Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for June, 2011

Congrats to 19 Graduates in Certificate in Copyright Management

Nineteen people graduated today in Philadelphia at the annual conference of the Special Library Association (SLA) with a Certificate in Copyright Management (CCM). The graduates included one Canadian, some rights managers in publishing positions, and many librarians in a variety of positions from pharmaceutical and engineering companies to law firms and financial institutions and academic institutions. One thing all had in common was a desire to understand domestic and international copyright issues, Web 2.0 and other digital copyright issues, special library provisions and fair use/dealing, as well as educating others about copyright and licensing. Canadians in the program are required . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training: CLE/PD

Facebook Facial Recognition

Social media users are up in arms this week with the revelation that Facebook is using facial recognition software to provide tagging suggestions. Of course the primary objection is that users feel that they were not provided adequate notice that the feature was being deployed.

Natasha Lennard at Salon recently asked, Is Facebook’s facial recognition tool as creepy as it seems?, and said,

Heidi Boghosian, the executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, a bar association that works on civil rights and activism issues, told Salon:

Corporations have a history of sharing personal information with the government, especially when

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

MY(Pad) 2 Cents

A few of us here at Slaw have been giving testimonials to our tablet experiences and I am going to follow the trend today, I am very early in my iPad relationship, you could even call me a Pad-awan, if you will. I am currently using the iPad 2 as a test project to try and determine the applicability of the iPad as tool in legal education. In this post I’m going to try to focus on specific apps and why I use them and attempt not to reiterate the specifics of previous posts on this topic. I expect . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

The Friday Fillip: Linnaeus 3.0

So what’s this?

It’s not the barcode for a box of Froot Loops. Neither is it the barcode for the Rainbow Six video game. In fact it’s the barcode of an Arctic warbler (a.k.a. Phylloscopus borealis).

And what makes this LBJ (“little brown job”) so special is its inclusion, along with more than a hundred thousand other species, in the International Barcode of Life data system, a Canadian project out of the University of Guelph.

The planet is host to a vast number of animal species, many of which we’re just discovering now. And figuring out which beast belongs . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Alternative Fee Arrangements: Their Popularity Soars

There was a time when many lawyers, settled in their ways, thought that they could ignore alternative fee arrangements. That day is clearly gone. The 2010 Fulbright Litigation Trends Survey announced that 51% of the corporate counsel responding to the survey were using some form of alternative fee arrangements.

Why? They cite lower costs first, then predictability, and then risk sharing. So what kind of AFAs do they favor? It’s a very mixed bag with fixed fees, conditional or contingent fees, blended rates, capped fees and performance/reward-based fees. Clearly, there is a lot of exploration going on and a lot . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

BAILII Funding at Risk?

BAILII, the British And Irish Legal Information Institute, reports that its future is at risk because of a funding shortfall.

Like its Canadian counterpart CanLII, BAILII seeks to make access to primary legal materials free to everyone via the Internet. They are members of the Free Access to Law Movement which seeks to ensure free, open publication of legal information throughout the world.

According to exchanges on the UK-based LIS-LAW listserv, a few major sponsors have withdrawn financial support and further support from the Ministry of Justice is “under review”. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Google Doodle Honours Les Paul

One of the inventors of the electric guitar, Les Paul, is honoured by Google’s doodle today. And it’s a doozy: an interactive guitar you can play with your mouse or keyboard, and the ability (only in the US!? pity!) to record your tune and send it to a lucky friend. Click the small keyboard and then you can play a scale with any of the rows of letters starting from the left.

Here’s the official explanation:

For the next 24 hours on the Google homepage, you’ll find an interactive, playable logo inspired by the guitar developed by the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Reporting of Critical Injury or Fatality of a Non-Worker: The Blue Mountain Case

A guest drowns in the hotel pool. Does the hotel need to report the fatality to the Ontario Ministry of Labour under subsection 51(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act? According to a decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), the answer is “yes”.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Change and the Reluctant Minority

Earlier this week, Gartner offered up a press release that identified 5 myths of collaboration. If you have an interest in collaboration, it’s worth reading; but to summarize, those myths are:

  1. The right tools will make us collaborative
  2. Collaboration is inherently a good thing
  3. Collaborating takes extra time
  4. People naturally will/will not collaborate
  5. People instinctively know how to collaborate

The explanation given for #4 was something that particularly caught my interest:

Depending on their level of cynicism, people believe that humans naturally collaborate, or naturally don’t. While there are individuals at each end of the spectrum, most are somewhere

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

Win or Lose, Find Out How You’re Doing on Proposals

At one time, only the public sector issued requests for proposal (RFPs) for legal services. Now, the financial services sector, publicly traded companies, and not-for-profit institutions are all issuing RFPs for legal work. In my last column, I talked about debriefing after responding to RFPs, whether you win or lose. There’s a lot to be learned from both successful and unsuccessful proposals. 

Another essential piece of record-keeping for proposals is finding out whether you won or lost. This is akin to closing a file properly after a deal or a case. Seems like a keen grasp of the obvious? You . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Dreyfuss Reads the iTunes EULA

Do yourself a favour and spend a minute or two on CNET’s Reporters’ Roundtable page. The topic was those complex, prolix, and tricky software license agreements, a.k.a. End User License Agreements. To spice things up a little, they asked actor Richard Dreyfuss to read portions of Apple’s iTunes EULA. The result is a license in four parts, each in a different voice. Lovely.

It makes you think that these things on the web should all have an audio version — done by someone with talent, of course.

[via @privacylawyer] . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Civility as a Tactical Tool in Litigation

I had the pleasure of attending an internal presentation at my firm today by two of our partners, Eugene Meehan, QC, and Scott Maidment, on the topic of “Civility as a Strategy in Litigation: Using It as a Tactical Tool.”

The topic of civility in the legal profession has in fact been raised on SLAW in the past, including a great post by Connie Crosby called Civility in the Law, a post that prompted a lot of Comments.

However, it appears that no mention has been made on SLAW of Eugene’s writing on this topic, including an . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law