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Archive for February, 2010

Are Juries Fair? UK Study Says Yes

A study commissioned by the U.K. Ministry of Justice, “Are Juries Fair” [PDF] by Cheryl Thomas, examined the following issues:

  • Do all-White juries discriminate against BME defendants?
  • Do jurors racially stereotype defendants?
  • Do juries at certain courts rarely convict?
  • Do juries rarely convict on certain offences?
  • Do jurors understand legal directions?
  • Do jurors know what to do about improper conduct in the jury room?
  • Are jurors aware of media coverage of their cases?
  • How is the internet affecting jury trials?

concluding that there was “little evidence that juries are not fair” and that “research from other jurisdictions should . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Identifying Lawyers — and Others

Stephen Mason and Nicholas Bohm have an interesting article, “Identity and its verification”, published in Computer Law & Security Review, Volume 26, Number 1, January 2010, 43 – 51. (Professor Stephen Mason has written a book on electronic signatures and runs a journal on similar topics. Nicholas Bohm is a security expert.)

It’s available on Science Direct [PDF] and also . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Translating a Legal Document With Goggles

A post today from Andrew Gomez on the Google Blog:

Imagine being in a foreign country staring at a restaurant menu you can’t understand, a waiter impatiently tapping his foot at your tableside. You, a vegetarian, have no idea whether you’re about to order spaghetti with meatballs or veggie pesto. What would you do? Well, eventually you might be able to take out your mobile phone, snap a photo with Google Goggles, and instantly view that menu translated into your language. Of course, that’s not possible today — but yesterday at the Mobile World Congress we demonstrated a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Legal Research on the Web – March & April 2010

I periodically get asked what courses are available for getting up to speed on how to conduct legal research. Clare Mauro has been the instructor for the Legal Research on the Web course at the Professional Learning Centre, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, for a number of years now. The next sign up for this popular course (with description) is as follows:

Legal Research on the Web
Mon. 1 Mar 2010 – Sat. 17 Apr 2010
7 weeks
Instructor: Clare Mauro
Fee: $435.00 Cdn
Location: online
Cert: optional
Status: open

This is an in-depth instructor-led web course focusing on

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Handy Chart Summarizing Changes to Ontario’s Rules of Civil Procedure

[A post for Ontario lawyers]

As of January 1, 2010, big changes to three parts of Ontario’s Rules of Civil Procedure came into effect. These changes are intended to streamline the litigation process and increase access to justice. Many of the changes to the rules are a result of the Civil Rules Committees (CRC) consideration of the Osborne report. These are the most extensive amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure since they were first adopted in 1985. There are no general transitional provisions and in most cases these amendments apply to existing proceedings.

Taran Virtual Associates has created . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Comprehensive Database of Organizational Social Media Policies

Mike Kujawski recently posted an item to the Public Sector Marketing 2.0 LinkedIn Group about an online database containing links to the social media policies of dozens of organizations around the world.

If your library, law firm, agency or organization is thinking of creating policies and guidelines for the use of blogs, wikis, or social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook, this is a good place to look for guidance and examples.

Kujawski publishes the Public Sector Marketing 2.0 blog. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

Where’s the Value?

Ask anyone. It’s all about value these days. We have entered an era where costs no longer determine the price of legal services. Value determines the price. The drive to achieve value is challenging the status quo in the legal services industry. Historically, lawyers have set the price for their legal services by determining their costs; and then adding their profit margin in order to arrive at the final price for their services. Isn’t this the antithesis of the way in which most other industries determine the price for their goods and services?

For most other industries, the price for . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

Mexican Law is a Justia site that provides free online access to federal and state legislation for the third amigo in the NAFTA trio. The Federal constitution, codes, regulations and other statutory instruments are available in both HTML and PDF formats. The same documents for the 31 states seem to be available only in PDF; though you’ve got the choice to download them or view them online within an embedded Google viewer. As well, there are links to the appropriate government sites, law schools, and a number of law firms.

The simple and attractive site is in Spanish, as are all . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Windows Phone 7 – “Microsoft Has Out-Appled Apple”

Microsoft unveiled its much anticipated Windows Phone 7 operating system this week at the Mobile World congress in Barcelona. It is not based on the existing 6.X OS – but is entirely new – based on the Zune.

The reaction by the tech press has been very positive. For example, Gizmodo says that “Microsoft has out-appled Apple” , and “I’m sorry, Cupertino, but Microsoft has nailed it. Windows Phone 7 feels like an iPhone from the future. The UI has the simplicity and elegance of Apple’s industrial design, while the iPhone’s UI still feels like a colorized Palm Pilot.”

For . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Ontario Courts Ease Into the Era of Proportionality

It has been a little over a month since the changes to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure have brought in “proportionality” as a governing principle and brought in specific directions regarding proportionality in the discovery process. This is a summary of a quick case law review I conducted for recent Ontario civil procedure decisions citing the proportionality concept.

By numbers alone, it appears Ontario courts are citing the principle slightly more. I counted 15 civil procedure cases reported on Quicklaw that mentioned proportionality from January 1 to February 14. For the same period last year the number was eight. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

A New LCO Blog

Last summer I spoke to Simon Fodden to see what he thought about my doing a blog on the Law Commission of Ontario website (oh, how so obvious the answer must have seemed!). He encouraged me to do it and offered me a chance to practice by posting on Slaw (“try it out, no obligation”). Of course, it wasn’t long before I received automatic emails telling me it was my day to post. I’ve enjoyed posting to Slaw, but now it’s time to fly out of the nest and post directly to the new LCO website. Thank you, Simon, for . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous