Canada’s online legal magazine.

Dan Pinnington

I’m pleased to be able to report that Dan Pinnington has joined Slaw as a regular contributor. Dan is the Director of practicePRO at the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO) in Toronto, an important initiative to give lawyers the tools and resources to avoid malpractice claims. Dan practiced as a litigation lawyer for a number of years and has extensive experience with legal technologies, having been Manager of Information Systems at his firm.

Dan writes and speaks on risk management, technology and law practice management issues, and is currently editor-in-chief of the ABA’s Law Practice Magazine. As well he . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Words and Phrases Compared

The recent announcement by Carswell that its multi-volume print work “Words and Phrases Judicially Defined in Canadian Courts and Tribunals” is available online means that both Westlawecarswell and LexisNexis Quicklaw now offer access to edited extracts of of the meaning of words and phrases as discussed in judicial decisions.

“Plugged in” legal researchers should note however that this does not mean that the same information is now available on both services. Each database is a unique compilation of words and phrases, with different operating guidelines and scope, and different sources of content. Depending upon your need, both services may have . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

Some McGill Guide Available Online

I stumbled across part of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition website, where I found a good swathe of the 6th edition of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation available online in PDF. The parts that are up are, of course, those that deal with “international materials.” Still, you’ll find nearly 75 pages, all in all. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Reading

Webinar on Screencasting & Podcasting for Training in the Law Library

I noticed this webinar from the American Association of Law Libraries and thought others might be interested:

How to Train Without Showing Up

Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 – register by November 5th.
Time: 12:00 – 1:15 p.m. Central Time

Find out how screencasts and podcasts can be created and used for educational purposes. Our speakers will share how they use screencasts and podcasts in their libraries and will offer you suggestions on how you can use them for training purposes in your own library.

In this webinar you will:

  • Get introduced to how screencasts and podcasts are created
  • Receive
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology

Riding the Alpha Waves

I’ve been away for a bit, but I’ve been busy studenting (a new word in honour of the impending replacement of W). I expected somewhat of a challenge from the shift to being a full-time student but I will freely admit that it has been a bigger challenge than I first anticipated. It has been more of a mindset question more than any other factor (and perhaps this has been exacerbated by the fact that I am accustomed to being at the front of the room standing and doling out information rather than sitting down and absorbing). But I have . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD

SCOTUS to Hear Argument on Indecent Words

On Tuesday of this week, while the rest of the United States is going to the polls, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument in Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, et al.. (The docket # is 07-582 but the link generated by the U.S.S.C. site is currently giving a 404 error.) This case has its recent origins in the reaction to a few television broadcasts in which performers used profanity, particularly, variations on the word “fuck.” The F.C.C. had a rule permitting “fleeting expletives,” which rule was changed in 2003 to forbid any use of certain words . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Is Obama a Mixed Blessing for Canada?

There might be a downside for Canada if Obama wins, according to some experts.

The Rideau Institute released a report, How the next US president could affect our country, where Rideau president, Steven Staples had some harsh words for both major political parties,

By virtue of conjoined geography, history, economies and political cultures, Canada and the United States are inextricably linked, and it is only a matter of time before the shifts in U.S. politics realign Canada’s politics as well.

One need look no further than the dramatic rise of the U.S. national-security state in the wake of the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

It’s Not the Tool! It’s YOU!

I sometimes get asked silly questions like “which social network is the best?” or “which is better for law firms, content marketing or email newsletters?”

I find these questions silly, not because lawyers shouldn’t make value judgments on where to invest their time and money, but rather, that questions like these can inspire thinking in exclusionary terms. That one web tactic or service is vastly superior to its competitors, or that personal experimentation should be abandoned. Here’s the simple truth: it can’t.

Most law firms wouldn’t purchase a software package without a trial test period, and by the same . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Long, Long… Long URLs

I had occasion today to hunt up online a decision of the European Court of Justice and to link to it. The ECJ provides links that may be the longest URL I’ve ever seen. I illustrate with a typical example:

http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en&newform=newform&Submit=Submit
&alljur=alljur&
amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;
amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;jurcdj=jurcdj&jurtpi=
jurtpi&jurtfp=jurtfp&alldocrec=alldocrec&docj
=docj&docor=docor&docop=docop&docav=docav
&docsom=docsom&docinf=docinf&
amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;
amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;a
mp;alldocnorec=alldocnorec&docnoj=docnoj&
docnoor=docnoor&typeord=ALLTYP&allcommjo
=allcommjo&affint=affint&affclose=affclose&numaff
=C54%2F05+&ddatefs=&mdatefs=&ydatefs=
&ddatefe=&
amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;
amp;amp;mdatefe=&ydatefe=&nomusuel=&domaine
=&mots=&resmax=100

Obviously what’s happening here is that the program is providing for all possible perms and combs for the production of a record, thus the endlessly repeated “amp;” which the html code for an ampersand (gone wrong, as it happens, because it’s oddly self-referring, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Bob and Doug and Law

Not to take things too lightly, but I had a chance to watch Strange Brew again this week, and I noted a surprising amount of legal content:

  • re: the mouse in the bottle that started it all, see M’Alister (or donoghue) v Stevenson [1932] AC 562
  • As Bob and Doug make their initial claim for free beer, Bob informs us “Its in the Canadian Criminal Code”
  • At several moments, Doug expresses awareness of the legal consequences of whatever ill-considered plan they are undertaking, and his solution is most often to get his brother to drive
  • As Pam settles Claude’s hash
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

Idée, a Toronto-based IT company, is anything but fixe: it’s all about shifting shapes — and colours. They have developed really good image identification and visual search software, used by industry for a bunch of things, including searching the net for pirated copies of copyright images. But there’s fun to be had as well, so we’ll introduce a few of the niftier aspects of their products as featured in their open-to-the-public idée labs.

First up is Multicolr Search. The online demo extracts the colours from 10 million Flickr photos to let you assemble a matrix of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous