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An Expanding Slaw

As Slaw readers will certainly have noticed, in the three years of our existence we’ve opened our arms increasingly wide until we now embrace not simply the legal research and technology that were our original subjects but essentially anything of interest in law. It’s time to acknowledge this broader Slaw and to say, as our revised tagline does, “Slaw is a Canadian cooperative weblog on things legal.” At the same time, I want to reassure those for whom legal research and technology are vitally interesting: we have no intention of abandoning these subjects and will continue to welcome contributors, entries . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

The First Annual Blue-Sky Challenge

Okay, so here we are, in the dog days of summer. Canadian readers have just come off the August long weekend, and most probably wouldn’t object if this three-day holiday were suddenly extended to a full week by executive fiat. But no matter where you are (okay, not Australia), you’ve had your fill of daytime heat, evening thunderstorms and the like. You’re ready for a splash of something different.

And here it is: welcome to the first annual Legal Profession Blue-Sky Challenge! It’s time to engage in some serious blue-sky brainstorming, to think way outside the box, to engage bold . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

When You Wish Upon a Star…

Make your dreams come true….

♫ When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
When you wish upon a star
Your dream comes true .. ♫

Music by Leigh Harline, lyrics by Ned Washington.

Despite all the assistance from technology and the labour-saving devices available today, I don’t believe that most of us are really any closer to achieving our in-our-heart-of-heart’s dreams…you know what I mean…the ones that you think about at quiet moments..such as at dawn or gazing into a sunset.

I have talked to many lawyers …many many lawyers – who in the words . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous

Today Is ***** Holiday in Canada (Mostly)

Today is a holiday in many, if not most, places in Canada. How and whether this holiday comes to be is itself perhaps a significant portrait of the country itself: in some provinces it is a statutory holiday; in other provinces it is a civic holiday, and up to municipalities to name and proclaim; in still others it is no holiday at all but business as usual. The thing has various names: Natal Day, Simcoe Day, British Columbia Day… The following chart from CanadaInfo will give at least some sense of order (if not peace and good government):

. . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Dell Moves to Trade Mark “Cloud Computing”

I’ve discovered through the latest Language Log column, “Trademark Insanity,” that Dell Computers has applied to have “cloud computing” registered as a trade mark in the U.S. and that, with the Opposition Period over, a Notice of Allowance has been issued. Slashdot has some information on who has used the term when, it seeming clear that Dell has no special claim. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Hyndman on Patry

That great Canadian blogger Rob Hyndman has a good piece on the sad news that William Patry is closing down his copyright blog. Patry has two reasons: first, because he can’t get people to treat what he says as personal, as having no connection to his work as Google’s copyright counsel; and second, more unhappy, because the current state of copyright law is truly depressing. Rob notes that Larry Lessig abandoned the field because of a “corruption” of the political process.

Read both entries. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Quicklaw/LexisNexis Copy Link Icon

You may have noticed the new Quicklaw/LexisNexis copy link icon. It was announced in the LexisNexis Research Update, June 2008 issue, and more recently in What’s New, July 24, 2008. (The latter link provides an illustration.) As I indicated in this old Slaw post, I have been waiting rather impatiently for this announcement ever since I first saw the new Quicklaw demonstrated. This functionality had been present for a long time in classic LexisNexis, and even existed in the new (Rosetta) Australia, New Zealand, and UK LexisNexises when new Quicklaw arrived. It had been . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

FastCase on Fox Business

Here is a link to an interesting segment in Fox Business’s digital innovations scheme. This time it’s about FastCase’s challenge to the empires of West/Thomson in Eagan, MN and Reed Elsevier in Dayton OH. The interview talks about possible patents on the search algorithm, but nothing is on the USPTO yet. . . . [more]

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

Lawyers and the Unnamed Force

I am humbled by the invitation to join the illustrious team that has turned Slaw.Ca into Canada’s leading legal group blog. It’s a great site and I hope that I can contribute in a positive way. My day job is privacy and technology law, with a little bit of related blogging on the side at the Canadian Privacy Law Blog. I’m pleased to have an opportunity to write a bit about “things legal” that are not necessarily about privacy or technology. (Although I’ve come to think everything is about privacy and technology.)

If I sound like I enjoy what . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip

This fillip is about law, oddly, but a law far more profound than any made by parliaments. I speak of Muphry’s Law.

Well, no, actually, I didn’t, but thanks for asking. Muphry’s [sic] Law was created sixteen years ago by John Bangsund in The Society of Editors Newsletter and given expression thus:

(a) if you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written; (b) if an author thanks you in a book for your editing or proofreading, there will be mistakes in the book; (c) the stronger the sentiment

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous