listen to Professor Susskind’s ABA TECHSHOW keynote, here is another chance to hear his take on what the future holds for lawyers. The topics covered include:

  • Market predictions and changes – technology and commoditisation
  • Law firm management – new approaches for the future
  • Innovation and R&D – rethinking the delivery of legal services
  • Change management for clients – new ways of working
  • Market competition and external investment
  • Collaboration – more
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

Well there’s no getting around the fact that the variously euphemized swine flu is among us, spreading and causing us all to have something of an attention span. It occurred to me that as a public service I might dedicate this fillip to the sneeze, that potent source of contagion. And what better way to begin than with this flu-shot video from Australia showing a number of handsome folks indulging in unconfined sternutation all lovingly captured in ultra slow motion. It’s enough to make you do the elbow thing with those 40,000 droplets. [Click on the image to see the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Macleans on Law Societies

Macleans is law-baiting again. This time the object of their attention is the country’s law societies, or at least some of them, and the theme is the same old “who will guard the guards themselves?”. The title of the piece by Kate Lunau — “Law societies under fire” — gives the impression that all across the country benchers, or their local equivalents, are hunkered down in bunkers, whereas the body of the article gives us nothing new, nothing that hasn’t been mooted many times before respecting self-governing professions.

Essentially the article points out that in England and Wales, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Centers for Disease Control Tweets

I thought that those of you who like to stay on top of the latest in the swine flu outbreak (which is not the same as rising above it) might like to know that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is on Twitter at (Following 72; 56,452 followers.) Their posts are essentially pointers to specific information for the various organizations that are tasked with preparing for medical emergencies. (This isn’t really an occasion for 140 character data.) But a number are useful for the likes of you and me:

Parents: take steps to protect your family

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

UN Report on Business and Human Rights, Updated

At this time last year, John Ruggie, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on business and human rights released a report, “Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights” [PDF] recommending, as we reported then, implementation of a framework to give effect to

the State duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business; the corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and the need for more effective access to remedies.

Ruggie has now released a report to the UN Human Rights Council on his work since that time, entitled “ . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Leaky Condo Class Action Case Dismissed by the SCC

Having a carpenter for a partner adds an interesting twist to my life. Rather than playing Scrabble or sipping Margaritas on beaches, when he and I take a vacation, it is often to work on the current building project. It also means I take special interest in construction that leads to the courts like McMillan v. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Eugene Meehan’s excellent publication Lang Michener Supreme Court of Canada L@wletter had this note today:

The Applicants purchased a condominium unit in a condominium development in White Rock, British Columbia, constructed in 1994.

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

Eagan’s Eight Rules for Success in Legal Information

Find a niche with growth potential
Organize information to make it useful
The internet is a distribution channel — not a product
Turn words into maths
Separate the signal from the noise
Computers can’t do everything
Treat content like patented material
Print’s not dead, it just needs online help

Rules that wouldn’t have been recognized by the distinguished figure below:

They’re the distilled wisdom in a well-researched piece entitled Westlaw rises to legal publishing fame by selling free information – St. Paul company outprofits Gannett, McGraw Hill, New York Times

And it started here: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

AALL Spectrum May 2009 Issue on Law Library Architecture

The most recent issue of the AALL Spectrum features a number of articles on law library design as part of its 9th Annual Architectural Series.

AALL Spectrum is the monthly magazine of the American Association of Law Libraries.

From the presentation article:

“This edition highlights the need to innovate to be green, to stretch budget dollars, and to make the best use of space: a law school, Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law, and a law firm, O’Melveny & Myers San Francisco, both aim for LEED certification; a new decentralized library at Bose McKinney & Evans emphasizes green; a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Irish Minister to Introduce Blasphemous Libel Law

The Irish Times is reporting that the Minister for Justice proposes to introduce a provision into the defamation bill under discussion by committee that will prohibit blasphemous libel. The provision would read in part:

A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000.

According to the news report:

“Blasphemous matter” is defined as matter “that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Law Reform & the Old Ways

It may be heresy to say so, but I still consider the in-person, face-to-face, in-the-same-room contacts that we at the LCO have to be crucial to our work. I’ve emphasized how important outreach generally and consultation on our projects are to what we do, mostly in connection with wanting to develop smart technological means to accomplish both (or maybe especially the consultation on particular projects). Of course, we’re still working on doing more, but, I hope, only when it enhances old-fashioned ways of interacting with people, when it allows us to hear from people we might not otherwise hear from, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law