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Archive for August, 2008

Open Source Here in Google, There in Quebec, and Maybe Everywhere

There’s quite a bit of buzz this week about open source software.

Earlier this summer Google banned open source code on Mozilla Public License claiming spiraling legal costs.

Chris DiBona of the Open Source Team says,

We did this because we have been trying as a company to make a statement against open source license proliferation. You see, we feel it is damaging to the larger world of open source development if there are too many duplicative licenses.

This week Google reversed the ban, looking for greater collaboration through the Eclipse Public License. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Maple Leaf Scare Provides Meat for Thought

Despite a public apology and acknowledgement of responsibility, the tragedy from tainted meats in Canada may not yet be over.

Even in light of this incident, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) seems to be following through with a plan that would lower inspection requirements for domestic meat products, while maintaining higher standards for exports.

Although safety issue don’t appear to be a concern, consumer confidence is at stake. This would affect already cash-strapped beef farmers.

Susan Bourette, a journalist who worked undercover for Maple Leaf in 2004 to write her book, Carnivore Chic: From Pasture to Plate, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Examining Fault/No Fault Medical Insurance

CMAJ, the publication of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), is doing a series examining medical malpractice in Canada. The CMA drew national attention this month when a private health care advocate was elected their president, drawing criticism from various quarters.

Part one in the last week’s issue describes the emotional difficulties, isolation and stress that physicians undergo when dealing with professional litigation.

They then compare tort-based systems around the world and note that our system is not as user friendly.

The pros and cons of a no-fault compensation scheme are then reviewed, and they claim that 50% of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

The Wonder That Is LexMonitor

Steven Matthews already mentioned last month Kevin O’Keefe‘s new law blog aggregator, LexMonitor.

I was checking out my profile this week and noticed that they already added Slaw. As a new contributor here, I was really impressed with the timeliness in which they did this.


Of course a little link love thrown his way earlier in the month probably didn’t hurt either. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

The Dundas Scramble

This is only within Slaw’s remit by the merest toenail — that of traffic laws. But because it’s (still) Friday, I thought the ROC might enjoy watching Torontonians experience their very first “pedestrian scramble” at Dundas and Yonge St. Click on the image to see a time lapse video by Sam Javanrouh of how the controlled chaos is working.

Calgary, of course, had a scramble first. And I seem to recall from a childhood visit that Medicine Hat had what was then called kitty-corner or katy-corner crossings way back…then.

[via Spacing Toronto] . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Contract Lawyers Are Outsourcing Too!

As many of you are already aware, the ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released an ethics opinion on legal outsourcing this week.

That report is now public on the ABA website thanks to some keen blogger griping by our Slaw friend Ron Friedmann. The key points, as noted by Ron, were:

  • “U.S. lawyers are free to outsource legal work, including to lawyers or nonlawyers outside the country, if they adhere to ethics rules requiring competence, supervision, protection of confidential information, reasonable fees and not assisting unauthorized practice of law.”
  • “Outsourcing can reduce client costs and enable
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Happy Birthday Canlii

Our friends at Canlii are celebrating eight years. Yes August 29, 2000 it all started.

Now CanLII publishes over 140 databases, gets nearly 25,000 visits per day, 2,500 new cases are added every week and 11 statutory databases are updated monthly.

The announcement has links so you can look back at what it used to look like.

Long may it thrive. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

The Friday Fillip

Today’s fillip merely pokes a stick — well, a baton, really — at a very large and fabulous creature, one that would take all the Fridays in an era to get to know properly, if such were ever really possible. I’ve touched on music before, that non-verbal language that satisfies as well as, or better than, the abecedarian kind. Today I want to play a bit with what I’m calling “the player and the piano,” though, these fillips being the associative rambles that they are, I’ll go beyond even that general limit.

What got me going this time was a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Blogging and Legal Ethics

Blogging lawyers are not like ordinary bloggers. Most bloggers don’t have to worry about the issue of conflicts of interests and client confidentiality. Lawyers, on the other hand, have to worry about legal ethics. Since I started blogging more than three years go, it’s been an issue that I’ve always had to keep in the back of my mind every time I even think about a blog post. With the plethora of blogging lawyers, I am surprised that I haven’t seen much discussion on the topic. (If there has been, please point me to it!)

I blog primarily in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law Librarians and Virtual Worlds

While we’ve had discussions from time to time about Second Life, but we missed telling you about a novel virtual workshop on innovative forms of library services through virtual worlds. The workshop explored the benefits and challenges of operating a virtual world law library program, leading to practical advice on how to create and present a program or topical resource within Second Life.

The website noted that a legal community is developing in Second Life: over 65 lawyers and firms have an official Second Life presence, the “Second Life Bar Association” has 200+ members, and the ABA has recently . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology