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Wikis and KM at Law Firms

Bill Ives has a couple of posts on the use of wikis for knowledge management at law firms on his blog, Portals and KM.

In Wikis in Knowledge Management at Law Firms – Part One: ThoughtFarmer Example he reports on a discussion at a recent event in Boston, where two examples were discussed. The first was of a Canadian firm (unnamed) where the KM and IT people had set up Domino wikis (i.e. inside the firewall) for the various practice groups. The result was that they created silos of information. As a solution they turned to ThoughtFarmer. After . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology

Encrypting Personal Information

The states of Nevada and now Massachusetts require that holders of personal information must encrypt that information. Nevada imposes this requirement on businesses with respect to some kinds of information — names associated with social security numbers or various other kinds of access codes. Massachusetts imposes the requirement on everybody and applies it to storage on mobile devices and transmission through open networks.

A memo by the Chicago firm of Wildman Harrold describes both laws and gives citations.

Do we need this kind of rule in Canada? PIPEDA and its provincial counterparts require holders of personal information to keep it . . . [more]

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

IT Infrastructure – Think Disaster Prevention, Not Disaster Recovery

That was the message delivered last night by Steve Spencer of Digital Fortress Corporation at the monthly Internetwork meeting.

He makes a good point. Many people think about disaster recovery when dealing with business continuity plans. That is the wrong focus, as recovering from a disaster has a huge cost in terms of lost customer service, idle staff time, and and hits to productivity and customer relations.

When it comes to IT infrastructure – ie the servers and systems that run a business – the better approach is to think about disaster prevention. In other words, consider the possible things . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

New Proposed Apology Legislation in Ontario

Just over a month ago I said right here on Slaw,

government officials should also review legislation relating to liability of public apologies so that responsible companies like Maple Leaf are not penalized in the process.

It seems someone was paying attention.

A new proposed law would address this issue. The Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario said in a release today,

The Apology Act would, if passed:

  • Allow individuals and organizations, such as hospitals and other public institutions, to apologize for an accident or wrongdoing, without it being used as evidence of liability in a civil
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Gary P. Rodrigues

Readers will have already noticed that Slaw now counts Gary P. Rodrigues among its regular contributors; but we are proud to announce it, even if we’re a little late in doing so.

Gary was the senior publishing executive at both Carswell and Lexis Nexis during the periods of their greatest expansion and development and was, in effect, the architect of their current print and online publishing programs. As well, he is a former President of the Canadian Publishers Council and a former CoChair of Access Copyright when it was known as Cancopy. From time to time, he has served as . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Hockey Anthem Challenge

It’s nowhere near Friday, but that mustn’t matter. Even so there’s a tenuous connection with our regular programming, having to do with copyright law and Dolores Claman’s problems with the CBC (or vice versa). So… today’s the day you get to vote for the new hockey theme for Hockey Night in Canada. On CBC’s Anthem Challenge webpage you’ll find links to the five finalists’ music. Have a listen, and then vote. It’ll be good practice, anyway, for October 14. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

You’re Not Paranoid, You Really Could Be Watched

As a follow-up to the post on Google Picasa’s facial recognition software, there are other new potential Google products that are raising privacy concerns.

A Google spokesperson announced this week a patent application that will rank social network users based on their influence, measured by metrics that would include how many people visited their profile, number of friends, and how active they were on the site.

The product would even track how frequently people post on sites and how successful they are in getting others to read or watch things that they post. Ranking could also be based on . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Will Old Law Reports Ever Die?

From the earliest days of online legal research, the death of the traditional law report in print was predicted. Online access to cases would make print unnecessary. In the paperless world that was imminent, there would be no need for the traditional law report. Storage problems for sets of law report series would be eliminated and the cost of searching cases would be greatly reduced.

That was the vision for online legal research in 1973 when Lexis Nexis and Quicklaw pioneered in offering commercial online access to case law. It was going to be just a matter of time before . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Salo on IRs

Here’s an article by Dorothea Salo, an experienced and outspoken Institutional Repositories manager, on the state of IRs, open access, and academic libraries: Innkeeper at the Roach Motel. Its a real blast of industrial cleanser where we usually get soft soap. Here is her blog: Caveat Lector. Also see this interesting interview with her. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Karake Et Al. and Universal Jurisdiction

Rwandan general, Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, is deputy commander of the joint United Nations/African Union “implementation” force in Darfur, UNAMID. General Karake (there is some uncertainty in the media as to how his name is properly to be given; I am following the Rwandan government’s use of “Karake.”) was also the commander of Rwandan troops during the reprisal killings of Hutus by the Tutsis. In February a Spanish judge of the National Court indicted Karake, along with 39 other Rwandans including president Paul Kagame, with crimes against human rights, claiming “universal jurisdiction” to do so. As a result there . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Blogging for Boys?

Just a short post to raise a question that’s discussed on today, which is why American legal blogs seem to be populated by boys and abandoned by women.

That doesn’t seem to be the case here at Slaw. Is that something about Slaw? Or Canadian law? Or simply that our focus on legal information, technology and research isn’t the same as those blogs that was looking at?

It offers three theories (none of which is particularly compelling:

Theory #1: Women law bloggers are out there, you just don’t see them. ((Women bloggers aren’t as relentlessly self-promoting))


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

U.S. Chief Justice Talks About Technology

The chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, warned law students in a speech last Thursday about relying too unthinkingly on internet sources for legal research. Delivering Drake University‘s Dwight D. Opperman Lecture, he pointed to what he described as the growing practice of using simple word searches to uncover precedents, when the cases recovered in this manner may have little doctrinal connection to the issues at hand. Thinking “outside the box” is fine, he said, but “…You cannot think effectively outside the box if you don’t know where the box is.” And that requires the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous