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Seeking Judgment

A clear candidate for today’s doc du jour would be the decision of Justice Benotto in the Red Cross tainted blood criminal trial, released yesterday afternoon. The only trouble is I can’t find it in an online form I can link to. For most lawyers this is no biggie: the commercial databases will have all the hot (and luke) decisions up within hours, if not minutes. CanLII, of course, will have the decision online in a few days’ time. But that’s not soon enough in a case like this, a case that excited considerable public attention, a lot of it . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Office Live Workspace

Simon wrote yesterday about Adobe’s purchase of Buzzword, an online word processor. In an almost simultaneous announcement yesterday, Microsoft announced the launch of its own Office Live Workspace, an online service that will allow Office users to store and access their documents online.

Each user will have 250 MB of space to store documents. The catch? Although you will be able to share the documents with other users, who can read and leave comments on your documents online, only a desktop coy of Office (2003 or 2007) will be able to edit them.

The service isn’t yet available, so . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Adobe Share

Adobe acquired Macromedia some time back, bringing Flash, Dreamweaver, Acrobat and others under the same roof. Clearly they were headed for a broader market. It seems that they’re about to enter the web app contest now, planting their flag on the same fields as Google, MSN, Zoho and the rest. What interests me most is their online word processor, Buzzword, recently acquired from Virtual Ubiquity; reports are that it’s heads, if not heads and shoulders, above the competition; but alas it’s what I call a transpiring beta and I’ve only just now sent in my email request for an . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Banned Books Week

The ALA’s Banned Books Week runs Sept. 29-Oct. 6. They have a first amendment resource page, which includes links to notable cases. In Canada, the CLA supports the Freedom to Read Week, coming up Feb 24-March 1. The Week is the collaborative work of several organizations, with the Book and Periodical Council in the lead role. Their website is worth a browse, as it has quite a bit of interesting content, including a list of Canadian articles and books on freedom of expression issues. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Law Firm Web Presence – Latest Links

My latest reading, listening and watching seems all to tie back to the law firm’s presence on the web. I’m sure others besides those in law firms will find this summary useful, too:

1. Law Firms Go a Bit Hollywood to Recruit the YouTube Generation , by Karen Donovan, New York Times, September 28, 2007. Interesting article highlighting some of the newer recruiting techniques. Link courtesy of Wendy R.!

2. Mentioned in the article above is Choate Hall & Steward LLP’s use of video for student and associate recruitment. Their videos playing off the “Apple vs. PC” commercials . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Georgia, Georgia, No Peace I Find

Language Log, the multiple author blog on — what else? — language, continues to surprise, this time with an entry on a treason trial in Georgia (the country, not the U.S. state). Roger Shuy, a retired but very active linguistics professor, discusses his role in the trial of Maia Topuria, a leader of an opposition party in Georgia who was accused of plotting to overthrow the government. ((His article points to these sources of information on the trial: Christian Science Monitor, Russia Today, and two pieces in Harper’s: . ))

His specialty is forensic linguistics, and . . . [more]

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

Millennial Fever

During the past 50-odd years, the North American legal profession has been notable for a ready supply of labour. The post-war population boom and increased access to post-secondary education, combined with the enduring lure of a legal career, ensured that there would always be a deep pool of lawyers into which firms could dip for talent.

When a buyer’s market lasts that long, the buyers’ advantages become locked into the prevailing culture of the marketplace. Much of what we take for granted in modern law firms — hourly billable targets, ever-increasing workloads, lengthening partnership tracks, client hoarding by partners, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Monday’s Firsts

A miscellaneous grab-bag, today, which happens to be both the first of October and the first Monday of October, 2007.

As I type this, it has the potential to be today’s first Slaw.ca post. I’ll be optimistic and type that it is today’s first Slaw post. (I haven’t checked comments but there also aren’t any, yet, in my feed.)

Over on the to-be-bookmarked LLRX.COM, Sabrina I. Pacifici has uploaded Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide which is described (on my feed) as a 

revised and updated pathfinder focuses on leveraging selected reliable, focused, free and low cost sites

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

British Library Digitization Project

A nice story on the BBC website today about the digitization & online publication of more than 100,000 19th century books by the British Library.

Not that the digitization of paper is new to anyone here at Slaw, but the girth of the project is certainly worth noting:

“At full production approximately 50,000 pages per working day will be scanned.”

and:

“Approximately 30 terabytes of storage will be required to accommodate the project’s output.

The first 25 million pages are expected to take two years to complete. Texts which are hard to get hold of will particularly benefit from the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

SMS en Français

Eric Bakovic of the always interesting Language Log posted a slideshow today, with seven pics of a ruler he saw in France that set out SMS abbreviations. The graphic below shows you the sort of thing I mean. (Click on it to go to his slideshow.)

My favourite is a+à plus tard — because I’ve convinced myself that the “+” that comes afterwards is “tard”.

Are any of these abbreviations used in Quebec? . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

FOI

In the past week a somewhat disturbing story has been making headlines about access to information in Canada or rather, the lack thereof. An initiative of the Canadian Newspaper Association (CNA) the CNA Freedom of Information Audit 2007 shows “…persistent delays and misunderstandings in the very system that is designed to guarantee the public’s right to information about government decisions.”

For those of you who attended the CALL/ACBD conference in Ottawa last May you may remember a session entitled Are we becoming a secret society? Press Bans, Privacy and Access to Information. For those of you who . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

gadget – Used as an indefinite or general name for: a comparatively small fitting, contrivance, or piece of mechanism / An accessory or adjunct; a knick-knack or gewgaw

[Origin obscure. Not found in print before 1886.]

But now found online at Boing Boing Gadgets, a recent child of Jackhammer Jill’s venerable Boing Boing. Sporting its own mascot — Jack Hammer? — it brings to our attention the necessary, useless, ornamental, latest, nifty, silly, ingenious…gewgaws and kickshaws and -aws of all kinds.

Today, for instance, there were: three-wheeled cars, mini-robots, new EV-DO interfaces from Novatel, and a long-slot executive toaster. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous