Canada’s online legal magazine.

Focus on Employees: The Hidden Costs of Restructuring a Business

The world wide economic downturn is prompting companies to sell non-core business units, consolidate operations and generally downsize. Lately, everyone seems to have at least one article devoted to some aspect of restructuring a business—see, for example, the cover story in the June 2009 edition of LEXPERT magazine.

Despite the fact that restructuring initiatives often have a profound impact on employees, few articles are talking about the human resources implications of restructuring a business. Employees have valuable know-how, technical knowledge, and relationships with customers, so their departure or disaffection can have significant and unintended financial consequences for a company.

CNET . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

Online Legal Research in a Buyer’s Market

Real competition has finally arrived in the market for legal information. The existence of alternative product offerings from multiple sources has shifted the legal information market in Canada from a seller’s to a buyer’s market. Making matters worse from the perspective of a commercial publisher, although not from that of the legal profession, is the dramatic growth in the number of free sources of online legal information.

To simply stay in the game, commercial publishers will have to offer more content for less money. This shift in the nature of the business is something new in the world of legal . . . [more]

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

Your Facebook Can Be Hacked

Despite all the warnings about using privacy settings we’ve been hearing about, here comes a stark revelation: your Facebook account can be hacked anyway.

FBHive, a new blog all about Facebook, premiered today with a revelation that they can access certain profile information, even if the user has made it private.

Robin Wauters of TechCrunch confirmed that they were indeed able to access his private information.

FBHive claim that it has taken over 15 days for Facebook to fix they security hole. And they promise to give their secrets on how they do it within the next few days. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

The “me” generation was out in full force in the world of biotech this week:

General Electric offered $100 million of loans as part of its healthymagination program, which is bound to — not coincidentally — boost sales of GE’s medical records systems. Good press and good sales. Good job!

In the U.S. Senate, a new version of the Comparative Effectiveness bill tries to allay Republican concerns by focusing more on the individual patient … leading comparative effectiveness right to the doorstep of personalized medicine.

In Wisconsin and Jerusalem, everyone was vying to divy up the biotech pie . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

The Justice Reporter

The Justice Reporter [PDF] is a fairly new online publication that focuses on issues affecting journalism and the law, conceived and edited by Tracey Tyler, legal affairs reporter at the Toronto Star, and Tony Wong, a litigation partner at Blakes specializing in media law. The editors say in the first edition [PDF] that they aim to

catalogue these problems [i.e. problems with free reporting] and change policies that thwart the media’s ability to inform the public about its justice system.

The current edition leads with an article by three Ontario Court of Appeal judges, Russell Juriansz, James MacPherson and . . . [more]

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

Stuck at the Border: New Challenges To the Registration of Judgments

Having spent two of the last three weekends in Las Vegas and San Francisco, I got to thinking about cross-border legal issues. I know that’s pathetic, but bear with me.

British Columbia is one of several provinces with reciprocating jurisdictions in the US for the enforcement of judgments. (In BC, this arises pursuant to Part II of the Court Order Enforcement Act, RSBC 1996, c.78). Rather than commence a new action on the foreign judgment, a judgment from a reciprocating jurisdiction can be registered in BC, and it becomes enforceable as if it was a BC judgment. This is . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Canada Best Market for Business Access to Capital in 2008

Surprise, surprise. Canada, with its stable equity market and a sound economic policy framework, was able to withstand some of the global credit market issues and moved to first place in the Milken Institute’s 2008 Capital Access Index.

The Index looks at such factors as macroeconomic environments, financial and banking institutions, the development of the equity and bond markets, and alternative capital sources. Because a firm’s access to capital allows it to implement innovative ideas and contribute to technological advancement, job creation and quality of life, the index is a tool for measuring how countries can act to reduce . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

H&K’s Boyd Neil and Jane Shapiro @WCDM

The World Conference on Disaster Management (@WCDM) started today in Toronto, with a heavy emphasis on social media. I attended the afternoon workshop sessions Boyd Neil (@BoydNeil) and Jane Shapiro of Hill & Knowlton on Best Practices in Crisis Communications.

The session started by stating that lawyers and accountants will almost always interfere with best practices in a crisis by wanting to wait before speaking to the public. They typically want to collect all of the information to assess liability and costs to the company before deciding on a course of action.

I’ve said before . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Precise Answers From Google

I had a bit of a head-scratching experience just now: Google gave me a precise answer to a search that was more or less framed as a question; and I can’t recall ever seeing that before. Is this an old feature I’ve never stumbled on or is it something new that’s having a soft launch?

I usually don’t give Google a question, having learned instead to feed it a string of keywords tied in a Boolean knot. But today I asked “how many canals in amsterdam”? The first item in the results was an unequivocal answer — and not one . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

Firm Guest Blogger: Clark Wilson LLP

Get ready for our second firm guest blogger here on Slaw. Starting Monday, you’ll be treated to a week’s worth of wisdom from the west coast, thanks to our guests from Clark Wilson LLP.

As BC’s Law Firm for Business, Clark Wilson LLP provides effective and practical legal advice on commercial issues affecting the business community. This week’s Slaw contributors will share their perspectives on a range of topics relevant to their respective practice areas including securities, intellectual property, corporate finance, insurance, real estate, employment, and renewable energy.

You’ll know that a post is from our guests because you’ll . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Firm Guest Blogger

Kalman Visits the U.S. Supreme Court

About eight months ago I spent a Friday Fillip on the TED video of Maira Kalman, an illustrator and writer perhaps best known for her New Yorker covers. Kalman also does a monthly column in the New York Times called “And the Pursuit of Happiness,” where she tells a simple tale with drawn text and lovely illustrations. In April her column was “May It Please the Court,” telling of her visit to the Supreme Court of the United States, her interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her reflections on a number of women important in American history.

Take . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Slaw Upgrade Starting at 5:00 EST

We’re going to be upgrading WordPress starting at 5:00 Eastern today. Fellow Slawyers: Please refrain from logging in or trying to post during that time. … I will update this post when the site is back up and operational.

Many thanks for your patience.


Update: Car Game On! … at least tentatively. Any issues, please relay to Simon or myself. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous