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Archive for October, 2011

Supreme Court on Hyperlinking

Ten months ago, the two Simons sat at the back of the Supreme Court of Canada and watched the argument in Crookes v. Newton, one of a number of Internet defamation cases coming from British Columbia. The decision was handed down this morning as 2011 SCC 47, (October 19, 2011). Among the intervenors were Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Samuelson-Glushko, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, NetCoalition, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Newspaper Association, Ad IDEM/Canadian Media Lawyers Association, Magazines Canada, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Writers’ Union of Canada, Professional Writers Association of Canada, PEN Canada and Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Canadian Copyright Amendment Discussions in H of C

Bill C-11, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act, received second reading in the House of Commons on 18 October 2011. Discussions focussed on balance, openness to listening to interest groups, and specific provisions and scenarios covered and not covered by the bill. If you want a quick catch-up on copyright reform in Canada, take a look at Hansard. . . . [more]

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

Get Your Twitter Handle Before Someone Else Does had a story yesterday about a Humber College professor named Tom Green who uses @tomgreen as his twitter name. Fans of comedian Tom Green have been campaigning him to give his twitter name to Tom Green the comedian, who uses @tomgreenlive

While it is an amusing story, and professor Tom Green has every right to keep his twitter handle, there is a lesson here.

Even if you are not a social media fan, and you don’t have an immediate desire to tweet or update your facebook status, it is a good idea to at least register your name . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Letter to a Law Student

Dear Prospective Law School Student:

So you want to go to law school?

In making your decision, I encourage you to closely examine your reasons for wanting to embark on this path and make sure you have considered the pros and cons of doing so. Law school is now quite expensive and involves 4 years of your life (3 years of law school plus typically 1 year of articling). As such, you should not make the decision lightly.

Many of the 10 tips that follow may give the impression that I am against you entering law school. That is . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

App Review – “Canadian Law”

Canadian Law is an iPhone app, put together by Lunaform Software, a German based company. The cost is $4.99. The app’s purpose is a little more modest that its name suggests – it provides offline access to over 700 Federal statutes. This includes the full text of all statutes (but not the regulations) in English only. Once the app has been downloaded one does not need to be connected to the Internet to view and work with the statutes.

I reviewed the app on an iPad 2, but I expect that it works the same on an iPhone. As . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

Just Trying to Keep the Customer Satisfied

It begs to be asked, increasingly, who is the customer for professional information publishers. No longer can they think simply about students, teachers, practitioners and librarians. Not when there are KM specialists, procurement managers, IT geeks, consultants and financial managers media buyers and, doubtless, countless others who have a role to play in what is chosen to support the information needs of a firm, corporation or institution.

Nevertheless, decisions need to be made as to what to invent and develop in order to create product and service offerings and, though some will disagree, the focus group, questionnaire and consultancy approaches . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Supreme Court Appointments: “Québec” Reacts

Here in la belle province, the announced appointment of an apparently unlingual Supreme Court justice has met with some consternation and criticism. The Barreau de Québec has officially (by letter – linked here) asked the Prime Minister to reconsider his choice.

The Director of the Québec Bar, Mtre Claude Provencher, made the following comments to a French-language blog (my rough translation):

“Bilingualism must be a required competence. It’s a question of equality before justice for all Canadians, regardless of their mother tongue.”

“We request that the government and the parliamentary committed charged with examining these recommendations not name

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

CALL/ACBD Launches New Website

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries has a brand new website.

There are some really great features of the new site including job postings, easy links to committee publications including items like the Vendor Liaison Committee’s Cost Containment Strategies and the Code of Good Practices for Loose-leaf Publication the Knowledge Management Special Interest Group’s suggested resources and the Courthouse &Law Society Library SIG’s Standards document.

The best parts of the new CALL/ACBD site are reserved for members, and membership is open to those who support the objectives of the association.

The Association is soliciting feedback on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Federal Courts Rules Global Review

The Federal Courts Rules Committee has asked that the Discussion Paper on a possible global review of the Federal Courts Rules should receive wide distribution to members of the public and the profession. The final version of the paper has been posted in both official languages on the web sites of the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

For Slaw readers the most interesting issue under discussion is

advancements in information technology are encouraging more and more litigants to become actively involved in the litigation process, even if they do not ultimately seek to represent themselves before the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

The Last Moneyball Article: Rethinking Law Firm Talent Acquisition

You’ve probably seen the movie by now, and you might even have read the book; in either case, you’ve likely seen the clear potential for the application of Moneyball principles to the legal market. Several smart observers (and one not-so-smart) have already seen it and written about it, including Paul Lippe, Patrick J. Lamb, Lisa Salazar, and the good folks at Lawyer Metrics and the Harvard Business Review. I recommend all these articles to you and encourage you to adopt the “thinking differently” approach that they embody.

For myself, I want to write what will . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Quantum Physics and Mediation

Last week I was half-listening to a CBC radio interview in the “Gamechangers” series on the Current, in which a physicist was explaining parallel universes and quantum computing. There was something about his delivery that made me pay more and more attention. His language was simple and clear. I was being drawn in to what felt like relatively effortless understanding (listen especially around the 12 – 16 minute mark). I turned up the volume and gave the radio my full attention, realizing I was being captured by excellent advocacy.

It is of course the fundamental goal of all advocates to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice