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Archive for May, 2013

Virtual Conference Going: A Mixed Blessing

One of the conferences I go to for a quick and painless technology update is Computers in Libraries (CIL) held in Washington, DC in the spring. I first came to it in 2000 when a friend of mine loaned me her press pass for the last day of the conference. At one of those sessions I was pleasantly surprised to learn about virtual reference service at Northwestern University Library, only a few miles from where I was working at the time in Chicago. I was hooked and have been to almost every CIL since then. 

After I retired, however, I . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Friday Fillip: I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream

For fun, most of the time — as anyone who lives near a school playground will know. That blast of raw sound, bigger than a shout, less prissy than a sung note, pours energy out of us in a way that demands the world take notice. And it can feel good, as all that pent up breath sweeps out our petty penned up cares and frustrations.

Sheer fun and the release of frustration seem to be what’s behind one particular — communal — screaming fit, known as the Flogsta Scream. Flogsta is a suburb of Uppsala Sweden where a lot . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Justice Canada 2013 Victims of Crime Research Digest

Last week’s issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications includes the 2013 Victims of Crime Research Digest. Published by Justice Canada, it includes short, accessible articles on victims of crime research:

Welcome to sixth issue of the Victims of Crime Research Digest which is being released during the eighth annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (NVCAW) (April 21-27, 2013). The theme of the 2013 NVCAW is ‘We All Have a Role.’ This theme recognizes that criminal justice professionals and volunteers play a crucial role in reaching out to victims, that all levels of government play a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

“Keeping Them Honest”

I have a habit of kicking the hornets’ nest when it comes to airing my views on legal services and the legal profession.

So let me give it another go.

I believe that legal services can be delivered in a more efficient, convenient and cost-effective manner than they’re currently being delivered; not only for the benefit of the public but also for the benefit of lawyers.

I’m a practicing member of the legal profession and I know the profession can do much better. So, if my passion to reform the profession offends people, so be it.

The Rules of Professional . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Bills to Enact Pooled Registered Pension Plans

As anticipated, since the federal Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act came into force December 14, 2012, several provinces have followed suit and tabled legislation to implement the new kind of portable deferred income plan, which is designed to provide retirement income to workers and self-employed persons who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement pension plan.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Perfect Storm of Open Access

A colleague writes of what seems like the perfect storm of open access hitting the students with whom she works…

My students and I publish in the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach published by Springer. Great outlet for our work. But, they just went open access (good).The cost to publish for an author now is $1,600 (bad). For grad students, this is prohibitive. I told my dean and she said there is no money to support grad student publications. That wasn’t surprising. Do the math: 60 students times several pubs a year at that cost would be a significant chunk

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Publishing

Thursday Thinkpiece: Hunter on the International Criminal Court Case Matrix

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Emilie Hunter
in Innovations in Rule of Law, J. Botero, R. Janse, S. Mulle & C. Pratt Eds.
The Hague: The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law & The World Justice Project, 2012 . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

As Goes Access to Law School, So Goes Access to Justice – Part I

[The memosphere strikes again! Between submission and publication of this column, Omar Ha-Redeye posted a very informed and insightful Slaw entry entitled, “Access to Justice Starts With Legal Tuition“. Playing Bell to my Meucci (that reads rather strangely), Omar covers much of the same analytical territory as me—with the bonus of journalistic rigour. Still, I like to think that both posts deserve your attention.]

A lot happens in a year, and the Quebec student protests that dominated the news last spring are a distant memory now. The students went back to school, Quebec elected a new government that . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Better [And/or] Faster [And/or] Cheaper

Western Union. IBM. Kodak. All are examples of well-established, successful businesses that failed to seize perfect opportunities to evolve to meet changing market conditions and paid the price. How much bigger would Western Union have been if it had bought the patent for the telephone when Alexander Graham Bell offered it? IBM’s not a small fish, but think of where it might have gone if its business modelling hadn’t suggested that carbon paper was a better bet than xerography. As for Kodak, the firm focused on film instead of the digital camera – on which it held the first patent. . . . [more]

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

Canaries in a Coal Mine?

Much is made about women leaving the practice of law. For the most part, I find the concerns somewhat overstated, and the emphasis misplaced on gender issues when this is much more likely a signal that what firms are doing isn’t working for a significant proportion of the profession. (A notable exception is the excellent piece written by Jordan Furlong this past February on Law 21: Why women leave law firms, and when they’ll return.)

Women aren’t leaving legal practice; they are leaving, for the most part, private practice. Does that say something about women? I’m not sure. Does . . . [more]

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

3D Printer Revolution

3D printing has become a popular topic lately. While 3D printers that print objects similar to how ink jet printers print words have been around for many years, the cost has come down dramatically, and will continue to come down. 

3-D printers are a disruptive technology, and as with any disruptive technology, the law will have to react to issues that come with it. Possible issues include intellectual property, product liability, and use for criminal purposes.

There has been a lot of negative press lately about using 3D printing to create plastic guns. To me that says more about . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Patentable Subject Matter – New Notices From Canadian Patent Office, Anticipated Issues for the Court?

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) has recently published two notices for patent examiners relating to patent interpretation[i], and in particular computer-related/business method type patents. These notices were released following a 2011 Federal Court of Appeal decision – CIPO v Amazon, 2011 FCA 328 (“Amazon”). In Amazon the FCA instructed the patent office on how to evaluate a patent application to determine the threshold issue of whether it covers patentable subject matter. The FCA held that patent claims must first be purposively construed before one can evaluate whether the claimed subject matter covers acceptable (ie. patentable) subject matter. . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property