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Archive for February, 2012

Is There a Fraudster in Your Office?

Not all fraudsters are strangers. Even partners, associates, law clerks or other employees may turn to fraud because of financial pressures from a divorce, failed business venture, or other personal crisis. Its usually the last person you’d expect, and often one of your most long-standing and trusted employees.

Here are the red flags:

  • Someone never takes vacation or sick leave, works overly long hours, or refuses to delegate work.
  • A firm member undergoes a sudden change in lifestyle or change in temperament.
  • The firm receives mail for a corporation for which no client file is opened or billed, or minute
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Courts and Social Media

Library Boy told us last year about some tentative steps that courts were making to embrace – or to sniff around tentatively – the whole subject of social media. Today’s announcement from the UK Supreme Court that it will start official tweets of judgments – this in anticipation of the Assange extradition decision – represents the first wholesale adoption by a final court of appeal.

It overshadows Chief Justice McLachlin’s announcement within a speech at Carleton University on the Media and the Courts, that the Canadian judiciary should start to think seriously about social media.

See the Globe, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Collateral Damage: Innocent Users Impacted MegaUpload Takedown

Two weeks ago federal prosecutors in the US shut down MegaUpload, one of the most popular file-sharing sites on the Internet. The site was a widely-used “digital locker” that stored files for millions of users world-wide. Some of those users, however, used the side for illegitimate purposes, turning the site into a hub of what the US prosecutors characterized as “massive worldwide online piracy.”

While there’s no question large quantities of illegal, pirated material was successfully removed with the MegaUpload takedown, thousands of innocent users have lost access to their files as a result of the takedown. The legality . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

The Myth of the Visionary Managing Partner

The Strategic Planning Society recently posted on their Linkedin site the seemingly straight-forward question: “What is a good definition for vision?”

Now please keep in mind that this question is being posed within the fraternity of those who have fostered and perpetrated the belief that every organization should have a vision and that the organization’s leader should be a “visionary” – the originator of such a vision. A flurry of responses came from a community who hold titles like Strategic Planning Manager, Senior Resource Planning Manager, Head of Planning and Control, Senior Manager Strategy Solutions, Strategy Execution Advisor, Managing Partner, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Bearing the Costs of B2C Online Dispute Resolution

Back at the end of the last millennium, the Centre de recherché en droit public (CRDP), along with colleagues from the Centre de recherches informatique et droit (CRID) and the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) obtained a research grant from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers to develop what would become the ECODIR (Electronic Consumer Dispute Resolution) ODR platform.

Launched in Brussels in October 2001, the ECODIR platform was well received by the various stakeholders: consumer associations, professional associations, industrial groups, the public sector, the European Commission, etc. The technical aspects of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Information Requests From Public Bodies

What is the responsibility of a public body to notify a third-party when a request for information is made? The Supreme Court of Canada considered this question in Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. v. Canada (Health), on appeal from the Federal Court, and released this week. Although the appellant’s appeal was dismissed by the court, they did highlight some areas of improvement for the drug application process.

A competitor of the appellant pharmaceutical company, Merck Frosst, requested information under the Access to Information Act about submissions Merck had made to Health Canada. The submissions were required under the Food and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Can a Google Search Suggestion Be Defamatory?

The Paris court of appeals has decided that a suggested search query generated by the Google Suggest function defamed the company whose name was first entered into the search box. This feature works by displaying the most popular searches performed by other Google searchers associated with the text typed into the search box. So Google doesn’t decide what is displayed; its machines just count and show.

Turns out that one of the most popular associations with the name of the plaintiff company was ‘escroc’, which in French means crook or swindler.

Is this a kind of ‘crowd-sourced’ defamation? What can . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

The Friday Fillip: Taking Issuu

I’ve been meaning for a while now to do a fillip on Issuu, the online magazine creation tool; and when I saw yesterday that CanLII had done up its strategic plan using Issuu, that gave me the push I needed.

As I said, Issuu is a digital publishing platform that lets you create a glossy online magazine, brochure, or report that can be read on pretty much any digital device. All of which is cool if you’re into self publishing. I’m pointing it out to you, though, as a source of a lot of fancy and free content . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

You Might Like… a Few Selected Diversions on Retro, Bismarck, Japan, Lomax, Opposites, Hong Kong, and More

This is a post in a series appearing each Friday, setting out some articles, videos, podcasts and the like that contributors at Slaw are enjoying and that you might find interesting. The articles tend to be longer than blog posts and shorter than books, just right for that stolen half hour on the weekend. It’s also likely that most of them won’t be about law — just right for etc.

Please let us have your recommendations for what we and our readers might like.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: You might like...

How Google Plus Is Shaking Up Social Media and Why It Matters

It’s not news that social media has taken the web by storm. At the time of writing, six of the top ten websites in Canada (by my count) are social media sites according to the Internet ranking site Alexa.com. And as people spend a greater percentage of their online time within these social environments, it is becoming increasingly necessary for businesses of all stripes – law firms included – to devote more resources to establishing and maintaining a meaningful presence in several different places on the web.

The battle for supremacy between the dominant players in this space – Facebook, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Quebec Bar Association Presents First Report Card on Rule of Law

The Quebec Bar Association last week published its first annual report card on the rule of law in the province, or Bilan de l’état de droit au Québec (in French only).

In the report, the Association summarizes its public interventions over the past year.

But what appear fairly unique are its efforts to measure the level of respect for the “rule of law” by authorities in the province and in Canada according to 4 criteria:

  • public authorities and their representatives are subject to the law and courts are independent
  • the protection of rights and freedoms of all citizens is assured
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Legislation