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Archive for November, 2009

Dream Job: Grateful Dead Archivist

Are you a librarian/archivist who also happens to be a Grateful Dead fan? Your dream job awaits.

The University of California in Santa Cruz is looking for an archivist to maintain the band’s archive (consisting of fan letters, photos, tour schedules, posters, recordings, and personal correspondence). The position is an academic appointment, it offers a salary of up to $68, 892, and it becomes available March 2010.

More information on this opportunity:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Factery Search Extracts Facts

Take the newest search engine on the block for a spin. Launched today, Factery is not your father’s search engine: it doesn’t just throw up a raft of links. Instead it searches through a set of links to extract facts relevant to your query from the pages the links point to. At the moment, which is the alpha, experimental moment, Factery is pointed at those links that appear in Twitter and Yahoo Boss search results.

This is the kind of value added search functionality promised by semantic search engines — those that aim to understand syntax enough to recognize, in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Alternative Billing – What’s the Big Deal?

A lot of lawyers and consultants out there have built profiles and reputations as “innovators” by promoting alternative billing as the answer to much of what ails the legal profession. I’m confused about what is so ground breaking.

Everyone seems to love to hate hourly billing these days. People argue that hourly billing values quantity over quality and repetition over creativity. Perhaps. But it also endures for good reason. It is simple to administer and easy to understand. Further, the marketplace corrects pricing irregularities and rewards efficiency. A law firm which can provide quality and creative solutions at a more . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Impact of the Internet . . . Again

From time to time here we’ve added to your information on information overload, a problem that seems particularly to bedevil lawyers — but then, when time is money, attention is costly and, so, to be jealously guarded. (One “pays attention,” after all.) Too, lawyers are by a professional deformation attached to the old ways, and therefore it may happen that their stare decisis becomes a stare inventiis. But lawyers aren’t the only ones, of course, who shake their heads (briskly) at all this newfangled twittering away of our lives; and some worriers step back a metaphorical league or two . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Do We Still Need E-Mail?

The issue of e-mail management is now old hat for anyone involved in the practice of law. Rather than asking whether lawyers use it, it is a story when lawyers choose not to use it. The world has grown more complicated, though, as we try to figure out where to place our energy integrating new technologies, like Twitter or Google’s Wave, into our work. Even our choices about how to use e-mail have expanded.

E-mail often reminds me of books. It is a technology that, for all its faults, remains a tremendously useful way to share information. More importantly, there . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

While I bounced back and forth between Toronto and New York this week, a lot of other things were bouncing around in the world of biotech:

The U.S. stimulus funding to promote adoption of electronic medical records bounced across the border to Ontario, where a new program was implemented through the Ontario Medical Association. The Ontario program provides an amount of cash per physician comparable to the U.S. funding, plus it offers consulting help and provides funding for upgrades.

Novartis bounced $1 billion of its R&D efforts to China, and in the same breath called India’s upcoming decision on a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law

Using Flickr Photos

One common misunderstanding about copyright is that online content is not protected by copyright. Not true! Even if the content is posted without a copyright notice or other copyright information, that content should be presumed to be protected by copyright.

The same copyright principles apply to photographs posted on Flickr. In a recent situation, Toyota U.S.A. posted some photos on one of its Web sites — photos it obtained from the photography site, Flickr — without permission of the photographers. Toyota has now made a public apology and has removed the photographs. Lesson for all: get permission when using content . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Law Video Site Launched: LegalTube

Not sure if YouTube is your thing? Alabama trial attorney Lew Garrison has created a YouTube-like site for law-related video, called LegalTube. According to, the site was launched on September 1st after four months of development. It is billed as a video directory for finding lawyers, but in addition to advertising video, there is legal humour, courtroom stories, and a “webisode reality series” called Law After Dark. The site also has a news alert video series on drug recalls and class action lawsuits.

And in case you were wondering, LegalTube has its own channel on . . . [more]

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

Law Marketing: YouTube Milestones

Still doubtful about video as a marketing vehicle? A few recent milestones from YouTube, the leading site for video distribution, be it entertainment-related or professional:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology

Live Tweeting Experiment of the Khadr Hearing

Although tweeting from a courtroom remains controversial, tweeting the content of a live webcast should be rather conventional, but is still a useful enterprise.

I was in the middle of a take-home midterm when I realized that the Omar Khadr hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada was on CPAC. After a few searches on Twitter, I realized that although people had posted that it was occurring, nobody in the legal community was covering the contents live (or almost live – a Senate broadcast delayed it).

I gave it a go, although the proceedings were well under . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Kindle Denied Access at Universities

CNet reports that a couple of US universities have decided against using the Kindle as a replacement for textbooks, on accessibility grounds:

“The big disappointment was learning that the Kindle DX is not accessible to the blind,” Ken Frazier, the University of Wisconsin-Madison director of libraries, said in a statement.

Said the National Federation of the Blind:

[The] “menus of the device are not accessible to the blind…making it impossible for a blind user to purchase books from Amazon’s Kindle store, select a book to read, activate the text-to-speech feature, and use the advanced reading functions available on the Kindle

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Law of Winter

One of my continuing Slaw quests is to prove the axiom that everything has a legal connection. While this bit of proof is not exactly a new item it is timely, in some parts of the country at least. In a move that strikes me as something that is somehow quintessentially Canadian, Quebec has mandated by law that all passenger vehicles must be equipped with winter tires. The Highway Safety Code, R.S.Q. c. C-24.2, s. 440.1 states:

Between 15 December and 15 March, the owner of a taxi or a passenger vehicle registered in Québec may not put the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous