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Archive for December, 2010

For Wikileaks Geeks: How to Decipher a State Department Cable

The National Security Archive, based at George Washington University, has provided a guide explaining How to Decipher a State Department Cable:

“This guide … might come in handy as you peruse the 251,287 Department of State cables recently released by wikileaks (…)”

“At the Archive, we have lots of practice reading declassified government documents. Since we will be using this space to share with you some documents from our trove of government releases, we thought it would be useful to give you some tips on what to look for in these documents. Several of our experienced analysts have created

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet

CBA Updates on Ethics and Solicitor-Client Privilege

The November-December 2010 CBA eNews provides links to some new and updated content from the Canadian Bar Association on the following topics:

FAQs on Solicitor-Client Privilege and Confidentiality

Guidelines for Practicing Ethically with New Information Technologies (PDF)

Guidelines for Ethical Marketing Practices Using New Information Technologies (PDF)

CBA Code of Professional Conduct 2009

I also note the CBA Practice Link article entitled Beyond First-Generation Knowledge Management that cites me and a number of colleagues working in the KM field. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Stop That Bus! Er… at That Bus!

The Washington Post carried a story on Tuesday about a Virginia man who was acquitted of a charge of failing to stop for a school bus that was unloading passengers. His lawyer made an argument, accepted by the court upon appeal, that the relevant section of the statute had been misdrafted, ever since it was changed in 1970, and was missing a critical “at,” rendering it meaningless.

Here’s the section in question:

    A person is guilty of reckless driving who fails to stop, when approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Not Just a Pretty Face

Jane was a family law associate in a large firm where she hoped to be made partner within 2 years. While she had a good client base including clients whom she had brought to the firm and excellent billings, she felt that she was invisible to most of the partners.

She didn’t work in a large practice group and had no apparent champion who might speak for her at the partnership table. She often felt that the partners saw her family practice as a sideline service they were happy to provide their corporate clients provided they didn’t have to touch . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Take a Hard Look….

A new study by the University of Toronto and Tufts University states that appearance matters a great deal when it comes to judging people in a new study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science. “This includes clothing, posture, and hairstyles, but the real window to judging people is the face. We developed a method to measure facial power and found that it is a strong predictor of law firm profitability."
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Electronic Health Records

eHealth has been a major and controversial topic lately. A lot of time and effort has been spent on it, as there are many issues such as costs, privacy, security, and standards.

I had an encounter with the health system recently, and from my observations as a patient we need to keep this initiative moving, find ways to solve those issues, and stop using paper. I paid particular attention to the paper and documents that were created. Throughout the process, I was asked the same thing multiple times. (Confirming who I was and what they were going to do multiple . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Accessing Canadian Court Dockets

Alex Manevich earlier bemoaned here on SLAW the abysmal state of online access to Ontario court dockets.

In a recent request to the Canadian Association of Law Libraries listserv I asked colleagues the current state of online access to Canadian court dockets.

Unfortunately, the situation is not much better two years later.

However, I have added to the Case Law page on my legal research and writing website a chart of links for accessing Canadian court dockets (and for those jurisdictions who do not provide access, I provide a link to contact the court registry).

I will continue to update . . . [more]

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

Are Marginal Notes Trivial?

Last October, Les Publications du Québec — the official printer for Acts and regulations in that province — started to remove marginal notes from its newly updated consolidated legislation collection called “Compilation of Québec Laws and Regulations”. When an Act or regulation gets amended, all its marginal notes are now removed from the text. Marginal notes in Quebec legislation will therefore progressively fade out as consolidated texts are being updated.

Marginal notes are words and small phrases that were traditionally displayed in the margin of printed statutes, providing hints about the content of specific provisions. Modern typesetting conventions . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing