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Videos of Columbia Conference on Human Rights Archives and Documentation

The site Resourceshelf mentioned yesterday that the Columbia University website has posted videos of the presentations from an October 2007 international conference on Human Rights Archives and Documentation: Meeting the Needs of Research, Teaching, Advocacy, and Justice.

Scholars, human rights activists, legal advocates, librarians, and archivists from all over the world attended the conference to explore issues around how documentation of human rights situations is created, archived, preserved, accessed, and utilized.

The conference marked the formal opening of the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research at Columbia University Libraries. The Center is the official repository for the archives . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Facebook and Toronto

A link in the Slaw Linkblog points to a Star story that claims Facebook has over a 1,000,000 subscribers in Toronto:

More than a million Torontonians made friends with Facebook in 2007, contributing to the “phenomenal growth” in Canadian users last year.

Toronto was the first city in North America to break 1 million subscribers, a recent study shows.

…The study also found that most Canadians who logged on to Facebook are between the ages of 18 to 34

Can this number of users be remotely right?

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Toronto embraces the entire GTA, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

1275 and the Business of Law

A piece in the TimesOnline got me thinking in that rambling, associative sort of way appropriate to the second day of the year. Patrick Hosking’s “The law is now an asset class” introduced me to the notion of litigation “as a separate asset class.” According to Hosking, some investors are financing European lawsuits that look like promising sources of profit. Indeed, a new company, (sadly) called Juridica has raised £80 million for such investments.

As you might expect, the article goes on to mention champerty ((http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champerty)), which, together with the other ancient wrongs of maintenance and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Online Adjournments in Calgary

I just received a notice to the profession about an interesting innovation at the Calgary Courthouse of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta. Online adjournments are now available for routine consent applications and applications not yet served:

Calgary Chambers Adjournments

Please be advised that a new online procedure is available in Calgary for consent adjournments and adjournments required where service has not been effected, for all morning Justice and/or Masters Chambers applications. The new procedure is effective January 1, 2008.

Online adjournments are not available for special applications.

The online adjournments are accessed through the Alberta Courts website at

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

2007 CLawBies Have Been Announced!

In the same tradition of Dennis Kennedy’s Blawggies, Steve Matthews has just announced his 2007 CLawBies – Canadian Law Blog Awards.

Big winners this year are Rob Hyndman who won the Non-Legal Audience Award and tied for the Best Canadian Law Blog (or Blogger) Award and to Slaw for the Best Legal Technology Blog and runner-up for the Best Canadian Law Blog (or Blogger) Award.

Full disclosure: Steve Matthews is a co-contributor and friend here on Slaw, and he also awarded me runner up for Law Librarian Blog Award, which deservedly went to both Michel-Adrien Sheppard’s Library . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2008! Here’s to another great year for the Slaw community!!

I’m wondering if we can start this new year by sharing a recommendation or experience that would benefit others? Something that has made your life easier, or something that you wished you’d done a long time ago?

Let me start:

And I hate to admit it took me this long! … I installed my first Wi-Fi network at home in 2007. It was easily the best tech-lifestyle improvement change I could make. Laptops connecting, easier backups, the ability to watch the kids while working — it’s just easier. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Safari 3 and Lexis / Quicklaw

…don’t like each other. Safari 3 crashes whenever I’m using LexisNexis/Quicklaw, which is a major pain, since it’s now my browser of choice on the Mac (Firefox being too unstable). Evidently the earlier version of Safari didn’t cause these problems, so I might try to switch back. Quicklaw blames the fact that Safari 3 is in beta and has some bugs to work out yet.

One particularly annoying thing is that when Safari crashes you’re then unable to log out; which means you can’t get access to Lexis /Quicklaw via another browser and have to phone help to get you . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Privacy International Report

The U.K. organization Privacy International, together with the U.S.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, have published their 2007 privacy rankings for European and some other countries. In their judgement Canada has in the last year slipped from the best category (“significant protections and safeguards”) to the middle category (“some safeguards but weakened protection”). They provide a detailed analysis that forms the basis for this judgement.

Clearly intended to shock, the report now puts the United States into the worst possible category, that of an “endemic surveillance society.”

This report is the result of serious analysis and deserves careful attention. My only . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

RIAA Kicks It Up a Notch — or Not

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the U.S. music industry’s knuckle rapper, the RIAA, has come up with a new argument in a lawsuit against a defendant it claims has violated copyright.

In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer. [emphasis in original]

But Endgadget is now reporting that the Post and others got it wrong: the RIAA is . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The 2007 Blawggies: Dennis Kennedy’s Best Law-Related Blogging Awards

What is the end of the year without a “best of” list or a blog award? For a third year, lawyer, consultant, speaker and writer Dennis Kennedy has put together his picks for the 2007 Blawggies, the law-related blog awards.

Here’s the “executive summary” of the award winners. I do encourage you to read the whole post for details and the honorable mention choices.

2007 Blawggie Award Categories and Winners.

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Tom Collins’ More Partner Income

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog – Ken Adams’ AdamsDrafting

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog –

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

A Google Translate Feature

Looking for an English translation of the Portuguese lyrics of a song (Oiça lá ó senhor vinho) by my current favourite singer, Mariza, I decided to take Google up on its offer to “translate this page.” Now the translation of plain text is hard enough, but the translation of song lyrics is really tough, and Google got maybe a C-minus on its effort. But I noticed that mousing over a sentence caused a popup that showed me the original language and invited me to offer a better translation. This is cool.

You see it below in a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Netscape’s Final Nail

The end of support for the Netscape browser shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise. The software’s user population has dwindled to almost nothing, and the dropping of support was long overdue.

But for me, I have very fond memories of this browser software that is soon to be a footnote in web history. For many of us early web users Netscape was the first quality graphical browser we used — Mosaic was pretty good, but Netscape made our mouths drop.

For myself, the software progression went from gopher browsing, to Lynx, to Mosaic, and then finally to Netscape 1.0 . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology