Canada’s online legal magazine.

Nicole Garton-Jones

We are very pleased indeed to announce that Nicole Garton-Jones is joining Slaw as a regular contributor. Nicole is the principal of Heritage Law, a Vancouver law firm, and practices in the areas of wills and estates, family law and mediation. She is a graduate of U.B.C., Leadership Vancouver and the Womens’ Campaign School and is on the board of Continuing Legal Education BC and the Pacific Legal Technology Conference.

Among the things that are interesting about Heritage Law is the fact that it is a “virtual” law firm — or an “e-lawyering” practice, as some prefer. Nicole, her . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

More Content for Kindle

Robert Ambrogi at just posted on West’s decision to make 29 law books available on the Kindle. As earlier SLAW posts have noted, we Canadians continue to miss out on new technology.

Do I really need a Kindle to keep my Ipod Touch and Blackberry Storm company? Do these gadgets really improve efficiency? Will I find time to read books on a screen when I can’t find the time to read the paper versions? Insights from those who have figured this out are welcomed! . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Size and the Legal Media

If you happen to subscribe to my Twitter feed, you’ll notice that I regularly post links to stories of interest in the legal press. If you look closely, you’ll notice that a great many of those stories pertain to developments in very large law firms. That’s not because I’m fascinated by BigLaw or because I think my subscriber base is either. It’s because that’s what gets published. The legal press pays a disproportionate amount of attention to large law firms — as do we all.

The best-known legal periodical, The American Lawyer, is so tightly intertwined with large . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip

When I was a kid we had a blue Bakelite radio made, I recall, by Western Electric. No TV. Just a radio. And that was okay because, for one thing I didn’t know about TV, and for another, every so often during the week I got to listen to some great radio programs. The Lone Ranger, Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, Hopalong Cassidy, the Shadow and others kick-started my imagination and taught me the power of a narrative.

Thanks to the marvellous Internet Archive, you can now listen to some of these “Old Time Radio” shows. The basic start . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

FTC Revises Guides on Endorsements and Testimonials

This week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced its approval of revisions to its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The revisions affect testimonial advertisements (including those by consumers and those advertising atypical results), blogger reviews or endorsements, and celebrity endorsements, updating the Guides since their last revision in 1980.

Of particular note: the discussion of consumer-generated media, and how to distinguish between communications that are “endorsements” and those that are not. The FTC focused on determination on a case-by-case basis of whether the relationship between the speaker is such that the speaker’s statement can be . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Debate About Warrantless Access to ISP Customer Information

In the privacy community, there has been a debate over whether it is lawful, under PIPEDA, for a custodian of personal information to provide customer information when then police come knocking. The debate has been most heated in the arena of internet service providers customer names and addresses to the police when presented with an IP address. PIPEDA allows a number of disclosures of personal information without consent pursuant to Section 7(3) of the statute. One exception to the general rule relates directly to law enforcement requests:

Disclosure without knowledge or consent

(3) For the purpose of clause 4.3

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Copyright Scofflaw Now at 2 Strikes

(note: what follows is a gross misrepresentation of HADOPI, and is just for entertainment, but it is fun to dream…)

The French Government is about to lose access to the internet. The second violation of copyright by Sarkozy and his party could result in the suspension of internet services to the Government by their ISP. Considering the government to be “members of the same household” as the President and his political party, one pundit declared

It is impossible for the courts not to acquiesce to this argument, thus denying themselves and the rest of the government access to the

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

Usenet Now Searchable. Really.

I recently wrote that email lists still exist. But perhaps when it comes to living relics the true coelacanth as far as the internet is concerned is Usenet. Begun in 1979, Usenet was a collection of discussion groups — or, newsgroups, as they were known — that, as Wikipedia says, “can be superficially regarded as a hybrid between e-mail and web forums” but possessing considerable technological sophistication.

Yes, Usenet lives — after a fashion. In 2001 Google acquired the 700 million posts in order to preserve the archive. Trouble was, it couldn’t be searched properly. Until today, that is. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology, Technology: Internet

The Unexpected..

♬ life can bring you down
creep up without a sound
yeah life can bring you down sometimes…♬

Lyrics, music and recorded by Sprung Monkey.

There is much talk in the media about the H1N1 virus. I think I was like most people in thinking it would be an inconvenience at worst – that is, until the first person I knew died from it. It is still early in the outbreak but I am now following the news announcements much more closely.

In terms of lawyers and law offices, this pandemic (I really don’t like that word since it . . . [more]

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

Do Publishers Fear Napster for Books?

An interesting article in the NYTimes from October 3rd: Will Books Be Napsterized?

The premise being, as the consumer public migrates from paper to Kindles and e-book readers, there will be a growing temptation to skip the low-cost Amazon digital purchase, and run to the free alternative – sites like RapidShare, Megaupload, and Hotfile.

In the larger sense, we can certainly see this issue adding to the commodification of commercial content – a downward force on pricing. And while we frequently view legal publishing as somewhat insulated, Publishers will need to see this as a risk on the horizon. If . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading

2009 Tribalization of Business Study

A post on the Read Write Web site caught my eye this morning. The post alerted me to Deloitte LLP’s 2009 Tribalization of Business Study, which evaluates the perceived potential of online communities and identifies how enterprises believe they may better leverage them.

Although there is a “maturation” of business use of social media, the summary document perceives that organizations are not yet reaping full potential of social media activities.

Survey results indicate that while enterprises are effectively using online tools to engage with customers, partners, and employees for brand discussion and idea generation, organizations are continuing to struggle

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

Not as Permanent as We Think?

There has been plenty of press on how the tracks we leave online are going to haunt us – or at least stay with us – for ever. Much has been written, including at this site, about how the vast wealth of information that gets into the cybersphere puts a complete picture of our lives, good and bad, right out in public. The CBC was running a story yesterday about a Privacy Commissioner report warning that young people, as a result of posting too much information online, are being fired and missing out on job interviews and academic opportunities. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information