Canada’s online legal magazine.

Twilight Saga: The Documentary Wars

The war of the Twilight documentary films is on, and producers who shop their film concepts around to distributors may be thinking twice about what more they can do to protect their hatchling ideas. It has been reported that Summit Entertainment LLC has filed a complaint against Topics Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. District Court (California) over Topics’ documentary film: “Forks: Bitten by Twilight.” Summit is the producer and distributor of the Twilight series of films (Twilight, and The Twilight Saga: New Moon), based on the Twilight series of books by author Stephanie Meyer. Summit . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Figuring Out Your Place in the Race: What Kind of Law Firm Do You Want to Be?

The “future of law” is the theme of the current issue of Law Practice Magazine. It has an amazing article by Merrilyn Astin Tarlton titled “Figuring Out Your Place In The Race.”

When it comes to wisdom and insights on innovation and the future of law practice, few, if any, know and see more than my friend Merrilyn. This article in a must read for any managing partner or lawyer that wants to figure out what their firm needs to do to innovate and succeed in the practice of law.

In the article Merrilyn says “Frankly, let’s just say . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

How Do Lawyers Get Their Information?

There’s an interesting little post on Tim Bray’s blog, Ongoing, entitled “The Listening Engine.” Bray, one of the bloggers I’ve been following for years now, is the Canadian software developer and entrepreneur who co-founded Open Text Corporation and who is now the Director of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems. He’s thoughtful, sensible.

In The Listening Engine he puzzles over how it is that RSS and Twitter are resources that some people simply don’t make use of:

When I first discovered the magic of RSS, I expected that it would sweep the entire online population, including everyone’s kids,

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

Mastering eDiscovery Begins With Embracing Change

After more than a decade in the eDiscovery industry, I often reflect back on my journey and equate our earliest experiences to crossing an ocean in a small leaky boat, facing unchartered seas in unpredictable weather while relying on an inexperienced crew. The eDiscovery industry has been built by pioneers on the backs of unsuspecting early adopter clients and technologists who shared a common vision, the digitization of the legal world and the inevitable mainstream adoption of electronic evidence management.

Today, while the industry continues to evolve and grow, eDiscovery processes and technologies have matured and a well-established community of . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Unsolicited Book Review

I’ve been sharing my commute with Chris Brogan and Julien Smith for the past few days. I’ve been reading Trust Agents, their latest collaboration. While writing to the SLAW community about the importance of social media feels a little redundant, I’d still like to expound on this book for a little while.

Trust agents are connectors – people who bring people together, who cannot help themselves from telling others about interesting ideas, products and people they’ve encountered. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about them in The Tipping Point. Brogan and Smith credit David Maister with describing the concept in The Trusted . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

Google Buzz in Gmail

Google is now rolling out its Twitter-killer, Buzz. It’s integrated with Gmail, but since I’m not one of the lucky ones yet, I have to rely on the video — see below — and the blog for information. (I’m using Gmail in Google Apps, which, unless you’re paying the big bucks, won’t be benefitting from this: methinks moving to Apps was a mistake.)

From what I can gather the notion is that:

  • you can send realtime messages to the world or to a selected group of people within your Gmail address book (whether you send directly into your friends’
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Legal Project Management – Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks and Maintain Sanity

Legal Project Management – Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks and Maintain Sanity
by Steven Levy
published by Daypack Books, Seattle WA, 2009
price: US$29.95
ISBN: 1449928641

Steven Levy’s book marries project management with legal practice. This is a useful practical guide on how lawyers can get started.

The nature of legal services is changing. Indeed barely a week passes without another article in the legal press about Alternative Fee Arrangements and the death of the billable hour. Consequently the need for better Project Management has become a hot topic within law firm practice management circles. It is . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

U.S. Federal Courts Tell Jurors Twitter, Facebook and Texting Verboten

Wired Magazine is reporting that the Judicial Conference of the United States, the body that develops policy for federal courts in that country, has proposed new model jury instructions that explicitly ban the use of applications like Facebook and Twitter:

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson of Kansas, the chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, told the nation’s judges in a Jan. 28 memo that the new jury instructions ‘address the increasing incidence of juror use, of such devices as cellular telephones or computers, to conduct research on the internet or communicate with others

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

E-Health Records Symposium

On January 28, 2010, the Law Commission of Ontario and IP Osgoode held a Symposium on electronic medical records. The Symposium brought together experts from law, academia, health and other areas as part of the consultation that Professor Pina D’Agostino is carrying out in her project on the intersection of IP, ethics and privacy issues arising from electronic medical records. Professor D’Agostino is an Osgoode LCO Scholar in Residence and she is carrying out her project in association with the LCO. All these issues were discussed, with some passion in some cases, but so was a more fundamental question about . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law

US and Canada Tax Law: Outlook for 2010

Interested in tax law developments? Davies has put out a clear and easy to understand publication “US and Canada Tax Law: What to Watch for in 2010.”

It reviews tax developments in the US and Canada from the past year, and it also provides perspectives on the key developments impacting the US and Canadian taxation of international companies and investors in 2010. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Pricing Trends – Projections and Realities

I understand from various sources that preparations are well advanced for the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries. Among other things, the meeting offers an invaluable platform for legal publishers and law librarians to share information with each other.

A key element of the preparation for the meeting is the annual request for information on the anticipated price increases that the library community can expect in the coming year. The issue of price increases is a critical element in planning and budgeting and gives the library purchaser a useful guideline for use in budget presentations and in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

I’m not sure whether it was the interception Peyton Manning threw last night, or my work earlier in the day trying to get my notebook to talk to my new router, but this week started looking like it was all about failed connections:

Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs), pharmaceutical companies and government payors have all expressed a shared goal: getting “the right treatment, to the right patient, the first time.” Doing so would improve care (personalized medicine) and decrease costs (c0mparative effectiveness). However, as industry players try to connect their employees, patients and customers with personalized treatments, they will . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law