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Archive for July, 2011

Unionization Trends in Québec

Recently, the Quebec government released a report entitled “La présence syndicale au Québec en 2010“. It revealed that the unionization rate of Quebec’s total labour force is of 39.6%. This is the highest rate in North America (by a decent margin). More than 1.3 million workers in Quebec are governed by a collective agreement. The report also mentioned that in the last decade, there has been a decreasing trend of union across North America. Even Quebec’s rate decreased from 40.9% to 39.6%.

How is unionization trending in your area? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Some of you may know that I am celebrating the unboxing of the Mireau family treasures onto library shelving that travels most of the length of my new house. My husband and I are getting up extra early these days to enjoy our reading time before the work day begins. The alarm ringing at 5 is obnoxious but the extra minutes spent with a novel is lovely. I am secretly hoping that it continues to rain so that I can read novels for my vacation next week rather than landscape.

A few of the novels read in the past couple . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing

Not “Blogging” but “Blagging”

One minor consequence of the recent phone hacking scandal in England is an increase in the use of the term “blagging,” new to me. Thus, in The Register today:

News International journalists from multiple papers persistently tried to get gossip on the former prime minister Gordon Brown by ‘blagging’ access to his bank account, legal documents and even his son’s medical records, it has been alleged.

According to the Oxford dictionaries, to “blag” is essentially:

1. trans. To obtain or achieve [something] by persuasive talk or plausible deception; to bluff, to dupe or deceive by bluffing; to scrounge, esp.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

What Women Lawyers Bring to Teams: EQ Plus IQ

A lot has been written about the positive impact to the bottom line when corporations include more women on their boards. At it’s most simplistic, corporations recognize the value of a woman’s different life experiences in corporate decision making, along with a greater understanding of what types of services or products would interest female clients. However, the research goes much further than this to include the different and complimentary ways that women process information and make decisions. A recent Harvard Business Review article “ Defend Your Research: What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women” examines the impact that including . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

What’s Up at the Wayback Machine

With a hat tip to my colleague Ben Keen, who spotted the story below on the Torstar website.

“Internet Archive Canada, a small non-profit company, fired 35 of its 47 employees on Wednesday due to a massive drop in donations. Most will leave Aug. 12 unless a white knight appears soon”.

It’s difficult to find out exactly what the issue is – the website offers no explanation.

The story ends:

“The loss will be felt by more than those who will be out of work.”

Here they all are – they’ve made a major contribution in digitizing Canada’s . . . [more]

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

Collaboration Tools for Library and Legal – Looking for Stories

Fellow law library consultant Kathie Sullivan and I have been working together to track new collaboration tools and document the challenges that groups face in using them. New project management platforms such as Basecamp, collaborative mindmapping, and wireframe/mockup tools like Mockingbird and Balsamiq join familiar tools like wikis and Google Docs to make teamwork easier, regardless of where everyone is located. We are specifically interested in how these might be used in library and legal settings.

We are building a wiki that will document the tools and related stories (still to be made public), and will be speaking at two . . . [more]

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

Is Google+ Social Networking’s New Black?

Google’s new black navigation bar is the first outward-facing component of a massive social networking project the company’s been working on for over a year: Google+. I’ve been using Google+ during its “field test” (what we’d normally call a beta I think, but Google has forever ruined the public’s expectations of a beta), and I’ve come away impressed. It may be the first social networking tool I use, and enjoy using, on a daily basis.

While I have a personal Facebook and Twitter account, I find I rarely use them. Yes, Facebook’s endless privacy follies have given me cold . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Can the State Require You to Decrypt a Computer Drive?

Here’s an interesting question, arising out of a case before a Colorado court: may the state require a defendant in a criminal trial to enter the password that will decrypt a computer drive with full disk encryption? The Electronic Frontier Foundation has entered a brief in the case of US v. Fricosu arguing Friday that to require the defendant either to hand over the information on the drive or to provide the password enabling the prosecution to get access to the data would infringe her constitutional right against self-incrimination. Apparently the authorities have offered a limited form of immunity to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Tips on Public Speaking

For those who do public speaking, I recently attended two webinars which provided great tips on organizing your presentation, choosing the best delivery method, creating relevant content and connecting with your target audience. The first webinar “Creating & Organizing your speech”, was hosted by LexBlog and Faith Pincus on May 18th. The second, on June 7th, was a webinar for upcoming speakers for the 2011 ILTA (International Legal Technology Association) Conference. I am speaking at this conference on a panel about “Next Generation Intranets” and will consider many of these tips and recommendations in planning and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

“Only a Fool Would Make Predictions—Especially About the Future”

I’m hesitant about trying to predict the future and would be aligned with those with those who have written:

Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window


The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.

both by Peter Drucker

or Samuel Goldwyn, providing the title above.

That said, I’m occasionally asked for views on trends and evolution and to squint into the future, while retaining loyalty to the anti-futurists.

Many see technology and social media . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Caledonia Class-Action Settlement

After 5 years of litigation, the parties in a class action dispute arising out of the Caledonia standoff came to a $20 million settlement on Friday, approved by Justice David Crane of the Hamilton court. There are 440 residential claimants and an additional 400 business and subcontractor claimants.

The underlying issue of the conflict, the development land of Douglas Creek Estates, has yet to be resolved. The province has already paid $16 million for the land, $46.2 million on policing, $6.9 million for builders and developers, and $3.85 million for a Brantford ministry office. Some residents are not entirely happy . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Second Set of Proposed Regulations Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

The July 9 issue of the Canada Gazette was published and it includes the second set of proposed regulations under Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). These are the Governor in Council regulations from Industry Canada, not to be confused with the CRTC regulations that were pre-published last week for consultation.

You can read the pre-publication in the Gazette here:

The consultation period for these proposed regulations is 60 days. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation