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Archive for September, 2012

UNCITRAL Works on Electronic Transferable Records (And Identity Management)

You may recall that UNCITRAL’s Working Group on Electronic Commerce meets at the end of October to continue work on electronic transferable records (like bills of lading, warehouse receipts, negotiable instruments etc) — documents that have to be unique to keep their value.

The Secretariat has just published the main working papers for the meeting – WP 118 and WP.118/Add1. They are on the UNCITRAL site in the working group document section under E-commerce (of course): http://www.uncitral.org/uncitral/en/commission/working_groups/4Electronic_Commerce.html.

The US, Spain and Colombia have also submitted their overview of the issues, as WP.119.

In addition, the ABA’s task force on . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Advice From Ontario Privacy Commissioner: Make Privacy Part of Your Corporate Culture

The Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner is calling on organizations to make privacy a part of their corporate culture. Dr. Ann Cavoukian, says it is not enough for organizations to have a privacy policy in place - they must take steps on an ongoing basis to make sure it is reflected in every aspect of their operations.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Digital Saved the Legal Services Star

A few things struck me this week. First, Jordan Furlong’s great piece, “Back when we used lawyers.” Then the opening of Burberry’s new flagship store in London, England (thanks to my colleague Antony Smith at LawSync for pointing it out to me and suggesting a digital connection to law).

Jordan’s premise is, as the title suggests, that change is constant and that in the lifetime of our parents (and even some of us) how things were done and by whom, when theywere kids, has dramatically changed. What is “normal” for legal services now or in the past will . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Hazardous Waste and Biased Samples

One of our current cases deals with a question that is critical to everyone in the waste business: can biased sampling make a waste “hazardous”?

Approvals typically require waste management companies to manage wastes based on “representative samples”. Thirty years of guidance documents, and several cases, have also held that waste must be characterized as hazardous, or not, based on “representative samples”. The US Environmental Protection Agency noted, since 1986, that inaccurate and imprecise sampling can cause a solid waste to be inappropriately judged hazardous.

The Ministry of the Environment, like the US EPA, defines “representative sample” as . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Public Beta Launch of Congress.gov: The New THOMAS

Earlier today I followed from afar the US Library of Congress launch of the new Congress.gov, which is still in beta. As we watch the new site develop, we can also begin our good-byes to THOMAS, which, it was confirmed today, will be replaced. Andrew Weber of the Law Library of Congress posted the news – about the new Congress.gov and the eventual demise of THOMAS – at that institution’s blog, In Custodia Legis:

Today also marks the first public announcement of the eventual end of THOMAS. It isn’t going away today or tomorrow, but sometime in the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

What Is the Solution?

Read this endorsement released today by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Para. [2] sent me searching.

The background to [2] is here.

Read the first 6 paras., and para. 24, in the 13th case in the chronological listing. It’s 2008 CanLII 27483. I’ve chosen to not link to it.

Perhaps this case – and similar others which some of us have been on the wrong side of – is some answer to the question posed here.

When you see the list, and read the case, you might get an idea why I’ve framed this posting the way I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Enter Stage Left: Feminist Lawyers Arrive to SLAW

We are delighted to join SLAW as your two feminist legal practitioners. We wear multiple hats with pride: we are small business owners, small practitioners, staunch feminists, young lawyers, and queer women. We stand in solidarity with sex workers, keen and questioning law students, community activists, brave women who survive trauma and are stronger for it, harm reductionists, transfolk, people of colour, contrarians, and people who speak frankly about the deficiencies in the composition and conventions of our legal system. We like all of these people’s voices to be heard, more so than what is traditionally allowed in the practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of September 8 – 16.

1. R. v. Petrovic 2012 ONCJ 562

[1] Under Certificate of Offence no. 1260-7327319A. the defendant, Bozo Petrovic stands charged that he on the 19th day of August, 2011 at 2:15 p.m., at northbound Appleby Line at Dundas Street, in the City of Burlington, “did commit the offence of drive motor vehicle while operating a handheld communication device, contrary to the Highway Traffic Act, section 78.1(1)”.

2. St. Lewis v. Rancourt 2012 ONSC 5053

[1] This is a continuance of the

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

A Wednesday Triplet of Treats: All the News; Your PIN Number; a Wide Wide World

Every so often I feel free to post about things that have no direct connection to law but that are likely to interest our readers because they’re tech- or research-related. Herewith three such things (the last of which, I confess, is merely delightful):

1. All the News

Incredibly, Brewster Kahle, that rare person with a vision large enough to run around in, has negotiated arrangements that let him, in the words of the New York Times story, put online at his Internet Archive:

every morsel of news produced in the last three years by 20 different [TV] channels, encompassing

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Children and Website Privacy

Last week Jennifer Stoddart, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, spoke at an IT.Can teleconference about online behavioural advertising. Online behavioural advertising means tracking and targeting of individuals’ web activities, across sites and over time, in order to serve advertisements that are tailored to those individuals’ inferred interests. One point she made that I found interesting was about children.

Some countries have laws that specify how children under a certain age are to be treated online including what can be directed to them, and when parental consent is needed. That does not exist here. 

The Commisioner’s approach is that if . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Lawyers Helping Lawyers — Top 10 Considerations When Referring Someone to Help

I worked for several years as in-house counsel helping develop title insurance in western Canada. When I joined Assist (Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society), an organization whose purpose is to help lawyers with personal problems, a colleague commented, (tongue-in-cheek) that I would still be providing lawyers something they think they don’t need. As Executive Director of Assist, it has been my experience that lawyers are increasingly aware of the importance of seeking help for personal problems and before problems turn into crisis.

Assist has been focussed on increasing awareness in the hope every lawyer knows that there are free, professional and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Innovative Storage..Funding…and More!

♫ Wake me up before you go-go
‘Cause I’m not plannin’ on going solo…♫

Lyrics and Music by George Michael, recorded by Wham!

There is much talk about the cloud these days and the innovation that it offers to lawyers and law firms. Well ioSafe, the manufacturer of secure, hardened hard drives (that are used in law offices and elsewhere) have announced an innovative way to bring their latest product to market.

First this new product: It is “A fireproof waterproof NAS/RAID – like an aircraft black box for data on your network – protect pictures, videos and . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology