Canada’s online legal magazine.

Ontario Privacy Commissioner on SSL and Gmail

The office of the Ontario Privacy Commissioner has released a document praising Gmail for making connection via SSL available for all communications through their website. “If You Want To Protect Your Privacy, Secure Your Gmail” [PDF] points out that when you communicate with your email server over a public wifi network, your communications are vulnerable to interception unless you encrypt them. SSL, or “secure socket layer,” is a cryptographic protocol in fairly common use — you’ll have seen it in operation if you do internet banking or make payments over the internet, and you can recognize . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

Legal Research Outsourcing – News From India

While our India readers are doubtless aghast at the Law Commission’s bold reforms on stamp duty – you can pay any transaction/court fee by demand draft/cash/postal order/banker’s cheque instead of through non-judicial stamp papers or special stamps – and at the breakneck speed of Indian Commissions of Inquiry – less than two months for a J&K fatality inquiry, and at Stalin’s announcement of a financial city – our North American readers will be puzzling over the implications of stories in today’s Evening Standard in London and the American Lawyer in New York. . . . [more]

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

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Things were heating up in the world of biotech this week!

Hot deals — some of the biggest numbers Canadian companies have seen this year:

Hot entrepreneurs — new sources of capital and new training bode well for a fresh crop of companies:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology

Ontario’s Adoption Records – Now Open

In May 2008, Ontario passed the Access to Adoption Records Act, 2008, S.O. 2008, c. 5. As of June 1, 2009, adoption records in Ontario are now open. From an ad placed by the Ontario government in a local newspaper:

This means that adopted adults and birth parents can apply for post-adoption birth information from birth records and adoption orders.

An adopted adult, 18 years of age or older, can now apply for a copy of his or her original birth registration and adoption order. A birth parent can receive information from the birth registration and adoption order of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

FiredWithoutCause.com: Canada’s New Direct-to-Consumer Online Legal Service

A sign of the times: for those who have been let go at work but feel too intimidated by the potential cost of a lawyer to seek legal assistance, comes the new service FiredWithoutCause to fill the gap. Have a read through the description below. I’m curious to hear from lawyers in the audience whether you see this type of service complementing or competing with your work?

From FWC’s social media press release (SMPR) from July 10, 2009:

FiredWithoutCause.com is a confidential online service that helps people understand their legal rights and maximize their severance package. The service provides:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

Women and the Times

Today, Sunday, turned out to be a day where I felt newspaper deprivation acutely, so I remedied it by buying the Sunday NY Times, as I sometimes do — though not since its price in Canada got hiked to a startling sum just under $9, evidently. The Magazine contains an interesting interview with US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (“The Place of Women on the Court” by Emily Bazelon), which prompted one of those chains of associations that can entrain you when you’ve the Times to draw upon. Herewith, the highlights in something of a ramble, starting . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Lawrence Lessig Remix Commentary on Copyright

Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Stanford, recently said,

If you come to the Net armed with the idea that the old system of copyright is going to work just fine here, this more than anything is going to get you to recognize: you need some new ideas.

To illustrate the point, he uses this remix by Ophir Kutiel of Israel, where I’m currently studying law.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Tyranny of Performance

Work-life balance. We want it. There’s now a CBABC committee dedicated to it. Yet what does it mean and how exactly do we get it?

The word balance is misleading. It seems to indicate a quantity goal, with a focus on the amount of time being spent on either side of the work-life equation. I hold a different view, that it is not so much a question of quantity but rather the overall quality of our entire life that is important.

What is the quality of our work life? What is the quality of our personal life? When both activities . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Church Law v. Common Law

Law.com provides a description of an interesting development in a case of wrongful dismissal at a Catholic university in the US. Tom Monoghan, the founder and guiding light of the ABA-certified Ave Maria School of Law contends that its professors are “ministerial”, and therefore subject only to canon law. Further, this qualifies the school for an “ecclesiastical abstention” from scrutiny by the courts. There are some good quotes from Deborah Gorden, the lawyer representing the three professors who were fired:

Gordon is aghast at the theory that Catholic law school professors are ministers. “Are you people kidding or what,” Gordon

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools

The Friday Fillip

One of the many marvels of the marriage of electronics and music is the wide (almost wild) variety of instruments that have become possible. We all know the spooky sound of the old theremin and the tinny rattle of the Moog as harpsichord. But have you heard (or even heard of) the Chapman stick? If you haven’t, it’s the duty and the pleasure of this fillip to relieve you of your ignorance.

The thing itself — seen to the left (click on it to enlarge it) — looks essentially like an oversize guitar fretboard or perhaps a sitar in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Associated Press Using Twitter, Blog to Cover Sotomayor Confirmation Hearings

The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s confirmation hearings on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to be associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court begin Monday morning. She will be on Capitol Hill undergoing questioning by the senators during the next week.

Of all the news outlets planning coverage, perhaps the most interesting is Associated Press. Their plan is to have live coverage via Twitter feed @AP_Courtside. They will be taking it a step further by taking questions and directions on coverage for their blog from their readers via Twitter, according to their blog post yesterday at Yahoo! . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet