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Archive for January, 2008

New Yorker Does Google

There’s an interesting piece in the January 14 New Yorker for Google watchers: “The Search Party: Google squares off with its Capitol Hill critics,” by Ken Auletta. Essentially, it talks about the awakening of Google’s engineer-founders to the need to have a strong political presence in Washington. Auletta interviews the Google gods and raises most of the tricky issues that face the search giant. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Two Noteworthy Announcements From Quicklaw

As you may have already heard:

  1. You can now QuickCite statutes; and
  2. Solicitor Forms & Precedents are now available through Quicklaw.

I haven’t had much of an opportunity to explore the statutory QuickCite function yet, but from my first quick glance it seems like a welcome addition. You can access this feature when viewing a particular statutory provision by clicking on the QuickCite symbol, which looks like this: 

As for the scope of its coverage, according to the Source Information entry, “Federal and provincial statutory references from the last revisions, cited in case law decided from [1 January] . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

My Latest Project: Florida Lawyer Blogs

Just a quick note to show off my latest project, the Florida Lawyers Blog Watch.

Working with West Palm Beach attorney Ron Chapman, my idea for this site was to create a web property where anyone, and especially someone who might not be RSS savvy, could watch regional lawyer commentary. Florida is a very good test case because of the quantity of lawyer blogs (36 at launch, and I’m sure there are more) in such a small area.

As most Slawyers can guess, the site is an RSS mashup created with Yahoo pipes. Much like my legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Hotelling Makes a Comeback

A number of years ago, “hotelling” was all the rage among managers. Companies were going to save money by taking away employees’ assigned desks or cubicles, giving them laptops (or “thin client” computers) and assigning the company’s office space on a temporary basis to whoever needed it.

Ten years ago, the technology wasn’t quite there yet to support this model. But it’s definitely there today. And hotelling is making a comeback. The Globe and Mail this week reported that IBM is moving to a hotelling model for all of its 19,000 employees in Canada – a major change for the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Most Recent Annual Report on Use of Electronic Surveillance in Canada

The most recent issue of the Canadian government’s Weekly Checklist features the 2006 annual report on electronic surveillance from Public Safety Canada.

The report outlines the use of electronic surveillance of private communications by law enforcement agencies to assist in criminal investigations.

Under the Criminal Code, agencies must obtain judicial authorization before conducting the surveillance.The government is required to prepare and present to Parliament an annual report on the use of electronic surveillance.

The 2006 Annual Report covers a five-year period from 2002 to 2006. The Report includes new statistics for the period of January 1, 2006 to December . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

SharePoint, RSS and Substantive Law

We’re getting ready to launch our SharePoint 2007 portal. At launch, our goal is to have features and functions that will appeal to both searchers and browsers. The portal will be the new desktop and will be the access point for legal, non-legal, business, administrative, client and financial information in the firm.

Some of the content on the portal is organized by practice area. Content for a practice area will include relevant precedents, commonly used research resources, practice area materials (such as meetings agendas and minutes), and relevant business development material.

Of particular interest to me is the ability to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Top Court Truly Wired

Simon ((the other Simon)) reported from the Lexum Conference on Justice Bastarache‘s speech on the Supreme Court of Canada’s technology plans.

Completely unofficially, here is a picture from last Wednesday, showing the extent of the court’s commitment – every place at the counsel table is wired, the central desk from which counsel addresses the court looks like a command centre. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

I didn’t have a chance to peek behind the judges’ area – I suspect that is permanently off-limit to mere mortals – but I suspect that the bench will be similarly wired. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today our American cousins celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in honour of Dr. King who spoke out for civil rights. It is no surprise that many Canadians respect the man and his message, and also pay homage to him.

A few links of interest:

Compare these thoughts–

from the City of Toronto 2008 proclamation:

The people of Toronto are

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Sedona Canada E-Discovery Principles Posted

An announcement that’s appropriate, given that this weeks Column is on e-discovery:

The Sedona Canada E-discovery Principles [PDF] in English are now up on the Canadian E-discovery Portal, which is hosted by Lexum. The French version will be posted soon.

You will also be able to find Canadian e-discovery related precedents (common law, civil law) on the Portal.

Congratulations to everyone involved, particularly the “content managers” Peg Duncan, Dan Pinnington, Frédéric Pelletier and (Slawyer) Dominic Jaar. . . . [more]

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