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Archive for November, 2011

A Phone Is Not a Phone

To call a smart-phone a phone is really a misnomer. We need to think of them as computers with internet connections that we carry around in our pockets. 

Why is this an important distinction? From a legal perspective, that changes the perspective tremendously. Consider Connie Crosby’s Slaw post “Digital Wallets on Their Way” , and the comment on the post musing about privacy and the warrant-less search of cellphones that is being debated in various jurisdictions.

The privacy aspects of a phone that just makes phone calls without retaining any information, and the consideration of whether law enforcement . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

On the Subject of Strategic Focus

This post has its origins in a particular incident that compelled me to share some further thoughts with the firm’s managing partner.

Dear Managing Partner:

In our strategic planning committee discussions of earlier this week, we heard from one senior partner about the importance of capitalizing on an opportunity to open a new office in another State. He informed us about this lawyer he knew who could bring us a $2 million book of business. I asked how that would augment or support the firm’s core area of industry strength. We learned that it had nothing to do with the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Apple’s Siri on iPhone 4s and Legal Privilege

I thought that Slaw readers might be interested in this observation by BLG partner, Norman Letalik, as a result of his recent exchange with Apple Canada’s regional counsel. (The following quotation is from an email thread in a group to which I belong and is reproduced with Norm Letalik’s permission.)

Note that I have now had a telephone conversation with Ms. Famulak, who is regional counsel for Apple Canada. She confirms that the information that is dictated on the Apple iPhone 4s using the Siri dictation feature is sent to servers that reside in the US and that Apple, its

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Office Technology

Meta Search Engine for Canadian Military Articles, Publications, Reports and News

I have just created a custom search engine of Canadian military law journal articles, publications, reports and news. It is available here:

My guide to researching Military Law in Canada (as well as some documents pertaining to Guantanamo Bay) is located here:

Users can use the new search engine for one-stop shopping for military law journal articles, publications, reports and news from the following sites:

Canadian Army Journal
Army Lessons Learned Bulletin
Army Lessons Learned Dispatches
Canadian Forces College Papers
Canadian Forces College Review
Canadian Military Journal
Canadian Naval Review
Jane’s Information Group
Canadian Army News
Canadian Defence . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Termination Right in an Outsourcing Contract

Exit provisions are one of the most important contractual protections for a customer in an outsourcing relationship. The provisions provide the framework to allow a customer to continue its business during transition and provide leverage for the customer in renegotiating the contractual terms. It is important to carefully draft the exit provisions because they will be used when the relationship between customer and service provider is not at its best.

A well-drafted outsourcing contract enables either party to terminate the arrangement prior to the agreed-to end date in a fair and reasonable manner. This is not to say that the . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

The Cost of Free WiFi

There were cheers (ok, it was me) at a recent technology budget planning meeting at our office when it was announced that we are increasing WiFi throughout our space in another of our offices. In that office, up to now we have provided wifi for the area that includes anywhere a client would be. Our estimate for this is $4500. The WiFi we provide in our offices is secured with a password and uses a different internet connection than our network. Risk = reasonable.

There is an interesting article in the American Bar Associations YourABA December 2011 issue called Public . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of November 14 – 21.

1. Batty v. City of Toronto 2011 ONSC 6862 [The occupy TO injunction case, #1 by a large margin]

[3] Since October 15, 2011, the applicants and other protesters (the “Protesters”), have encamped overnight in St. James Park (the “Park”) as part of the “Occupy Toronto” movement which, as a branch of the Global Occupy Movement, has posed, in its own way and in many cities, the questions: How do we live together in a community? How do we share common space?

. . . [more]
Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Maximize Your Content Marketing: Get New Traffic From Old Content

I like to encourage lawyers to ‘repurpose.’ Repurposing is using what you have already done (including legal work) in new and different ways to attract the attention of a new audience or to provide valuable reminders to your existing audience. Lawyers can leverage what they are already doing to get more mileage out of their work. For example: taking a recent case and creating a case study or turning a CLE presentation into an article for an industry trade publication.

Re-issue existing content in a new form

Another way to repurpose your old content and give it new . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Digital Wallets on Their Way

I’m by no means an expert in banking, but seems to me things are heating up in the world of alternative payments. Last week Benjamin Ensor from Forresters posted a nice overview of the rise of the digital wallet (also known as mobile wallet) in his article The Battle of the Digital Wallet. He says this is going to be a game-changer for the retail market:

A mobile digital wallet is more than just a mobile payment system because it combines:

  • Mobile payment. Digital wallets are likely combine several different payments systems into a single service, including mobile
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Sitting on a Non-Profit Board: A Risk Management Checklist

Serving as a director of a charitable or not-for-profit corporation can be a rewarding but potentially risky experience. A director can be held personally liable for his or her own actions or failures to act, as well as jointly and severally liable with the other members of the board of directors. Directors with specialized knowledge and expertise, such as lawyers, are held to a higher standard of care. Ontario lawyers should note that LAWPRO’s standard professional liability insurance policy provides coverage only for the “professional services” that a lawyer provides as a lawyer. It does not provide coverage for liability . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Secure Your Dropbox Data With SecretSync

Dropbox has suffered through a number of security- and privacy-related incidents over the past year, which has left its frustrated but loyal userbase asking how they can continue using Dropbox while still properly securing their data.

SecretSync, a new startup, hopes to be the answer to that question. SecretSync encrypts sensitive data that you place in Dropbox so that, in the event Dropbox releases your files to law enforcement agencies or inadvertently makes your data public, you have nothing to worry about: your data will be completely inscrutable thanks to the client-side encryption used by SecretSync. Because your . . . [more]

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

Gowns and Common Sense in UK Courts

Jean Cumming, the dynamic and innovative Editor-in-Chief of L’Expert – The Business Magazine for Lawyers, has just circulated this Press Notice issued by the UK Supreme Court regarding court dress to her Twitter followers. It would appear that common sense regarding wearing apparel is slowly making its way into the court system, at least in the U.K.

Press Notice

Revised guidance on court dress at the UK Supreme Court

The President of the Supreme Court has today announced that advocates appearing before the Court or the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council may, by agreement, dispense with any or . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law