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Archive for March, 2011

New Law Librarians’ Institute 2011

I am very excited about the new offering from the Canadian Association of Law Libraries: the New Law Librarians’ Institute. This is a substantive learning opportunity that I wish I had as a new law librarian.

According to the flyer sent out by the Association:

the New Law Librarians’ Institute is an intensive, week-long, in-person course fostering key competencies in law librarianship, including knowledge and understanding of

  • law-making institutions (legislatures, courts, administrative tribunals) and how law is created
  • characteristics of, and differences between primary and secondary sources of law
  • the principal substantive law publications (legislation, case reports, commentaries) in
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Consider a Strategic Planning Premortem

You are at the stage of having worked with the members of your Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) for a number of months to finally come to the point where you have a draft strategic plan that has been approved by the partners and now needs some attention directed toward how certain components will actually be implemented. There are a number of actions contemplated that your fellow Committee members feel are critical and definitely need to be properly executed in order to make a significant difference. As an example, one such action item states:

Develop and codify in writing, a set

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Client Screening Form Can Help Avoid Tactical Conflicts

On occasion, a party will intentionally contact or attempt to meet with one or more lawyers for the sole purpose of creating a conflict that will prevent the lawyer(s) from acting for another party on a pending matter.

Despite the bad intentions of the individual making these contacts, the lawyer(s) contacted may not be able to act for the other party, especially if confidential information was disclosed.

This behaviour occurs quite frequently in the family law area and in specialized areas of the law where there are a limited number of experts. In smaller communities this can be very frustrating . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Orphaned Legislation

I thought it might be useful to have a list of the public bills which died on the Order Paper when Parliament dissolved this weekend. I’ve attached them as .rtf files because of their size- it seemed overkill to paste them right into this post.

Government bills 2011

Senate orphans

I haven’t included the private bills because frankly most of them died (not a surprise, of course). See the Status of Bills document on the Parliamentary website for more details on the 400+ private bills introduced this session.


Which legislative deaths do you regret? I’m sure that the Copyright . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Bret Michaels Sues Tonys for Injuries

Those who watched the 2009 Tony Awards will recall that Bret Michaels was injured while exiting the stage after the opening performance of Nothing But a Good Time. If you need a reminder of the incident you can view it here.

Michaels suffered a fractured nose and split lip. He has experienced a number of other health problems since, some of which, such as a subarachnoid hemorrhage, have been attributed to the incident. California attorneys, Spillane Weingarten LLP, filed a statement of claim Friday against the Tonys, CBS Entertainment, and a number of related producers and promoters . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Lost Art of Texting

Eventually it will come to pass: someone will lament, probably on facebook in a few years, that modern communication practices are driving us all to lose our grand tradition of texting. The leetspeak, the comedy, the memes, the autocompletion bloopers… it will all be a thing of the past.

Here is a diverting meditation on the transition from manuscript to print culture to put you in mind of that future history. . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading

TVO Debate on Cameras in the Courtroom

TV Ontario’s flagship current affairs program The Agenda featured a discussion last night on TV cameras in the courtroom.

Interestingly, only the judge on the panel seemed to be in favour of the idea.

Panel members were:

  • Jamie Chaffe, president of the Canadian Association of Crown Counsel
  • Jean Cumming, editor-in-chief of Lexpert
  • Mayo Moran, dean of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law
  • William Trudell, chair of the Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers
  • Raymond Wyant, a provincial court judge in Manitoba
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Friday Fillip

There’s a bit of irony making its way around Twitter lately, which goes something like this:

Your mobile phone has more computing power than NASA in 1969. NASA launched a man to the moon. We launch birds into pigs.

To which I say, what’s your point?

Perhaps you don’t know about Angry Birds. It’s the #1 paid app in Canada for iPad, iPhone, and available for other smart phones as well. The aim is to launch birds with a slingshot apparatus such that they land on forts built by the egg-stealing green pigs and collapse them, exploding the pigs. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google UK Thinks … Quarterly

Google UK has created a magazine, or small book, about data for some of its business customers, and, thinking of the rest of us, has put the thing online. The name, Think Quarterly, suggests that we’ll see three more of these during the coming year.

What’s the big deal? Well, in a way, nothing. There are lots of online “books,” and data’s no stranger in the list of current tech topics. But this is Google, albeit a field office, and if there’s a company that should know a thing or two about data, it’s Google. As well, when the . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology

Ringmaster of the Media Circus

While being a criminal lawyer is unlikely to make you the most affluent guest at a dinner party, it does often mean that you’ll have the most interesting work stories to tell. However, those very same fascinating tales that so enrapture your listening audience often make you the target of the unflinching gaze of the news media. Being able to competently respond to media attention on your cases is an essential skill for lawyers in any field where the bright light of journalism might shine.

Traditionally, there have been two schools of thought on lawyer/media relations.

The strong silent type . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

AODA Era Part III: Information and Communication Standard

This post will focus on the specific requirements under the AODA Information and Communication Standard. The Information and Communications Standard (Part 11 of the PIAR) focuses on accessible information and communications relating to the provision of goods and services. The definition of “information and communication” is very broad and can include such things as websites, brochures, flyers, invoices, order forms, feedback forms, complaint forms, telephone calls, marketing materials, etc. The main goal of the standard is to promote inclusive design of information and communication platforms and to specify requirements to prevent and remove barriers to persons with disabilities when creating, conveying, distributing, procuring and receiving information and communication to and from your organization.
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Operation “Night Dragon”: A Data Breach Illuminated

Hackers and cybercriminals have been having a field day recently. Even big oil companies with expansive security budgets can’t keep the bad guys out. In an operation dubbed “Night Dragon” by security company McAfee, Chinese hackers have been targeting several global oil and energy companies since November of 2009, in an attempt to steal sensitive proprietary information about oil and gas field bids and operations. You would think that oil companies would have first class security and defense-in-depth. Apparently, not so.

Law firms should take these attacks against big oil as a warning – and should bear in mind the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology