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Archive for November, 2010

Google Launches Tight Integration Between Google Docs and Microsoft Office

Google announced today they are launching a new plugin for Microsoft Office called Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office. The plugin will allow Microsoft Office users to collaborate with each other seamlessly, affording the same benefits Google Docs currently delivers, such as the ability to share and edit documents simultaneously among multiple users, all within the confines of Microsoft Office’s well-known interface. The plugin is available for the Windows versions of Office 2003, 2007 and 2010.

Cloud Connect offers a bridge from Microsoft’s desktop-based productivity software to Google’s cloud-based offerings, and will offer a way for millions of Microsoft . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Understanding What You Need

Many outsourcing contract negotiations start with customer’s paper. While this may not necessarily be objectionable, both parties must understand and remember what the objectives of the deal are. The problem in using a party’s standard template agreement is that those standard clauses may have little relevance to the outsourcing deal. While some customers may believe it is always “better” to get the supplier to agree to “more favourable” terms and conditions in the contract, the reality is that the customer is always the one who ends up paying for such additions.

For example, it is not unusual to see extensive . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

Bennett Jones Wins Intranet Innovation Award

Congratulations to Bennett Jones LLP, 2010 Platinum winner of the Intranet Innovations Award from Step Two Design, announced Wednesday at KMWorld 2010 in Washington, DC. They won for a number of innovations on their intranet BenNet. Based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS), their intranet includes features such as an improved Precedent system, a “find the children” feature that locates documents using the parent precedents, and BenNet Books.

From the Step Two Designs announcement:

Bennett Jones, the 2010 Platinum Award winner and the first law firm to win this award, has created a highly sophisticated site that

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

Talking About Your Case on Social Media May Waive Your Privilege

An American magistrate judge (sort of like a master) has ruled that a plaintiff suing a company for improperly sending a takedown notice under the DMCA has waived a number of heads of attorney-client
privilege by discussing the details of her legal case too broadly by email and on a blog (Eric Goldman blog (per Venkat))

So it’s not just lawyers who have to worry about waiving privilege – the clients can do so too. It’s not that the media of communications were insecure in themselves, it’s that they left traces that could be
found (not surprising, for . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Ezra Levant Ordered to Remove Blog Posts (Vigna v. Levant)

The Superior Court of Justice applied Grant v. Torstar in Vigna v. Levant, released on Thursday, where Giacamo Vigna, a lawyer for the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, sued Ezra Levant for allegedly defamatory postings on his blog.

Dan Michaluk said that Grant v. Torstar was the top information and privacy case for 2009, and Matthew Nied had already described how this could affect bloggers.


The facts are set out by the court as follows, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Enforcing Plain Language

An Ontario private member’s bill, the Cell Phone, Smart Phone and Wireless Technology Transparency Act, 2010, requires among other things that future performance contracts (a term defined in the Consumer Protection Act), “shall be expressed in plain language that is clear and concise.” (s. 3(1))

Are there judicially recognized standards of plain language that would allow this provision to be enforced, and that would allow someone drafting such a contract to know that he or she had met the standards? I know that there are books and articles around about plain language, but does something have . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Will Facebook Be the Downfall of the Jury System?

A growing number of recent decisions in courts across the globe have commented on the concerns raised by the explosion in social media use by jurors in trials.

Recently England’s most senior judge commented extensively on the concerns in a trial where an overzealous juror posted details of the case, closing her summary with the question, “Did he do it?”. Now I’ve felt somewhat humbled by having to make life-altering submissions before a panel of twelve of my client’s peers, but pleading my case to the entire internet? That’s an audience that could overwhelm even the savviest advocate.

The judge . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Thomson Reuters Acquires Pangea3

It was announced today that Thomson Reuters acquired Pangea3, “one of the largest legal outsourcing services company in India.”

Legal outsourcing services companies – otherwise known as “legal process outsourcing,” or LPO – are fairly new. LPOs involve law firms (and companies) hiring companies in India, the Philippines and elsewhere to carry out voluminous documentary review and other legal work, at cheaper cost. Some thought the trend was a fad, but with today’s development, it looks like LPOs are here to stay.

What will the impact be on practicing law in Canada? There will still be demand for . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Two Upcoming Webinars of Note

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries/Association Canadienne de Bibliothèques de Droit has launched upon its first distance learning initiative, with two more webinars coming up shortly.

Joan Rataic-Lang will be presenting a session on November 23 which I’m sure will resonate with many of us. Her talk, Cost-Saving Measures in the Library, promises to cover not only how to select the cuts and economies, but to lead change and communicate effectively the messages to your stakeholders. For those of you who may not know Joan, she’s a witty and engaging speaker, and I think you’ll enjoy the session.

December 7 . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Law.Gov Moving Ahead

We haven’t seen an update on Carl Malamud’s project in quite a while. There is much to report. To start, here’s a reminder of what the project is about:

Law.Gov is an idea, an idea that the primary legal materials of the United States should be readily available to all, and that governmental institutions should make these materials available in bulk as distributed, authenticated, well-formatted data. To make this idea a reality, a series of workshops were held throughout the country, resulting in a consensus on 10 core principles.

In June the project completed its consultation phase, which included . . . [more]

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

The Friday Fillip

Lawyers aren’t allowed to hit people in order to win cases (at least not since peine forte et dure was abolished in the UK in 1772 — a mere 238 years ago!). I used to remind my students of this when encouraging them to pay more careful attention to their writing, their true tool of persuasion. That, and their thinking, of course. Which brings me to brains and the perpetually surprising fact that they can be so easily fooled.

We’ve all seen optical illusions, where this looks longer than that although they’re really both the same length. If you’d like . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous