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Archive for August, 2013

The Right Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure and Geolocation

A recent American case has raised questions (more, again) about the future of privacy rights in the digital age and how to adapt current laws to an ever evolving technological world.

On July 18, 2013, in State of New Jersey v. Earls, 22 A.3d 114, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the New Jersey Constitution protects an individual’s right to privacy in the location of his or her cell phone and that police must therefore obtain a search warrant, based on probable cause, to access this information. The section of the New Jersey Constitution at issue in State . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Things Law Librarian Bloggers Should Write About

Last week there was a a challenge and a follow up thread at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog. The challenge was a plea from Nina Platt that law librarian bloggers write about issues that would be useful to us (as opposed to writing about the future of law or legal publishing news). The challenge was answered with a list of themes and ideas that I urge you to read.

Nina identified law librarian issues, including topics like these

  • How we can support changes in the legal industry?
  • What technology will help get us through these changes?
  • What staffing,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Agents of Change

Your tools are a law degree, and a country bound by the rule of law.

Your obstacles are law school debt; an ever-growing access to justice crisis; an economic downturn that has raised the volume on client demands for more services at a lower cost; and a regulatory system made increasingly complex by the globalization of business and trade.

Your mission – should you choose to accept it, Agent LLB – is to find a way of doing business that uses the tools at hand to overcome the obstacles and create a successful legal practice.

This message will not self-destruct, . . . [more]

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

Uniform or Model Act: What’s the Difference?

The Uniform Law Conference of Canada is holding its 95th annual meeting in Victoria, BC. As noted last week, the ULCC has adopted more than 120 model or uniform acts to date. What’s the difference between the two forms?

As set out on the ULCC website, uniform acts (lois uniformes) are recommended for implementation by all relevant governments across Canada. For example, at the 2012 meeting, the ULCC adopted the Uniform Reviewable Transactions Act and the Uniform Trustee Act. In comparison, model laws (lois types) are put forward as a tool for harmonising laws . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Laws With Blogs

Blogging these days is as natural as breathing. Everyone has a blog. My firm has a blog. You’re reading this column on a blog. Heck, if the television shows my children watch are to be believed, even dogs have blogs. So, it takes something fairly special to attract the cynical interest of an over-blogged lawyer such as myself.

Enter Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) new blog – the first ever by a Canadian Legal Aid plan.

The blog bills itself as “stakeholder communication meets social networking” and is seeking to walk a fine line, catching the essence of a . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.


[no technology tip this week]
Dan Pinnington


Data From Published Survey Results
Shaunna Mireau

Survey results are converging in my world as useful sources of information. In looking at some information for an upcoming presentation, Google informed me about some published surveys that contained excellent background information. For an example of survey results that you might find interesting, check out Green Target’s 2012 In-House Counsel New Media Engagement . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Practice Pitfalls: Family Law

In the September 2010 issue of LAWPRO Magazine, we asked our claims counsel about what they feel are the biggest malpractice hazards in each area of law based on the claims files they work on every day. Here is an excerpt from that article that discusses the hazards of family law. Click here to read the full article “Practice Pitfalls”.

When a starry-eyed couple is about to get married, no one likes to think about the possibility of divorce. However, in some cases one side (e.g., the husband – or the husband’s family) has assets it wants to protect in . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The REAL Initiative in BC – Five Years Later

In March of 2009, the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch (CBABC), with funding from the Law Foundation of BC, launched the Rural Education and Access to Lawyers Initiative (REAL). This initiative was the first of its kind in Canada to recognize the importance of ensuring continued access to legal services in small communities and rural areas and to highlight the challenges that these communities were and continue to face. The Initiative was established as a coordinated set of programs to address the current and projected shortage of lawyers in these communities which was brought about by the aging of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Lessons From the Road: A Positive Attitude Helps the Journey

I now continue sharing some of the lessons I learned from walking the historic pilgrimage route in France and Spain, the Camino Frances, over six weeks in May and June. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Fear or a negative attitude can prevent us from getting to where we want to be or getting what we want. We saw this time and again on our walk. Allow me to share two such stories that stand out in my mind:

One day toward the beginning of our trip we had a very long, tiring journey. We arrived into a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Easy Encryption for Email – Not an Oxymoron

Sending highly confidential or personal information via unencrypted email is like sending a postcard. There are many places that postcard goes before it reaches its recipient – and can be read by anyone along the way. Regular email is sent via plain text, and if you watch Google’s “Story of Send” you can see how many touch points a Gmail message has from the time you hit “send” to the time it gets to your recipient. Email can be intercepted by sniffers or read while saved on remote servers. And that is just the beginning.

Your “deleted” messages are likely . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada's award-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from forty-one recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Clicklaw Blog   2. Avoid a Claim   3. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog   4. Official Clio Blog    5. Canadian Securities Law
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

A Court Without People – or Judges

As we’ve often heard the future of practice can be found in technology, but it can also be found in the past. A review of some of the legal stories this week provide some ideas of how things can be transformed.

At a recent conference in New Jersey, a bunch of American judges heard about the future of court houses without the court house. Trials will be virtual, they heard, and hearings will be done with videos. Court appearances for most minor matters will be more like online banking than 12 Angry Men. At a car accident, a camera . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice