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Archive for October, 2013

HELLO, My Name Is Joan, and I …..

… am an Information Addict. Information overload, also known as infobesity or infoxication, is a constant in my life. How about yours? Both conferences I attended this summer had sessions on time management, organization, workflow, productivity; topics that are directly related to how well we cope with the amount of information in our lives and the work that we produce using it. So I know I’m not alone on this island.

My quandary exists in that I want to get the most out of both my professional and personal life. Each feeds the other, and yet it is extremely important . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Live Webcast of Keynote and TED Presentation at 2013 Futures Conference

If you are not able to attend the 2013 Futures Conference, they are offering a live webcast of the keynote and TED presentations. Please click here for the link to the live webcast.

2013 Futures Conference agenda:

Friday, October 4
9:10 – 10:00 am CDT — Keynote Presentation by Stephen Mayson
10:00 – 10:15 am CDT — TED #1, What is the Market for Legal Services in the Future (from the buyer’s point of view), Ann Lee Gibson, Ann Lee Gibson Consulting
2:00 – 2:15 pm CDT — TED #2, Innovation in the Law Firm, Jordan Furlong, Partner, Edge . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

3 Strikes and You’re Out . . . Maybe

Whenever there is an auto insurance claim, insurers must determine fault. If you are found to be at fault for a claim, the insurer will consider you an increased risk and use this information to increase your premiums. If you are not at fault, the claim will not directly result in an increase of your premiums. This probably makes sense to most people, but you may be surprised to learn that things are a bit different when it comes to home insurance claims.

Assume you make a claim to repair a roof damaged by a hail storm, or your expensive . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip

I cannot resist employing useless things. One reason, I guess, is that I’ve been taught and brought up since the year dot to be useful. Naturally, this leads to a hankering after the useless, that which is instrumental to no purpose and the disappearance of which would not materially change the world. Music is one such. (Note, I said materially.) As is poetry and, indeed, most art. There is no point to any of it — and that is the lovely point, of course.

But poetry, painting, music . . . these are the heavies, when it comes to uselessness. . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

A Little Searching Help From Slaw

Here are a couple of new features in relation to searching.

  1. I’ve taken to using DuckDuckGo as my basic search engine because, if they are to be believed, they don’t track my searches as some other search engines do and, consequently, don’t feed me back ads they imagine I’ll like. (I just wish the name were less silly.) I think you’ll find a bunch of things to like about it, among which is the potential to search within certain other sites through the use of a “bang” marker: !

    It’s not exactly same thing as using the site:xxxx.zzz search

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous

New Policing Journals Meta Search and Police Review Board Decisions Meta Search

The Law Library at the University of Windsor is pleased to announce two new Google Custom searches.

The first is a meta search of policing journals, magazines, reviews, reports and news feeds.
The second is a meta search of police review board decisions from across Canada.

Both are available here, along with the full list of the sites being searched:

This is a new addition to our offerings. Two years ago, we had also announced the creation of a meta search
for military law journals: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Merger-Mania Continues

Once again a Canadian law firm is in merger discussions. The Blog of Legal Times said earlier this week that Dentons is in discussions with US-based McKenna Long & Aldridge to create a firm of 3,100 lawyers – assuming no one leaves.

John Grimley makes a good point on this potential merger – what’s really in it for McKenna?

George Beaton said on Twitter, “Pray, why is bigger better for clients?”

My thought is, “My God, what is with this obsession with size?”

The marketplace for large international firms is pretty small – enough for only a very few players. . . . [more]

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

US Government Shutdown – Which Websites Are Up/Down?

The baby panda cam at Washington’s National Zoo is not the only digital casualty of the shutdown of U.S. federal government services that started this week [awwww man, not the cam with the adorable baby panda!].

The websites of Library of Congress and the Law Library of Congress, the world’s largest law library, are also down, although THOMAS, the legislative information site is still functioning.

Even NASA’s website is knocked out of commission.

The Washington Post, the Ars Technica site, and the government transparency NGO the Sunlight Foundation have details. . . . [more]

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


The CBA Futures Initiative took to the Twitterverse Tuesday night to talk about legal education.

What was supposed to be a half-hour discussion about objectives and obstacles turned into more than two hours of enthusiastic participation from across the country. Mitch Kowalski summed up the responses about 75 minutes in: “So we’ve seen tuition, diversity, maturity, practicality, length of study are issues. Solutions?”

Karen Dyck summed up the legal profession’s response to these issues so far with an emoticon wink: “Don’t change a thing.”

A lot of the early discussion focused on high and rising tuition costs, in response to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology, Technology: Internet

BlueJay: Law Enforcement Twitter Crime Scanner

BrightPlanet has created a new online product called “BlueJay,” which it is advertising as a "Law Enforcement Twitter Crime Scanner." The tool allows users to monitor virtually every single public tweet published by Twitter users in real time for indicators of crime or wrongdoing. Users can set up virtual perimeters or geo-fences to track tweets specific to those areas. BrightPlanet’s main business is “open source intelligence”: searching the “deep web”—those parts of the World Wide Web that are public but which regular search engines cannot reach.
Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Technology, Technology: Internet