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Roundtable on Restitution

This from Eoin O’Dell, Fellow, Senior Lecturer and Director of Research at the School of Law, Trinity College, Dublin:

On 14 December 2007 the Frances Lewis Law Center, of the School of Law, University of Washington and Lee, Lexington, Virginia [where Professor O'Dell is currently a Visiting Professor] will host a Roundtable on Restitution and Unjust Enrichment in North America.

Full details are available on the Restitution Roundtable website.

They are eager to get as much Canadian involvement as possible. John McCamus, Tony Duggan and Jason Neyers are scheduled to speak. And if that’s not enough to tempt . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Law and Cultural Cognition

Some time back I noted briefly that there’d been a conference at Berkeley on law and the emotions. Shortly afterwards I got an email from Dan Kahan, one of the academics involved, pointing me to work done by him and his colleagues on the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School. To quote from the Project’s own description:

The Cultural Cognition Project is a group of scholars from Yale and other universities interested in studying how cultural values shape the public’s risk perceptions and related policy beliefs. Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Miscellaneous

Law Firms and Linux?

As I was browsing the Backbone magazine that came with my Globe and Mail last week, I came across an article listing 10 tech-related pre-New Year resolutions (yes, it’s almost that time of year again…).

One of those resolutions (scroll down to #8) is to try running the open-source Linux operating system on your desktop PC. And before you ask, “Why would I ever want to do that”, they add that Whitelaw Twining, a medium-sized Vancouver law firm, has managed to reduce their hardware costs by 20% and their software maintenance costs by 30% after switching to Linux.

I have . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

British Universities Shed Books

Universities dispose of more than 1.8 million books and journals a year, according to official figures… Statistics obtained by The Times Higher [Education Supplement] show that 36 institutions got rid of more books and printed volumes than they acquired.

Seems it has to do with the need to create space for e-learning environments, or so the claim goes. In aggregate, however, libraries acquired more print materials than they “decomissioned,” some 2.8 million volumes in 2005-2006. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Right Tool for the Job

For anyone who hasn’t yet ordered their XO laptop, here’s another option if you need to drop $400 on a cute little computer: the Asus eeePC.

This is a very portable little machine, about the size of a paperback. Its 7″ screen is apparently large enough to use with comfort while ensuring it can truly be carried around easily (it weighs less than 2 pounds).

But where it gets interesting is inside. It has only flash memory, which decreases its size and weight significantly. It has a relatively slow 900 MHz processer and only 512 MB of RAM, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Text to Speech

Text to speech continues to improve and is probably at the point now where one could listen to a computer read a text without feeling any serious irritation. In Apple’s new operating system, Leopard, the voice of “Alex” is particularly successful, I think.

Have a listen to Michel-Adrien Sheppard’s most recent post to hear what I mean. Let me know what you think. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

CBA March in Solidarity With the Defenders of the Rule of Law in Pakistan

On Sunday, November 25, the Canadian Bar Association is organizing a protest march to the Supreme Court of Canada building in Ottawa as a a show of support for the lawyers and judges of Pakistan.

“CBA President Bernard Amyot will lead the procession of CBA Bar Leaders, lawyers, law students and other members of the legal community from across Canada. The County of Carleton Law Association is also giving its full support to the march to the steps of the Supreme Court of Canada. Bar Leaders will address the marchers and participants will have the opportunity to sign a petition

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Breaking News in Victoria

Today the Victoria Times Colonist is reporting, courtesy of the CanWest wire, that some professors are banning laptops in their classrooms. This is nice for Slaw, because Colin Galinski is quoted extensively, and his Slaw column that touches on the topic is mentioned.

The story is running on page A2, which is pretty impressive. Of course, it seems to be a bit of a slow news day: the headline on page 1 reads “Game over: Lawn bowlers told to leave ‘valuable’ spot” . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools Kindles Its Kindle

We’ve discussed e-book readers and electronic paper several times on this blog. announced today the release of Kindle, its own e-book reader, or wireless portable reading device, as it calls it. It retails for US $399 and thus far ships only in the US and is not available on or It is a standalone product, in that content does not need to be loaded via a computer or other external device; a purchased book is delivered wirelessly to the reader in about a minute, according to Amazon. It is said to hold 200 titles and weigh about . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Reports of the Death of Email Greatly Exaggerated

Lately there’s been a lot of talk on the internet (a circulating “meme,” as some would have it) that email is doomed if not already dead. As Mark Twain said after reading his own obituary, the report of this death has been greatly exaggerated. Ask any lawyer or librarian contemplating the Outlook inbox. A gentle exploration of the issue in Slate (“The death of e-mail” by Chad Lore) points to some important facts that we have raised many times here on Slaw, though never with the narrow conclusion that email is fatally ill.

Essentially, the article looks . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

David Maister on Six Pixels of Separation

David Maister is one of the top business experts, specializing in professional service firms (including law firms). He is known for his bestselling books including Managing the Professional Service Firm, his blog and his podcasts.

So, it was exciting when he showed up last month at PodCamp Boston to talk about his career and answer questions from the group of podcasters and other new media types who crammed into a small room to see him.

Mitch Joel, President of Montreal-based marketing firm Twist Image, took the opportunity to interview David Maister. He shared that interview in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Mastering the Positive No

Time is at a premium. The pressures of the billable hour and the stress of meeting client needs and expectations are reaching an all time high. With all the developments in communication technology the boundaries between our home and work environments have eroded. We can now be reached by cell phone and email anywhere in the world and at anytime. Setting and respecting our boundaries is more difficult then ever. No is today’s biggest challenge.

So what’s a legal professional to do?

Look no further for your answer than The Power of a Positive No by William Ury. Ury is . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law