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Archive for April, 2011

What Law Firms Can Learn About Blogging From Startups

Last week TechCrunch featured a terrific guest post by Mark Suster about Why Startups Need to Blog (and what to talk about …). In reading Suster’s blog post, it occurred to me that many of his recommendations for startups apply equally well to law firms.

The kinds of questions I constantly hear from lawyers about blogging – “what should I blog about?”; “who is my audience?”; “where should I post?”; etc. – are the same kinds of questions many startup company bloggers-to-be ask about blogging. Suster’s article provides insights that bloggers from any industry can benefit from.

A few . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

Legal IT 5.0: Stemming Knowledge Loss With Social Intranet Software

Gordon Ross, Vice-President of ThoughtFarmer, opened his 13:30 session today by asking: “Is knowledge loss really an issue?” The annual average industry turnover rate is 35.7%. When staff leaves you lose both what they know (technical knowledge) and who they know (social knowledge). Intranets are not good for retaining knowledge and enabling users to find it, in one intranet survey asking “does your intranet search usually help you in finding what you are searching for”, 85% of professional respondents answered “No”.

Typical problems arising from knowledge management include:

  • Just because it is captured does not mean it will be
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Legal IT 5.0: Managing and Resolving Legal Disputes With Online, Game-Theoretic Systems

Moving on to the 10:45am session this morning in Montreal, at the LegalIT 5.0 Conference, James F. Ring from Fair Outcomes tackled the topic of managing and resolving legal disputes online.

James introduced the problem with some thought provoking facts:

  • only 5% of cases make it to trial
  • the vast majority of cases settle within 30 days of the first day of trial, and
  • 80% of cases that do settle do not settle until the day before the trialuntil they are in a “30 days before the first day of the trial” window.

One explanation for the long . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Augmented Reality in the Law Library?

Technical work in the library–largely done behind-the-scenes–is key to ensuring things go smoothly on the client-facing side such as reference and research. One tedious and time-consuming tech task is shelf-reading: checking each book on the shelf to ensure it has been signed back in and is in the correct place. Without doing this on a regular basis (such as once or twice a year), books that have been mis-shelved become impossible to locate.

A library shelf-reading prototype using augmented reality technology–technology that adds to an image of physical space with a computer-generated overlay–is being developed out of Miami University’s Augmented . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

LegalIT 5.0: Crowdsourcing and the Law

Blogging live from the Legal IT 5.0 Conference in Montreal, I am attending the session on crowdsourcing and the law which started at 9:30am, frankly, because I was intrigued by the title… Crowdsourcing the law?! Marcel Naud, from ROBIC, opened the session by defining crowdsourcing as:

The act of taking a job traditionally performed by a specific agent and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call

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

Legal IT 5.0: eLawyering for Competitive Advantage – How to Brand Your Law Firm in a Networked World

Blogging live from Montreal at the LegalIT 5.0 Conference, the Conference opened with a plenary session on the subject topic, by Richard S. Granat, Co-Chair, eLawyering Task Force, American Bar Association, launched in 2001. Richard founded one of the first virtual law firms in North America and is well chosen to speak on topic. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Crowdsourcing Lawmaking With LexPop

A key trend in eGovernment today is enabling more public participation in policy- and law-making. One very meaningful way to increase the public’s involvement in lawmaking is by crowdsourcing the drafting of legislation, as the Brazilian Câmara dos Deputados has done through its e-Democracia platform.

Now, crowdsourcing of legislation has come to the U.S., through LexPop, a new wiki created this month by Matt Baca and Olin Parker, both students at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. [Baca is also a law student at New York University.]

As its first effort, LexPop is hosting the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Leaders Debates Goes Legal

If you haven’t noticed by now, we’re in (yet another) Federal election. The leaders of the four major parties are currently scheduled for a televised debate on April 12 (English) and 14 (French).

But what about the fifth party, the Green Party, which received almost as many votes in the 2008 election as the Bloc Quebecois? Because the Green Party’s 8% of the popular vote is spread across Canada, rather than concentrated in a single province, they did not receive a single seat, while the Bloc won 49 seats.

Given the relative popularity of the Green Party, its leader, Elizabeth . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Work on E-Com and Online Dispute Resolution

We have mentioned before the recent work of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on online dispute resolution (ODR) and a colloquium held to review the potential future work of UNCITRAL on e-commerce issues.


The UNCITRAL Secretariat has produced a working paper for the meeting next month of the ODR Working Group. Working Paper 107 is a draft set of procedural rules that might apply to ODR processes. Along with it, you’ll find WP.106, the provisional agenda for that meeting.

Will this work? Is it likely to be useful? Or is it too high-level to provide real . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Montreal Gazette Profile of LexUM

The Montreal Gazette yesterday published a profile of LexUM, the outfit that operates the free legal information service CanLII and that also publishes the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The article briefly explores plans by LexUM to expand its business into the private legal market. LexUM recently went private, severing its ties with the University of Montreal.

Today Lexum still operates CanLII – a go-to site frequently consulted by lawyers, judges and other legal professionals as well as members of the public – but has set its sights on making inroads into the lucrative and burgeoning market

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

Canadian Centre for Court Technology New CEO

As ex-Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Court Technology / Centre canadien de technologie judiciaire, I’m pleased to officially announce the nomination of Patrick Cormier as the new CEO of the CCCT-CCTJ.

Aside from being a close friend and confrère, Patrick Cormier is a social media, technology and information management expert. He is also the president of Government 2.0 Think Tank Inc., which provides advice to government Departments and Agencies on how to best advance their information management and web 2.0 agenda. Prior to founding Government 2.0 Think Tank Inc., Mr. Cormier was a military lawyer . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements