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Archive for April, 2014

Apple v. Samsung – the Saga Continues

The news, reported in late February, that Apple and Samsung had once again failed to resolve their smartphone patent dispute through mediation did not come as a big surprise. At this writing, the technology giants were preparing to go to trial in California in late March, although there was still some prospect that continuing discussions with the mediator could produce a last minute breakthrough.

Published reports citing court filings stated that company executives met with the mediator in a full-day session, followed by a number of phone calls, without success.

The background of this dispute includes significant wins by Apple . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The Thursday Thinkpiece: Kafka on the Lawyers

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.

The Trial
Franz Kafka
Orig: Der Process, Berlin: Verlag Die Schmiede, 1925

Translation by David Wyllie

Chapter Seven
Lawyer – Manufacturer – Painter

……

He was no longer able to get the thought of the trial out of his head. He had often wondered whether it might not be a good idea . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Can You Be Prosecuted for a Facebook ‘like’?

A US appeals court found – properly, in my view – that clicking ‘Like’ on the Facebook page of a political candidate was political speech protected by freedom of expression law.

Another US court found that clicking on ‘Like’ on the Facebook page of someone who has a restraining order against any contact by the clicker is contempt of the restraining order. That too seems sensible, if severe. (Restraining orders often need to be severely enforced.)

Here is an account of a bit of a confused British situation, where someone is apparently being investigated by police for Liking a Facebook . . . [more]

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

Class Notes 2: Strategic Legal Research of Blogs

In one of our later advanced legal research and writing class of the term, we turned our attention from traditional primary and secondary material to alternative or less-expected legal research resources. I posted earlier on the portion of the class in which we learned strategies to mine Twitter for legal research. The other broad angle we looked at addressed strategies and tools to assist in finding helpful secondary resources in legal blogs and other open web information sources.

Legal research in blogs

I think it’s fair to suggest legal blogs are so widespread and well-known that they may be . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

5 LinkedIn Profile Mistakes Lawyers Make

LinkedIn is the largest online professional network and the social media platform lawyers are most likely to engage in. But many lawyers are not using LinkedIn effectively, and they’re missing opportunities as a result. Here are five of the top mistakes lawyers make on their LinkedIn Profiles.

1. Missing, distracting or unprofessional photo

LinkedIn is a business network, not a social network, so no selfies or photos with pets, please! Truthfully, I haven’t seen any lawyers who have posted Profile pictures with their pets, but I have seen photos that are obviously selfies (even if they tried to look professional), . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Office for iPad – There’s a Catch

Microsoft released office for iPad last week. They have promised to release Office for Android soon as well.

The good news is that it is free to download. The bad news is that it can only be used as a reader. If you want to create or edit documents, you need an Office 365 account. And if you have a personal Office 365 account, the terms don’t let you use it for commercial purposes.

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud based service that is purchased for an annual fee.

Even if your office has one of the many flavours of Microsoft . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Legislative Update: Manitoba’s New Public Guardian and Trustee Act

Effective April 1, 2014, Manitoba’s Public Trustee Act is repealed and replaced with The Public Guardian and Trustee Act (C.C.S.M. c.P205).

The new legislation was introduced last spring as Bill 36 and received Royal Assent in December 2013 without amendment. The explanatory note to the Bill summarizes the changes made to the pre-existing legislative scheme as follows:

This Bill replaces the existing Public Trustee Act. Key changes include the following:

  • The name “Public Trustee” is changed to “Public Guardian and Trustee”.
  • The Public Guardian and Trustee’s functions are clarified and listed. They include acting as a trustee, estate administrator, litigation
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

  1. BlackBerry Limited v. Marineau-Mes 2014 ONSC 1790

    [1] The Applicant, Blackberry Limited (“BlackBerry”), brings this application for the following declarations:

    (a) a declaration that the employment contract entered into between BlackBerry and the respondent Sebastien Marineau-Mes (“Marineau-Mes”), dated effective September 27, 2013 and signed on October 16, 2013 (the “Contract”), is binding on the parties thereto, and that Marineau-Mes is obligated, as set

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

Trouble at T’ Mill — or Case of Permanent Stasis?

This week we received via one of our sources, Reed’s financial wind up figures for 2013 and also in that document their comparison with the group’s 2012 figures. Even to a numbers illiterate like myself it’s fairly obvious that Lexis Nexis may well be generating some revenue but profit margins are negligible. Lexis capital expenditure compared to the other members of the Reed Group is also way out of whack as we’ll discover.

So first up …..

Revenue
Legal Year to 31 December 2013
2013  £m 1567
2012 £m 1610

Change Constant Currency -4%
Change Underlying +1%

Revenue is up, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Of Risk and Reputation

Law firm governance is rarely considered a topic worthy of a “60 Minutes” investigation. This might not be the case for long.

I’ve been tracking the fallout from the demise of Dewey & Leboeuf, a legendary (and bankrupt) global law firm that allegedly veered so far away from sound governance that several members of its executive team are now facing criminal charges and civil suits.

It’s a fascinating and sad story from so many angles. But the one that most intrigues me is how blind the firm’s leaders were to reputational risk.

Reputational risks threaten a firm’s ability to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Internet of Things – and Tomorrow’s Law Firm

Press Release from London this morning

London, United Kingdom: 1 April 2014 – Janders Dean is pleased to announce the launch of the ShockLaw© wearable time management technology solution for law firms and lawyers – featuring the Bill-IT© bracelet with LawyerShock© vibration technology, the ShockLaw© Server, and associated mobile device monitoring apps.

In an age when the ‘Internet of everything’ is dominating technology development, Janders Dean is leading the market with the introduction of the ShockLaw© wearable platform – and showing true thought leadership with the product’s integration both across the lawyer’s workplace surroundings, and also across software applications being . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Office Technology

Students Form “Law Students Society of Ontario”

All of the student societies at Ontario’s seven law schools have agreed to participate in a newly formed Law Students Society of Ontario. At the moment the LSSO website contains only the following press release:

MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ontario’s Law Students Found New Association to Advance Student Issues

Ontario’s law school student governments have formed a new organization to speak out on issues affecting the province’s 4,000 law students.

The goal of the Law Students’ Society of Ontario (LSSO) is to advance student concerns to governmental, regulatory, and educational stakeholders on issues such as

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice