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Berkeley Research Tutorials Re U.S. Congress

The University of California at Berkeley’s library has a wiki with some tutorials on how to find Congressional materials on the internet (and in their library, natch). So, for example, you can learn how to find a bill, a hearing or a congressional debate.

The instruction is delivered in a Flash slideshow (no sound). Below the Flash window is a live window on the actual web source so that you can mimic the lesson in real time. . . . [more]

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

Going Solo Post-Articling Is Brave

I received an interesting submission to last night. Solo in Ontario: Criminal Practice is written by Bo Arfai, a 2008 call with the unenviable position of going solo post-articling. After a brief email conversation, I advised him to get some profile & contact information up on his blog, which should be in place shortly.

What I find interesting is that he’s blogging from a very human perspective. In a world where many of us consider both articling and the early years of practice in ‘big firm’ context, I have to think Bo’s immediate future & choices are a more . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Phoning It In

The Stats Can Daily has a report on the 2006 survey of types of residential phones. The big shift is away from exclusive use of land lines to include cell, cable and VOIP phones as well: In 2006 29.6% of households (3.8 million) used only land lines; in 2007 the figure had dropped to 24% of households (3.1 million).

Only 6.4% of households report relying on cell phones only, up from the 5.1% of the prior year. Less than one percent of households report not having any phone at all.

What’s interesting to me is that the survey, which is . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Beijing Olympics: Corporate Sponsors Risk Black Eye

The international NGO Human Rights Watch recently published a report on the upcoming Beijing Summer Olympics that states that the “corporate sponsors of the Olympics risk lasting damage to their brands if they do not live up to their professed standards of corporate social responsibility by speaking out about the deteriorating human rights situation in China.”

The report targets the 12 highest-level corporate benefactors of the Beijing Games, known as the TOP sponsors (“The Olympic Partner”): Atos Origin, Coca-Cola, General Electric (GE), Manulife (parent company of John Hancock), Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Lenovo, McDonald’s, Omega (Swatch Group), Panasonic (Matsushita), Samsung, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

The Blogosphere: Past, Present, and Future

Sunny Woan, a JD student at Santa Clara University, recently published a paper in the California Western Law Review called “The Blogosphere: Past, Present, and Future”. The article is a nice look through the history of blogs, their role in journalism, and some of the legal issues they bring up, along with a small discussion of how blogs are treated elsewhere around the world.

It’s a quick read and refers in the footnotes to some articles that look very interesting.

The article is not up at the CWLR site, but is available from SSRN. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Booting Britons Shooting Britons

Seems a pair of photographers taking photos of streets and people in a pedestrian zone in Middlesborough, England, were grabbed and detained by citizens and by security guards who were under the impression that it was illegal to take photos of buildings and people. If the photographers are to be believed, even the police officer who was called was mistaken about the right to take pictures.

Some of the confrontation was videoed by one of the photographers and the movie can be seen on Flickr.

I’ve been questioned by police myself for taking pictures in suburban London, but when . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Judge From Down East

Dalhousie law prof, Philip Gerard, has an enjoyable piece on The Court today in which he shades his eyes and does a tour d’horizon in search of a replacement for Justice Bastarache.

Herewith an excerpt to whet your appetite:

That leaves Nova Scotia, but it has to be said in all honesty that the province is not bursting with Supreme Court-calibre talent at the moment. Don’t get me wrong: there are lots of highly competent and professional judges sitting on the Nova Scotia bench. But the bar for the Supreme Court is higher than that. If you are looking

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

Leg@l IT 2008 — Les Nouvelles Dispositions De La LPC

Me André Allard de l’Office de la Protection du Consommateur nous a présenté les nouvelles dispositions de la Loi sur la protection du consommateur. Entrée en vigueur en 1980, la loi régissait auparavant les contrats à distance mais dans le contexte de l’époque. Depuis 2006 cette loi a connu des modifications pour tenir compte des nouvelles technologies et prévoir des règles s’appliquant sans égard au médium utilisé pour conclure le contrat – par ex. téléphone, courriel, internet.

La nouvelle définition du contrat à distance s’applique aux entreprises visant spécifiquement de conclure des contrats à distance. Prévue à l’art. . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leg@l IT 2008 — La Justice À L’ère Électronique: Nouveaux Défis

Pendant la séance plénière du lunch, tout comme l’an passé, nous avons eu droit à une présentation d’un panel judiciaire constitué comme suit:

Cour d’appel du Québec

En guise d’introduction, l’Honorable Nicole Duval-Hesler a proposé une réflexion concernant l’évolution certaine que la loi suivra pour accompagner les développements technologiques, sans toutefois savoir, au moment présent, quelle direction prendra cette évolution. Plusieurs exemples historiques confirment comment les nouveautés technologiques ont toujours été accompagnées d’innovations juridiques. À cet égard, on peut . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leg@l IT 2008 — Bringing Lawyers and Clients Together

At 9:40 am, the Conference moved forward with three simultaneous tracks:

  • Utilisation des technologies dans un contexte de droit transfrontalier (Me Patrick Gingras et Me Philippe Lortie)
  • Bridging the Gap: Collaborative Technologies that Bring Lawyers and Clients Together (M. Jordan Robert Furlong, M. Jason Mervyn and Me Dan Pinnington)
  • Litigation Management and Support (Mme Luisa Dodaro, M. Joshua C. Gilliland and Me Patrice Morin)

Not being able to follow all tracks (!), I chose to stay in the same room and listen to “Bridging the Gap: Collaborative Technologies that Bring Lawyers and Clients Together”. Me Dan Pinnington opened this session . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Digital Law Books, Redux

I have been thinking about books recently while considering our firm’s own print and online collection. Paul Emond’s column last week on The Future of Academic Legal Publishing addresses head-on the challenges and opportunities facing publishers of law-related books (and casebooks). In my September 2007 SLAW posting titled Digital Law Books in Canada, I suggested that we have perhaps reached a (positive) tipping point on the availability of digital law-related books with (very) roughly 10% of the major Canadian legal treatises being available in digital format. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to consider and debate this . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing