Canada’s online legal magazine.

New Email Scam Takes Advantage of Toronto Professional

According to CBC News and The Canadian Press, a newer type of email scam has taken advantage of a Toronto-based medical professional. The fraudster hacks into the person’s email account, changes the password so the person cannot access it, and then sends email to that person’s contacts. The fraudster, posing as the email address owner, claims to be stuck in a foreign city and needing financial assistance to get home. He or she asks for a modest sum, enough to purchase a plane ticket home, and has it transferred via a Western Union account. Out of 400 people contacted . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

LAWPRO Magazine: Changing Direction: Thinking Differently About Your Law Practice

The latest issue of LAWPRO Magazine – Changing Direction: Thinking Differently About Your Law Practice – is in the mail and on the web. Download entire magazine here (PDF format, size: 3.27MB)

Our cover stories this month all ask the question: Which kind of lawyer will you be? Legal guru Richard Susskind describes the five lawyer types he predicts will be in future demand. Karen Bell examines how some lawyers are innovating and resetting the legal services model. This article also contains a series of checklists to guide lawyers on the new skills and tools lawyers can use. In Strategic . . . [more]

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

Trade Flows Like Waters Over Rocks

Over the next couple days Prime Minister Harper, President Obama, and President Calderon are meeting in Guadalajara [From Arabic, وادي الحجارة , “rocky riverbed”], Mexico for the North American Leaders’ Summit.

The meeting is part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which seeks to address trade and security issues among the NAFTA partners.

From my vantage point in Guadalajara, the not-so-secret service with earpieces are overshadowed by the armed soldiers in camouflage (literally) hiding in the bushes outside my door. President Calderon is staying in my hotel (“No, yo no trabajo aquí. Soy . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Law Firm Landing Pages

Once you remove content publishing from the equation, there are typically four major entry points into law firm websites: the homepage, practice pages, lawyer profiles and regional office pages. For this month’s web law connected column, I thought it might be interesting to offer comments on each of these pages, and issues I’ve seen from a search marketing perspective.

The law firm homepage: The firm homepage is obviously the most important entry point for a firm website and can often be a prime battleground when stakeholders are trying to ensure the strongest aspects of the firm are reflected in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Friday Fillip

If I were clever, this entry would be the briefest fillip yet. But… I ain’t and it ain’t. So let me go on at just a little length about abbreviation in messaging. See, there’s no real cost to my prolixity: on a blog, no one is charging me for the publication of each word. But if I were texting you I might try to compress things so that my thumbs wouldn’t fall off and your eyes wouldn’t fall out from reading on the teeny tiny screen. This is old news: who doesn’t know LOL, RU, 2NTE, TTFN, etc.?

Curiously, Twitter . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Yet another search engine has been launched. Spezify from Sweden is essentially a meta-search tool that presents combined results from Google, Yahoo, Twitter, and other sources in a pictorial fashion, thanks to its use of Flash technology. Results are spread across a window that is meant to be larger than your open viewing port, so that to see more results you scroll (or drag) up, down, left or right. The image slice below — the results of a search for Canada and courthouse will give you some idea; click on it to see a full window screenshot.

Clicking on any . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Donald Marshall Jr. (1953-2009)

A Canadian, a Mi’kmaq, a man wrongfully convicted of murder. Mr. Marshall passed August 6, 2009. The CBC news has good coverage of the story. Wikipedia’s page on Mr. Marshall is also up to date.

The CBC news archive contains good links and summaries of wrongful convictions.

It should always be disturbing when justice is denied, delayed or miscarried. Fortunately or unfortunately, justice is in the hands of humans. Mistakes are inevitable, but will hopefully decrease as humans learn to live with technology. DNA testing, video surveillance, and advances in forensic science offer hope.

Rest in peace Mr. Marshall. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Welcome James Gannon

Just drawing our readers’ attention to a brand new Canadian IP law blog, Innovation and Culture.

James Gannon describes his aims as:

to update the blog daily with legal developments that have an effect on, among other things, IP, innovation and culture in Canada. While I hope to keep the focus of the blog on Canadian stories, major International stories will also be reported, especially those that may be of interest to Canadian IP scholars & laywers, authors, composers, musicians, programmers, film producers and creators of all kind.

And while we’re on new blogs, a FAQ-rich blog for SMEs in . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

International Pro Bono is a development of the International Bar Association aimed at providing a place for lawyers around the world who are involved in pro bono work to share reports and draw on resources provided on the site.

As you might imagine there’s an associated blog, to which you’re invited to submit a post as a guest blogger interested in pro bono work. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Privacy Commissioner Sponsors Camera Surveillance Workshop

Surveillance cameras seem to be everywhere these days. They are one of the creeping invasions of privacy that raise difficult issues. Isolated cameras on private homes or businesses controlled by the owner and which retain images for short periods of time are easy to justify on security grounds. On the other hand, massive networks of connected and centrally controlled cameras that track everyone’s every move (the UK for example) and save that information for long periods of time cross the Orwellian threshold.

Some of the questions that don’t appear to have fact based answers include:
– Does camera surveillance really . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

From Punctuation to Markup

This began as a comment, and then got out of hand. It is a response to Simon Fodden’s post on squigglies, pilcrows, and gaspers and Gary Rodrigues’ post, “The full stop in legal citation – has its time finally come?“.

Looking at a printed page in a law report, I don’t care whether the law report abbreviations have periods or not, as long as the periods are consistently there or not there. The context will almost certainly make it clear, without the periods, whether “A” is the Atlantic Reporter or an indefinite article, and whether “OR” is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Court Within the Court

Doing some filing work I came across a photograph I took during a visit to the Supreme Court a couple of years ago: In one of the courtyards that bring light to inner-facing windows (see an image of the plan) there’s a badminton court. At least, I’m reliably informed that’s what it is:

click image for full view

The thought of justices whacking away at shuttlecocks is a mighty pleasing one, though I suspect that the court is used by staff or the clerks. The net seems a bit low to me, though, so maybe it’s for counsel to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous