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Archive for September, 2009

Google Ordered to Close Email Account

There’s something of a buzz in the blawgs about a recent decision from the California Northern District Court in which the court ordered Google to close the email account of a non-party. According to Online Daily Media, in Rocky Mountain Bank -v- Google, Inc. the bank explained that it had sent a file containing a wealth of sensitive information about clients by email to the wrong Gmail address. The bank tried to contact the addressee but received no response. It then got in touch with Google, which said that it would reveal the account information for the addressee if . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

What’s the Economy Doing to the Model of the Business of Law?

This is the Second Live Blog Post From 2009 Legal Futures Conference.

The Second Plenary has Bruce MacEwen, who’s known in the blogosphere as the President of “Adam Smith, Esq.”, talking about the
Economic & Strategic Perspectives on The Current Environment . . . [more]

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

Socialnomics Video

At lunch today, Joe Altonji of Hildebrandt in Chicago screened a neat four minute viral video which is well worth a view.

Here it is

And Merrilyn Astin Tarlton suggests that this one if fun too, and this one too, for those of us who are typography buffs. Be patient while it loads.

Joe’s viral video is by the author of this book:

. . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Live Blogging From the 2009 Futures Conference

For the next day and a half, Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver is the venue for a programme focussing on the Future of Law. I’ll post about the highlights.

The keynote address was a talk on the Legal Transformation Study Update by Ward Bower of Altman Weil, Inc.
Ward was one of the leaders of the 2008 Legal Transformation Study which identified four scenarios for the legal marketplace of 2020. The study produced reports on global developments that suggest market movement toward one or more of the scenarios, and the latest projections of the probability of . . . [more]

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

The Friday Fillip

I’m a Saxon. Well, at least that’s what I tell my yoga instructor by way of explaining why I fall over backwards every time I attempt even a half lotus. The truth is that although I’ve got that chunky, big-boned morph-type I associate with Saxon heritage, I’ve got no real idea whether I’m related to Æthelred the Unready or, whether I’m Celt, Pict, Jute, Angle, Dane or, as is likely the case, a mix of all these tribes and more.

But I wouldn’t mind being an honorary Saxon, if it meant I could share some of the glory reflected from . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

David Whelan

If you look to your right — while this post is at the top of Slaw’s main page — you’ll see that we have a new columnist. David Whelan is getting his feet wet by subbing for Wendy Reynolds, our regular Extreme Lib columnist, who is busy this month wrestling a new job to the ground. David, as most of you might know, is the head librarian, or Manager of Legal Information, at the Great Library at Osgoode Hall, maintained by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

A lawyer and a librarian, David brings to us a great deal of . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Whether We Wither

I always laugh when I see the seemingly inevitable use of “whither” in library-related publications. It just as inevitably suggests “wither” and reminds me that we are a profession at some risk. It might seem unfair to pick on word choice, but “whither” always strikes me as being out of touch.

Law libraries are at risk of becoming similarly out of touch. Recent research on behalf of the Special Libraries Association by Outsell, Inc. and Fleishman-Hillard suggests that special libraries may be out of step with their organizations. While SLA’s Alignment project is focused on positioning the association . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Firm Taglines List

I’d like to offer Slaw readers a quick pointer to a new mini-research project we’ve released over at Stem. For the past couple weeks Emma Durand-Wood has been assembling a list of law firm taglines from firms based in Canada, US and the UK.

That list is now live. Enjoy! . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

The $27-Million Lawsuit for Refusing Emergency Passport

Abousufian Abdelrasik, the Canadian citizen stranded in Sudan, is suing the government for $27-million.

The Statement of Claim asks for general and special damages of $20,000,000 for false imprisonment, torture negligence, intentional infliction of mental suffering, breach of fiduciary duty, and Charter breach of ss. 6, 7, and 12. Abdelrazik is also asking for punitive and aggravate damages $4,000,000, and an additional $3,000,000 for a similar basis against Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon.

Simon Chester previously linked Zinn J’s decision on the case.

The April 3, 2009 letter denying him an emergency passport can be found here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Substitutional Service via Facebook in Alberta

Ah, the unreported judgment…or in this case Order. Sometimes, interesting tidbits come out of discussions that flow to my ears via conversations from our lunchroom.

The walls of the Harvey A. Bodner Q.C. Lounge, named after one of my favourite former bosses, recently absorbed a conversation regarding a Masters order that an student-at-law heard about in passing from a professor regarding an order for substitutional service via Facebook.

The rumour made its way to me and thanks to the great memory of many individuals, including Professor Billingsley who supplied me with an action number, and our students who never complain . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

European Union Website Gets Major Makeover

Europa – the European Union’s official website – has just had a makeover.

The major idea was to separate laws and other technical material from more general information.

As well, the layout has been simplified and the site has been divided into 6 main themes:

  • About the EU (history, structure, institutions)
  • Policies and Activities (policy areas, grants, tenders)
  • Your Life in the EU (work, study, consumer rights, health, rights of residence)
  • Take Part! (online debates, blogs, YouTube videos)
  • Documentation Centre
  • Media Centre

A navigation menu reflecting those 6 themes appears on all pages to make it easier to move . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Judicial Humour

While looking for something else I stumbled across a page on Judicial Humor by staff at the Marion Gould Gallagher Law Library (at the University of Washington School of Law).

This page is a nice counterpoint to Dan Michaluk’s SLAW post last month on using humour (the correct spelling!) in legal advocacy.

The page from the Marion Gould Gallagher Law Library provides lots of examples by American judges writing their decisions in verse or inserting humour into their reasons (although somewhat frustratingly they link to password-protected Westlaw versions of the decisions, but they do provide some sample passages). One . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law