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Archive for February, 2011

Wikimedia Announces New General Counsel

For those of you keeping track, Wikimedia Foundation (who bring us Wikipedia, the MediaWiki platform it is housed on, and numerous other projects) has just announced new general counsel: Geoff Brigham, formerly of eBay, who will be moving from Paris to San Francisco for his new position starting March 7th.

From the February 4th announcement by Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director:

As a growing U.S.-based non-profit that operates one of the world’s most popular websites in partnership with a global network of volunteers, we need a GC who can handle a broad range of legal issues including the

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

Crime & Punishment in 2011

January was all about lists. Every blog, publication, and column uses this season to either reflect on the year that was or look ahead to the year that will be – and I want in on the prognosticating party. Thus I give to you, fair SLAW reader, my picks and predictions for the top five trends to watch in Canadian criminal justice in 2011. To build the anticipation, I have listed my picks in reverse order. No cheating by scrolling straight to the bottom of the page.

5. Increased emphasis on case management.

For a number of years, governments have . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Ware the Poor Lawyer

One of the joys (and irritations) of Twitter is the receipt of unexpected alien tweets courtesy of the people you follow. (I think you can turn this feature off in most Twitter clients, if the thought of entertaining friends of friends alarms you.) Thus, thanks to Rob Hyndman (@rhh) I learn via PEI of a post on Paul Mason’s blog, Idle Scrawl, on the BBC site.

The post is “Twenty reasons why it’s kicking off everywhere,” and it lays out twenty bullet points that would provide fodder for a discussion about recent social ferment, particularly in Europe and . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Deep Linking on CanLii

Simon Fodden previously mentioned that CanLii recently enacted deep linking on their site to allow referencing of specific paragraphs. Frédéric Pelletier of CanLii provided their own update on this on Friday here.

They add that the anchors are not currently visible, which is why the process is still a manual one. But this suggests that in the future this might change. Another important consideration is that not all cases will have this function,

Please note that many older decisions do not have numbered paragraphs. Also, since this feature is the result of automated processing, there will always remain a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing

New Osgoode Blog on Law Arts and Culture

Professor Kate Sutherland has launched a new blog, law.arts.culture. Sutherland, who has scholarly interests in feminist theory, constitutional law, and the law of defamation, is also a writer of fiction.

As we learn from the Welcome post, she plans to enlist contributors from the faculty and student body to “broaden the focus to include music, film, theatre, visual art, and more.”

Her first full post is up, a delightful tale of Dickens’s woes when in January of 1844, just after his (self)publication of A Christmas Carol, he sued a publisher who issued an “improved” version of his book. . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Publishing

Walter Owen Book Prize

The deadline is approaching for nominations for the Walter Owen Book Prize, awarded by the Foundation for Legal Research. This $10,000 prize rewards outstanding new contributions to Canadian legal literature. This year, the selection committee will consider books written in English and published in 2009 or 2010. For additional information, see the Foundation for Legal Research website. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Reading

The Friday Fillip

You’ve seen them many times. You know them well. Often you seek them out eagerly. And you recognize them without any difficulty. But good as we human beings are at facial recognition, it’s not their faces that we hunt for, which, after all, have a mean and meaningless mien.

I’m speaking of Mr. and Ms. Helvetica, as they’re sometimes called. And we know them by their outline. They are their outline:

Most commonly displayed as the lares et penates of toilets around the world, they are marvels of economy in design and clear (because stereotyped), useful symbols. (After all, who . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Citizen Lawmaking and Technology: What’s New and What’s Ahead?

Exciting developments in citizen lawmaking and technology have enlivened the last several weeks. These efforts suggest that in the coming year, more and more of the Web’s democratic promise may come to fruition:

Respecting ePetition and eConsultation:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Integreon Creates Client Advisory Board – Susskind to Chair

Here is a link to a Press Release from Los Angeles this afternoon, announcing that Richard Susskind, the controversial (in some circles anyway) author of The End of Lawyers?

Note the importance of the final question-mark.

Integreon’s Client Advisory Board will be composed of managing partners at law firms and general counsel at organizations that Integreon serves. The board will provide Integreon’s clients with an opportunity to share ideas about legal service trends, specify future requirements for Integreon’s services, and identify opportunities for collaboration.

Integreon (according to its website) “applies technology intelligently to legal solutions to automate processes and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Office Technology

European Court of Human Rights 2010 Annual Report

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), based in Strasbourg, recently released its annual report for 2010.

The ECHR hears complaints from individuals living in any of the member states of the Council of Europe about violations of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Council of Europe is one of the continent’s oldest political organizations, founded in 1949. It has 47 member countries.

Among the statistical highlights of 2010:

  • approximately half of the judgments delivered by the Court concerned four of the Council of Europe’s forty-seven member States: Turkey (278 judgments), Russia (217 judgments), Romania (143 judgments)
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

UK Supreme Court Policy on Tweeting Etc. From Court

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has just released a policy statement concerning “The Use of Live Text-Based Communications from Court” [PDF]. The nub of the policy is simple and clear:

[A]ny member of a legal team or member of the public is free to use text-based communications from court, providing (i) these are silent; and (ii) there is no disruption to the proceedings in court.

Use of mobile phones from the court is prohibited. And, presumably, no video or still cameras are to be used: the court itself broadcasts proceedings using installed video cameras.

A few . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing