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Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines

The final version of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines is available in PDF and HTML format on the Department of Justice website. It is a report prepared by Professors Carol Rogerson, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto and Rollie Thompson of Dalhousie Law School, in conjunction with the Advisory Working Group on Family Law. Although it doesn’t represent the policy of the DOJ, it was prepared with Ministry backing and clearly has Ministry support, the idea being to provide a set of informal (i.e. not legislated) guidelines that courts across the country will find it useful to adopt.

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

25 Most Modern Libraries in the World

…at least according to a list put together by Best Colleges Online. The list is divided under the heads of Architecture, Technology and Innovation, and Digital Collections.

Not a single Canadian pick, alas. And though the bulk are U.S. libraries, of course, there’s a solid rank of choices from abroad under the architecture section, for some reason. And speaking of the architecture section, I have to say that whoever put the list together wasn’t thinking: many of the links lead to the main library sites, where (somewhat surprisingly) there are no photos of the building or the facilities. ((For much . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

5 Blogs & 5 Blawgers

In one of those ostensibly annoying but secretly pleasing pyramid thingies that spread throughout the web, I’ve been tagged by Jordan Furlong, editor, blogger and sometime Slawyer, to post (under the title “5 Blogs & 5 Blawgers”) about five non-law blogs I like and then ponzi up five blawgers and tag them. Here we go:

  1. things magazine
    “…an online journal about objects and meanings” from England, and for me a constant source of amazement. For one thing, there might be as many as 50 links in a post, sometimes clustered around an idea, but often simply sparking off
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Our Beta World

The Google Chrome browser release has generated a lot of media attention, specificlly about the end user licence agreement, here and here and here and here on SLAW.

This article from the Register is interesting. The most interesting part is that in our Beta world, negative comments on usually stable things like license agreements are changeable, as changeable as a beta release of a new browser.

Good job Google for responding to criticism quickly. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Supreme Court of Canada Website Relaunch Tomorrow

Tomorrow evening, the Supreme Court of Canada will launch a new version of its website.

The new site has been redesigned to comply with the Common Look and Feel 2.0 design standards set by the Treasury Board of the Government of Canada.

The new standards:

  • provide consistent presentation of government services and content
  • facilitate online interaction
  • improve navigation, menuing and format elements
  • improve accessibility and ease of use

All of the content currently available on the Supreme Court of Canada website (rules of court, docket information, etc.) remains in place. It will just be easier to find and more . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Google Chrome EULA = Ouch!

Via the Register:

Section 11.1 of the new Google Browser Chrome’s EULA:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content, you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Chrome, Hardware, and Programming Philosophies

The combination of the launch of the Google Chrome browser, and the current PC hardware refresh occuring in our office got me thinking about programming philosophies.

Chrome reviews say it is faster and uses fewer computing resources than the competion. And the reason we replace our PC’s every few years is not so much that the hardware is broken, but that the computing resources software requires are constantly increasing.

To some extent that is understandable, and just the nature of the beast. Hardware is constantly improving, so it is natural for software designers to take advantage of that.

But that . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology


SEO for Law Firms: Why Adwords Is Not the Solution

Paid search advertising programs, like Google Adwords, allow for the placement of text-based ads next to the ‘natural’ search results, and can provide access to the desired audiences that many law firms seek. But what do they actually deliver? Are these ads effective for attracting clients? How much web traffic will they bring? Is it better to offer a paid ad or to show up in the natural search results? While paid search marketing has its place, and has generated billions in revenue for Google, this is also a form of advertising I advise clients marketing legal services to stay . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Document Management a Necessity…

♫ Oh I…
I want to be with you everywhere… ♫

Words and music by Christine McVie, recorded by Fleetwood Mac.

It seems that we are living in a mini-renaissance with new technology applications being released seemingly daily. Google has released Google Chrome (see Simon Fodden’s post of Sept 1, 2008) with the stated justification that the web needs a solid foundation for modern web applications. Law firms face a similar problem – the need for a solid foundation for capturing of all the myriad bits of information that form the electronic client file into one place. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Chicago Law and Website Renewal

In “Mapping Memory: Web Designer as Information Cartographer” in A List Apart, a site for web developers, Aaron Rester talks about his redesigning the University of Chicago Law School’s website. He analogizes what he is doing when confronting the 6000 pages in the current site to what Quintilian, a Roman rhetorician, recommended you do if you wish to be ready to persuade. Persuasion is dependent on memory and memory is best secured by a spatial imagination, hence the cartography.

The redesign of my law school’s website is not unlike the creation of a rhetorician’s memory dwelling. Built

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Technology, Technology: Internet

Google Builds a Browser

Google Chrome is coming. Apparently. The browser reconceived was announced in an offbeat way that only Google among the biggies could manage — by means of a comic book. Google Blogscoped has the story because it got the 38-page comic in the mail (by mail! again: only Google…) and scanned it in for our delectation.

It’s an open-source project based on Webkit, the engine that runs Safari. One of the main reasons, if not the main reason for Google’s initiative is to make this browser adept at running applications — think Google Docs et cetera.

Nothing beyond the cartoon . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

The Economist: Killable Hour

The Economist magazine has a short writeup on the billable hour’s demise, and the growing use of fixed fee billing.

One of the more interesting statements noted, “If the billable hour does perish, it will be at the hands of the clients, rather than the private-practice lawyers themselves.”

This may be partially true, but tends to paint law firms in a poor light. The demand for alternative billing could come from clients, and it could also come from law firms. There are many firms experimenting with alternate pricing models, and have been for quite some time. Where the shakeout . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law