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Archive for January, 2010

‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’, From the British Museum

This may seem like a Friday Fillip, but it’s such an interesting idea that I thought Slaw readers might be interested.

Today, Radio 4 officially launched a major new series ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’, written and presented by the Director of the British Museum, Neil Macgregor. In brief segments over the next year, the history of mankind will be discussed by reference to a variety of objects. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology

Alberta Rules of Court Implementation Date Revealed

The new Alberta Rules of Court will be implemented on November 1, 2010. This is the culmination of a project begun in 2001 to redraft the Alberta Rules.

The Rules have not been significantly revised since 1968. The Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) was given a mandate to review the Rules of Court and produce recommendations for a new set of Rules. The project goal was to create rules that are clear, useful and effective tools for accessing a fair, timely and cost efficient civil justice system.

The old rules are available online from Alberta Queen’s Printer. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

U.K. Report on Costs of Civil Litigation

Lord Justice Jackson has released his Final Report [PDF] on the Review of Civil Litigation Costs in England and Wales. With an economy that a Laconian might envy, he writes as the whole of his Foreword:

In some areas of civil litigation costs are disproportionate and impede access to justice. I therefore propose a coherent package of interlocking reforms, designed to control costs and promote access to justice.

The rest of the report is some 550 pages of thoroughness, however, exploring the funding of litigation, fixed costs, personal injuries litigation (and other types), and controlling and assessing costs. Jackson . . . [more]

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

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

This week in biotech was all about lines. Not any kind of illicit lines, and not the most direct route between two points, just your traditional figurative delineations:

Line drawn: Since 2004, there have been increasing numbers of instances where pharma companies have compensated generics manufacturers in settlements of patent litigation initiated by the pharmas. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC, tasked alongside DOJ with enforcing antitrust law) in general, and its current Competition Bureau Director in particular, does not like these settlements. This week, the FTC published a report that claims that these settlements result in substantial extra delay . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

New Cornell Customized Google Legal Research Tool

Neil C alerted us three years ago to a tool that our friends in Ithaca were developing to help legal researchers.

In late December, a new version was unveiled which permits three separate or combined searches:

Find Legal Research Guides

Search the Legal Internet

Search academic blawgs

Out of the Jungle has a fuller discussion, but this struck me as having real merit.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Origins of Anti-French Animus Among English

Most cultural stereotypes have deep cultural roots with significant history, often founded in myth and conflict, and are enormously difficult to erode.

Unlike our neighbours to the south who operate on a melting-pot model, we have the unique challenge of not only tolerating our French minority, but supporting it and ensuring the survival of its culture and language. Doing so would require overcoming historical stereotypes towards the French.

David Crouch, a professor of medieval history at Hull University, recently translated a 396-line English poem called “Roman des Frances.” It’s dated between 1180 and 1194 CE, and might be . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Walking While [X]’ing May Be Dangerous?

Curmudgeon time.

An article with the headline captions:

Driven to Distraction
Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is Risky.

appears in today’s online and print New York Times.

The note at the bottom of the online article is: ” A version of this article appeared in print on January 17, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.”

The point of the piece is that walking while distracted by reading or using the keyboard or touchscreen may be distracting.

As Homer (Simpson, that is: the other is currently unavailable for comment, at least to me) might say: “D’oh”!

Would . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Search Term Selection: Avoiding the Pitfalls

With less than 30 percent of all information ever appearing as ink on paper, the “paper trail” often turns out to be a “bitstream.” This sheer volume of data held by organizations makes it clear that electronically stored information plays an essential part in litigation today. Once the information as been preserved, what’s next? Well, it would make no sense for anyone to read through all of upper management’s e-mails or review all the documents stored on an organization’s network. The solution? Applying search terms to the electronically stored information to identify responsive files and documents.

Successful searches of electronic . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Federal Office for Information Security Slams Internet Explorer for Insecurity

The Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security) today warned against the use of Internet Explorer until a full patch is released for this critical “zero day” weaknesses called Aurora.

More details (in English) from the BBC here, and a technical discussion here.

“Using Internet Explorer in ‘secure mode,’ as well as turning off Active Scripting makes attacks more difficult, but can not fully prevent them,” BSI said in its statement. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

NFLland: Gullivers in Brobdingnag?

For those whose New Year resolutions include the idea of weight redistribution or reallocation.

Seen elsewhere: “Indianapolis’ front four rely on their quickness because of a lack of size (their average weight is 283 pounds).”

By comparison, in 1953 the the average weight of a sumo wrestler was 317 pounds. It is now 412 1bs. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

CBA President Writes Min of Immigration on Haiti

D. Kevin Carroll, the President of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), has formally requested that Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism,to expedite immigration applications for those affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

The CBA is gratified for our government’s commitment for urgent humanitarian assistance for Haiti. News reports state that the urban areas of Haiti have been hardest hit, and the death toll could reach 500,000. We are acutely aware of the significant devastation to the infrastructure of the country. Another significant way that Canada can extend assistance is by bringing those with ties to Canada

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