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Archive for November, 2007

Digg’s Displays

Have you seen what Digg Labs are doing with the stories you digg on that social bookmarking service? Seeing is the operative word, because they’re experimenting with a number of ways — four, in fact — to display the weight of stories graphically, and they’re a little wild.

From their main page:


Digg Arc displays stories, topics, and containers wrapped around a sphere. Arcs trail users as they digg stories across topics. Stories with more diggs make thicker arcs.


Digg BigSpy places stories at the top of the screen as they are dugg. As new stories are dugg, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Citation Style for a General Audience

The Alberta Supreme Court at 100: History & Authority, ed. Jonathan Swainger (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press / Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2007) arrived in my mailbox today. I haven’t read the whole book, but my superficial impression is that it is, in substance, an interesting and useful contribution to the literature.

What caught my eye, though, were the case citations. Here are some examples:
Page 24, note 41: R. v. Cyr, Alberta Law Reports 12, (1917-18):336
Page 62, note 16: R. v. Nan-E-Quis-A-Ka, NWT, Territories Law Reports [cited hereafter TLR] 1(1889):211
Page 92, note . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Information Freedom: Possible and Good.

Maybe its just me, but the web, as represented in my aggregator, seems to be drawing these threads together tightly this morning. First, we have the news that file sharing is good for the music business, plus the fact that some US universities are starting to rebuff the RIAA‘s requests for data on file-sharers. Anonymity is good for information quality where the information being exchanged is somehow protected or proscribed. But where the information is not controlled, anonymity is less crucial, and increased access makes markets work better. When the information is free (as in speech), . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Canada Post Creates Second Life Shopping Island

We are seeing that the social networking tool/virtual world Second Life is gradually becoming more relevant to business as more organizations take the plunge to test it out and market their wares to SL users.

Case in point: Canada Post has just launched Maple Grove, a city in Second Life. It was announced Thursday (see press release Canada Post Leaps Into Virtual World – Nov. 1/07) and the grand opening took place Saturday with a six-hour music festival. Maple Grove includes brand name stores where you can purchase real world items and have them shipped (using, of course, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Westlaw WebPlus Search Engine

Westlaw has taken its WebPlus search engine out from behind the paywall and made it available freely on the web. Through a combination, it seems, of editorial selection of sites or domains and an algorithm the engine offers to fetch you from the web a better selection of legally interesting results than a simple Google search might do.

Slow typing in the search box brings up a list of suggested “issues.” Results can be filtered by a simple set of facets.

There’s a promo video that was used within Westlaw proper for law students — who seem to me, alas, . . . [more]

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

The Law of Tattoos

Well Slaw hasn’t had a discussion about piercings or personalized skin art. Because – you might say – what does this have to do with law or legal information.

Well given that these things are manifestations of some sort of creativity, it isn’t surprising that there might be IP implications.

Yes – there is law, and the leading expert is an Ottawa native ((Harkins is legal counsel at Brinks, Hofer, Gilson & Lione, a Chicago intellectual property law firm. He is the son of Zoe and John Harkins of Ottawa.)) whose article “Tattoos and Copyright Infringement: Celebrities, Marketers and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Outsourcing to Olim

Just learned that Israel is the latest destination for legal services outsourcing.

Green Point’s Legal Services Division has engaged with one of the world’s largest legal publishers to provide a full range of editing and editorial services, as well as original content creation services. This client joins the growing roster of prestigious legal information providers who have discovered the benefits of Green Point’s dual shore model – legal resources in India, working under the supervision of bar-admitted US attorneys working in Israel. Green Point’s value added legal services, which make US legal talent in Israel available to US law firms

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Technology

Interview Week

If any of those who work in downtown Toronto, especially in the Bay St. area, happen to notice a surprising number of fresh-faced, full-suited types scurrying about today, there is good reason for this: 8am this Monday morning marks the beginning of Interview Week. T.O. firms have the next three days to interview, wine, and dine 2Ls in order to determine which students will get the nod precisely at 5pm on Wednesday, for summer 2008 positions.

It’s perhaps not surprising to know that students stay in touch with each other through the day, both by text message and cell phone . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Litigation Trends Survey Results

My firm, Fulbright & Jaworski, has released the findings from our Fourth Annual Litigation Trends Survey. It’s the largest survey of its kind, and this year over 300 general counsel or heads of litigation responded to our questions. I am a principal architect of the survey and always insert a host of questions on e-discovery issues. This year’s findings are quite interesting.

Jury’s Still Out on the New U.S. Rules. In-house counsel say they are not yet seeing much benefit from the amendments to the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that went into effect at the end . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Musharraf and the Judges

As everyone will know, Gen. Pervez Musharraf yesterday proclaimed a state of emergency in Pakistan and suspended the constitution. Whatever his purposes may be, his explicit complaint is largely against the judiciary, alleging that the judges have overstepped their bounds and eroded the “trichotomy of powers.” The Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges have been “removed” and imprisoned, and a new Chief Justice, Abdul Hamid Doger, “installed.” According to the BBC all of the nearly 30 TV news channels in Pakistan have gone off the air.

I thought readers of Slaw might like to have access to . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

The Friday Fillip

Twice this morning I saw a parent telling a child that saying the right word would make the traffic light turn green, and twice I saw the look of wonder and delight in the child’s eyes as the spell worked. That double sighting was a sign, I think, that this fillip should be about magic, which, after all, is not that different from some law: the words must be exactly the right words, and must be written not spoken, sometimes to the accompaniement of flames and hot red wax, whereupon things (often invisible) are ipso facto! changed. And we who . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous