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Archive for October, 2009

USA Border Searches of Laptops..

♫ Everyone has a secret
But can they keep it
Oh no they can’t…♫

Lyrics and music by: Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, recorded by Maroon 5.

The CBA has released: Laptop Searches at the Border: What the Revised U.S. Guidelines Say on their PracticeLink web page.

As they state:

For the frequent business traveller, it bears repeating: U.S. Customs officers have the authority to search and detain any device capable of storing electronic information for any reason; they can examine the electronic device without the traveller present; they can copy from the device or “detain” the device; . . . [more]

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

Open Access Law Program

Science Commons, a subset of the U.S. Creative Commons movement, has an Open Access Law Program. (There doesn’t appear to be a Humanities Commons project; it’s kind of nostalgic to see law as a science.) Essentially the program asks journals to subscribe to a set of principles, to wit:

that a journal 1) take only a limited term license, 2) provide a citable copy of the final version of the article, and 3) provide public access to the journal’s standard publishing contract. In return, the author promises to attribute first publication to the journal.

As of now some . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Lexis-Nexis Shares Rise 3.3% in a Day

The FT market indexes yesterday were moved by a report from analysts Exane BNP Paribas that suggested that growth in the North American legal information market had resumed. EBP raised its rating on the publishing group to “outperform”, saying that its industry contracts suggested that sales growth had resumed in the American legal information market.

Reuters summarized the report:

Target prices for Reed Elsevier are reckoned to be up by 36 percent, to 600 pence for the UK-listed shares and to 10 euros for the Dutch-listed stock after 16 percent relative underperformance in the year-to-date.

The broker says concerns . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Greg Richards on Grace Under Pressure

Weir Foulds’ litigator (and my former colleague) J. Gregory Richards published a wonderfully thoughtful piece originally prepared for the Advocates’ Society called “Grace Under Pressure”, ZEN AND THE ART OF THE LITIGATION PRACTITIONER: Some Strategies for Dealing with the Unexpected and the Uncivil that bears reading for all litigators, and that firms should insist be read by young litigators. Greg’s thirty years of experience distilled to twenty points.

It’s all worth reading but I’ll quote a couple of paragraphs:

3. Great Lawyers Are Good Listeners
When someone speaks, listen carefully. A good talker can sometimes be a good

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Miscellaneous

Brand Names Face the Ire of the Internet

That’s the title of my newspaper column for this week. It starts off:

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: It’s a lot harder to manage online when reputations can be made or smeared by campaigns that may or may not be fair

An old customer service axiom says a dissatisfied consumer will tell eight other people about their experience.

Perhaps that axiom should now say 800, 8,000 or more, given that the Internet has made sharing dissatisfaction easier than ever.

My agreement with the newspaper prevents me from reproducing it here this soon after initial publication, but you can read the full article on . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Interview Tips for Summer Students

Next Monday begins another three-day recruiting blitz for summer students applying for positions in Toronto firms. I’ve sat on Hicks Morley’s committee for a number of years now and have relished the experience each and every time.

If you’re participating as a candidate, here are three tips on making a good pitch.

  1. Don’t sell table stakes. You’ll surely get the question, “So what distinguishes you from our other candidates?” We’re being pretty lazy by asking this question, but don’t mess up your answer by selling the attributes that every student must have – “table stakes.” “I’m hard working” is a
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

This week saw an unusually large amount of biotech deal activity in Canada, so you should check out the Monday Deal Review for all those details; but in between all the transactions, there were some interesting concepts to think about:

REMS: The FDA has, increasingly often, been imposing Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies when it approves new drugs. REMS restrict the way new drugs can be distributed, administered and/or promoted. When the program was first introduced, common wisdom said that REMS were to be avoided at all costs, but lately some advantages have become apparent:

  • Way back in June, we
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Introducing practicePRO’s AvoidAClaim Blog

I’m very pleased to have practicePRO venturing into the blogosphere with the AvoidAClaim blog – AvoidAClaim has a narrow and specific focus: helping lawyers avoid legal malpractice claims.

In conjunction with practicePRO’s website,, AvoidAClaim will provide risk management, claims prevention and law practice management information to help lawyers proactively take steps to avoid legal malpractice claims, and to help them grow successful and thriving law practices.

I will be writing the majority of the posts on the AvoidAClaim blog, but from time to time there will be content from other LAWPRO staff, and other leaders in . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC

I am a new Board Member of the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia. Learning about CLEBC has been an interesting and eye opening experience. I have relied upon CLEBC materials in writing this post.

What is CLEBC?

The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia is a respected and relied upon source of continuing professional education for British Columbia lawyers and their support staff. The Mission of CLEBC is to strengthen the ability of the legal profession to serve the public by providing high quality, accessible, and comprehensive educational resources in a financially viable manner.

CLEBC is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Google Social Search

Google Social Search has now launched. An experiment from Google Labs, Social Search is one of four experimental options you can add to your regular search settings. (You may select only one of the four.)

From the Features page:

Google Social Search is an experimental feature that enables you to find relevant public web content from people in your social circle, when you’re signed in to your Google Account. For example, search for [ restaurants ], and restaurant reviews by your friends and other contacts may appear more prominently in your results.

I ran the suggested search — “restaurants” . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet

Women’s Law Association of Ontario – 90th Anniversary Gala

Speaking of anniversaries, I am currently doing work with the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, and thought others might be interested in their upcoming 90th Anniversary Gala at the Royal York Hotel on Thursday, November 26. The Right Honourable Madam Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin will be the special guest for the evening. Everyone is welcome: members and non-members; men and women. A link to the registration form is below the fold.

The Women’s Law Association of Ontario is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing issues and causes relevant to women in the legal profession through education and awareness programs. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Precedent Magazine Celebrates 2nd Anniversary

Congratulations to Melissa Kruger, Publisher and Editor of the magazine Precedent: The new rules of law and style. Precedent magazine recently celebrated its second anniversary in real style with the invitation-only party Dressed to Bill, featuring a fashion show with new looks modeled by ten stylish lawyers. Precedent is an independent magazine aimed at young lawyers (aged 25-40) and distributed for free to over 20,000 lawyers and law students across Ontario.

You may recall Precedent started life over three years ago as a blog. The website has maintained its “bloggy” roots with additional blog posts and columns. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet