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What if the Cloud *Evaporates*?

♫Some sunny day-hey baby
When everything seems okay, baby
You’ll wake up and find out you’re alone
Cause I’ll be gone
Gone, gone, gone really gone…♫

Lyrics and Music by Don Everly and Phil Everly, recorded by The Everly Brothers.

The ABA Journal today published an article “Get Your Head in the Cloud” which states:

The early indications from ethics authorities are that storing client data in the cloud does not violate ethics rules, as long as the lawyer took appropriate steps to safeguard the information from inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure.

While I agree about taking . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Texas Will Execute Henry Skinner Today

Modern states tend to keep meticulous records. This bureaucratic penchant lets us see how truly bizarre one aspect of the Texas justice system is. Thanks to a chart prepared by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, I can tell you that: since 1982 209 people have received capital punishment at the hands of that state; I could even tell you their “races,” as if that mattered. Another chart, this listing information on all executed offenders, will give you a photograph of the convict, some scanty information about the crime that led to execution, and the executed person’s “last statement.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Law Firm of the 21st Century: The Clients’ Revolution – a Study by Eversheds LLP

Eversheds LLP published this past Monday a 16-page report called “Law Firm of the 21st Century: The Clients’ Revolution.”

Their news release is here and summarizes their findings in these terms:

– Recession accelerates change in legal sector by 10 years
– Inefficient sector now puts value and efficiency first
– Hourly rate billing gives way to value billing
– Clients hold power in legal supply relationships
– General Counsel rises in status
– Magic circle category increasingly redundant

A new report warns law firms that that they need to modernise or lose out as a major power shift is

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

iPhone App vs. Mobile Friendly Site

Omar wrote recently about the Tory’s iPhone app. And some individuals, such as Michael Geist and Jim Carroll have created iPhone apps. They essentially provide an iPhone friendly way to consume one’s web site, blogs, twitter, etc.

There is another point of view that says to forget that kind of iPhone app – and just make your web site or blog phone friendly. This point of view essentially says that people don’t want to download an app for every site they want to go to. And not everyone has an iPhone.

My blog, for instance, is readable on . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Third Circuit Student Speech Cases Illustrate Struggle to Characterize Communication Through Social Media

I promise not to get in the habit of cross-linking to my own blog, but it’s worth adding something to the Slaw record on the February 4th student speech decisions of the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, even by way of cross-link. Layshock v. Hermitage School District and J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District deal with sanctions imposed by school boards for “misuse” of social media in strikingly similar circumstances, but the Court reached the opposite conclusion in each case. As I argue here, the conflicting awards illustrate a dialogue about whether to recognize the unique impact . . . [more]

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

The Bad News About Email Message Recall: It Doesn’t Work!

You’ve likely received a “Message Recall” e-mail at some point. They have a Subject line that looks like this: Reid Trautz would like to recall the message “You won’t believe what Dan Pinnington said.” The text within the quote marks is the Subject line of the original message – the one the sender wants recalled.

Many e-mail systems, including the widely used Microsoft/Outlook Exchange Server and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino Server, offer a Message Recall feature. This feature is supposed to delete unread copies of the recalled message from the recipients’ inboxes so they never see it.

When does one make . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Should Judges Check Facts Online?

Internet Law News today reports that a judge who went online to check some facts about a case before him did not invalidate his decision: U.S. v. Bari, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, No. 09-1074.

The court held that judges may note facts “not subject to reasonable dispute” that can be learned from accurate sources. The judge may “confirm his [or her] intuition”.

Does this sound right to you? How would you apply those two criteria (re dispute and re accurate sources)?

OTOH how do you prevent a judge from doing this? Is it realistic or . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Ipsos Reid: Weekly Hours Spent Online Is Higher Than the Hours Spent Watching TV

For the first time since its been tracking research, Ipsos Reid reports that the weekly Internet usage of online Canadians is more than the number of hours they spend watching television. Online Canadians are spending more than 18 hours a week online, compared to 16.9 hours watching TV. Other interesting findings:

  • Males are spending significantly more time online than females (20 hours compared to 16).
  • There is a minimal gap between age groups. For example, 18-34 year olds are spending 20 hours a week online, compared to 18 hours for those over the age of 35.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

SCOTUS Website Re-Designed

The Supreme Court of the United States has launched a new website. According to their What’s New page:

Welcome to the Supreme Court’s new Website, which not only has a new look, but also incorporates new features, including:

  • recent Court decisions accessible from the homepage
  • docket files dating back to 2000
  • an interactive Court calendar
  • a new case citation finder
  • enhanced search and navigation capabilities

Additonal features and enhancements will be added over time, so watch this space for announcements.

The previous design had been criticized for being out of date with regard to look and content, and was . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Civil Court Survey Statistics

StatsCan has released the data from the Civil Court Survey for 2008/2009 of Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The data are available upon request from Statistics Canada’s Centre for Justice Statistics.

Slaw has made that request and has placed the data file we received online for you to download [PDF]. The data are in ten tables for each of the years of the survey, i.e. the years 2005/2006 to 2008/2009. The tables respecting 2008/2009 begin on page 33 of the file. They (and those for the other years) are as follows:

  1. Civil court
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

European Court of Justice Rules in Google v LVMH

Luxury good maker Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), who produces Moet & Chandon champagne and Dior perfume, claimed that Google’s advertising polices violated their trademark. The practice in question was the use of key words related to brand names by counterfeiters, who would then link to online stores.

Based on reported coverage of the case, the European Court of Justice made several main findings in a decision released this morning:

  1. Google has not infringed copyright simply for allowing companies to purchase trade mark key words
  2. Google cannot be liable for advertising requests if it removes them when informed that
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Job Postings for Canadian Lawyers on LinkedIn

Amanda Ellis notes that some Big Law firms in the U.S. are using LinkedIn for recruiting lawyers,

I always glance at the jobs section but today was the first day I remember seeing three attorney positions posted by a firm – not to mention a large firm. Usually, the openings in this section include in-house positions and/or legal support positions.

Are more law firms posting attorney job openings on LinkedIn? Possibly. Should law students and lawyers review LinkedIn’s job postings? Absolutely.

Although earlier this month Wendy Reynolds recommended here on Slaw job searchers use LinkedIn, do we have any evidence . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management