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Fraudsters Now Using Counterfeit Bank Drafts and ID of Major Banks on Mortgage Deals

This afternoon LAWPRO sent an e-blast warning Ontario lawyers to be on the lookout for the latest fraud scheme targeting them. For the first time LAWPRO is seeing a counterfeit bank draft fraud scheme that targets real estate lawyers on mortgage deals. Furthermore, the new scenario may include the supposed fraudster using the identity of a major national financial institution as the actual lender in the transaction.

This new type of fraud works as follows: A new and previously unknown client or lender contact allegedly from a major bank will ask a lawyer to act on mortgage matter. The source . . . [more]

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

Lakehead U May Use Google Email System

Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, switched from an internal email system to Google Mail. The Faculty Association objected on the grounds that this breached terms in the collective agreement giving faculty the right to privacy in their personal and professional communications. ((Article 16.01.03 of the Collective Agreement provides: The Board agrees that members have the right to privacy in their personal and professional communications and files, whether on paper or in electronic form. )) The argument was that because Google and the relevant servers are based in the United States, authorities from that country would have legitimate and other . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Substantive Law, Technology

CALI Conference for Law School Computing

Hat tip to the Law Librarian Blog for the note that all the sessions at the CALI Conference for Law School Computing, June 18 to 20, will be webcast live. The webcasts will use the open source web meeting software Dimdim and each session will have a live video feed and chat room.

The conference program looks great, and the webcasts are free. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Olympics Athlete Blogging Rules Set

That’s the title of my Free Press article for this week. It talks about the new IOC rules for athlete blogging for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. In essence, the IOC has amended its rules to allow limited blogging, and have taken the position that bloggers are not journalists. In essence, they don’t want them to be journalists, as that might run counter to the rights they sell to traditional media outlets.

In checking Slaw this morning to see if anyone else has mentioned this subject, I noticed Connie Crosby’s post from last summer about athlete blogging. She pointed out that . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Evaluating Technology, Use Of

An evaluation of the Law Commission of Ontario will begin this fall. (Since it has been full operating – working on projects – only since February 2008, this may seem premature or early. Early it is, premature it is not because it is tied to the funding renewal/renewal of mandate process that will begin in spring or thereabouts next year.) There are many questions about evaluation (who should do it? who should be part of the process? and so on), but I am bringing one to this group: whether anyone has had experience with evaluating an organization’s use of technology. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Bloomsday and Twitter

Happy Bloomsday, from all of us at Slaw!

Oddly, there’s no plan to tweet the whole of Ulysses in 140 character chunks. And neither is there a #bloomsday hashtag. Twitter fail? To get things started, here are the first 140 characters of that fabulous novel:

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead,
bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.
A yellow dressingg

You can find the rest of the book online (Joyce’s books are in the public domain now in Canada) at Finnegan’s Web. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Study of U.S. Supreme Court Oral Dissents

Available as of today on SSRN, “Dissents from the Bench: A Compilation of Oral Dissents Issued by U.S. Supreme Court Justices“, by Jill Duffy and Elizabeth Lambert, identifies 117 instances where justices of the the United States Supreme Court issued oral dissenting judgments. Duffy is a research librarian at the Court and Lambert is a staff attorney at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The authors examined all decisions from 1969 to the present day. Curiously perhaps, oral dissents are not officially recorded as a matter of course, and some were only . . . [more]

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

Ontario Private Member’s Bill Causes Concern

Last week I came across the news story on the News website: Libraries fight proposed Internet Blocking (June 10, 2009). It talks about a private member’s bill in Ontario that proposes the use of Internet filters to block pornographic websites from children, and how Ontario libraries are standing up against it. Considering the Bill has been sitting at First Reading since November 19, 2008, I tried to find out why it was making the local news once again. My research did not turn up satisfactory results. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

U.S. Searches of Laptops at Border Questioned

We’ve talked half a dozen times on Slaw about the United States Border Services’ practice of instituting suspicionless searches of travellers’ laptops, recommending basically that lawyers take nothing but a clean machine across the border.

Now the American Civil Liberties Union has made a formal request under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act for records setting out or touching upon policies establishing and governing this practice, as well as data as to the number of searches, the characteristics of persons whose devices were searched, and so forth. The official request adumbrates the ACLU argument that these searches may infringe the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Furlong: It’s Not the End of Lawyers

Issue 12 of the News & Views on Civil Justice Reform, from the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, released a few days ago, has a piece by Jordan Furlong, “This is Not the End of Lawyers …but this is the End of the Traditional Legal Business Model” [PDF], responding to an excerpt from Richard Susskind’s book, The End of Laywers?, in the same issue.

Furlong wisely would have lawyers construe their coming (already here?) loss of control of the marketplace for their services as an opportunity to transform the practice of law. As always, he writes . . . [more]

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