Canada’s online legal magazine.

OSU Library Begins Lending Kindles

I’ve always assumed that when it came to lending e-books that Libraries would need to find a method to share the digital files housing the books in question. That the e-book files would distributed to the user’s reader, and then deleted once the lending period was finished. While things may eventually work that way in the future, I’d like to share a very interesting service being pioneered at Oregon State University where the pre-loaded Kindle hardware is the item being circulated.

Students are invited to spend up to $20 on any item in the Amazon Kindle store; items which become . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Supreme Court of Canada: Stats for 1999-2009 and Best Decisions of 2009

Two Supreme Court stories from me this week:

1) The Supreme Court of Canada has released a special edition of its Bulletin of Proceedings that provides a statistical overview of its activities for the period 1999-2009.

It provides information on leave applications submitted, appeals heard, judgments, and time lapses (time between the filing of a complete application for leave to appeal and the Court’s decision on whether leave should be granted; time between decision to grant leave and the hearing; time between the hearing of an appeal and the judgment).

2)The Court, the Osgoode Hall Law School . . . [more]

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

Online Legal Services: A Critique

I’ve just come across a Ph.D. thesis from 2007 by Christine Vanda Burns called “Online Legal Services — A Revolution that Failed?” [PDF 729pp]. Dr. Burns looked at what we might think of as the first generation of “online legal products which ‘package’ legal knowledge” and supply it to commercial enterprises, governments, and other consumers of law. As you would imagine in a dissertation, she examined the relevant literature and also did some empirical work in Australia, her home.

Interesting, to me, is her conclusion that while there are lots of difficulties surrounding the implementation of such products, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Technology

Negative Reviews Can Be Good for Business

We’ve all heard the saying “there is no such thing as bad publicity” – but of course we don’t take that literally. 

Apparently, though, research has shown that when it comes to online reviews, negative reviews can result in more sales than positive reviews.

That was one of the points made by Mitch Joel during his keynote address on Monday at Fanshawe College’s eMarketing conference. (I spoke at one of the breakout sessions on “Digital Law”.)

He says there are two reasons for that. First, people tend to trust the business more as they feel the business is being open . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Wonderful Display of Visual Advocacy by Master Short

A few weeks back I noted a yet-to-be-published case by Ontario Master Donald Short on proportionality called Moosa v. Hill Property Management. It’s now been published here, along with this bit of visual advocacy:

I’ve heard Eugene Meehan talk about charts in his written advocacy presentation, but haven’t been exposed to much else on visual advocacy. I like this example because it communicates so much meaning so quickly and, moreover, because it’s accessible to those who are not artistically inclined. Does this offend your typesetter’s eye Simon? Other examples anyone? Links? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Recruitment 2.0

It’s March. Soon the doors of universities and colleges will be flung open, and a stream of students will emerge. Somewhat pasty, a little dazed from the efforts of final exams and papers, they have only one thing on their minds – JOBS. The University of Toronto’s i-School has already had its job fair. Governments are starting the hunt for summer students, and new grads are looking for that first job. It’s a heady time for students and employers alike. I thought it would be appropriate to offer some reflections and tips for job hunters and employers.

Are you in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Torys LLP iPhone App

Remember Steve MatthewsWeb Law Predictions for 2010?

Mobile Web Becomes Important: The mobile web made some major inroads in 2009, but I expect it to become a priority in 2010. By year’s end, expect to be sick of iPhone application launches from the legal industry – both from vendors and law firms. Also expect an increase in law firms launching mobile versions of their website, mobile friendly extranets, and hopefully in all this – something innovative and useful!

Earlier today Torys LLP launched a free app for iPhones and iPads:

  • get our latest news
  • read our
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Substantive Law, Technology

Is Use of Computers for Ticket-Buying Criminal?

Internet Law News today reports on the arrest of four people in the US for fraud and unauthorized access to computers — at least I think that’s what’s going on. Here’s the story:

Four Men Charged In Computerized Online Ticket Scam
Four men accused of using a network of computers and automated software to buy up online tickets to concerts and sporting events and selling them at a profit were indicted on fraud, conspiracy, and computer hacking charges, federal prosecutors said on Monday. They allegedly made more than $25 million by re-selling more than 1.5 million of the “most coveted

. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Healthy Food Financing Initiative and the Food Environment Atlas

The Obama Administration recently announced the details of its $400 million multi-year Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which will expand access to nutritious foods for underserved urban and rural communities in the US (see the press release from the US Department of the Treasury). To identify communities which currently lack healthy food options, the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service launched a great online research tool called the Food Environment Atlas. This tool allows you to compile county-level statistics on three categories of food environment factors:

1. Food choices (e.g., lbs per capita prepared meals, lbs per capita solid . . . [more]

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

Law Librarian Podcast Changes – New Name, New Platform

Changes are afoot with the Law Librarians podcast! We have moved to hosting and support by CALI (Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction). We have also taken advantage of this change to rename the show Law Librarian Conversations.

More information is on the website at This show was created and is produced by Richard Leiter, is co-hosted by Marcia Dority Baker, and given web support by Roger Skalbeck. It includes a varying group of panelists (of which I am one) and a number of special guests.

We are now recording live twice a month (the first and third . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

Drawing the Curtain on ISP Cooperation With Law Enforcement

I’ve been a faithful follower of Cryptome for quite some time. Cryptome has been posting very interesting and controversial content on the internet since 1996. It was the first WikiLeaks. Recent readers would note some publications that are very interesting for those who are interested a look at the level of cooperation of between internet service providers and law enforcement. Some of the reaction has been overblown, in my view. Nobody should be surprised that service providers hand over customer information in response to warrants and subpoenaes. Where the law requires it, banks do it, pharmacies do it, libraries . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous