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Archive for July, 2009

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Everyone this week seemed to be extending a helping hand:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Lawyers Feed the Hungry: A Practical Guide

Lawyers Feed the Hungry, the meal program run out of the cafeteria at Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto, has now been in operation for over a decade. Each week, close to a thousand guests are served a hot meal four times per week (Wednesday and Friday dinner, and Thursday and Sunday breakfast), as well as a bag lunch at the latter three meals. In effect, guests are provided with a free meal for every day of the week.

Many members of the profession think about helping out with the program from time to time but lack access to a practical . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Is There Such Thing as Work-Life Balance for Lawyers?

Just as Allison Wolf shoots some holes in the myth of work-life balance in her recent Slaw column “The Tyranny of Performance,” the Canadian Bar Association has launched a new Work-Life Balance Resource Centre in the CBA PracticeLink section of their website.

Allison asks us:

What is the quality of our work life? What is the quality of our personal life? When both activities are fulfilling we have an abundance of energy. When one or both are draining we run into health issues and performance challenges.

Instead of work-life balance can we just talk about work-life enjoyment?

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law

Constitutional Lessons From an Israeli Supreme Court Justice

­­I had the opportunity to hear one of the Chief Justices speak at the Israeli Supreme Court today. He explained some of the basics of the Israeli judicial system, and shared some of the challenges that they currently face.

Unlike some jurisdictions, Israel has had no problem drawing on international law for their domestic discourse. For example, when developing their position on freedom of expression, they looked to the most robust and liberal legal discourse on the subject and borrowed freely from American case law.

As a Jewish state they also do use some Jewish religious law, although in . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Lessons From Iran’s Academic Community

The Washington Times is calling it “Iran’s Twitter Revolution”, as the largest political demonstrations since the 1979 revolution have unfolded in Iran since the highly questionable re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on June 13, 2009. To date, at least 20 people have lost their lives and hundreds of journalists, academics and activists have been arrested. The Iranian government initially closed down the telephone system in an effort to forestall social protest, only to see the streets fill, day after day, through early June, supported by cyberactivism which the government then tried to curtail: “The [Iranian] hackers in particular . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Think Ahead

“Optical disks are the most widely adopted storage medium in the history of the world.” And now, there is a version of the DVD that will not, according to this report, cease working after just a few uses.

I’m pretty sure its not just me: don’t your DVDs typically stop playing halfway through, requiring you to get up off the couch and re-start the show, the software, or even your computer? Not to get too ranty, but I’ve tried switching out disks, drives, and computers, but I still get the same buggy performance. Now that VCRs are officially out . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Free MP3 of LAWPRO’s Special Webinar: Fraud-How You Can Avoid Being Its Next Victim

On May 26 LAWPRO put on a special webinar aimed at helping lawyers to avoid being the victims of fraud. It was hosted and broadcast by the Ontario Bar Association.

You can now listen to a free MP3 of this program, and follow along with the program PowerPoint.

Fraud is the new normal. It is a real and growing problem for Ontario law firms and lawyers. Prior to the May 24 holiday weekend, we saw an apparent organized fraud that targeted 19 different lawyers for a total amount of $5.4 million. We continue to get almost daily . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

SCC Decision in R. v. Grant: Do the Ends Justify the Means?

The highly anticipated Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) judgment in R. v. Grant was released this morning. Grant was a young black man walking in a neighbourhood patrolled by both plainclothes and uniformed police. During a routine patrol, plainclothes officers stated grant “stared” at them and began “fidgeting”. A uniformed officer was tasked to “have a chat” with Grant and this officer requested biographical information from him during which time he told Grant to “keep his hands in front of him.” The two plainclothes officers who had observed Grant earlier joined the uniformed officer and the three of them took . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

Not too long ago I invited you to think about Greenland, our second largest neighbour. Now I’d like to invite you back to look at it, because a very — very — large piece of its ice cover is about to fall into Nares Strait opposite Ellesmere Island. How large is very large? The piece of ice in question is the tongue of the Peterman Glacier, and the amount destined for a dunking in the next few weeks is something like 5 billion tonnes in weight and an area the size of Manhattan, according to a report in the New . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

It Seems That ICANN Can’t

…resolve disputes between domain name holder and trade mark owners, that is. ICANN — Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — is on the road at the moment, gathering views about their planned expansion of top level domain name space. Evidently the main issue that the public has hammered the travelling committee with has to do with the way in which disputes between domain name holders and trade mark owners are resolved. According to a report in the New York Times from earlier this week, “Brokering Peace Between Brand Owners and Domainers” by Saul Hansell, all the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Facebook Privacy Report by Privacy Commissioner of Canada

In May 2008, University of Ottawa law students and The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) in Ottawa filed a complaint with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada over alleged poor privacy practices by social networking site Facebook. The office of the Commissioner has released its report today. The three biggest concerns found:

  • Facebook’s explanations of privacy are confusing and incomplete;
  • Facebook applications allow application developers access to private information where it is not necessary; and
  • when a Facebook account is deactivated, Facebook still retains personal information. This is in contravention of Canada’s privacy law
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Texting, Dictionaries, and Keeping Up.

I am the very proud parent of two lovely teenage daughters. The Mireau Giggles do not have their own cell phones, much to their dismay. Some day soon they will both have steady employment and I am sure phones are high up on the purchases priority list. As an aside, I had no idea that I was being mean as I MOS my kids while they email in our shared family office.

Rather than MYOB [mind your own business], a careful parent (or a lawyer trying to decipher instant message transcripts) will be happy to know there is a texting . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology