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Archive for June, 2012

A Certified Google Power User?

You’ve likely seen a few references now to an upcoming free online course offered by Google: Power Searching with Google. The tagline is “…a short course on becoming a great internet searcher.” For this post, I’ll leave aside speculation about how one becomes a “great internet searcher” using, presumably, one suite of products.

Some discussion I’ve seen refers to this as Google’s MOOC – massive open online course. I’d like to engage in a bit of pedantry for a moment and question whether that’s an appropriate characterization of Google’s offering. A course that requires use of a Google account . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology: Internet

Death to Loose-Leaf?

The future of loose-leaf legal publications is a recurring theme here on Slaw. Ruth Bird, Susannah Tredwell, and I have each written about this topic over the last couple of years. So the tweets from the recent CALL conference proclaiming “Death to Loose-leaf” really caught my attention.

The tweets expressed the need for different formats and the hope for different content (commentary only), different format (bound instead of loose-leaf, or online with links to primary law). One alternative identified was commentary only plus research training for users in updating legislation and case law. Unbundling commentary out of loose-leaf . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Another Decision That Linking Is, Well, Just Linking

In a decision dated June 21, 2012, the Federal Court made it clear that, for purposes of copyright, using a hyperlink is not copying the material it points to. That seems obvious, but its nice to see it recognized by the courts. The Warman and National Post v Fournier decision also said that – at least in the circumstances of the case at bar – reproducing 1/4 of an original article was not a substantial part for copyright purposes, and was thus not a copyright violation.

This follows a Supreme Court of Canada decision last fall that said that a . . . [more]

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

Maximize Your Return on Event Participation

A client called me the other day to ask for help with an event he’s planning to attend. He wanted something to hand out to attendees and could I whip up something about the firm?

Whenever I get such a request, it takes me back to the earliest days of legal marketing and our “brochure bunny” days. Lawyers leaned heavily on brochures to win business or resolve a wide variety of marketing needs. Marketers then were tacticians and the production of materials was the gerbil wheel of the day. There was little, if any, discussion about strategy or planning.

One-off . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

UFCW Tries to Go “High End” at Holt Renfrew

The United Food and Commerical Workers Union (UFCW) is moving from chasing discount retailers like Walmart into the more rarefied world of high end retailers. The Globe and Mail reported today that the UFCW is driving a campaign at the Holt Renfrew in Yorkdale Shopping Center in Ontario. The Globe explains:

The company is facing a union drive at one of it best-performing stores – an effort that could set a precedent at other locations and add further pressure to the company as it braces for the onslaught of new competition.

Interestingly, the Holt’s employees aren’t paid the same near-minimum . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Bobby Ewing Revisited? Clements v. Clements (SCC Case No 34100)

The Supreme Court of Canada announced this week that it will release its decision in the appeal from Clements v. Clements, 2010 BCCA 581 on June 29. Clements is a personal injury action. The plaintiff was injured in a single-vehicle motor cycle accident. The issue in the appeal is causation. The plaintiff won at trial – on Resurfice material contribution, not the but for test: the trial judge having held the plaintiff had failed to prove factual causation on the balance of probability – but lost on appeal. The British Columbia Court of Appeal held that the but-for . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Survey Monkey Acquires Zoomerang

Online survey tool Zoomerang has been acquired by Survey Monkey, and will move all their client accounts (and surveys) over to the new platform by year’s end.

I remember choosing Zoomerang because I thought the lack of a “monkey” in the name would be mildly more acceptable to business audiences. Feature wise, the two products were pretty much on par; so the next best differentiating factor I could come up with was how business friendly the name was.

In hindsight, I did later realize that “zoomerang” wasn’t all that conservative of a name either. Not that the online survey . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Moving Offices

Today is my last day, for a while, in Yellowknife NWT. My firm has moved our northern location and I have been part of the coordinating team. It is a new experience for me, coordinating with movers, space planners, furniture vendors, landlords and contractors. Usually my contractor negotiations start with, “Hey honey, why don’t we…” With this project, everything was a phone call or email until Friday, when our Edmonton contingent arrived on site.

This project has provided some valuable lessons. First, it is much easier to buy all new furniture and just move people and paper (we didn’t do . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Apology in the Media (Again)

Much has been written about apologies and how they can be effective in resolving conflict. However, two recent events spurred me to tackle this important topic once again and identify lessons that apply to conflict resolution.

First, I listened to a terrific podcast of the CBC radio program “Under the Influence” with Terry O’Reilly. He is a master storyteller and devoted this episode of his terrific series to corporate apologies used by corporations strategically as part of a public relations plan to redeem themselves in the eyes of their public. He described four specific situations in which corporations (Johnson & . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The Most Important Book on Statutory Interpretation Since 2000 – Yes But…

On June 15, our friends at Eagan published a brilliant and in some ways strange book that should be in every law library, since it is (as my headline says) the most important book on statutes this millennium: Reading Law, The Interpretation of Legal Texts. Its strangeness is due to the identity of its authors – the fiercely intelligent and challenging Justice Antonin Scalia the senior justice of the US Supreme Court , and the leading legal lexicographer of our time, Bryan Garner of LawProse in Texas. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Facebook Just Changed Your Email to; Here’s How to Fix It

It’s darn near impossible to keep up with the changes Facebook makes to your privacy and configuration settings. The latest change is a big one: Facebook just removed everyone’s contact email address from their profiles and replaced it with an address. This was done without asking your permission.
Apparently Facebook’s internal email address – the one they use for notifications and password resets – was not changed, just the one listed on your profile in your Timeline.
Facebook has had its own email since 2010. Almost no one uses it. Presumably this is an attempt to get more people . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

The Internet’s Most Hated Lawyer

Hell hath no fury like a scorned Internet, as Charles Carreon is finding out the hard way.

First, Carreon sued online comic the Oatmeal on behalf of his client over a blog post published a year ago wherein the Oatmeal’s founder, Matt Inman, criticized FunnyJunk for hosting copies of his comic without proper attribution. Carreon and his client accused Inman of defamation and demanded $20,000 in damages.

Inman’s response was, predictably, to publicly mock Carreon and FunnyJunk in a blog post detailing the ludicrousness of Carreon’s accusations and. Furthermore, Inman responds to the demand of $20,000 in damages by . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Marketing