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Archive for February, 2011

Email Evidence—Worth the Search?

Bruni v. Bruni, 2010 ONSC 6568 (CanLII), a recent decision of the Superior Court of Justice in a family matter, noted (literally, in a footnote (23)):

In recent years, the evidence in family trials typically includes reams of text messages between the parties, helpfully laying bare their true characters. Assessing credibility is not nearly as difficult as it was before the use of e-mails and text messages became prolific. Parties are not shy about splattering their spleens throughout cyberspace.

Is that your experience? Does a multiplicity of informal electronic communications help or hurt assessment of credibility? Is . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Insults in Germany Are Offences

According to SpiegelOnline:

A regional politician in Germany has been sentenced to pay a fine of 1,500 euros or spend 50 days in prison because he allegedly called Thilo Sarrazin, the author of an incendiary book about Muslim immigrants, an “ass.” If he loses his appeal, the Left Party official has vowed to opt for the jail term.

That’s “ass” as in donkey, mind you. But just in case that didn’t cover the field, Helmut Manz, the politician in question, subsequently told the Bild newspaper, “All racists, which therefore includes Mr. Sarrazin, are assholes.” The German “Arschloch” is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Sensors and Legal Publishing: Making Quick Use of “Extended” Legal Content

Imagine this: You are a busy lawyer with a multi-jurisdictional practice, and frequently find yourself in different courtrooms or offices in various counties, states, provinces, etc. At each one of these locations, you need access to relevant, location-specific information, such as local rules of the court. Now let’s assume you carry a networked mobile device that has one or more “apps” giving you access to primary and secondary source material. The portal, while very modern, is still dumb, and by that I mean it requires you to navigate—whether by search, facets, tables, or indicies—to the location where the relevant . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Why Metered Bandwidth Is a Bad Idea

There has been a firestorm of protest recently over the issue of usage based billing for internet access. 

It is widely recognized that the future of Canada is digital. This concept has broad government and community support. This future depends on cost-effective, easy access to the internet. 

Anything that inhibits internet access and use (either wired or wireless), such as the usage based billing we are now seeing, is counterproductive, and a step back to the stone age. We can’t afford to have have an environment where existing or prospective businesses or consumers have any hesitation to use . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Web Preservation by Screencast

A couple weeks back I posted about the challenge of preserving web-based evidence. Sharon Nelson (of Sensei Enterprises and Slaw) has linked over to some great input from Ben Wright (of SANS Computer Forensics) on the topic, including a blog post and this video.

This seems to do a good job of meeting most of the requirements I identified. What do you think? . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Signal What You Value as a Leader

One of the more profound things I’ve learned, that I try to pass along to new leaders, be they managing partners or practice heads, is to “act like you are on stage at all times, because you are!” Everything you do and say will send messages, set tone, establish expectations, and communicate direction about what is of priority to you. With that in mind, you need to carefully orchestrate what symbolic acts you may want to execute to create a lasting impression and convey what you stand for. In other words, you need to always think through:

Where You Spend . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Class Actions and the Competition Act – Will the SCC Take a Bite Out of Quizno’s?

Many class action and competition law lawyers will be anxiously awaiting whether the Supreme Court of Canada will grant leave tomorrow regarding the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Quizno’s Canada Restaurant Corporation v 2038724 Ontario Ltd, 2010 ONCA 466.

Most commentators regard the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal as making it easier for plaintiffs to have their class action lawsuits certified when claiming damages under the Competition Act.

At issue in that decision were allegations by some franchisees that the franchisor was overcharging for the food and supplies provided to franchisees and that this constituted, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Google and the Digital Commons of Art

Today Google launched its Art Project, which it describes as a “unique collaboration with some of the world’s most acclaimed art museums to enable people to discover and view more than a thousand artworks online in extraordinary detail”. Here is gli Uffizi

Essentially Google has taken its Street View technology to explore museums and move around seventeen of the world’s top museums, with 1000 works of art, with the ability to navigate through 385 rooms with interactive floor plans. Zoom by Artwork View at high resolution coupled with related YouTube videos. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The CRTC CKLN-FM 88.1 Decision

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) revoked the license of CKLN-FM 88.1 in Toronto, in a decision released on January 28, 2011.

CKLN was established in 1983 as Toronto’s first campus radio station, located on the campus of Ryerson Universiy. It features a variety of ethnic, cultural, and local programming, servicing multiple niche areas not addressed by mainstream radio stations. Their license was last renewed on August 13, 2007, for a seven-year period.

The station has been plagued by disputes and disorganization, resulting in the CRTC raising concerns over compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986 and the CRTC’s Campus . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

LegalTech 2011

My firm sent a member to LegalTech in New York this year. I am a little (OK a lot) jealous, but with the wonders of the web I can get a feel for the conference buzz, even before my colleague returns.

One method for attending is registering for Virtual LegalTech. This would work well for those who need CLE credits.

There is also an “On Demand” option on the legaltech site which (after registering) plays a video of Mark Howitsons Keynote address.

For those of us unable, or unwilling to view video, a blog search of LegalTech . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Map of Linkedin Connections

Linkedin Labs lets you map your various connections on that service. You can see mine in the image below, as an example of what you’ll get.

Click on image to enlarge

The map on the Linkedin site is dynamic, in that clicking on or hovering over various points reveal the people behind the dots and their links to the people in your circles. The program attempts to group your connections, and you can then label these groups however you please. The brief video below explains:

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management