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Archive for January, 2011

Culture Clash in Les Palais de Justice

Three years ago, the Quebec Ministère de la Justice published an exhaustive guide for relations between the media and the courts. The guide imposed access restrictions on journalists, who wanted much broader access to film, take photographs and conduct interviews in the public areas of courthouses, and they also want to broadcast the official audio recordings of court proceedings.. It was challenged constitutionally by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Groupe TVA, La Presse Ltée and the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, as a breach of constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and media freedoms. After a seventeen day trial, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

New & Improved! for a Limited Time Only!

One issue that comes up when you’re starting (or developing) your own practice is the question of how – or indeed, whether – to advertise. We’ve all seen our American colleagues’ ads on television (and laughed, or groaned, or gasped), and everyone always checks out their own colleagues’ ads in the Yellow Pages every time the new book comes out. But how do you decide what it is that you’re going to do when it comes to letting the public know that you have an office and would be more than happy to have them come and see it?

Our . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law


We are all creatures of habit and, at some point in our lives, we have tried to change our habits – whether to become more physically active, stop smoking or save money, there are countless ways we look to make change in our lives. Unfortunately, we often fail because the goal isn’t realistic and we don’t figure out how to make this change a part of our lives.

Trying to change a habit can be scary because we look too far ahead, rather than focusing on the task at hand. There is a reason many support groups use the “one . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

A Client Service Self-Assessment: How Do You Measure Up?

Managing a better professional services firm requires that you excel at providing superlative client service. Good technical skills and quality legal advice met the grade in the past but times have changed. The legal services marketplace is now more competitive then ever, and the competitors are not just other lawyers. Clients have become more demanding and questioning about the legal services they receive.

The following self-assessment will help you evaluate the level of professional service that you and your firm currently provide to clients.

Click here to rate your firm’s professional services

This assessment originally appeard in practicePRO’s Managing a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Ezra Levant Ordered to Pay Costs

I previously covered the Vigna v. Levant decision, where Ezra Levant was ordered to remove defamatory blog posts against Giacamo Vigna.

At least one reader expressed interest in costs, as Vigna is a lawyer and was self-represented for part of the action. Justice Smith released the costs decision on January 26, 2011 and awarded Vigna over $32,500 plus taxes in costs, exceeding the $25,000 damages awarded in the judgment. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Google Drops Real Estate Maps Search

The Real Estate industry can rest a little easier knowing that Google won’t be coming to their rescue. Earlier today Google announced that they will be discontinuing their Maps Real Estate Search feature on Feb 11th; citing “low usage” as the major factor in the decision.

The change won’t disrupt those organizations that rely on Google as their mapping backbone, however — see the map-based filtering provided on as an example. Google will continue to offer their maps API for developers to innovate. Though I’ll presume the CREA will continue to be protective over its data, so that . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Egypt and Al Franken

Wired has an article today about how exactly Egyptian officials managed to shut down the internet there, in an effort to suppress speech. This happened yesterday, and while news is not hard to find (Al Jazeera seems to have the most complete coverage), I gather the shut-down has hampered protesters considerably.

As a result, the “Obama’s Internet Kill-Switch” issue has taken on new profile. Here are some leads into the Lieberman-Collins Bill.

And in related news, corporate control of internet traffic in the US faces an encouraging initiative from Senators Maria Cantwell and Al Franken: A . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet

The Friday Fillip

This Friday it’s about friends. No, I mean real meat friends, not the phrends on phacebook. And my overbold assertion is that I know something about your friends. Here’s what I know:

Your friends have more friends than you do.

Nothing personal. Just statistical. And, almost paradoxical, given that friendship is by definition a reciprocal relationship (which is part of the reason that “Our Mutual Friend” is as wrong as the phrase “mutual agreement”: “friend in common” for the first, simply “agreement” for the second. But I digress.).

My assertion is known as the friendship paradox, and the statistical truth . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Friday’s Follies

(with apologies to Simon F. for the resonance)

Once upon a time in the last millennium – as it happens, the first year of the first decade of the last century – a judge of the now-defunct judicial branch of the House of Lords decided to let a not-too-small cat out of the bag. He wrote:

“[A] case is only an authority for what it actually decides. I entirely deny that it can be quoted for a proposition that may seem to follow logically from it. Such a mode of reasoning assumes that the law is necessarily a logical code,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Choose Your Own Adventure

 In the business cycle of the Legislative Library, the planning process has begun once again. In the dark days of winter, it’s time to plant the seeds of the future. 

 “Innovation” has emerged as an important theme for our management team, and it has featured prominently in our discussions. We’re challenged by our senior executives to scan the horizon, to detect emerging issues and suggest possible responses. Exciting stuff! Our clients, on the other hand, expect the information infrastructure to remain intact. If the division doesn’t carry out its core functions: providing information management, IT and library services – we’ve . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information