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Archive for February, 2010

How Secure Are Your Passwords?

The two things everyone using computers is supposed to do are: back up regularly and create difficult, changing passwords. The two things that nearly everyone using computers fails to do are: back up regularly and create difficult, changing passwords. Now, the business about backing up wouldn’t apply to computers used in law offices (would it?). But it’s not so clear that all firms and lawyers in those firms have got a good password policy in place.

We’ve talked about this on Slaw a couple of times recently. John Gregory asked whether a failure to set proper — i.e. complex — . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Google Buzz Already Raising Privacy Concerns

Simon Fodden first spoke about the new Google Buzz here on Slaw last week. He didn’t have access yet at the time (do you now, Simon?).

First impressions

I was surprised to see it appear unannounced in my Gmail box a few days ago as an option on the left side of my mailbox. When I clicked on it, I was even more surprised to see I had followers and people I followed already set up (those people I was connected with who also have Gmail accounts). I was already privy to a number of conversations in progress. My . . . [more]

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

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Citius, Altius, Fortius. Let me join the (undoubtedly numerous) others appropriating olympic symbolism this week. In this case, the olympic motto (Swifter, Higher, Stronger) happens to be a timely way to summarize this week’s biotech news.

Citius:Matthew Herper at Forbes called for faster communication to investors when companies deviate from their agreed clinical trial plan with the FDA. Herper suggested that the FDA should disclose the actual agreements with the companies; but I argued that as with any other material information, it is the company’s job to communicate with its investors.

Altius: This week certainly saw higher . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Craig Brown on the Apology Act

I’ve covered the Apology Act on Slaw before, and Dan Pinnington has touched on the implication for insurers.

One of my professors at UWO, Dr. Craig Brown, has taken it a step further, and suggests it may even assist insurers. Dr. Brown is the author of Insurance Law in Canada, probably the foremost work in this area.

In a recent article in The Lawyers Weekly he states,

…apologies will likely benefit defendants and their insurers by reducing both the damages payable and the costs of reaching a settlement.

The legislation encourages interaction between the parties to a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

The Business of Law: Hot Topics and Emerging Trends

On February 9, 2010, David Cruickshank spoke at UWO Law on “The Business of Law: Hot Topics and Emerging Trends in the Legal Profession.” Cruickshank is a partner at Kerma Partners in New York City, and provides professional advice to law firms and other services.

My notes from his talk follow. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Slaw Retweets 4-14/02/10

Here’s a selection from the last week or so of tweets that I and others think might interest those who don’t use Twitter or who don’t follow the authors of these tweets. (Apologies for having lost a week somewhere.)

The source is shown by the @xxxx at the end of the retweet. If none appears, it’s because I’m the source.

If you are on Twitter and read or publish something that you think we should re-broadcast here, simply include the hash tag #slawca in the tweet or retweet. If you’ve published something on Slaw, there’s no need to use that . . . [more]

Posted in: Slaw Retweets

UK Web Jurisdiction Case Over Hate Literature reports a recent decision of the Court of Appeal for England and Wales, R. v. Sheppard and Whittle, upholding a conviction for publishing hate literature though the material was stored on servers in California.

The connecting factor was that a “substantial measure of the activities” of the accused took place in England.

This is consistent with the Canadian decision in Citron v Zundel (Canada Human Rights Commission), where the material was also on a California server.

The English (and Welsh) Court held that the material could be held to be published without evidence that anyone actually read it. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Law Buzz Slowed to a Dim Hum

We haven’t heard much on Slaw about the legal situation with LawBuzz yet.

It’s been covered by the Law Times, Precedent, PRWeb, and Michael Geist, so I won’t go into the details of the case. A blog established by unknown authors (I asked) has also been set up dedicated to the suit. Some potentially defamatory posts were made about AdviceScene, resulting in litigation that has again raised some serious questions about online comment.

I was first exposed to the site in my first year of law school, when a member of our Student Legal Society . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Olympics and Laws

Well, there are a number of important issues coming to the surface as the Olympics open. Created by Canadians for Canadians, these issues are not Olympics-related, but are Olympics-occasioned.

And probably others I have missed… . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

What shall we name the baby?

Put aside the fact that relatively few names work for boys but anything at all seems to go for girls nowadays, there are the matters of nicknames, faux pas with initials, unfortunate translations . . . and then rhyming.

Laura Wattenberg does a riff on rhyming on the Baby Name Wizard site, starting with the fuss that gets made of the fact that nothing rhymes with “orange.” What, she asks sensibly, rhymes with “purple”?

What’s it got to do with names? Well, she asks us to compare two names, Kayden and Faith. Although Faith . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Olympic Law

As today is the opening of Vancouver Olympic Games, I thought we could celebrate in the Slaw way, which is by looking at the legal aspects of the event. In looking at the Olympics there has been no small amount of legislative activity both Federally and in B.C. regarding the games. I’m not going to get into the court activity in this post.


The IOC is always extremely vigilant in protecting their trademarks and in Canada an act has been passed to guarantee that:
The Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act, S.C. 2007, c.25

There is the small . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Archiving Data

Most of us today are blithely heading for our own personal data disasters. We generate and store vast volumes of information, but few of us really look after it.

So says the New Scientist. And then there’s the matter of professional data. Ever since solicitors invented deed boxes and tying docs up in pink ribbon — £31.08 for 109 yards — lawyers have fretted over the safe storage of information. Now that much of what’s important isn’t amenable to loops of ribbon or even file folders, old practices alone are no longer adequate.

The New Scientist piece introduces two . . . [more]

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