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The Myth of Work Life Balance in Law

I am totally exhausted after a day involving a chambers application, client meetings, attempting to settle a high conflict matter likely headed to litigation despite all efforts and then coming home to two children under four with a husband out of town. And, Monday is my day to post on Slaw …

Which leads to me to a little rumination on the ethereal promise of work life balance in the context of private practice law. I am with Jordan Furlong, whom I met coincidentally for the first time in person at a CBA Work Life Balance function, that we . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2009

Each year Technorati, the online service that indexes blogs throughout the Internet, dives deep to look at the world of blogs, bloggers and blogging in its annual State of the Blogosphere. This year Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra presented it as his keynote to the popular BlogWorld 2009 in Las Vegas in October. His assessment:

“The state of the blogosphere is strong.”

The report itself is published as a five-part series (plus introduction) with lots of easy-to-read graphs giving the overview of statistical findings:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

Dealing With Digital Assets After Death

The New York Times had an interesting blog entry the other day about how one should plan to have one’s digital assets dealt with after death.

The author is not talking about bank or brokerage accounts accessed by electronic means, but about one’s PayPal account, or eBay, or Second Life virtual/real estate, etc — social media assets, as it were — or just personal information that one might not want to survive one’s own ability to control it.

Is this something we should be concerned about in Canada? What would you recommend? Or do most people really have to care . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Every week, I travel the world [wide web] in search of interesting new biotech developments. This week, a smattering of stories from Canada, the U.S. and China are worth noting:

In Canada (and presumably elsewhere as well) Merck put out a country-specific press release announcing the closing of its merger with Schering-Plough. Merck calls Canada “an integral part of the company’s expanded global presence.”

In the U.S., Congress decided that the shutdown of (Canada’s) Chalk River reactor was a warning, and passed a bill to stimulate domestic production of medical isotopes. About 60% of the U.S. supply had . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Bring Rain to the Desert

Law firms are deserts of positive feedback. At so many of our law firms no news is good news and critical feedback is the only kind going around.

As a lawyer coach I am a woman with a mission: To help make our law firms better places to work. One of the most powerful tools for accomplishing this is something called positive acknowledgement.

Positive acknowledgement is about giving the gift our attention by recognizing when someone has done something well. Positive acknowledgement works when you notice someone’s strengths or what they have accomplished and you tell them that you have . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Honourable Frank Iacobucci on Residential Schools

Notes from a keynote speech by Justice Iacobucci at the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) Fall Conference.

Grew up in the East End of Vancouver, where there was lots of diversity of people from many backgrounds. Justice Iacobucci noted that he entered the law exactly 50 years ago, in 1959, when he graduated from UBC. There wasn’t a lot of visible minorities in the profession back then. There also wasn’t a lot of “funny names” in it back then. He recalls that when he told by one of his undergraduate professors that he wanted to do law that . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Forging a Global Privacy Standard

Over the last week, privacy regulators from around the world have been meeting in Madrid at the 31st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. Canada’s own Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, has not surprisingly had a prominent role in the conference, chairing a plenary session on internet privacy. She was also a speaker at another plenary session on moving towards a global privacy framework. The private sector have been involved in the discussions and it appears that there is growing consensus that the global economy and global internet necessitate global (or at least globally compatible) privacy standards. I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Open Access Law With Malamud and Others.

Following on our comments this week on law and access, a show on BlogTalkRadio called The Law Librarian has a podcast available of today’s discussion on OA legal resources with Carl Malamud and others. They talk about his initiative, the Obama admin., and others. A good listen. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Courts and Technology

The issue of technology in Canadian Courts is a favoured one at Slaw. Over the past few years there have been developments which hearten those who advocate for the place of technology in Canadian courts. In another positive sign it seems that some advocates in influential positions are making their feelings known. From a recent decision, 2009 CanLII 57448 (ON S.C.), para. 12,

…the time has come to recognize the stark reality that our court, for whatever reason, lags unacceptably behind in the use of electronic communications with our court users. Why this is so remains, for me, a

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

A New Portal…

♫ Feel in my heart
the start of something new…♫

Lyrics and music by: Matthew Gerrard & Robbie Nevil, from High School Musical.

The BC Courthouse Library Society is launching their new website today ( which should be ‘live’ shortly (the old site is still there as this is posted).

The new site certainly fulfills their Strategic Direction as set out on their site:

Provision of Legal Information, Products, and Services to Members of the Legal Community:


To understand the changing practice of members of the legal community and how they obtain and use legal information.

To design . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Supreme Court Clarifies Malicious Prosecution

The Supreme Court has just released the judgment in Miazga v. Kvello Estate, 2009 SCC 51, what would appear to be the final stop in a long and unhappy ride through both the criminal and civil legal systems in Saskatchewan. Essentially, several adults were prosecuted for, and convicted of, sexual assault against children based on what turned out to be false testimony. The adults brought suit for malicious prosecution against a number of people, including the Crown prosecutor, the appellant Miazga.

The Supreme Court overturned the judgment against Miazga, and in so doing set out what is required . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

Today we’re offering what the menu of one of my much-frequented restaurants might call “Google two ways.” But have no fear: the fact that our favourite double-O agent is the subject doesn’t mean this is business. No, this is about doodles, Google doodles — and particularly some of the hundreds out there that you have never seen before.

The main lode can be found on Google’s Holiday Logos page. This is a truly astonishing collection of inventive plays on the name.

If you’d like a source that’s organized a bit differently, go to Doodle Source, which started collecting the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous