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Archive for November, 2008

Canada a Digital Ghetto?

CBC’s Search Engine says, provocatively:


With the election of Barack Obama, digital culture in the U.S. hit a tipping point, where a robust online public sphere proved itself capable of changing the world. Meanwhile, here in Canada we’re approaching our own tipping point, where a series of ignorances and capitulations threaten to turn our country into a digital ghetto.

Having spent some time yesterday discovering that Skype is not able to provide Skypein telephone numbers for Canada the way it can for 21 other countries and that Google’s really interesting Grand Central isn’t available in Canada, I’m ready . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Canada’s “Simply Inadequate” Anti-Spam Laws

Earlier this week, Facebook won a huge judgment – $832 million to be exact – against a Canadian spam lord, Adam Guerbuez. This was the biggest award ever made under the US federal anti-spam legislation. Facebook doesn’t expect to collect much from the judgment, but it’s definitely another blow against spammers.

in an article in today’s Globe, Michael Geist explains that Facebook brought their action in California rather than Canada because Canadian law doesn’t provide an adequate remedy against spammers. He describes our own laws as “simply inadequate”.

I wonder if anti-spam legislation is on the Tories’ agenda for . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Up-to-the-Minute News on Mumbai Attacks

I just arrived home and am catching up on the terrorist attack on Mumbai this evening (tomorrow morning in India).

BlogTalkRadio SAJA (South Asian Journalist Association) are holding web-based phone-in discussions every 12 hours, 10 – 11:30 am/pm ET or 8:30 – 10:00 am/pm Indian time. The guests on the first call (evening of Nov. 26 in Canada) included Benjamin Piven, former Fulbright Scholar in Mumbai and Suketu Mehta, author, “Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found.” Author Rohit Bhargava has posted the details on his Influential Marketing Blog.

For those wishing to follow the latest news, some . . . [more]

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

Supreme Court of Canada Registrar Anne Roland Retires

In an emotional farewell to staff, Anne Roland, Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada since 1990, reminisced yesterday about the many changes she has seen at Canada’s highest judicial institution where she started working 32 years ago. Roland retired this week.

As Registar, she acted as the Court’s top administrative official, with responsibilities for appointment and supervision of Court staff, the management of the Library and the Registry, and the publication of the Supreme Court Reports.

Madame Roland emigrated from France and joined the Canadian public service some 37 years ago, working first in translation before moving to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Twitter Cuts Canadian SMS Service

Looks like Twitter is cutting outbound SMS messaging:

Unexpected changes in our billing have forced us into a difficult situation with our Canadian SMS service. We can’t afford to support this service given our current arrangement with our providers (where costs have been doubling for the past several months.) As a result, effective today we are no longer delivering outbound SMS over our Canadian shortcode (21212).

The ability to update Twitter over SMS will still be supported over 21212. But we know that this is only part of the experience and we want to make Twitter work in the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Rise Up Against the Tyranny of the Urgent

Cough, hack, snort. If you are anywhere near my office these days the sounds can be pretty gruesome. When my body collapsed into illness and exhaustion last week I had several days in bed to contemplate what had gone wrong.

How did I get so run down? The usual suspects were behind it: Over work and long hours in service of the tyranny of the urgent. And I ask you, as a business coach shouldn’t I know better?

The tyranny of the urgent – you likely have experienced it yourself: An email in-box that fills up as soon as it . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

isoHunt Seeks Declaration

E-Tips, from Deeth Williams Wall, informs us that Gary Fung, a Canadian web entrepreneur, has filed a petition in the B.C. Supreme Court seeking a declaration that his site, isoHunt, does not infringe the Copyright Act. isoHunt is an extremely popular BitTorrent search engine. Fung is currently being sued by the Motion Pictures Association of America and has received a take-down notice from the Canadian Recording Industry Association. His petition is available online [PDF], as is his analysis of his situation. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Other Side of the Moon Report

We blogged yesterday about the Report that Professor Moon made to the Canadian Human Rights Commission on whether hate speech on the web should be regulated by the CHRC or handled differently.

The Canadian Jewish Congress has issued a strong statement of dissent, quoting Mark Freiman of Mccarthy Tétrault. [Mark had done a commentary on the earlier CHRC ruling.] Here is the Globe op-ed piece by Mark as well as a CBC discussion.

If, as we suggested yesterday, the issue goes to the Commons Justice Committee – we can expect a spirited debate. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Social Media vs. Knowledge Management: A Generational War

That’s the title of an article worth reading at social computing (And speaking of social media, this article came to my attention via a Twitter post by Mathew Ingram.)

The article says:

KM and SM look very similar on the surface, but are actually radically different at multiple levels, both cultural and technical, and are locked in an undeclared cultural war for the soul of Enterprise 2.0.

And the most hilarious part is that most of the combatants don’t even realize they are in a war. They think they are loosely-aligned and working towards the same ends,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Adobe 9.0

I am normally skeptical when it comes to “vendor” panels or demonstrations, but Rick Borstein of Adobe did such an entertaining demo of Adobe 9.0 for lawyers at the Canadian Law & Technology Forum last week that was also useful and showed a number of improvements to the product.

His blog – Adobe for Legal Professionals – provides lots of great tips (I learned more about the annoying problem when OCR’ing with Adobe when you get this message: “Acrobat could not perform recognition (OCR) on this page because the page contains renderable text.” – Rick mentioned that the newest version . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing

“Friends of the Earth” Appeals KPIA Decision

Ecojustice, formerly Sierra Legal Defence Fund, and pro bono lawyers from Paliare Roland Barristers, counsel for Friends of the Earth, have appealed the Federal Court decision in Friends of the Earth v. Canada (Governor in Council), 2008 FC 1183 (CanLII).

The court in that case held that it could not deal with the issue of whether the Minister of the Environment had failed to comply with the duty imposed on him under s.5 of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, 2007, because the issue under the legislation was not justiciable. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Post-Matter Client Services Survey

In tough economic times it is more important than ever to make sure your clients are happy with the work you did for them. A post-matter client survey is one of the best ways to collect information about what clients thought about the services you provided.

Make sure your survey is structured to help you identify specific areas for improvement. Ideally, it should include some open-ended questions.

LAWPRO’s booklet, Managing a Better Professional Services Firm, included a sample post-matter client survey. An electronic copy of this survey that you can adapt for your firm is available at . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management