Canada’s online legal magazine.

Removing Content From Google

Putting it out there can get you into trouble. Not only is there “publisher’s remorse” but also the more serious take-down notice that may crash into your client’s inbox from time to time claiming that the content of their web page has infringed one of the sender’s rights. It’s easy enough if the client owns the site to eliminate the offending material or whole pages; that’s why delete buttons were made. But Google is not so easily deterred. Having indexed material it may continue to serve up links to that material, if only in its cache; and its bots may . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Digital Content, Paywalls, Newspapers, and the Practice of Law

Tom Jenkins of Open Text spoke at the London TechAlliance “Gearing Up For Growth” conference yesterday about digital media in Canada. He likened the current position of traditional media (TV, newspapers) to town criers at the advent of the printing press. Here’s one of his slides.

Many are predicting the end of the newspaper. Newspapers are struggling trying to find a business model they can use in the digital world. It’s not uncommon for newspapers to try to erect paywalls, which require a paid subscription or a pay per view to read their content.

But that’s not going to work. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Releases Consultation Paper on Cloud Computing

The Officer of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has released a consultation paper on cloud computing.

Cloud computing “describes any system where information and/or applications are stored online, allowing access to be achieved by the user via a device.”

For example, cloud computing includes:

  • storing photos online on Flickr
  • uploading videos to YouTube
  • using online applications such as Google’s Docs or Google Reader
  • Facebook or Twitter
  • using webmail like Gmail or Hotmail
  • backing up files online

The Privacy Commissioner is interested in issues such as who has jurisdiction over cloud computing, security, data intrusions, lawful access, processing and misuse . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Lord Justice Jackson’s Final Report on Civil Costs

♫ Strike with the strongest hand
Search from the sharpest eye
Pull from the greater
Side of your mind
Tear down the wall that’s stuck
In between soul and mind
Watch as the worlds collide…♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by Broken Iris.

The forward of Lord Justice Jackson’s final report on his Review of Civil Litigation Costs in the UK states as follows:

In some areas of civil litigation costs are disproportionate and impede access to
justice. I therefore propose a coherent package of interlocking reforms, designed to control costs and promote access to justice.

So begins a comprehensive . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Neuroeconomics, Neuromancy… and Law

Well, not yet neuromancy, William Gibson notwithstanding: we can’t yet hack our heads enough to predict the future. But neuroeconomics, yes, apparently.

I’m no big fan of economists and have long wondered why law, and legal academics in particular, give them and their theories such (or, indeed, any) credit. I’m convinced that it’ll turn out to be one of the great mysteries as to why in this era we all allowed economics to be mistaken for what is most important in society — but that’s verging on neuromancy.

Vox, a European site, offers “Research-based policy analysis and commentary from . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Discussions on Records Management and Work Opportunities in Law Librarianship for New Library School Graduates

Last night I had the pleasure of speaking to the INF 2133 Legal Literature and Librarianship class at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto on the topic of knowledge management (KM) in law firms.

The course is taught by law librarians John Papadopoulos and Sooin Kim. There was, I think, some interest in the topic of KM since many of the students were aware of the importance of KM and some had taken Professor Choo’s courses, some of which discuss KM.

Two things arose that I thought I would mention here:

Records management

In basing my talk on . . . [more]

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

How to Take Your Law Firm Paperless

Luigi Benetton gives some tips on how to properly go paperless at The Lawyers Weekly,

If a clean desk is a clean mind, what do the papers on your desk say about your mind?

Increasingly, lawyers answer that question by replacing piles of paper with that most prominent of paperless-office machines, the scanner.

While critics argue that you’ll find paperless offices when you find paperless restrooms, the misnomer hasn’t prevented people from reducing the amount of paper they use, nor from sharing their experiences and lessons learned along the way.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Review of Electronic Evidence in Canada

Electronic Evidence in Canada 
by Graham Underwood and Jonathan Penner
published by Carswell 2010-1-30
price: $120.00
ISBN: 978-0-7798-2263-8

“A helpful reference for those dealing with issues arising from the production and use of ESI in litigation process.”

In the preface to the book, Penner and Underwood point out that guidance about the admissibility of electronic evidence is currently lacking in Canada and set out to remedy this situation with an commendable textbook on the nature of electronically stored information (ESI), its management both before litigation and once litigation commences, and its admissibility as real, documentary and demonstrative evidence.

 Government lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

Human Gene Patent Rejected by NY Court

A New York court has struck the patents held by Myriad Genetics Inc. for BRCA1 and BRCA2 which have been linked to breast and ovarian cancer in Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. United States Patent and Trademark Office, et al.

Parties including The American Civil Liberties Union, Public Patent Foundation, and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law argued that the patents were unconstitutional. The decision challenges the famous quote about patentable subject matter from Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 (1980),

…a person may have invented a machine or a manufacture, which may include anything

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Lawsuit Against Copper Mesa and Bill C-300

Earlier today Marcia Ramírez spoke at Huron College (at the University of Western Ontario) about her pending suit against Copper Mesa Mining Corp., a Canadian mining company operating in her home in Ecuador. The plaintiffs claim that activists opposing the company there were threatened and assaulted.

You can read the statement of claim here (pdf), which requests damages against both Copper Mesa and the TSX. Earlier this year the TSX delisted the stock. The defendants are both requesting a dismissal motion.

The case is interesting given that Bill C-300 -An Act Respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

The Traveling Lawyer and Taking Your Firm Virtual: Presentations From ABA Techshow

I just came back from a very successful ABA Techshow and had the opportunity to present on virtual law firms and technology for the traveling lawyer. Cloud computing received a lot of coverage at the conference, with both supporters and detractors alike.

As a cloud computing supporter, I mentioned that even a couple of years ago, the idea of achieving full in-office productivity over the internet seemed difficult to imagine. The laptop, smartphone, cloud infrastructure, and internet access technologies simply weren’t capable or ubiquitous enough to match in-office facilities and resources. Now, the confluence of advances in these technology areas . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology