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Strange days in Canadian legal publishing.

We wonder what to make of reports that there’s been a major executive blood-letting at one of the big three legal publishers.

Perhaps its mere coincidence that a CEO, an Exective VP and the VPs of Customer Service, sales and marketing all appear to have left within a matter of weeks.

Perhaps its all business as usual and this is natural staff progression. Perhaps the profits aren’t flowing in from the Canadian market.
Perhap the company is imploding.

We’re just asking. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing


This is pretty cool: give Lingro a URL and it hotlinks every word on that page to a dictionary, and it offers you the ability to translate the word you’re looking up into one of a number of other languages. As you can see below, I gave it the current home page on Slaw, clicked on “superior” and asked for a French translation. This would be really helpful I imagine if you were reading a text in a language with which you weren’t very familiar and needed to get the definition for a lot of words.

There’s review of Lingro . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Bernardo Interview Tape to Be Available to All Media

Today Ontario Superior Court Justice David McCombs made his final ruling allowing all media–television and internet alike–access to a tape of an interview with Paul Bernardo.

The video, running 31 minutes, shows Bernardo being questioned in a Kingston, Ontario jail on June 7, 2007 about the murder of Elizabeth Bain. Bernardo was not originally considered a suspect in her death, but some lawyers believe he should have been. Robert Baltovich was convicted of Bain’s murder in 1992.

The tape was meant to be evidence in Baltovich’s court case this past April, but was never played. According to the CBC website: . . . [more]

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

Tarlton Collection: Law in Pop Culture

The wonderful Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas in Austin is developing a collection dedicated to the portrayal of law in popular culture, the goal of which “is to provide as broad a picture as possible of the image of the lawyer in the United States and British Commonwealth.” There is material from print, TV and movies, with only cartoons missing — an important aspect, I should have thought, but one that may be difficult because of copyright.

The collection circulates to those with a Tarlton library card, of course, but for the rest of us there are . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Law Firm Beta Tests iPhone 2.0

At the WWDC keynote address by Apple earlier today, an updated version of the iPhone was released. Steve Jobs is informally calling it “iPhone 2.0″, and a video of customers who beta tested the mobile phone is included in the usual slick keynote video.

This time around, U.S.-based firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP beta tested the phone for two months. One of the features of the updated iPhone is the new integration with Microsoft Exchange so that firms and other PC-centric organizations can have push email, scheduling and contacts from Microsoft Outlook.

Will the iPhone overtake the upcoming Blackberry . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology

Slaw — by the Thousands

I’m proud and a little surprised to be able to say that yesterday I posted my 1000th entry on Slaw. It’s almost three years since I started blogging here — our anniversary is July 8, so stay tuned for the celebration — and the time has whizzed by. And curiously, as I reached the millennial mark, we as a group were also reaching a pair of important milestones (should say “kilostones” I guess): there have been 3003 posts to Slaw since its inception, and 4010 comments made on those posts.

And while we’re counting by the thousands, let me report . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

New Student Law Blog – With a Summer Twist

Summer students at Cassels Brock in Toronto are breaking new ground by writing a blog this summer. What a fantastic idea. It shows the everyday life of summer law students on Bay Street for those who have not yet embarked on law school. It is also a great way for summer students not at this particular firm to compare notes.

According to a news release from Cassels Brock:

“This is the first student-run blog devoted to capturing the Cassels Brock summer experience,” noted Leigh-Ann McGowan, Practice Support Lawyer, Cassels Brock. “The blog was named, developed and is maintained by the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Life Is Just a Fantasy

On June 2, 2008 (one week ago) the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of Major League Baseball Advanced Media v. C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc (2007) 505 F.3d 818. ((8th Cir.(Mo.) Oct 16, 2007)), the Fantasy Sports case. To backtrack a bit; for those who are unfamiliar, Fantasy Sports (or rotisserie and many other names), is the pursuit where players “select” teams of players from real sports teams and compete against other fantasy sports players based upon the statistics compiled by the players they have selected, Wikipedia Definition here.

Fantasy sports have evolved over the . . . [more]

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

Akamai and the State of the Internet: Canada

Akamai, the company that the big providers — Adobe, CBC, Cognos… — use to distribute their content on the internet, has released a report on the state of the internet [PDF]. They handle billions of transactions each day all over the globe (“Akamai routinely delivers between ten and twenty percent of all web traffic…”) and so their traffic data put them in a really good position to know about the comings and goings of packets.

Canada appears but once in the report: We’re tenth in the world when it comes to internet penetration (as measured by unique IP . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Dig This DiRT

Digital Research Tools (DiRT)

This wiki collects information about tools and resources that can help scholars (particularly in the humanities and social sciences) conduct research more efficiently or creatively. Whether you need software to help you manage citations, author a multimedia work, or analyze texts, Digital Research Tools will help you find what you’re looking for. We provide a directory of tools organized by research activity, as well as reviews of select tools in which we not only describe the tool’s features, but also explore how it might be employed most effectively by researchers.

I like the way the table . . . [more]

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

Revisiting the Paperless Office

From time to time fellow Slawyers wax poetically about the paperless office (or the not-so-paperless-office). Seems to me most of us view it as the unattainable holy grail. However, while it is hard for most large firms to envision making the break away from all of the paper we generate, I think it is something we all owe in an increasingly environmentally conscious world.

Remember the promises of the new technology: three or four day work weeks; robotic servants cleaning our houses and serving us daily; and then again, the Paperless Office. The new technologies — the personal computers, personal . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology