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Archive for May, 2009

What Would Happen if One of Your Employees Posted a Video of an Irate Customer on YouTube?

The posting of a YouTube video of a woman throwing a tantrum at the Hong Kong International Airport should serve as a reminder to Canadian businesses that employees these days can (and do) easily record and post videos online from their mobile phones.

The three minute video shows a Cathay Pacific customer yelling and flailing her limbs as she lies on the floor after missing her flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco. I’ve been upset at missing a flight before, but the woman in this video takes things to an entirely new level. The video has drawn over five . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

Knowledge Is Personal – So Why Not Personal Knowledge Management?

I was attending a KM session in NYC a few years ago when Michael Mills (Director of Professional Services & Systems of Davis Polk & Wardwell) was leading a session. He indicated, at that time, that the focus of the firm’s KM efforts was on helping each lawyer manage their own personal knowledge; hence Personal Knowledge Management (PKM). Several of the law firm KM leaders in attendance saw this as heretical — after all, most of the efforts in our KM teams are aimed at helping the firm or groups within the firm (e.g. practice groups) manage knowledge. This knowledge . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Black Liquor Sparks New Trade Feud and Old Controversies

On Thursday, Canada joined the EU, Brazil and Chile in demanding the withdrawal of tax credits in the U.S. for black liquor.

The credits are estimated at $4-8 billion, passed in 2007, and intended for energy alternatives in paper mills and cogeneration facilities. Paper manufacturers have started mixing F-T diesel with a kraft process byproduct known as black liquor to meet the definition of the tax credit, which Canada claims is hurting Canadian jobs.

Although President Obama wants to terminate the rebate on Oct. 1, Canada and the other countries are threatening action through the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Firm Guest Blogger: Pitblado LLP

We’re proud to announce that our first firm guest blogger is Pitblado LLP.

Pitblado LLP ( is a Winnipeg business law firm that has been providing innovative legal solutions to prominent international, national and local clients for over 100 years. The lawyers that are contributing this week to Slaw are members of Pitblado LLP’s Information & Ideas Group. Working in collaboration with other members of Pitblado LLP, they provide comprehensive legal advice to clients in all facets of the law relating to technology, intellectual property and privacy matters.

You’ll know their posts right away because you’ll see this . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Slaw Scavenger Hunt – Neck and Neck to the Finish

Extraordinary development in the Slaw Scavenger Hunt. Our prominent lawyer from Toronto has had an extraordinary day, and is now 22 points ahead of the Oxford expert – it’s 180 to 158. Pulling away. But there are still 70 points to play for

Over the weekend, the duelling duo have guessed the Haflida Skra or Gràgàs in Reykjavik, the Field Code from New York, UN resolution 1962 of December 13, 1963, on the Declaration of legal principles governing activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, De Indis et de ivre Belli Relectiones, by . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Slaw Scavenger Hunt – Getting Close to the End Update – the Hints Worked

We reported yesterday that we seemed to have stumped readers. Not any more. Within twelve hours of yesterday’s post, fully 20% of the outstanding items had been guessed. Tick off the Haflida Skra or Gràgàs in Reykjavik, the Field Code from New York and UN resolution 1962 of December 13, 1963, on the “Declaration of legal principles governing activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space”.

The remaining items in the global Scavenger Hunt are falling fast.

In terms of the contest list of 50 dates, set by the two Simons, the table below lists the dates . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Kennedy on Tech Trends for 2009

Take the opportunity to read Dennis Kennedy’s May piece in the ABA’s Law Practice Today, Legal Technology Trends for 2009, this year’s version of his annual predictions and advice. I’m stealing none of his thunder if I tell you that his eight trends are:

  1. Technology budgets get decimated
  2. Making do with what you have or doing more with less
  3. The mobile phone as platform
  4. Looking to the cloud
  5. Using tech to get the word out and the money in
  6. Focus on client-focused technology
  7. E-Discovery in still waters
  8. The perfect storm for collaboration

For one thing you’re going to want . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Firm Guest Blogging on Slaw

I pleased to announce that Slaw is inviting law firms and other organizations involved in law to become guest bloggers. During the last week of every month our regular contributors will be joined by members of a guest firm. On the Sunday before we’ll post an introduction to the coming week’s guest firm and we’ll identify their posts with a header that will mark their contributions as special.

Regular blogging is not for everyone. But occasional blogging can work for a whole lot of folks if we provide the platform and support, which is the idea behind our guest firm . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

We judge books by their covers, the proverb notwithstanding (love that word). At least we do so at first blush and in bookstores — which is why they get displayed in shops lying flat. This is a hopelessly irrational thing, as I know from having written a book or two myself: the cover design need bear no relation, either in content or in quality, to what’s inside. Still… the wishful thought is that a good cover betokens a publisher’s care which will also have gone into the selection of a good manuscript.

What makes a good book cover? Might as . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Quality Journals

John’s essay this week raises the question of quality in publishing. Do more journals necessarily mean less quality? Librarians have taken the time to give this question some thought: here is a partial list of important considerations ((Rousseau, Ronald. Journal Evaluation: Technical and Practical Issues. Library Trends, Winter2002, Vol. 50 Issue 3, p418)):

1. High standards for acceptance of manuscripts (results must be based on new scientific information, reliable methods, adequate controls, and statistical treatment of data);
2. Having a broadly representative editorial board with appropriate representation of subdisciplines;
3. The editor uses a critical refereeing system;
4. Promptness of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Michael Geist Revives Federal Access to Information Database

University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist is trying to revive the CAIRS database that allowed researchers to track freedom of information requests made to Canadian federal government departments under the Access to Information Act.

The database was discontinued by the Conservative government.

As he reports in his blog, Prof. Geist is launching CAIRS.Info, a resource that will provide the same information that was contained in the original database:

“The files include the wording of the original access to information request, date, department, file number and general information about whether the requester was with the media, business,

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

Knowledge Ontario Future Directions

Why is a private law librarian from Alberta posting about Knowledge Ontario? Three answers:

  1. Public body collaboration is interesting and in my backyard – Knowledge Ontario is a similar concept to The Alberta Library
  2. There was an event today gathering input to shape the next steps for this excellent collaboration effort
  3. I fell like I was there because of Connie’s Live Twitter feed and the #ko-idea hash tag

What is Knowledge Ontario?

Knowledge Ontario (KO) is a collaboration of libraries, cultural heritage organizations and educational institutions. Its focus is on connecting Ontarians with digital content to support their information

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management