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Archive for March, 2009

The Dumbest Windows Feature Ever: “Full Menus Off”

Many installations of Microsoft Office have “Full menus” disabled (it is the default setting when Office is installed). What does this mean? You will see only a few items on any menu you select (File, Edit, View, etc.). And, to find a menu command that you don’t use often or have never used before, you have to click the two downwards pointing chevrons at the bottom of the menu – this forces Windows to show all the available commands on that menu. You can also double-click the menu to expand it.

When you expand one menu, all of the menus . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Religion & – Fill in the Blank

Before I took my current position as Executive Director of the Law Commission of Ontario, I was writing an article on reconciling religious practices with what I (and many others) perceive to be dominant Canadian values (such as equality). I decided that discretion is the better part of valour and put it aside, with some considerable regret. Simon Fodden’s post about the UN’s resolution to combat defamation against religion took me back to it, though.

Both at a global and domestic level (and, of course, as they interact) how religious belief is recognized and respected, while still maintaining a commitment . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

No Skype for iPhone… in Canada


I was all set to see how I could shave some points off my various phone bills, only to discover that Skype is available for the iPhone today in every country in which Apple has an iTunes Store except Canada. The CBC had the story yesterday, but I missed it. According to a Skype spokesperson, the problem has to do with patents relating to the Skype application. This means that when Skype is released for the BlackBerry in May, it will be for those in every country except the one in which the thing was created. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Social Media Marketing for Lawyers

I first met Michael Rabinovici at a Legal Marketers Association (LMA) event on Social Media Success. We’ve stayed in touch periodically since, and he helps run a strategic consultation company, AR Communications Inc.

He recently gave a presentation on social media marketing and lawyers that I thought would be of interest to our readers, so I asked him to upload his slides and audio to SlideShare.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology

CiL 2009: Some Notes

It has been a busy day, and between sneaking a very nice scotch into a hotel restaurant with some Army librarians, and smoking a cigarette indoors with a different group, we have been very bad. Librarians on the loose get a bit wild…

There are a couple of notes that will help if you would like to follow any of the conference. Firstly, the presentations are being streamed Live, though I have not been able to find the link – I would check the main website during conference hours. Another thing: there are a lot of bloggers here, and I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Looking Forward With the McGill Guide

Case citations exist primarily for the purpose of enabling a researcher to locate the full text of a judgment or the decision of an administrative tribunal. The primary purpose of a style guide for legal citation is to ensure that everyone can understand how various combinations of numbers, letters, brackets and punctuation make it possible for the reader to find the full text of a case referred to in a book, article or another case. There are other uses, such as case citators, but the main purpose of a case citation is to provide the means to easily locate a . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Challenge of Making Legal Information Publicly Accessible

My apologies for starting this post with a pic, but

A woman in a hotel room in Uganda is making judgments ready for the scanner.

It demonstrates graphically the challenges faced in making legal information publicly accessible through a Legal Information Institute. That’s the topic of an excellent blog posting by Kelly Anderson of Southern African Legal Information Institute – SAFLII – over at VoxPopuLII, which is a guest-blogging project sponsored by Tom Bruce and our friends across the lake at the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School.

We may be complacent in North America about our . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Translation Needed: Podcasting Legal Guide for Canada

The Podcasting Legal Guide for Canada by Kathleen Simmons and Andy Kaplan-Myrth was first officially released back in June 2007 by Creative Commons Canada (see my Slaw post from June 29, 2007). Now they have put out a call to translate the Guide in an open source style, via Traduwiki. Their goal is to have it translated into French, although Traduwiki has the infrastructure to allow for translation into a number of different languages.

If you can help in the translation, please make your contribution via the wiki.

Photo: by Connie Crosby, also available under Creative . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law, Technology

Resolution 7/19: “Combating Defamation of Religions”

On Friday the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a non-binding motion put forward by Pakistan aimed at “combating the defamation of religions.” (The Globe and Mail lead editorial today inveighed against the resolution.) Canada, along with nine other nations, voted against the resolution, pointing out that, among other things, rights properly belong to individuals and not entities such as religions. Twenty-one nations voted for the resolution and 14 abstained.

The text of the resolution is available online in PDF. (A nice challenge, by the way, is to see how you can get to the resolution from the front page . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Online NYT and IHT Merge

As readers of beSpacific will know, the International Herald Tribune’s online presence has been merged with that of the New York Times. The result offers readers a choice between the NYT “Global Edition” and the NTY “US Edition.” I subscribe to the IHT on Twitter, and although that’s not mentioned in the announcement, it would seem that this source has been quietly terminated, because there hasn’t been a tweet in over 15 hours.

For me, this is a sad consequence of the ongoing collapse of the traditional newspaper business. I think the IHT is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

A week full of money: the Ontario Budget was announced Thursday, and it contained about $700 million of spending on innovation, including $300 million for research infrastructure and $250 million for the previously-announced Emerging Technologies Fund. Reactions were pretty positive, but badly in need of a thesaurus. The proof of the pudding is in the allocation though — in terms of benefits for biotech — the first commitment from the $205 million Ontario Venture Capital Fund turns out to be to a new VC that is more interested in software than soft tissue.

Here’s $100 . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

George Galloway Hearing in Toronto

George Galloway, the controversial British MP scheduled to speak in Canada this week, and parties supporting him, sought an injunction at the Federal Court today.

Although I don’t agree with everything Mr. Galloway says, his views as it relates to non-military solutions to problems largely grounded in social and economic conditions, are ones that in my opinion should be heard.

I attended the hearing at the Federal Court today, where a session was conducted via videoconference to Ottawa.

Barbara Jackman, counsel for the Applicant, noted that in her 30 years of immigration practice she had never seen a case . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law