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Archive for February, 2009

LawTop Release

I’ve put together a website, LawTop, that uses Google News to bring you the most recent law-related stories from Canadian mainstream English-language news sources. You can choose whether to see 10, 25 or 50 of the latest stories, and whether you’d like the headlines only or the headlines and a brief excerpt. As I say on the main page, this is really a simple exercise because Google does all the heavy lifting — and the only reason you’d want to use LawTop instead of Google News directly is because LawTop’s got a handy and consistent set of terms to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

This Morning the Earth Stood Still

If you were an early bird like me and on your computer circa 5:30-5:45 a.m. EST this morning, or on the other side of the world when this would be a reasonable time of the day, you too may have participated in the “Great Gmail outage of February 2009.”

Yes, Gmail was down, and mass panic ensued it what became commonly known as Gfail.

The hysteria could probably best be observed first hand on Twitter, where thousands of users, myself included, screamed in protest and paranoia.

@sandersonjones probably said it best,

Google, I know you’re listening.

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

Jason Epstein Talks About Publishing

As Slaw readers will know, one of the themes that recurs here quite frequently is the role of publishing and books in this culture of rapid technological change. Jason Epstein has a few thoughts on the matter, some of which he shared in the keynote at the recent O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference 2009 in New York. Epstein is someone you would very much want to listen to on the subject: now 81 years old, he created the Anchor Book imprint in the early 50s, launching the trade paper format; in 1963 he co-founded the New York Review . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Reading, Technology

Law Librarian Group Calls for Ending Publication of Law Reviews in Print Format

From the Law Librarian Blog today.

Personally, I believe that the move toward digital law journals is inevitable. I equally believe that librarians and publishers have to work together to ensure that information is available to those who need it, when it’s needed, and supported by a sustainable business model. Starting with the law schools is, I think, a good move.

I like that the language of the Durham Statement includes the word “open” – as a librarian who serves the public, it does me no good to have restrictive licenses keeping my users away from the information they need. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Breaking Legal Stories From Chennai

One of the great wonders of the web is the ability it affords us to glimpse the world from different perspectives by reading current papers from around the world.

Starting with today’s Hindu, a great paper from Chennai, we find the following stories:

Bloggers not entitled to any special protection for expressing critical views, Supreme Court of India holds:

Bloggers may no longer express their uninhibited views on everything under the sun, for the Supreme Court said they may face libel and even prosecution for the blog content. Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam refused to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Is This the Worst Government Legal Information Website?

Over the years, legal users have seen their fair share of badly designed websites, pages whose very design obstructs access. The wayback machine can draw cringes when we look back at sites that looked wonderful at the time.

However, a piece in today’s Korea Times led me to a site that reaches a new level in this dubious competition.

At the outset, we must commend the South Korean government for recognizing the need for having legal information accessible in a language other than Korean – Korean users could always click here.

But this site is extraordinary when it . . . [more]

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

CRTC Deadline to Comment Re: Net Neutrality Is Today

Today is the deadline for public comment submissions to the CRTC with regard to their net neutrality hearings in July. This is from Michael Geist:

The CRTC has set out a series of questions in its public notice, some of which may be too technical or legal for many Canadians. However, there are some key questions that anyone with an interest in net neutrality can address including questions about how network management could result in unjust discrimination or undue preferences as well as how network management could result in controlling content or influencing telecommunications. Moreover, the CRTC asks

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Learning Oral Advocacy Skills

This evening I returned from the 18th Annual Black Law Students Association National Conference in Halifax, N.S.

Although the conference was filled with interesting panels on various issues, including legal topics related to the long-standing black community in that province, a session on oral advocacy was of particular interest to me as a law student.

Oral advocacy is not something that can be purely taught in the classroom. It has to be practiced and refined, over and over again, which is why the previous day I had participated in the 2nd Annual Koskie Minsky LLP Diversity Moot. I’m pleased to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Brian Bowman’s Blog

Brian Bowman (Pittblado, LLP) has a new blog — Brian Bowman – On the Cutting Edge — that’s been active since the beginning of the month. The blog:

provides practical assistance to Canadian businesses so they can better deal with issues related to privacy, access to information, online reputation management, intellectual property and technology legal matters.

Bowman is a Past Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Privacy and Access Law Section. Welcome to the blogosphere, Brian.

[via Information Roundup] . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

New Journal: Policy and Internet

A new journal, Policy and Internet, has issued calls for papers for its first volume. The Policy Studies Organization and the Oxford Internet Institute and Berkeley Electronic Press, the publishers, are aiming to release the journal in the summer of this year. They claim that “[i]t will be the first major peer-reviewed journal to investigate the policy effects of the Internet and related technologies.” Those interested in submitting articles will want to take a look at the Aims and Scope page.

(Two irrelevancies: 1. Why “Internet” and not “the Internet”? That word doesn’t sit easily as an abstract . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

LPO Provides a Positive Boost for an Economy in Recession

Three recent surveys have forecast a positive outlook for the legal process outsourcing (LPO) sector. Surprised? Given the current economic crisis, you shouldn’t be.

Before I elaborate on these surveys, let’s take stock of where we are at present. We all know what shape the global economy is in. So how is the legal industry shaping up? These are some of the recent headlines.

“Closings, layoffs come to U.S law firms”
“Wilson Sonsini cuts 113 jobs, freezes associate pay”
“White & Case lays off 70 associates”
“Orrick lays off 40 attorneys, 35 staff”
“Cooley Godward fired 50 lawyers and 60
. . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing