Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for February, 2009

Twitter, Webinars, & LegalTweets = Great Coverage of ABA Teleconfrence

Yesterday I had the privilege of presenting in the ABA teleconference Online Social Networking Gets Professional. It was an interesting discussion to be a part of, but equally fascinating was the discussion taking place simultaneously online. A feature that is fast becoming the norm, we had a full twitter support session going on behind the scenes – 380 tweets to be exact.

This was the second webinar I’ve done where we aligned twitter response with the programming (the first was with Lexblog on law firm seo). Some of the decisions were made in advance, such as finding an . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Walter Owen Book Prize

The deadline is approaching for nominations for the Walter Owen book prize, awarded by the Foundation for Legal Research. This $10,000 prize rewards outstanding new contributions to Canadian legal literature. This year, the selection committee will consider books written in English and published in 2007 or 2008. For additional information, see the notice on the Canadian Bar Association website. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

…isn’t as light-hearted today as it usually is. But it’s interesting, important and not unrelated to law, because it’s about languages.

(One of the essays in my book-yet-to-be, 13 Ways of Looking at the Law, says that law is a language game — a skilled activity engaged in by more than one person according to a set of protocols etc. etc. — best played by those who have been immersed in the language and who are sensitive to as many contexts for its use as possible. We touch on this from time to time on Slaw when we raise the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Design, Statistics, and Innovation

Interface design matters. More and more, usability and user-focus are central themes in website design manuals such as Krug’s Dont Make Me Think, King’s Designing the Digital Experience, and Goto and Cotler’s Web Redesign 2.0: Workflow that Works. These successful popular works rely on a lot of serious user testing of the Jakob Nielsen variety, which tracks eye movement and identifies typical scanning patterns and optimal designs based on them.

If you have wondered why, then, the interfaces at WestlaweCarswell and Lexis-Nexis QL are so difficult to use, Julie Jones of Cornell has the answer for . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Aggregators Free to Use California Public Records

As you may know, in the U.S. federal government documents are not protected by copyright. (Canadian federal government documents are protected by copyright in Canada.) Take this in context when reading the summary of the February 5th, 2009 decision by the California Court of Appeals for the Sixth Appellate District released its decision in California first Amendment Coalition v. County of Santa Clara.

In this case, the County of Santa Clara tried to enforce copyright in public records and to impose licensing restrictions (resulting in license fees) on commercial vendors. California first Amendment Coalition (CFAC) sued the county to release . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Who What Where

Pew Internet has released a demographic of Twitter users. Hat Tip to the Law Librarian Blog.

No surprises that Twitter users are mostly young, urban, mobile, and they also use other social media. The report reveals the comparative median age of major social networking sites:

  • Facebook – 26
  • MySpace – 27
  • Twitter – 31
  • LinkedIn – 40

Broad source demographic information (Americans as a whole group + or – 3% accuracy) is interesting, but it may not give organizations the right kind of data for decisions making.

It is great to see stats that might give a picture of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

India More Open to Foreign Law Firms

The National Post is reporting that India is now open to foreign law firms in a limited way. The Post has its information from Dezan Shira & Associates whose “briefing note” of a week ago makes it clear that the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2008 [PDF] permits foreign firms to register and offer “consultation services” but not practice law. It seems that the Bill has received presidential assent.

S.59 is the relevant enabling section and reads as follows:

59. The Central Government may make rules for provisions in relation to establishment of place of business by foreign limited

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

Comparative Guide to Family and Estates Law

Master’s students at the Université de Paris X – Nanterre have produced a comparative guide that provides an overview of the legal situation in 70 countries on issues relating to:

  • nationality, adoption, marriage and divorce
  • estates
  • international private law

The guide is written in French.

[Source: Précisé, un blog pour l’Information juridique] . . . [more]

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

Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News

Vol. 13, No. 2, February 16, 2009 (ISSN 1489-954X) of Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News, is now available. Email lehletter @ for a copy. This issue will shortly be posted at:


Contents include:

Is Illegal Use of Subscription Web Site a Copyright Violation?

Obama: Hope artist asks for Fair Use Ruling

NFB Makes Films Available Online

Copyright in Africa

Digital Music Report 2009

Some YouTube Videos Get Download Option

Authors Guild Claims Kindle’s Text-to-Speech Violates Copyright

Online Copyright Courses

Book: Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians


This e-letter, from 1996 to the present, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

CRTC New Media Hearings Underway

The CRTC started its new media hearing yesterday. It will consider whether the CRTC should regulate the Internet in some way – the thought being that it is just another form of broadcasting.

It’s an important issue that will no doubt garner a lot of press. Michael Geist will provide detailed ongoing coverage. From his post yesterday:

Throughout the hearings, I’ll be teaming up with Carleton professor Ira Wagman to offer up a full summary of the day’s events as we’ll have students carefully taking notes on all the presentations and discussions. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

New Ontario Court of Appeal RSS Feed

This from Louise Hamel, Manager of the Judges’ Library at the Ontario Court of Appeal:

The Court of Appeal for Ontario launched today an RSS feed for when:

  • Decisions are added to the decisions page
  • Case lists are available
  • Leave to appeal notifications are posted
  • Non-publication orders and in-camera hearings are announced

Additional feeds are under development and in the future you will be able to subscribe to separate feeds for each service.

You can check out this new service at

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Does an About-Face…

♫ Everything, everything, everything, everything..
In its right place
In its right place…♫

Lyrics by Thom Yorke, music written and recorded by Radiohead.

One of the long-standing tenets of Google Mail (or GMail) was that you didn’t need folders – that its search abilities eliminated that need.

Problem is, as the size of your GMail Inbox grew, the ease of using Search to manage your GMail diminished. One was left wishing for a good-old fashioned folder structure that allowed you to stuff emails into them and thereby take them out of your Inbox.

Well, that wall came quietly crumbling . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous