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The Editing of Reasons for Judgment Post-Release

There’s a possibly apocryphal story of Lord Denning MR changing his mind on who won an appeal after the judgment had been released to the WLR so that the WLR version has the plaintiff winning 2-1 while the All ER version had the defendant winning 2-1. [Challenge to those who have free access to Lexis – was there such a case?]

But this week’s Lawyer’s Weekly refers to a case being redacted by the Supreme Court of Canada after it had been released. The deletion was a reference to the Federal Government’s withdrawal from the Charter Challenges programme.

The counsel . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

What’s in a Name?

From national politics let’s turn our sights to the local variety: Bob LeDrew over at Flacklife has picked up the story of Oshawa City Councillor Robert Lutczyk who claims to hold the copyright on the name “University of Ontario Institute of Technology” among other names. Thing is, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology already existed before he supposedly copyrighted the name in 2005. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Google SearchWiki

On Friday, Google launched its “SearchWiki,” a way of customizing your own search results. I gather that they’re rolling it out according to some pattern, which means you may not see this feature in your results for a few days yet.

What you will see is illustrated below:

If, for example, Slaw hadn’t come up top in my results in a search for “slaw,” I could have moved it up there with the arrow, and ever after it would be first. For me. Which is what I don’t quite get: why exactly would I want to fix the results of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology, Technology: Internet

Law Blogs, Aggregated (Courtesy of Garry Wise)

Everything I know about social media I learned from PR professionals in my brief career in that field prior to law.

Neville Hobson (a social media guru in the U.K. who hosts one of my first podcast subscriptions, For Immediate Release) launched an RSS feed yesterday that combined over 60 of the best PR blogs around the world.

He based the selection on a PR Network previously created by David Jones, a local PR guru based in Toronto (he also hosts one of my other first podcasts, InsidePR).

I thought it was a great idea, so I . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology Crashes

Back in September I posted about the imminent launch of Europeana, the digital library, museum and archive that will share Europe’s cultural objects online with Europe and the world. Well, it launched on November 20, as scheduled, got 10,000,000 hits an hour and crashed. The site is now down until some time in December, we’re told, when it will return in a more robust form and ready for the huge digital crowds that clearly want in. Ah, the tribulations of success.

[via] . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

Virtual Worlds but Real (?) Property

The Register has an interesting report on crimes in virtual worlds.

According to a study [PDF] by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), there is a lot of crime in virtual worlds, and it can be lucrative.

Quoth the author of the study: “While annual real-money sales of virtual goods is estimated at nearly €2bn ($2.51bn) worldwide, users can do very little if their virtual property is stolen. They are a very soft target for cybercriminals.”

There is of course an action plan – indeed a 12-step program – one step of which is “Clarification of virtual property . . . [more]

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

Will the US Gov’t Start a Biker Gang to Keep Mongol’s Trademark?

This sounds like part of a law school exam question: The (US) government files an indictment against an outlaw biker gang and seeks forfeiture of its assets. Among those assets are a registered trade-mark for the name of the gang and a distinctive logo. The services with which the trade-mark is associated include, in code, operating biker gang (actually “ASSOCIATION SERVICES, NAMELY, PROMOTING THE INTERESTS OF PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE RECREATION OF RIDING MOTORCYCLES“). The prosecutor says that once the mark is forfeited, police can seize bikers’ colours as trade-mark infringement. Discuss.

I’m not going to give away . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Taking the Long View: Guédon and Changing Technologies

Perhaps many of you have already received your complementary copy of the most recent Academic Matters, a product of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. What you may not have noticed is the excellent, illuminating, accessible, and far-sighted article in it by McGill’s Jean-Claude Guédon: Digitizing and the Meaning of Knowledge. I cannot recommend this too highly to anyone who would like to understand, in 2000 words or less, what is happening with scholarship, the web, universities, and libraries.

The comments he devotes to the position of libraries are very insightful, and they apply to law . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

The Friday Fillip

What kind of blog am I…?

Thanks to librarians Judith A. Siess and Karen Sawatzky, I learned about Typealizer, an online service that offers to type your blog along Myers-Briggs (i.e. Jungian) lines. Unsurprisingly, Slaw comes out as a “Duty Fulfiller,” or an ISTJ (inroverted sensing thinking judging) type.

The two paragraph description of a duty fulfiller reads as follows:

The responsible and hardworking type. They are especially attuned to the details of life and are careful about getting the facts right. Conservative by nature they are often reluctant to take any risks whatsoever.

The Duty Fulfillers are . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Where There’s a “Will”…

There’s an interesting exchange over at AdamsDrafting between blogger Ken Adams and a couple of lawyers from Cassels Brock, John Gillies and Kathleen Hogan. The issue is the use of “shall” and “will” in business contracts, having, of course, to do with the expression of obligation and futurity, and vexed by a possibly differing practice of interpretation of the legislative use of these words.

How do you use these two tricky words in contracts? Do you define them in the contract or leave their meaning to interpretation?

I shall be interested in what you will have to say. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Making Legal SaaS Trustworthy

One of my more recent clients is Clio, a Vancouver-based SaaS (Software as a Service) company built for web-based law practice management.

Clio’s target market is clearly set at solos and small firms, and feature wise they’re incredibly strong. They know who they want to serve, and what they want to deliver. However, like other SaaS companies, and especially within the legal market, the biggest challenge they face is how create an environment of trust.

This concept of trust is extremely important for clients both when establishing a sales proposition, but perhaps more important, in maintaining a strong . . . [more]

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

Secondary Sources

I’ve noticed that librarians, like lawyers, have a language of their own.

When I get together with another library person and we are talking about textbooks, we never say textbooks, we always say secondary sources. Secondary sources?

The Collections Canada Learning Centre provides a great definition of primary and secondary sources in the context of archival research. Wikipedia also has a well worded definition:

secondary source is a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere

Secondary sources involve generalization, analysis, synthesis, interpretation, or evaluation of the original information

Since a systhesis of a topic that we . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information