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Archive for August, 2011

Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” Cited in Apple vs. Samsung

Back in April, Apple filed suit in California against Samsung for patent violation, claiming that the latter’s Galaxy line of phones and tablets bore too much resemblance to its own iPhones and iPads. This is a tangled matter, as perhaps are most patent disputes among the biggies: for one thing, Apple is a large buyer of Samsung’s products, accounting for 4% of the the company’s revenue last year and likely more this year. At the moment, according to Foss Patents, where you’ll find a list, there are 19 ongoing lawsuits around the world between these two companies

Recently . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology

Maritime Law Book Summaries Posted

Slaw news — for those who read Slaw only via RSS or email.

On the website now:

This week’s Maritime Law Book case summaries are up, precis on Slaw and full at

  • Tucows.Com Co. v. Lojas Renner S.A. 2011 ONCA 548
  • Martinez-Caro v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) 2011 FC 640
  • Martin v. Interbooks Ltd. et al. SKQB 251
  • Charter Building Co. v. 1540957 Ontario Inc. et al. 2011 ONCA 487

Thus far, seventy summaries in total are available on . . . [more]

Posted in: Slaw RSS Site News

If We Knew Then What We Know Now…

Imagine the 20/20 vision of hindsight, and consider the following:

1. The Importance of Innovation.

Key value propositions of any BPO are, put simply, better, faster and cheaper. However, there is an often overlooked, long term value proposition of a BPO – the ongoing strategic business improvements that vendors ought to provide throughout the term.

Outsourcing service providers typically focus on business solutions as they are challenged by clients to solve problems. Reaching the end of the long road of transition and transformation, navigating the many potholes along the way, service providers, and indeed clients, are content and even relieved . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

ODR, Susskind and “the Human Element”

♬ I had some problems
And no one could seem to solve them
But you found the answer
You told me to take a chance…♬

Lyrics and music by: El DeBarge and recorded by the family musical group DeBarge.

I had a curious moment today in juxtaposing three websites today.

One was an interview of Richard Susskind OBE, who has just assumed the Presidency of the Society for Computers & Law. In assuming this position, he stated that: ” a useful role for SCL is to act as a focal point for a debate about the ways in

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Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

2011 Innovaction Award Winners: University of Toronto Among the Winners

It has been a long while since we mentioned the Innovaction Awards. The 2011 winners were recently announced, and a Canadian group are among the winners:

Berwin Leighton Paisner, LLP (BLP) was selected for their Lawyers On Demand (LOD) initiative which began in 2007 after BLP observed two important issues affecting the UK legal market: (1) legal services clients want to stretch their budgets further and (2) many lawyers are looking for greater flexibility and autonomy in their work. BLP created LOD to address these issues. LOD challenged the traditional models of legal service delivery and brought talented freelance

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

Tracking the 2011 ILTA Conference

If you’re interested in the online sound bites coming out of the 2011 ILTA conference, here are a couple of worthy sources:

And perhaps the best of all… As sessions are completed, the presentations and handouts are available for download at: . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Work-Life Balance – a Québec Initiative

It goes without saying that balancing family while working for a “big-law” firm can be a challenge. I am reminded of that on a weekly basis. Other jobs are just as demanding (if not more). It has become de rigueur for employers (especially law firms) to tout their approach to promise a positive work-life balance. However, there are few ways to confirm that an employer’s advertising confirms with their employees’ reality.

In response to this issue, the Quebec government has launched a unique program: a corporate certification regarding work-family balance. The certification is for all businesses, regardless of their size. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Government Access to Cell Phone Records

There is an August 22, 2011 decision from the U.S. District Court, Eastern District, in the Matter of Historical Cell-Site Information, 10-MC-897 (NGG), NYLJ 1202511989637 that Slaw readers may find interesting. The U.S. Attorney’s office wanted 113 days of cell phone records from Verizon Wireless. The court said:

While the government’s monitoring of our thoughts may be the archetypical Orwellian intrusion, the government’s surveillance of our movements over a considerable time period through new technologies, such as the collection of cell-site-location records, without the protections of the Fourth Amendment, puts our country far closer to Oceania than our Constitution

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Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Purpose and Place of Pro Bono

The most recent Canadian Bar Association annual meeting just wrapped up in Halifax, and while I missed this one, I attended many previous editions (more recently called Canadian Legal Conferences) while with the CBA. 

At each CLC, I came to notice, Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin’s keynote address could always be counted on to include a call for the legal profession to do more pro bono work. I suppose the fact that this is an annual request from the chief justice indicates that it’s not generating the results she might like to see. 

But it does illustrate the fact that . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Importance of Character and Experience in Hiring

The following is a quote from the book, From Third World to First, by Lee Quan Yew, prime minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. The quote refers to his appointment of ministers.

The attrition rate was high because, despite all the psychological tests, we could never accurately assess character, temperament and motivation.

Here at Maritime Law Book we have had the same experience in the hiring of employees.

Marks at school or university, taken alone, are not determinative of an applicant’s likely success in a position such as a legal editor. Character traits are an important indicator or . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Google Bets on Disrupting the Legal Market

Google’s venture capital arm, Google Ventures, is intent on disrupting the legal market.

First, it invested in LawPivot, a Quora-style Q&A platform for providing legal advice to businesses. LawPivot has now opened its platform to the public, allowing lawyers to answer businesses questions in a venue visible to the public.

This new twist on LawPivot’s business model will build up a valuable and publicly-accessible knowledgebase of legal advice for businesses to leverage. LawPivot will also provide lawyers a high-visibility platform to demonstrate their expertise to prospective clients.

Google Ventures has also recently invested in Rocket Lawyer, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

Condo Buyers Get a Checklist

TitlePLUS’s Ray Leclair has provided prospective condo buyers with a checklist of things they should know about before deciding to purchase. This list was made available to the public in several real estate publications.

  1. Status Certificate: This document should be a condition in any agreement to purchase. It includes important information such as monthly expenses, pending legal actions and other matters, including how much the condo has in reserve funds, which could affect future fees. It also includes the documents governing the condominium: the declaration, by-laws and rules & regulations. These documents govern many aspects of condo life. You
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Posted in: Reading: Recommended