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Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama

A post in Law Librarian Blog this morning, Cruel and Unusual: Sentencing 13- and 14-Year-Old Children to Die in Prison, led me to the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, the group that wrote the report on children in U.S. prisons [PDF]. From their “About” page:

The Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama is a private, nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system.

We litigate on behalf of condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders, people wrongly convicted or charged with violent crimes, poor people denied effective representation,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Industrial Design Database

There’s now an industrial design database on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website. The database goes back to 1861, seemingly, and contains all the designs registered, and so protected, under the Industrial Design Act. Industrial design protection is something like a copyright, but flowing out of the shape of an object rather than, say, a writing or a work of art; the definition section says it better:

“design” or “industrial design” means features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament and any combination of those features that, in a finished article, appeal to and are judged solely by the eye;

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Be Smart at Holiday Parties!

The end of the year is fast approaching and many offices will be throwing holiday parties, either in-house or in restaurants, clubs or bars.

It is also the season of many questions about drunkenness, sexual harassment, liability and many other touchy topics.

A few texts with useful reminders:

  • Serving Smart at Holiday Parties (Ogilvy Renault): ” ‘The liability risks of holding staff parties are a big concern for employers this time of year. They need to be responsible, inclusive and aware,’ says David Bannon, a partner in Ogilvy Renault’s Employment and Labour Law practice. ‘Companies can be liable if an
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Harvey Strossberg Essay Prize

Announcing the 2008 Harvey T. Strosberg Essay Prize Competition

Harvey T. Strosberg, Q.C., Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Class Action Review and Irwin Law Inc. are pleased to announce the fifth annual Harvey T. Strosberg Essay Prize competition. The prize of $10,000 is awarded to an outstanding student paper on Canadian class actions.

The competition is open to all Canadian students enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional program. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2008.

For more details see http://www.irwinlaw.com/prize.aspx?prizeid=369 . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Miscellaneous

Wikipedia Contributors to Be Paid

There are reports today that Wikipedia is about to start paying contributors for certain content. This represents a break from their roots as an all-volunteer project. The program, funded by a single donation right now, aims to improve the quality of the illustrations on the site – that’s currently the only thing they have plans to pay people for.

I’ve always found Wikipedia a good place to go for images, and have never felt a lack of good illustrations to be a shortcoming, but I’m for anything that could improve the site.

In other Wikipedia news, more schools have jumped . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

No Chumby for Us

There’ll be no Chumbies in Canada, we’re told. I’m not sure if that’s a sad thing or not. This USD180 retro tube, which is about the size of an old fashioned alarm clock, is an always on, content-constrained iPod Touch, connecting like it’s sleek sister through wifi, but unlike her only pulling in certain “channels” from the internet. This reminds me of the mini TV’s that you’d see (in the movies, okay?) in people’s kitchens back in the 60′s: always on: nothing much on.

Are you (a) sad? (b) indignant? (c) indifferent? (d) faintly pleased? (e) none of the above? . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Khadr’s Counsel Is Times’ “Lawyer of the Week”

William Kuebler is featured as the Times Online’s Lawyer of the Week. The U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander says of the situation facing his client, Canadian Omar Khadr, the first child ever to be prosecuted for war crimes:

[It is] a system where the deck is stacked heavily against him. The rules can change from day to day and, under the view of the Government of the United States, even if acquitted, our client could be detained indefinitely as an enemy combatant. We have to avoid enabling an illegitimate process and to keep our sights focused on creating the circumstances

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

Portable (Wireless) High Speed Internet

Rogers’ version is, so far, exactly as advertised. Purchase a wireless modem, sign up for the service, plug the modem into a (working) socket, attach one’s computer etc., turn on one’s computer, and away you go.

Rogers provides a high speed and basic service. Basic is apparently about as fast as dial-up. High speed isn’t as fast as cable high speed, but it’s good enough for when one is away from one’s base, so long as one is within the coverage area. And, the price is right.

Read about it Rogers Portable Internet according to Rogers

Bell’s equivalent is called . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

UK Librarians Ask for New Book Titles RSS

UK law librarians are now following our lead, encouraging the UK legal publishers to produce a new titles RSS feed.

Publishing consultant Nick Holmes has been calling for this service for some time, and recently put the pressure on publishers by scraping their websites to create sample feeds, posting them on the infolaw site. He also wrote an open letter to UK legal publishers on November 2nd asking for RSS feeds.

Blogger lo-fi librarian reports that a Facebook group has also been set up to help build concensus amongst law librarians in their request for RSS feeds from . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Technology

Chamber of Commerce on IP Protection

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce weighs in on the IP panic, calling for the provincial government to become involved and join the federal government in the fight against “piracy and counterfeiting.” The report itself [PDF], as opposed to the news story, seems to be more concerned about the counterfeiting of goods and brands in other countries than it does about the copying of music or films.

Thanks to Slaw reader Bill Dimitroff for the tip.

As an aside, isn’t it about time that news outlets — and others — stopped using the term “piracy” in this connection? While it may . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

International Day of Disabled Persons

Today is the International Day of Disabled Persons, a day to think about how well your firms do with hiring and accommodation and to worry about whether Slaw is up to snuff.

In what is surely no accident, StatsCan released a Participation and Activity Limitation Survey today on The Daily. The lead sentence reports: “An estimated 4.4 million Canadians—one out of every seven in the population—reported having a disability in 2006, an increase of over three-quarters of a million people in five years…” The increasing age of the population was, of course, a factor in this 21% rise over . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Top Five Digital Landmines for Lawyers

There are a number of situations where a lawyer’s personal brand can take a hit on the modern web. From an unfavourable newspaper story being permanently codified within the paper’s archives, to casual web participation showing up in the search engines for a lawyer’s name. Reputation management has quickly become a very important consideration to how professionals choose to participate online. And since almost all content eventually hits Google, lawyers are now faced with the ongoing challenge to monitor (and mold) what clients and potential clients can see about them.

The intent of this piece is not to scare, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing