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Archive for September, 2009

CBA Guidelines on Using Electronic Marketing

Today’s CBA E-News contains a link to a report described as:

The CBA’s Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee presents a new report interpreting the CBA’s Code of Professional Conduct in the context of the new media. Your presence in the e-world: Guidelines for Ethical Marketing Practices Using New Information Technologies covers everything from e-mail tag lines to blog etiquette to web-based lawyer referral services.

It is only a guideline – as provincial law society rules are what actually govern. For the most part, it encourages lawyers to use social media – but cautions that the usual rules apply.

For example. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Now’s a Good Time Get Good at Processing Electronically Stored Information

If you litigate civil claims in Ontario and do not yet have a quality means of processing electronically stored information, your time may soon run out. This post describes why, explains what processing of electronically stored information is about and links to some key resources.

I’d like to deal with terminology first, because “processing” is an ambiguous term in e-discovery. It is often used in a narrow sense, to describe the process of manipulating paper or electronic records so they can be read by litigation support software. I use it here in a broader sense, to describe the process of . . . [more]

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

Metatag Suits Should Now Be Dropped

Although SEO specialists have long denied that metatags matter, there have been lawsuits over them for a number of reasons, including trademark infringement, attempt to divert business, and even defamation.

Dany Sullivan of Search Engine Watch outlines some of the major American suits over metatags.

Google’s Matt Cutt publicly confirmed yesterday for the first time that their search algorithm does ignore metatags. See the video here.

Eric Goldman of Santa Clara Law says,

Although occasionally judges have gotten it right (see, e.g., Standard Process v. Banks). most courts still treat the presence of a third party trademark in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

LCO Update

I won’t be posting on Slaw for a few weeks and so will use this post to identify upcoming developments at the LCO.

We’ve got a number of consultation papers coming out in the next little while. The first one is in our family law process project; it is really a consultation paper about how we’ll do consultations in that project. On that front, it is worth noting that the Attorney General has announced initiatives in family law process possible as a result of increased legal aid funding over the next four years. Obviously, we’ll be watching these developments as . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Just in time for Fall, some branching out in biotech this week:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Proving an Email

I find it a little puzzling that when it comes to proving emails there isn’t more fuss and bother than there appears to be. Doubtless I’m missing things that Slaw readers, particularly the e-discovery folks, perhaps, will point out to me. But it strikes me that the very thing making email so wonderfully convenient is also likely to make it difficult to prove an email in a court of law. I’m referring, of course, to email’s etherial nature: the fact that an email exists both everywhere and nowhere in particular.

Unlike a printed letter, which has an actual, physical, unique . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Toronto: From 43 Bylaws to One

The City of Toronto currently operates under 43 bylaws inherited from the various municipalities that were amalgamated to make up the existing City. Work started in 2003 to rework the bylaws, and today they are working towards one proposed draft zoning bylaw. Public consultations have been taking place, with the last one coming up this Thursday in the North York Civic Centre Council Chamber. A report on the public consultation will be made at the November 4th Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting. As well, over 500 stakeholder groups have been identified. They hope for completion and adoption of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Canadian Law Profs Gaining Persuasive Authority

A new site launched less than a month ago was brought to my attention recently. Persuasive Authorities is a blog by faculty at various American law schools. But it was the Canadian contributors that I’ve encountered previously that really caught my attention.

I know Richard Albert of Boston College through political activities in Canada. With an impressive resume that includes law degrees from Yale, Harvard, and Oxford, he also clerked in the Supreme Court of Canada. His latest post on the site is about his first class at Harvard, where Duncan Kennedy described how law travelled around the world.

Comparative . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Future Shop Online Contest Glitch: Buzz & Tweet

The Toronto Star reports that on the first night of Future Shop’s “Beat the Clock” contest (September 14), entrants got more – or less – than they bargained for. In what some Future Shop spokespersons are calling a “time-zone glitch,” users were given access to a two-thirds discount on Xbox 360 video games, for longer than the intended 15 minutes. The discount deal was not cut off after the winners claimed their rewards, and was subsequently offered to other customers. Those customers received an order confirmation by e-mail, but later received another e-mail cancelling their order as a “misprint.”

Future . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Office of Legal Counsel and the Torture Memos

In an article in the current New York Review of Books, “The Torture Memos: The Case Against the Lawyers,” Georgetown law professor David Cole examines the role and culpability of the lawyers of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, who, under the Bush administration, wrote memoranda approving of and authorizing torture by the CIA. Cole says,

The OLC lawyers had the opportunity, and the responsibility, to prevent illegal conduct before it occurred. The lawyers involved in drafting the “torture memos”—Jay Bybee, John Yoo, Daniel Levin, and Steven Bradbury—failed to live up to these obligations. In

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Community Interest Company

Neither a for-profit nor a charity, the Community Interest Company is a new form of corporation, one that is run for the benefit of the community. Unlike a charity, it can generate profits, so long as they are used for the purposes identified in its constitution. The UK now has a legal form, regulations, and a registrar for them, but Canada does not. The CIC is an example of the Social Enterprise, a concept that has been current since 2001, and is still being explored. It might help solve problems like this one. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Social Media ‘A-Lists’

I’ve been thinking lately about our ability to filter down social media messaging, and the process of building ‘A-lists’. Not a list of popular people in social media, but rather, a personal ‘A-List’ — your inner circle. The goal being closer tracking of the people that you get the most value from.

One of the biggest drawbacks of engaging these tools is the raw number of follow requests. It’s almost impossible, for example, to keep track of hundreds (or thousands) of followers on twitter without using tweetdeck or another tool to group your contacts. Filtering follow lists like this, remains . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology