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Archive for February, 2010

Tercon Decision Coming Tomorrow

I dislike waiting. Someone doing a word association test would never blurt my name as a response if the word “patience” was provided. Lucky for me, tomorrow ends the wait for the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Tercon Contractors Ltd. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia by her Ministry of Transportation and Highways.

There is a considerable amount of commentary about Tercon available from a wide variety of sources on the web:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

In the U.S. there’s a League of Technical Voters the aim of which is to motivate and assist “technical experts to improve lawmaking and governmental process.”, a project supported by that league and other organizations, is tackling one small part of the lawmaking-improvement process by urging “advanced permalinks” on American legislatures. Their complaints about the situation outside commercial databases are familiar:

  • links to statutes too often go to large PDF files;
  • where there are HTML files of legislation online, it isn’t possible to link to particular clauses within the legislation
  • when legislation changes, earlier online versions of provisions
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation

New TV Channel on the Law

We’re used to seeing law firms breaking new ground in deploying technologies for marketing purposes, but I hadn’t seen a law firm sponsoring a television channel – and one devoted to matters legal.

What’s even more remarkable is where it’s coming from. Not some US powerhouse, or a tech-savvy firm in rural Canada.

No this news comes from Bucharest, (which as Simon reminded us Romania outranks Canada in its electronic infrastructure), where Juridic TV, the first television channel dedicated to public legal information, was launched online on February 8 and will broadcast an around-the-clock daily programme. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing

Class Actions Against Law Firms on the Horizon

Three cases that are making their way through the Ontario court system have a few things in common: they’re all recent, all under the Class Proceedings Act, they’re all significant claims and they all name prominent Toronto law firms as defendants. . . . [more]

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

Twilight Saga: The Documentary Wars

The war of the Twilight documentary films is on, and producers who shop their film concepts around to distributors may be thinking twice about what more they can do to protect their hatchling ideas. It has been reported that Summit Entertainment LLC has filed a complaint against Topics Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. District Court (California) over Topics’ documentary film: “Forks: Bitten by Twilight.” Summit is the producer and distributor of the Twilight series of films (Twilight, and The Twilight Saga: New Moon), based on the Twilight series of books by author Stephanie Meyer. Summit . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Figuring Out Your Place in the Race: What Kind of Law Firm Do You Want to Be?

The “future of law” is the theme of the current issue of Law Practice Magazine. It has an amazing article by Merrilyn Astin Tarlton titled “Figuring Out Your Place In The Race.”

When it comes to wisdom and insights on innovation and the future of law practice, few, if any, know and see more than my friend Merrilyn. This article in a must read for any managing partner or lawyer that wants to figure out what their firm needs to do to innovate and succeed in the practice of law.

In the article Merrilyn says “Frankly, let’s just say . . . [more]

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

How Do Lawyers Get Their Information?

There’s an interesting little post on Tim Bray’s blog, Ongoing, entitled “The Listening Engine.” Bray, one of the bloggers I’ve been following for years now, is the Canadian software developer and entrepreneur who co-founded Open Text Corporation and who is now the Director of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems. He’s thoughtful, sensible.

In The Listening Engine he puzzles over how it is that RSS and Twitter are resources that some people simply don’t make use of:

When I first discovered the magic of RSS, I expected that it would sweep the entire online population, including everyone’s kids,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Technology: Internet

Mastering eDiscovery Begins With Embracing Change

After more than a decade in the eDiscovery industry, I often reflect back on my journey and equate our earliest experiences to crossing an ocean in a small leaky boat, facing unchartered seas in unpredictable weather while relying on an inexperienced crew. The eDiscovery industry has been built by pioneers on the backs of unsuspecting early adopter clients and technologists who shared a common vision, the digitization of the legal world and the inevitable mainstream adoption of electronic evidence management.

Today, while the industry continues to evolve and grow, eDiscovery processes and technologies have matured and a well-established community of . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Unsolicited Book Review

I’ve been sharing my commute with Chris Brogan and Julien Smith for the past few days. I’ve been reading Trust Agents, their latest collaboration. While writing to the SLAW community about the importance of social media feels a little redundant, I’d still like to expound on this book for a little while.

Trust agents are connectors – people who bring people together, who cannot help themselves from telling others about interesting ideas, products and people they’ve encountered. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about them in The Tipping Point. Brogan and Smith credit David Maister with describing the concept in The Trusted . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

Google Buzz in Gmail

Google is now rolling out its Twitter-killer, Buzz. It’s integrated with Gmail, but since I’m not one of the lucky ones yet, I have to rely on the video — see below — and the blog for information. (I’m using Gmail in Google Apps, which, unless you’re paying the big bucks, won’t be benefitting from this: methinks moving to Apps was a mistake.)

From what I can gather the notion is that:

  • you can send realtime messages to the world or to a selected group of people within your Gmail address book (whether you send directly into your friends’
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Legal Project Management – Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks and Maintain Sanity

Legal Project Management – Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks and Maintain Sanity
by Steven Levy
published by Daypack Books, Seattle WA, 2009
price: US$29.95
ISBN: 1449928641

Steven Levy’s book marries project management with legal practice. This is a useful practical guide on how lawyers can get started.

The nature of legal services is changing. Indeed barely a week passes without another article in the legal press about Alternative Fee Arrangements and the death of the billable hour. Consequently the need for better Project Management has become a hot topic within law firm practice management circles. It is . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

U.S. Federal Courts Tell Jurors Twitter, Facebook and Texting Verboten

Wired Magazine is reporting that the Judicial Conference of the United States, the body that develops policy for federal courts in that country, has proposed new model jury instructions that explicitly ban the use of applications like Facebook and Twitter:

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson of Kansas, the chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, told the nation’s judges in a Jan. 28 memo that the new jury instructions ‘address the increasing incidence of juror use, of such devices as cellular telephones or computers, to conduct research on the internet or communicate with others

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Technology, Technology: Internet