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Archive for February, 2012

Twitter in the Court! Twitter in the Court!

♫ Our generation has changed
The way we communicate
A hundred and 40 characters to say what you’ll say…♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by @gabebondoc.



The Courts of Nova Scotia are the First in Canada to Enter The “Twitterverse”

The Courts of Nova Scotia have achieved a “First”. They are now “tweeting” news and information about the Courts, decisions of the Courts, and notices to the Bar as a way to better serve the public, the legal profession and the media.

The Nova Scotia courts, on their web page, state that Twitter “replaces a similar but . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Rethinking Academic Publishing

Publishing academic monographs – the kinds of books that may sell only a few hundred copies – in an era of digital platforms and shrinking library budgets is a serious challenge. Earlier this year leaders from many of the major US libraries and academic presses were hosted by Robert Darnton, the Harvard University Librarian, to discuss the idea of a Global Library Consortium (GLC).

In a nutshell something like the GLC would allow academic library members of the consortium to work with publishers to identify which monographs they would be willing to purchase. The more purchasers for a specific title, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

    HOT UPDATE (2:35 p.m. 2012-02-29): Seemingly out of nowhere has come the new and rapidly rising #1 most-consulted case for this week:

    Langevin (Re) 2012 QCCS 613

    [1] Sylvio Langevin réclame la propriété de la planète Terre[1]. Dans un autre dossier entrepris le même jour, il réclame celle des planètes Mercure, Vénus, Jupiter, Saturne et Uranus, ainsi que des quatre grosses lunes de Jupiter[2].

    [2] À l’audience, le requérant souhaite amender ce second recours pour y ajouter ses revendications sur Neptune et Pluton, ainsi que sur l’espace entre chaque planète, à la grandeur de la galaxie[3].

    I think I

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

Networking Through the Internet – Key to Business Development

Relationships and a strong word of mouth reputation are how lawyers get their work. Always has been. Always will be.

Ask the best lawyers in your firm. Ask the lawyers in your community who have the best business. Ask the managing partners leading successful law firms. Ask the chief marketing officers of major firms.

All of them will tell you that a lawyer’s best work comes from relationships and a strong word of mouth reputation. All of them will tell also tell you that relationships and a strong word of mouth reputation are the result of networking.

The Internet doesn’t . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

There’s a Man Going Round Taking Names

Every age has had its paranoia, I imagine. After all, the world does have its dangers and among them are indeed some of the people who have risen to power — who themselves get paranoid about challenges to their power. In relatively recent memory there was the destructive McCarthy period in the US and later, Nixon’s creepy fears. Closer to home, not too long ago the RCMP kept files on just about everyone who jaywalked, and hippies were certain their phones were tapped and flushed their dope down the toilet whenever there was an unexpected knock on the door.

Now, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Happy Leap Day

A search for Canadian legal decisions on “leap day” doesn’t turn up much other than an immigration case where an application for citizenship depended on the number of days the applicant was in Canada, and Leap Day became an issue in the calculation.

Some of us who dealt with the Y2K bug will recall that leap day was a potential secondary problem for the year 2000. Common wisdom is that a leap year is any year divisible by 4. But that’s not the entire formula. A leap year is any year divisible by 4, except those that are divisible . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Cloud Computing – the Privacy Conundrum

Last June we read with interest Zack Whittaker’s article Microsoft admits Patriot Act can access EU- based cloud data . The article focuses on the effects of the USA Patriot Act on cloud computing. Interestingly, the article states an admission made by the managing director of Microsoft UK that cloud data, regardless of where it is in the world, is not protected against the USA Patriot Act. As the data processor for cloud computing services, Microsoft, a US based company, can be compelled to hand-over data to the US authorities without any kind of prior notice or consent (even where . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

French Law on Disputing ‘recognized’ Genocides Held Unconstitutional

The French constitutional court has held unconstitutional the law passed in January of this year (that’s a fast decision by our standards) that made it illegal to dispute any genocide recognized by law. This kind of rule did not fall into the proper scope of a legal rule. While it was possible for the law to govern the exercise of speech to protect its freedom, this statute went in the opposite direction.

One may note the legislative and judicial materials that appear with the press release to which the above link leads – the law, the supporting material in both . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

To Follow or Not to Follow

Hallelujah, @Orders-in-Council is tweeting again.

This twitter stream that monitors updates from the Privy Council Office has been intermittent to say the least. It is really important to know what is coming out of the Privy Council Office.

Given the on again off again nature of this particular twitter stream, should we follow it or not?

My instinct says watch for it, but continue with regular monitoring of the OIC database. What do you think? . . . [more]

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

Playing Chicken..

A recent article in Maclean’s magazine sheds light on the labour situation in Québec and, in particular, the power and leverage that unions enjoy. Full disclosure: I was interviewed for the article and am cited.

In it, Alex Ballingall describes the saga of a labour battle between the enormous CSN and a small chicken restaurant, the “Au Roi du Coq Rôti” (loosley translated as “King of the Roast Chicken”). The work stoppage lasted over three years and hurt both the employer and the employees. As Mr. Ballingall and I explained in the article:

“The laws here in Quebec are different

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

SCC Strikes Blow at Mail Sweepstakes

“You may have won a million dollars!” … or not, if you don’t happen to have the pre-selected winning number. Various bonus prizes for early birds are also offered. This is a common marketing device, but the Supreme Court of Canada held unanimously in Richard v Time 2012 SCC 8 that it offended the Quebec Consumer Protection Act. Mr. Richard got $1000 in damages for being misled (no misles were involved), plus $15,000 in punitive damages, plus his costs at trial (where he had won) and on appeal (where he had lost), and on a solicitor-client basis in the SCC. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Event Sponsorships: Making the Most of Your Spend

Sponsorships. They’re one of the many ways to get your name in front of a special interest group and they are often ripe with possibilities and over-flowing with potential. Some of you, though, merely send off your cheque along with your logo and forget to investigate, request and reap additional opportunities for your firm.

Every part of your marketing spend should punch above its weight and with sponsorships — unlike many other marketing expenses — it often only requires a bit of thought, planning and perhaps a healthy dose of chutzpah to get more for your buck.

With some large . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing