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Archive for May, 2009

STAND Down on Darfur, You’re Making It Worse

Liu Guijin, China’s special envoy to Darfur, is currently in Doha meeting with representatives from Britain, France, Russia, United States and the European Union in a 5-day conference on how to deal with the situation in western Sudan.

U.N. backed negotiations between the rebels and the government are also continuing in Doha, and the rebels have released government prisoners in a gesture of good faith. Meanwhile, the government is making advances in Darfur, capturing several towns.

But the key to these recent gains are that the main rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), indicated that they withdrew to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Future of Collaborative Communications?

A friend pointed me to what I think may be The Next Great Thing that may actually enable the dream of networked collaboration and communication. It’s Google Wave and it hasn’t left the labs yet. But if the video is any indication, it’s amazing:

It’s a long video (an hour and a quarter), but worth the watch.

We hear all the time about technology-enabled collaboration, but it seems more theory than reality. Until now (or whenever Wave is launched), it usually requires closed systems, hosted applications, hefty license fees or incompatible software. The Wave model puts e-mail, IM, editing, document . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Scavenger Hunt Wraps Up on Sunday

The Slaw Scavenger Hunt challenge Scavenger Hunt is down to a handful of items – our prominent lawyer from Toronto has an insuperable lead, but let’s see whether the last 2 items can be guessed.

I’ve amplified the big fat hairy hints we gave last week. The works are not so obscure that we couldn’t find lots of references to them. By the way, you can get there by skillful use of the Google search tools, and the resources of Canlii and its kin across the world. No need to spend money on the commercial databases on this project.

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Twittering Your Corporate Securities Information

The desire of publicly-listed corporations to use current communications in fulfilling their duty to disclose material information about their activities can run into the technical limits of (some of) the new media.

There’s an article [PDF] by an American law firm on the topic – 8 pages in all.

An amusing example from the article: a corporate blogger was tweeting from a corporate phone conference, and was recalled to order about the limits to discussions of corporate earnings etc. So the next time it happened, he sent out FOUR separate tweets with disclaimers applicable to the same message! (One asks . . . [more]

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

Resources on U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor

The Law Library of Congress in Washington has put together a list of resources on Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

The list is broken down into:

  • articles/books by Sotomayor
  • her U.S. Senate confirmation hearings at the lower levels of the U.S. federal bench (1992 and 1998)
  • links to her jugdments
  • profiles and analyses from other websites
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

I just flew back from Halifax a few days ago and was made to think yet again how like bus travel flying has become. It’s all so routine — and so ubiquitous. What isn’t so routine, perhaps, is all of the complex communication that goes on behind the scene to enable us to get from here to there via a curve that’s 30,000 feet high in the middle. Air traffic control is especially difficult. In fact, I’m amazed that it works at all. Let’s take a small gander at what’s involved.

In the partial image below, each of the yellow . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Is Your Firm on Wikipedia?

Rupert White of the U.K. Law Society’s Gazette has a couple of articles on law firms’ use of Wikipedia: “Top 50 firms that get Wikipedia – and those that don’t” and “Why the world’s favourite encyclopedia matters.” His basic position is that a law firm should have a page on Wikipedia and should groom it regularly to make certain it’s accurate, full (definitely not “fulsome,” as he has it!) and up-to-date.

I’m less convinced that a Wikipedia page is a necessity. After all, if your firm comes up top in a Google search for key components . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology

Drive-by Praise

No one else is doing it (perhaps because they have not made it home yet), so I’m going to do a drive-by post to praise Slaw for winning the 2009 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing. I’m going to try not to hurt my arm, but this is significant. From

This award was initiated as a means of acknowledging the work that is done by publishers to provide the Canadian legal profession with high quality materials for use in understanding and researching the law. It is hoped that this award serves both as a means to honour

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

Manitoba: Innovative Fighter of Child Sexual Exploitation

When we were discussing the various ideas we had for topics for this week’s series from our firm, Pitblado LLP, I told my colleagues that I wanted to use my writing opportunity to give the readers of Slaw a glimpse into something that is unique to Manitoba from the standpoint of technology and the law.

I told the group that I wanted to report on Manitoba’s recent enactment of The Child and Family Services Amendment Act (Child Pornography Reporting) (Manitoba). With the enactment of these changes to The Child and Family Services Act (Manitoba), Manitoba became the first province . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Twitter, E-Discovery and Decontextualization

There’s a piece by Debra Logan on the Gartner Blog Network, “Twitter and e-Discovery,” that goes over some fairly straightforward stuff about e-discovery and social media. What struck me as interesting was an observation at the end of the piece, pointing out that because of the briefness of a tweet, it is more likely decontextualized than are other discoverable utterances (doodles on pads at meetings?), at least when it’s looked at outside the flow it first appeared in. It’s context that gives or controls meaning, and the briefer the utterance the less each word is shaped by neighbouring . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Technology

Legal Research Bootcamp – Winnipeg Style

Last September, Melanie Bueckert, Legal Research Counsel at the Manitoba Court of Appeal, (and occasional Slaw contributor), saw a reference to the Head-Start Program offered by the Edmonton Law Libraries Association (ELLA). As a law librarian in a small market, I was both aware and envious of the program and the association that presented it. While I fantasized about the possibility of offering a similar program here in Winnipeg, Melanie took a bolder step and asked if it were possible to put on a similar program here, by collaborating with law librarians. Since Melanie was also co-chair of . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Firm Guest Blogger