Canada’s online legal magazine.

ICANN Infringe Trademarks in Unicode

Simon Chester previously mentioned the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) move towards Internationalised Domain Names.

One of the unanticipated consequences is how words in non-Latin scripts convert within browsers in unicode.

Nigel Kendall of the Times Online explains,

The problem for Western users is that the internet addresses of many well-known companies, such as Apple, Yahoo, Google and PayPal, can also be rendered to look identical in Cyrillic scripts, such as Russian.

To a Roman-reading eye, an e-mail containing a link to any one of these sites might appear genuine,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

A Challenge for the New Year

I’m listening to Spark on CBC. Nora Young just wrapped an interview with Seth Godin. The main topic of discussion was Godin’s new e-book What Matters Now , and his forthcoming book-book Linchpin: Are you Indispensable?

What Matters Now is an interesting call to action (or at least call to thought). In the interview, Godin explains his motive in giving information away through his blog and other free e-publishing projects. If you haven’t heard the interview, it’s well worth a listen.

At the end of the talk, Nora Young asked Godin for a “homework” assignment for listeners. I was . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario E-Discovery Rules of Civil Procedure Now in Effect

With the arrival of 2010, the new Rules of Civil Procedure came into effect in Ontario, as announced on the website of the Ministry of the Attorney General. Rules were substantially reformed in an effort to achieve Honourable Coulter A. Osborne's goal to “make the civil justice system more accessible and affordable." The reforms include changes to Summary Judgment, Mediation, Third Party Claim, Discovery, and dozens of other rules. Of particular interest to Slaw readers, the changes related to discovery represent a positive step towards control over the time and expense associated with civil proceedings in this new era of e-discovery.
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law


I am currently looking at a variety of e-book readers and may indulge in one in the near future. Perhaps similar to choosing countertops for our kitchen, no e-reader is perfect and offers all the features one may want. If you have selected one you love, please let me know. At the current time, I am using the Barnes & Nobles e-book software on my iphone and it’s pretty good, but the iphone screen is small for reading for a lengthy amount of time.
On a related point, I am interested in publishing an e-book. I would like to hear . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A New Companion for the Storm and Touch

For someone who really likes to use a keyboard, it’s a bit of a surprise to see that I now have a Blackberry Storm, iPod Touch and Sony Reader (Touch Edition). I wasn’t the only one to find a Reader under the Christmas tree last week. When I tried to configure the Reader on December 25th, various odd error messages appeared – it took me a while to realize that the Sony website was completely overwhelmed with other new owners attempting downloads.

A confirmed “browser first, searcher second”, I was a little puzzled by what appeared to be limited content . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Buds Off at 11

As some of you likely know – it’s hard to miss the news on the web – on Dec 30, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the class action suit which alleged that Apple iPods were defective in the manner alleged in the action: that the “iPod is defective because it poses an unreasonable risk of noise induced hearing loss to its users.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

2009 Study on Corporate Use of Social Media

The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth recently completed their annual study of the Inc. 500, the fastest-growing private corporations in the U.S.

The Center claims to provide one of the few statistically-significant studies on the use of social media by corporations. The findings show that social media adoption by the Inc. 500 outpaces that of the Fortune 500.

If we can extrapolate the findings into another jurisdiction and the legal industry, this might provide yet another clue about how social media can offer leverage to smaller and mid-size firms. It also suggests an . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Substantive Law

Slaw Wins Clawbie

With less than half a day to go till January 1, I’ve learned that Slaw has won the 2009 Clawbie for best law blog. This is indeed a fitting end to the year for all of us who contribute to Slaw — and considerable motivation to keep up the good work in the new year.

I’m particularly happy that we’re one of a growing number of Canadian law blogs, and I look forward to the stimulation of stiff competition next year from everyone nominated. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

IBM Granted Patent for… Dict.?

Two days ago, according to records in the United States Patent Office, IBM [International Business Machines / Inclusion body myositis / Integrated Bituminous Mining / International Brotherhood of Magicians / Interacting boson model / Ibm (town)] was granted USP [United States patent / United States Pharmacopeia / University of the South Pacific / University of the Sciences in Philadelphia / Unique selling proposition] 7,640,233. The nub of the patent is described in the abstract:

The databases each define shorthand terms with one or more longhand terms. A shorthand term is targeted within a text message, and

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

Parliament Prorogued Until March

The next session of Parliament, which was scheduled to resume on January 25, 2010, was prorogued today until March. The next throne speech is scheduled for March 3, 2010. CBC’s Carole MacNeil interviews University of Toronto professor Nelson Wiseman about today’s proroguing of Parliament:

I could find no official announcement on the Government of Canada, Prime Minister, or Governor General’s websites. The CBC has some coverage for anyone looking for additional details. Hat tip to Wayne MacPhail for pointing out this video news clip. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Favourite Media Lines About Lawyers

Adding to the legion of penultimate year-or-the-decade “best of” lists, let’s do one for “favourite meda lines about lawyers”. The line doesn’t have to come from this decade, but you have to update the line (if neeed) to make it (more) apt to the decade. If you do change the line(s), provide the original for comparison.

I’ll start. From the original “Adam’s Rib” (1949) which just happens to also be about lawyers.

Lawyers should never have unprotected sex with other lawyers. This is called inbreeding, from which comes idiot children and more lawyers. Lawyers should marry piano players or song-writers

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Coming Into Force on New Year’s Day

On the day after tomorrow, at least 100 amendments to statutes and regulations will come into force in Canada, according to a simple search in CanLII. It’s a hodge-podge of rules, of course — a cross-section, if you will, of life under modern rule-making.

Thus, for instance, B.C. mushroom growers are likely to be happier on January 1, because the regulation obliging them to pay a levy to the Mushroom Industry Development Council is to be repealed on that day. Happier, too, will be Costa Ricans who export to Canada, as tariff rates for certain goods will be reduced by . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation