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Archive for June, 2008

Moving Season? Reduce Your Chance of Being Scammed

Lots of people turn to classified ad websites such as Craigslist and Kijiji to find movers to help them with small moves. But, from the lists and lists of movers, how can you tell who are honest? And if you do get ripped off, where can you turn? Here is a checklist of sorts. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

The Hazards of Simple Filters

I’ve been getting a daily blast of legal-tech news from Lexology, having ticked the IP, IT etc. boxes and those for Canada, the U.S. and U.K. Today, there was a single item under the “Canada” banner: “Employers need to be careful to avoid waiving the protections of written computer and email policies” from the firm of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, a name I’m not familiar with — but then I’m not exactly up on them all. The telltale was the mention of the 9th Circuit Court and then “the Ontario Police Department.” Ah. No . . . [more]

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

The Finished Degree

[Editor’s note: What follows is the convocation address delivered by Professor Willinsky on the occasion of his receiving an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Faculty of Education at York University, June 19, 2008.]

It is truly an honor, if a slightly odd one as I shall explain, to be asked to join in this celebration of so many graduates’ proud accomplishment as well as an honor to receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws from York University. I say odd because the degree I am receiving could be cast not just as an unearned degree, but a belated degree, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing


Earlier this week George Carlin (1937-2008), a noted counter-culture comedian passed away. For fans of stand up comedy Carlin’s career needs no introduction but Carlin is, perhaps, best known for his Seven Words you will never hear on television.

For law types George Carlin’s career wound it’s way through the U.S. Supreme Court and he became known as free speech icon. In October of 1973 a New York City radio station played the entire length of Carlin’s standup routine “Filthy Words” which was heard by a father driving in his car with his son. The father in question . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

End of the month and time to clean out the Fillip Folder on my machine — which means it’s a six-pack today, apropos for (what should be) the long weekend, perhaps.

1. FontStruct
I worked at a university for a great many years, and I eventually discovered that most of the faculty had no eyes. For them the visual world was purely a source of information, primarily in the form of text. All else was ornamentation, something that others might add on at the end — if there was time or an obscure need. The best illustration of this, for . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Online Presentation Tools

There’s a good overview of four online presentation tools — “PowerPoints” in the clouds — over at ReadWriteWeb. We’ve already looked at Zoho Show 2.0 here on Slaw, and everyone should be familiar with what Google Docs can do in that respect (not much). A new player, 280 Slides, is starting to make online son et lumière look really interesting: you can pluck images out of Flickr and you can download your finished presentation to PowerPoint 2007 format, if you wish.

But I have to say that SlideRocket is the one to watch. Still in closed beta (I’m . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

New White Paper Compares B.C. Legislation Tracking Services

One of my first efforts as Crosby Group has been evaluating the B.C. legislation tracking/research service Quickscribe. An excerpt of the press release is below. I hope you find this report useful. I would love to hear your comments!

Quickscribe: A Comparison and Evaluation Report (White Paper) Released

[June 26, 2008] A new white paper comparing British Columbia legislative tracking services was released today by Crosby Group Consulting. The report titled, Quickscribe: A Comparison and Evaluation Report, was commissioned by Stem Legal Web Enterprises Inc. to objectively identify key differences between Quickscribe Services Inc. and the BC government

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

A Legal Wiki on Legal Wikis

An odd sort of an announcement today about a White Paper on the implications of Web 2.0 for the legal profession, but without any indication how to find the white paper.

Here is the press release:

Collaborative Network Addresses Emerging Legal Issues

2008-06-26 21:58:06 –

– nGenera, together with California law firm Folger, Levin & Kahn, and Legal OnRamp, today announced that they had collaborated to use a wiki tool to author a sophisticated white paper on legal issues presented by new Internet technologies, including wikis themselves. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

ICANN Approves Expansion of Top-Level Domain Names

ICANN, the body which oversees website address naming, today approved a proposal to allow those applying for domain names to self-select top-level domains. Currently there are only 21 top-level domains including common ones such as .com and .org. This new development will open up domain naming. According to the ICANN press release:

This proposal allows applicants for new names to self-select their domain name so that choices are most appropriate for their customers or potentially the most marketable. It is expected that applicants will apply for targeted community strings such as (the existing) .travel for the travel industry and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Judicial Council Report on Reforms

From the Canadian Judicial Council press release:

The Canadian Judicial Council has released a report on reforms undertaken across Canada to make it easier and more affordable for Canadians to seek justice in the courts. The Chief Justice of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, who also heads the Council, has identified access to justice as one of the most important challenges facing the justice system today. …

This report, which was undertaken by a sub-committee of the Council’s Administration of Justice Committee, is based on records developed at its request for the new Inventory of Reforms created by

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Online Collaboration on LiveJournal Results in Book Deal

Havemercy, a book created via online collaboration on LiveJournal between two 21-year-old women in Victoria and New York, is now on sale. This 400-page book, after being written online in only 18 days, caught the attention of a senior editor at Spectra, the science-fiction imprint of Random House’s Bantam Dell Publishing Group. It offered a $30,000 advance to the two authors, and secured world rights to the book in English. And it all started with an online thread between the 2 women, discussing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Article from The Globe and Mail . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Significant High Court Decision on Justiciability of a Referendum on Lisbon Treaty

Stuart Wheeler has lost a High Court case in his bid for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Two judges rejected the millionaire’s claim that there was a “legitimate expectation” of a public vote. The Beeb summarizes the decision well, the Guardian has the key findings of the case, and Bailii has the entire decision. It has quite a style of cause: The Queen (on the application of Wheeler) v. Office of the Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Speaker of the House of Commons . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions