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Archive for April, 2007

Leg@l IT Live

I’m here, too, in Montréal, blogging live from this great conference. I’ll let Patrick Cormier do the heavy lifting involved in giving you the content of the presentations. My contribution is a photo of some of the attendees, in rapt attention. The fellow on the right in such deep thought that he needs to support his head is none other than Vincent Gautrais, fellow Slawyer, and, as you’ve learned from the prior post, a panelist here this morning. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Leg@l IT Live: Techniques du Droit du Technique

[this post is one of a series covering the Leg@l IT Conference]

After the session led by Professor Poulin, Professor Vincent Gautrais, from the Law Faculty, University of Montréal, presented a session titled “techniques du droit du technique”.

After a few witty remarks about palindromes and the title of his session; Professor Gautrais discussed the impact of the Loi concernant le cadre juridique des technologies de l’information (LCCJTI), R.S.Q. c. C-1.1 (An Act to establish a Legal framework for information technology) – in particular:

  • Article 5 (“The legal value of a document, particularly its capacity
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Leg@l IT Live: Enjeux Juridiques de Demain

The Association du Jeune du Barreau du Québec (AJBM) is conducting today an innovative and forward-looking conference on “Legal Information Technology” in Montréal, Québec. The conference is co-presided by Justice Bastarache from the Supreme Court of Canada and Daniel Poulin from the Law Faculty, University of Montreal.

This is the first post of a series covering the conference, live.

Me Dominic Jaar from the AJBM (and blog author of Wines and Information Management) opened the conference. He was followed by Justice Bastarache, who shared with the audience an interesting insight from the bench – lawyers beware: the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Email Style

There’s a review in the New Yorker (“Elements of E-style” by Nick Paumgarten) of a new book that tackles the difficult matter of how properly to write emails.

It seems to me that to write such a book is, in a way, like trying to teach children after you’ve told them they’re on recess. Those dreaded thank-you letters you were made to write, that awkward and formal condolence letter — that is one thing, but email, your release from all that, is surely whee!!


Not according to David Shipley and Will Schwalbe, who have ventured forth into . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canadian DCMA

Necessary reading for Slawyers 

This just posted on Michael Geist’s Blog

The Hill Times reports this week (issue still not online) that the Conservative government will introduce copyright reform legislation this spring provided that there is no election. The paper points to two main changes from the Liberals Bill C-60 – tougher anti-circumvention legislation (ie. DMCA-style laws that ban devices that can be used to circumvent as well as provisions that block all circumvention subject to the odd exception) and an educational exception that will provide for free access to web-based materials.


. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Mandatory CLE, Voluntary CLE

Being here, participating here, even lurking here is a constant learning experience. But it’s not mandatory reading and couldn’t be made mandatory. If there were an “L” after our Simon’s names, it would stand for leader, not Legree. [g]

My point? New Jersey has announced that CLE will be mandatory for its lawyers. (The article indicates that CLE is already mandatory in 43 US states.) If even New Jersey sees the merits of mandatory CLE, can Ontario be far behind? (Just kidding, folks. Everybody knows that Ontario’s legal education system for students and lawyers is the best of all . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Friday the 13th Not So Hot for Lexis

Reed Elsevier Plc, owner LexisNexis, today lost a case that denied it the ability to trademark the phrase “” for its Martindale-Hubbell online legal information service.

Martindale-Hubbell had run the Web site for nine years, and was seeking to protect the mark to prevent others from trading on the brand.

The decision is fairly brief – and contains the nicely barbed line:

“For better or worse, lawyers are necessarily an integral part of the information exchange about legal services,”

It continued:

information exchange about lawyers is not at all discrete from information exchange about the law, legal news, and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Backbone Technology Magazine Now Blogging!

Canadian tech magazine Backbone has started a blog called Backblog. Bloggers to date:

They don’t blog nearly as often as we do–yet–but they have some wide-ranging blog posts with some good depth.

Interested in becoming one of their technology bloggers? And perhaps even cross-pollenating some ideas by contributing an article or two to the magazine? They have just sent out a call for bloggers–see How to Blog With Backbone. What . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

Nick Park, the master of claymation and creator of the Wallace and Gromit films, did a couple of series of shorts earlier in his career called Creature Comforts, which featured, as the credits put it, “voices of the great British public” as soundtracks to various delightful pseudo-documentaries.

In one Oscar winner winner animals discuss life at the zoo. “Accustomed to open spaces and sunnier climes, they comment on the accomodation, diet and the English weather.” You can see this 5-minute short on Atom Films, a site where Park’s film is shown with his permission. (Ignore the brief annoying ad . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ian Baxter

Those of you who are as old (or nearly as old) as I am will be saddened to hear of the death of Ian Baxter. I came across his death notice in the Globe & Mail yesterday. (It’s re-published today.) The family has said that there will be no memorial service.

I remember Ian as a careful scholar with a delightful sense of humour and a man of great modesty. He was the principal author of the report of the old Law Reform Commission of Ontario which was the basis for the radical changes in family law represented by the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

My colleague was recently doing some historical research and came across a very interesting entry in the Canadian Law List from 1900. Personally, I am very excited by his discovery, and it has given me inspiration to create a new TV show. First have a look for yourself:

That’s right! Blackadder a lawyer, in Halifax, circa 1900. I’m not too concerned with spelling, I mean really, would Blackadder get stuck on spelling (especially the first incarnation). And let me assure you that Halifax, especially Halifax in 1900, would be a treasure trove of plot ideas and misadventures for Blackadder and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Needed: The U-Tool

I’m in the process of transferring responsibility for The Court to the new Editor-in-Chief, James Stribopoulos. Transitions are difficult in a number of respects, but there’s one aspect of it all that’s made me take another look at the tools available to those of us who work with computers, whether or not on the web; and that’s the business of designing a good operater’s manual. Although what I’m about to worry here has arisen out of that process, it would apply just as well to the production of any sophisticated document aimed at instructing or supporting the user.

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous