Canada’s online legal magazine.

Technology Gone Wrong

From the Wall Street Journal, here’s a cautionary tale about relying too heavily on new technology to give you the right answer. Apparently GPS devices have been steering drivers wrong all around the US. The article tells the story of a man who, following the directions of the disembodied voice, found himself staring out over a 200-foot cliff in New Mexico.

One of the problems is that the software in the devices has difficulty distinguishing between a highway and a dirt track – only one of which is appropriate to take your car down of course.

I may be stretching . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Year in Law and Technology

Those of you who would like to catch up on what happened with law and technology in Europe last year might want to take a look at CMS Cameron McKenna‘s Technology Annual Review [PDF], released last week.

From the Foreword:

Topics in this year’s Review include: selling spam lists, illegal spyware, software copyright, VoIP, the i-Gasm, CD-WOW, the Fresh Prince, E-Commerce defences, data retention, digital downloads, domain name decisions, patent ambushes, the smiley :-), Bluetooth spam, and much, much more.

I’m fairly certain I myself missed the i-Gasm.

[via Lexology – registration required] . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Leg@l.IT2008: Canada’s Premier Legal Technology Conference

For all you law and IT lovers, I am pleased to announce that Leg@l.IT is back this year! With Canada’s Privacy Commissionner, Jennifer Stoddart, and Prof. Pierre Trudel as co-presidents, three tracks with the most interesting and en vogue subjects (here is the agenda) and an impressive group of speakers, including fellow Slawers (Simon Chester, Jordan Furlong and Vincent Gautrais) and blogger (David Bilinsky), it is THE event you don’t want to miss!

Leg@l.IT is an accessible and spearheading conference, the most important of this kind in Canada, about the potential and . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s T-Shirt Contest

Did you miss the deadline? The Privacy Commission of Canada posted a contest to their blog last week, looking for slogans and designs for T-shirts they are planning to hand out at conferences. Unfortunately they did not give a lot of lead time; deadline was March 25th. I think the concept is a great one and would have liked to try my hand at a slogan or two. I’m sure fellow Slawyers would have come up with something witty. I’ll keep an eye on it, whether they extend the deadline.

Link courtesy of Vancouver web marketing guru Kate Trgovac . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

A Factual Question

A study from the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review reportedly finds that the question of whether an exchange is a sale or a licensing agreement is not entirely a matter of contract. According to Gizmodo, Boing Boing, and Sivacracy,

…just because Sony or Amazon call it a license, that doesn’t make it so. “That’s a factual question determined by courts,”…

From the summary:

The (Potential) Legal Validity of E-book Reader Restrictions By Rajiv Batra, John Padro, Seung-Ju Paik and Sarah Calvert

Many users are unhappy that e-book readers, such as the Sony Reader and the Amazon

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

What Was It?

The latest issue of the Virginia Law Weekly contains a look back at the law school from 1958 to 1967, a period so far back in history that even I was back in school.

But I was surprised to read one sentence about the firm library:

In 1962 the head law librarian attended a meeting to assess the workability of a “computer-like” machine designed to index and retrieve whole bodies of legal information

Okay Slaw, what was this about? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Can It Really Help Business?

For many of us, E-Discovery has become a thorn in our side as we attempt to ensure that our organizations are able to be compliant with the court’s demands – particularly when dealing with the US Courts. Perhaps it’s time to look at some of the benefits of an effective e-discovery capability within an organization.

Of course the first value that is often commented on is related to Records Management and the ability to facilitate and strengthen the Records Management goals, thereby leading to a connection with Risk Management and the Chief Risk Officer’s portfolio. This generally is successful through . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Slaw Timeline

Herewith a new feature: the Slaw Timeline for the past week. Clicking on the link or on the graphic below will take you to a PDF file that shows you the posts on Slaw this week at a glance. Best of all, the title of each post is linked to the entry, so you can catch up on any reading you missed. And if you pop all the Slaw Timeline files in a folder (or go to our Timeline Folder) you’ll be able to consult a graphic record of where we’ve been.

Let me know what you think.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

The Friday Fillip

This is Good Friday for Christians, those at least who use the Gregorian calendar. And this post is about using that calendar and a formula in order to calculate when Good Friday and Easter should be celebrated each year. To make it more than simply topical, let me point out that this calculation has been known since the middle ages as “computus,” which seems right for those of use who use “computers.”

…And for those of us who are drawn to (I do not say “revel in”) complexity. Because at the heart of “computus” you’ll find “epact . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Videos of SCOTUS Judges

LawProse, Inc. has a remarkable set of videos of interviews with eight of the justices of the United States Supreme Court — 26 videos in all. If you’re a court watcher or interested in the psychology of judges and judging — or if writing for judges is your thing — this is a feast for you. An article by Tony Mauro on the U.S. Supreme Court Monitor describes the videos as showing the

justices speaking passionately, sarcastically, angrily, into the camera as they answer questions about brief writing, oral advocacy and their own love-hate relationships with the written word.

Apparently . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law