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Archive for February, 2009

Designing Websites for Lawyers and the Public

I expect that the needs of lawyers are somewhat different from the general public when it comes to the websites of public bodies, particularly those of regulators and tribunals. What got me thinking about it was a solicitation to provide feedback on the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner’s website as they embark on a refresh or redesign.

I assume that when most public bodies are thinking about their websites, they look at how to make it useful for the general public. Which is obviously important, but I know that I’m a heavy user of a number of government websites . . . [more]

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

The Future of Computing?

A peer recently brought this image to my attention and it immediately caught my attention and spoke to me. The image is from an article entitled, “What will a World of Warcraft player look like in 2030?”. If, by some chance, you are not familiar with the World of Warcraft, suffice it to say that it is an internet gaming phenomena that has wasted countless hours and more than a few thousand dollars of tuition. The title of the image has been co-opted in various locations to “The future of gaming?” and I have further co-opted it here to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Legal Information & Technology eJournal

Legal Information & Technology is a new ‘eJournal’ [update: actually a digest service] on SSRN‘s Legal Scholarship Network.

You can preview the first issue collection of references with their summaries here:

Here is a description on the scope:

This eJournal includes working papers, forthcoming articles, and recently published articles in all areas of legal information scholarship. Topics include (but are not limited to): 1) the impact of legal information on domestic, comparative, and international legal systems; 2) the treatment of legal information authorities and precedents (e.g., citation studies); 3) the examination of rules, practices, and commentary limiting

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

1234567890 Day Is Today!

This dispatch arrives from WIRED:

Unix weenies everywhere will be partying like it’s 1234567890 this Friday.

If you needed confirmation that geeky web 2.0 social events have permeated every useful dimension of your existence, here it is. I see that Toronto is not organized yet (also check here), but Vancouver is.

I wonder if anyone will be able to tell us exactly when 0987654321 passed us by, and why we were not informed… . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ermineskin Nation Loses SCC Appeal

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals of the Ermineskin Nation et al. against the Federal Court of Appeal ruling that denied the plaintiffs’ claim that the federal government had a fiduciary role under Treaty Number 6 such that the oil and gas revenues resulting from extraction under the plaintiffs’ land should have been invested for their benefit. At stake were some two billion dollars. Justice Rothstein wrote the judgment of the 7 member court: Ermineskin Indian Band and Nation v. Canada, 2009 SCC 9 . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

For a brief while, a long time ago, I played silly mid-off — which was probably the most foolish of all of the “silly-this” and “silly-that” things I’ve done. It’s a fielding position in cricket, and I’ve got a picture here to show you what the “silly” part is all about. My theory at the time was that I’d be so close to the batsman that there’d be no time at all to think about whether or not I wanted to apply my bare hands to a very hard and very swift ball: it’d simply be a case of rapid . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Anyone who has been shy about launching a blog because of a worry about the tech side of things need worry no more. Posterous makes starting and maintaining a blog as easy as… well, as easy as email. (We have all mastered that, no?) All you need to do — and I mean “all” — is email anything (photo, video, MP3 file, other file) to and there you are: you’re blogging. Talk about “greasing the skids of prolixity,” this is crazy easy.

The text of your email becomes the text of your post, photos are cropped and posted for . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Doug Cornelius’ New Blog: Compliance Building

Congratulations to Doug Cornelius who has started the new blog Compliance Building. You may remember last October we mentioned he had moved from his real estate practice and knowledge management law firm work to take on the role of Chief Compliance Office for Beacon Capital Partners, LLC, a real estate private equity firm. On the “About” page, he explains the new blog: “I focus on compliance issues applicable to real estate private equity firms.”

I love the dual meaning of the blog title! Very clever, even if it does stray from his “spaces” blog name theme. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Dependence on Technology

I DO have a dependence on coffee. I DO NOT have a dependence on technology…or do I? This question requires some serious philosophical introspection on my part, which I will not make you suffer through. I hope that the more interesting aspect is why I write about this today.

It is the anniversary of Abe Lincoln’s birthday, and as the Smithsonian points out, he had an interest in technology. The US News agrees that Lincoln was a technology leader. Lincoln was even a communications technology leader with his use of the telegraph. A reasonable person may theorize that his . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Technology

Hush Hush, Mein Kindle

As everyone knows by now, Amazon is poised to bring out Kindle 2 in the U.S. Apart from its other features, the Kindle 2 can read — out loud. This is, of course, no more than any competent computer can do nowadays, and in tones that are increasingly lifelike. But this ability to speak a book worries the American Authors Guild, which opines that an act of turning text to speech might violate copyright, or, more precisely, impinge on an author’s “e-book rights.”

(Most commentary you’ll read on this — WSJ, Boing Boing, and those quoted in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Substantive Law

Ice Fishing as a Lottery?

Courtesy of the Northern European law firm Roschier comes news of this most alarming decision from the Finnish Supreme Court: running an ice fishing competition without a lottery licence.

Supreme Court Rules on Lottery Offence in Ice Fishing Competition Case

The Supreme Court ruled on 30 December 2008 that an ice fishing competition can constitute a lottery in accordance with the Lotteries Act. […]

[T]he participants were entitled a prize of monetary value for each fish caught based on the weight of that single fish. The value of this prize rose substantially along with the weight classes, but at the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Georgetown Law Library Symposium on Blogs as Legal Scholarship

The Georgetown Law Library will hold a symposium on the Future of Today’s Legal Scholarship on July 25, 2009 in Washington. It will debate how blogging has become an integral part of legal scholarship:

“The Future of Today’s Legal Scholarship is a symposium that brings together academic bloggers, law librarians, and experts in preservation to tackle the bigger, more imperative challenges that will influence legal scholarship and democratic access to legal information for generations to come.”

“We must determine how to prioritize, collect, archive, preserve, and ensure reliable long-term access to the burgeoning amount of legal scholarship being published through

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