Canada’s online legal magazine.

Any Case Law on E-Signatures in Canada?

One of the big issues that Canada’s e-commerce / e-transactions / etc. legislation in the past decade was intended to resolve was the legal status of electronic signatures. At least that was the popular impression. A lot of people (not necessarily lawyers) referred to the legislation as ‘the e-signature bill’. (The Law Commission of England and Wales concluded that no legislation was needed to make e-signature valid in that country / those countries, however, and I suspect that conclusion was valid here too.)

Have there been any cases in any jurisdiction in Canada on the legal status of electronic signatures . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Can You Be Too Paranoid?

♬ Every time I turn around
Something’s just not right
Just might be paranoid…♬

Lyrics and Music by Nicholas Jerry Jonas, Joseph Adam Jonas, Paul Kevin Jonas II, Cathy Dennis, John Fields, recorded by the Jonas Brothers.

An article on yesterday’s online New York Times entitled: “Cyberattack on Google Said to Hit Password System” by John Markoff sheds some further light on the cyber attacks on Google that appear to have originated from China.

The exact nature of the intrusion and theft is a closely-guarded secret, but Markoff states:

[A] person with direct knowledge of the

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

TaxFind Online Coming Soon

Last week, Ted Tjaden highlighted several great resources for Canadian tax filers and researchers. Another handy tax research tip: an online version of TaxFind will be available in May. TaxFind contains publications from the Canadian Tax Foundation, and it is currently available in CD-ROM format. An advantage of TaxFind moving online: more frequent updates to its content.

See the Canadian Tax Foundation website for more information. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Data Protection Regulators Confront Google

Major announcement out of Paris this morning with Figaro and the Wall Street Journal reporting on an Open Letter (une lettre collective) to Google from La Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés. Alex Türk, the Président of CNIL addresses his letter directly to Monsieur Eric Schmidt, Président du conseil d’administration et chef de la direction, Google Inc.

The Italian authorities, the Garante per la protezione dei dati personali signed on as well as the Irish Data Commissioner and other privacy and data protection authorities.

Türk’s letter starts: “We are concerned to see that too often, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet

Supremes Display Tech Ignorance

Someone should do the court a favour and introduce the justices to a few teenagers who might explain the technological facts of life.

That’s the only conclusion that one can draw from reading the transcript of Ontario v. Quon, argued yesterday.

As the New York Post headline put it: Supreme Court justices demonstrate extreme lack of tech savvy. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Better Productivity for Lawyers? Try the Pomodoro Technique


Like most office workers, lawyers and their support staff are increasingly struggling with information overload. Lawyering often requires deep thinking, thorough research and precise drafting, among other tasks. This time intensive work can easily get high jacked with constant distractions such as email, internet browsing, blog feeds, instant messaging, snail mail, meetings, phone calls and “twittering”.

The amount of information we receive on a daily basis has grown dramatically, but the amount of control we have over that information seems to have decreased exponentially. The Pomodoro Technique may be a good filter from internal and external distractions to keep you . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

This week in biotech, the value was all in the network. Here’s the run-down, from serious to Colbert:

I took a look at the reasons why biotech companies aren’t using social media very much, even though they should. Biotech companies seem to fall in the “late majority” of social media adopters, so those who are online now are the “early adopters” among biotechs, and without many online peers, the value is low. Critical mass is building, though.

Another kind of network — this one of expat Canadians — was spawned recently. C100 is “a select group of Canadians . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

Whither the Ontario Reports

The launch of a digital version of the Ontario Reports is a clear sign that the existing business model for the print publication that is truly the heart and soul of the legal profession in Ontario is beginning to falter. New thinking is required if the Ontario Reports are not to wither on the vine.

It is common knowledge that the Ontario Reports are funded by a combination of advertising revenue and sales of subscriptions to the hard bound volumes that are published six times a year.

With the downturn in the economy, advertising revenues have been flat at best, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Harvard Law School During National Library Week

Last week was National Library Week in the U.S., sponsored by the American Library Association as a way to promote libraries. In Friday’s Law Librarian Conversations podcast (formerly the Law Librarian podcast) we talked about the up-take of this week by academic law libraries, especially considering that the focus tends to be on public libraries. One library in particular stood out: Harvard Law School Library.

According to the Et Seq. – Harvard Law School Library Blog post by Meg Kribble, the following “fun and games” were used to promote the library during National Library Week:

  • Foursquare: awarding a
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

E-Discovery Case Law Digest Updated

The E-Discovery Canada Case Law Digests (Common Law) have been updated over the weekend. Hosted by LexUM, the Digests, both common law and civil law, are part of the E-Discovery Portal managed by Sedona Canada.

New material relates to: Requests for further production, Demands for particulars, Preservation of evidence, Spoliation, Discovery Plan, Proportion and Marginal Utility, Cost Shifting, Admissibility of Internet Information, Privacy Issues, Third Party Information and Norwich orders, and Anton Piller Orders. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Predictive Analytics and Criminal Justice

A corporate press release last week boasted that the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is using IBM “predictive analytics” to determine which juvenile offenders in custody are likely to re-offend. An offender’s rehabilitation program may depend upon the results of this analysis, which is a form of data mining to discover from data sets correlations that would otherwise be hidden. The software is a product created by SPSS, a company recently acquired by IBM.

Evidently, the U.K. Ministry of Justice is already using SPSS’s predictive analytics for the same purpose in connection with the population of adult offenders in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

iPad Is a Terrific E-Gadget

To continue our ebook reader discussions, I’ll throw in some recent comments. For the past few months, I have been very interested in purchasing an ebook reader…certainly not urgent but I’ve investigated the Kindle, B&N Nook and now the ipad. Each reader seems to have its pluses and minuses. Although I was not ready to pick one yet, I recently received an ipad as a birthday present. I was delighted though not convinced I would have bought one myself. I have to admit I love my ipad. I’m reading a book on it, however I now do most of my . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology