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Fascinating Graphic on Consolidation in Legal Publishing

Huge nod to Sarah Glassmeyer of Valparaiso for producing the elegant graphic below which charts the rise of the three mega legal publishers.

I find it odd that the commentators on this graphic haven’t pointed out the magic date late in the 1990s when the United States ceased to have its own legal publishing industry, all of the three majors having fallen to foreign ownership.

I might quibble about the inclusion of Brad Hildebrandt and David Baker’s businesses when acquired by Thomson. And what does Elite have to do with legal publishing. They are all businesses providing technology products and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Calling All Innovators!

The College of Law Practice Management‘s 5th Annual InnovAction Awards are open for business! The Awards, which recognize outstanding and original innovation by a law firm, law department or legal services provider anywhere in the world, are accepting entries until June 1, 2010, so there’s still time for you or your organization to submit a nomination.

The InnovAction Awards, which have been given to small firms, global giants and non-firm entities in five countries on four continents, can cover everything from legal service delivery to legal marketing, from technological systems to client communication, and from law firm management to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip

As the globe shrinks (the name for a new soap opera?), we’re challenged more and more to speak in unfamiliar tongues. And the problem becomes getting that chunky or deceptive bit of foreign prose out of our mouths with something less than extreme prejudice. How do you say Löwenbräu, risotto, Lech Wałęsa, Eyjafjallajökull, or even Советских, come to that? Heck, most of us can’t even say Moscow properly in English.

You might be adept at decoding IPA, the international phonetic alphabet — and there’s a good argument we all should be — in which case you can learn fairly . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Flipping Fast Scanner

In a story from Reuters, A Professor Ishikawa has created a scanner that can process hundreds of pages a minute. Using off-the shelf equipment, it takes 500 photos a second and calculates the curves of the pages, with the net effect that a book can be scanned as someone flips through it. Video here. As the story says,

While the technology has the potential to take paper books into the digital age, it remains to be how publishers will react to people scanning their books while just flipping through them.

On that note, it is worth mentioning that India . . . [more]

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

Let’s See Canadian Transparency in Government Demands for Personal Information

Earlier this week, Michel-Adrian Sheppard blogged on Slaw about Google’s new Government Requests Tool (Google Releases Data on Government Requests for Private User Data). I blogged about it as well here. I’m all in favor of pulling this out of the shadows and into the sunlight.

It’s interesting to peruse the numbers and to read the FAQ.

While the information provided raises a bunch of questions, they are very important questions to ask. What are the nature of the demands for customer information? Criminal law or national security? What are the relevant Google products involved? Why . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Access Justice & Pro Bono Law of BC Merge

Two BC organizations working to improve access to justice have merged operations. As of April 1st, the Western Canada Society to Access Justice and Pro Bono Law of British Columbia have merged, and will now be known as the Access Pro Bono Law Society of British Columbia – or simply ‘Access Pro Bono‘.

The two organizations have a long history of helping those with limited means in British Columbia. Access Justice was formed in 1990, and Pro Bono Law in 2002. A new website for Access Pro Bono is currently under construction, but should exist soon at . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Are We Any Closer to a Paperless Office?

Happy Earth Day. Today is a good day to think about consumption.

The concept of the paperless office has been mentioned on Slaw in the past: How to Take Your Law Firm Paperless which links to a Lawyers Weekly article quoting our own Omar Ha-Redeye and Revisiting the Paperless Office to name just a few. There is also a great roundup on the Cyberlaw Central blog on “paperless” topics from the 2010 ABA Techshow.

A paperless office may not be universally achievable immediately in an organization but using less paper certainly is. Here are some easy things you can do: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Wikipedia as Evidence in Federal Court

Remember our discussions about tendering Wikipedia as evidence in court? Seems it’s been happening for some time, and judges are not amused.

The Globe reports today that Federal Court judges are taking issue with the practice of immigration officials who have entered Wikipedia entries in immigration proceedings,

“Wikipedia is an internet Encyclopedia which anyone with Internet access can edit,” wrote one exasperated Federal Court judge, criticizing Ottawa’s filings in a case to remove a family of Turkish asylum seekers.

“It is an open-source reference with no editorial control,” scoffed another judge, as he took federal agents to task for consulting

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Is It Ethical to Draft a Will for a Client You Have Never Met in Person?

I understand that the Ethics Committee of the Benchers of the Law Society of BC are meeting today and are considering whether it is ethical for a lawyer to draft a will for a client whom he or she has never met in person.

This question is interesting to me because Heritage Law currently offers simple estate planning services to clients entirely over the internet through a secure online portal on our firm web site. We received approval to do so from the Law Society of BC in January.

In the interest of hopefully avoiding a precedent such as the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Dean of Schulich School of Law

The Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University has a new Dean, Kimberly (Kim) Brooks. What follows is from the official announcement:

Professor Brooks graduated with a BA from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Laws from UBC and a Master of Laws (Taxation) from York University, Osgoode Hall Law School. Between UBC and York she worked for the firm Stikeman Elliott as a tax lawyer. Presently she holds the H. Heward Stikeman Chair in the Law of Taxation in the Faculty of Law at McGill University, having previously held appointments in the Faculties of Law at UBC and . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements