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Archive for June, 2011

Calgary Statement on Free Access to Legal Information

In mid-May, the Council of Canadian Academic Law Library Directors adopted the Calgary Statement on Free Access to Legal Information.

The Statement, that promotes the principles of open access in legal scholarly publishing in Canada and free access to legal information in society, follows the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship adopted by the law libraries of major American universities in late 2008.

The Durham statement called for two things: (1) open access publication of law school–published journals; and (2) an end to print publication of law journals, coupled with a commitment to keeping the electronic versions . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

Anti-Spam Regs Published for Review – at Least Some of Them

The CRTC today published proposed regulations for the anti-spam act. Apparently there are still some to come from Industry Canada. The CRTC invites comments on the draft until August 29. From the CRTC notice:

The Commission calls for comments on new draft regulations, Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations (CRTC), with respect to the form and certain information to be included in commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and with respect to requests for consent for the sending of CEMs, the alteration of transmission data in electronic messages, and the installation of computer programs. The draft regulations are made pursuant to legislation which gives . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

KM Lead Sought for Ontario Legal Clinics

The Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario (ACLCO) is looking for:

a dynamic, self directed, results-oriented individual to implement a custom designed knowledge management strategy with the 77 clinics that make up the community legal system in Ontario.

The position is for twelve months, with a possibility of an extension for two years.

The ACLCO KnowledgeNOW Discussion Paper and Report of 2010 laid out a series of recommendations concerning knowledge management across the clinic system. The successful applicant is to fashion and carry out a strategy to put them into effect.

The full job description and the 2010 report . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Patent Incentives, the Universities, and the Public Availability of Inventions

I have been working over the last few years on what I feel is a latent distinction within our concept of intellectual property. This distinction sets apart the properties produced in educational institutions from commercial properties. The “intellectual properties of learning,” as I term them, often have, if inconsistently, a distinct economic and legal status to them, whether in copyright or patent law, tax-exemption or incentive. The distinctions made around the public good of learning have a long history, dating back in the West, I am finding, to the medieval monasteries, but they hit the headlines last week.

On June . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Accessing Australian Law Legal Resources Using Foolkit

Foolkit, which stands for Free Legal Toolkit, provides free comprehensive access to legal resources in every Australian state except Western Australia. Produced by an Adelaide lawyer named Andrew Rogers, it is a collection of resources for lawyers, support staff, law students and the general public. By some measures, Foolkit is one of the largest access to law websites in Australia. Foolkit gets over 2 million hits per month and Rogers estimates that it is used by about 20 percent of lawyers in Australia.

Foolkit’s goal for lawyers is to improve the efficiency and quality of practice and professional life. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Canada Post Lockout Sends Thousands Online

A few weeks ago when the postal strike was looming I wondered if a strike might be a tipping point that leads to even less mail being sent. 

A Globe and Mail article says that has indeed been the case. The article says, for example, that 350,000 ING Direct customers have switched online in the past 2 weeks. The impact of that?

“Canada Post will lose at least $2,352,000 a year in revenue from ING Direct on stamps alone, assuming the company sends each of those 350,000 people one letter a month at the commercial price of $0.56 a stamp.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Offshore LPO News – Are We There Yet? 

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) continues to be the buzzword, in Canada, US and the UK. 

This month’s edition of The Canadian Bar Association’s National Magazine features LPO on its cover page and a six page article on the topic. The article is titled “Bangalore Calling” and showcases a Canadian perspective on LPO.

Legal Week announced last month that Balfour Beatty, the construction giant, is planning to press its law firms on the topic of legal process outsourcing. According to the global general counsel and company secretary Chris Vaughan:

We are at the start of a process to review

. . . [more]
Posted in: Outsourcing

Back to the Future – Western’s Bold Leap

One of the saddest chapters of Bill Kaplan’s excellent biography Canadian Maverick – the Life and Times of Ivan C. Rand, is his account of Justice Rand’s post SCC appointment as the founding Dean of the University of Western Ontario’s Law School. Rand didn’t fit, was remote from students, and was ill at ease and isolated. {For further references see Omar’s post and Jamie Cameron’s review.]

A different challenge awaits the former chairman and chief executive officer of McCarthy Tétrault LLP., Iain Scott who will be moving to take over the deanship of Western in September. This . . . [more]

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

Canada Post: Back to Work – It’s the Law

Following a rotating strike and a lockout, the Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of postal services (the “Act“) officially entered into force on Monday night. The Act ends the dispute between Canada Post and its 48,000 employees and imposes “final offer selection arbitration”. Everybody should have gotten some mail yesterday.
The law imposes specific salary increases for the years 2011 to 2014. Unlike all other provisions of the agreement, the parties cannot chose to agree to different salary levels and the arbitrator is bound to include them in the final collective agreement. It is interesting . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Lawyers and the Media

Benefits of the media

They may be friendly, but they are not your friends. They are skilled, resourceful and tenacious. And most drink too much coffee. Not to suggest a sinister intention, but their job is get information from you — information you may not want to share — whether it serves you or your clients or not.

There is a unique synergy between you though. Sure, you may be at odds most of the time, but you can come together in a highly productive manner if prepared and with a healthy dose of caution. 

Strange bedfellows

If there’s anything . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing