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Archive for May, 2014

Google’s New Video Quality Report Tool

Google’s new Video Quality Report tool allows you to compare video streaming capabilities between local ISPs.

By viewing this report, either at home or at work, you are able to see when the prime video streaming periods are. You can also see how your current streaming performance compares against other local ISPs competing for your business.

Here’s a screen capture from my report:

. . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

The Friday Fillip: Starlight, Starbright – Not So Much

I’ve banged on here before about the splendour of the unobstructed night sky and the need for all of us to gaze up into it at least once in our lives. I’m going to do it again today, but with a new visual argument to bolster my stance (head back, neck crooked, back braced, eyes wide open…). A mere century ago my opening line would have been nonsensical to most people — certainly to the great majority who didn’t live in London, New York, Paris or one of the other large cities: the sky was ever present after sundown, the . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

The Office

Downtown lawyers. In-­house lawyers. Offshore lawyers. And now, WalMart lawyers. Beyond what we do, we are also in no small part defined by where we do it. The recent launch of a firm offering services within several Ontario WalMart locations has crystallized this point, and set tongues a­-wagging in North American legal circles. Many see “WalMart law” as a certain harbinger of impending Armageddon for all that was once sacred and noble about the profession. Others welcome it as an overdue acknowledgement that times have already changed, and that lawyers must accept that “because that’s the way it’s always been . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing to JurisClasseur Quebec

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) announced earlier this week at its annual conference in Winnipeg that the JurisClasseur Québec encyclopedia (LexisNexis Canada) is the winner of the 2014 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

It is available as a collection of loose-leafs and online on Quicklaw. There was a brief description of the encyclopedia on back in December 2012.

The annual award honours a publisher that has demonstrated excellence by publishing a work, series, website or e-product that makes a significant contribution to legal research and scholarship.

The other nominees this year were:

  • The Queen’s
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Neighbours From Hell – Marcel Proust to Ed Morgan via the Carlisle

Three delightful legal curios remind us that when neighbours fall out, balance and judgment cascade out the window – or are defenestrated.

Let’s start with Monsieur Proust – who was sensitive beyond sensitivity. Yet even a cork-lined writing room couldn’t shield him from shoes on wooden floors and thin walls, from the harp-playing wife of an American dentist, Marie Williams.

Gallimard published the recently found letters as an epistolary novel, Lettres à sa voisine, last year. The catalogue descibes it thus::

«C’est un vrai petit roman, fondé sur une surprise : la découverte de ces vingt-trois lettres

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Slaw Welcomes Yves Faguy

I’m pleased to welcome Yves Faguy as a new blogger to Slaw. Yves will be joining our Thursday group of writers.

You may recognize Yves as the Senior and online editor of National Magazine, where he has also been a noticeable part of their blogging team in recent years.

Prior to working as a journalist with the CBA, Yves co-founded a Montreal-based company, Nimonik Inc., an environment, health & safety (EHS) solutions provider. He is also currently a principal at Station C, a co-working space in Montreal’s Mile End.

And of course, you can also follow him on twitter: . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements

The Case for Reconciliation

I’m not sure it’s wise, for my first post on Slaw, to discuss a topic somewhat outside my comfort zone. But having just completed reading the 15,000-word cover story of the June issue of the Atlantic, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, I’m finding it hard to resist.

For those who haven’t read it, TNC’s essay is an introspective look at the United States’ “national economic plunder” of African-Americans. That plunder, as he describes it, was carried out over centuries. Worse yet – and this is the part that is most striking about the essay – much of it was rooted in deliberate . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

All Quebec Parties Agree to Re-Table Assisted Suicide Bill and Motion Raising Question of Public Interest

On May 22, 2014, with the approval of all four of Quebec’s major political parties, the newly elected Liberal government re-introduced Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care at the same stage as before the election.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Anonymous Until Proven Guilty

Legendary reporter Christie Blatchford has long been feared by Toronto-area criminal defence lawyers. I personally have experienced a clawing sense of unease on those occasions when I have glanced over my shoulder before embarking on a difficult cross-examination and noted her at the front of the public gallery, pen poised to scratch furiously into notebook. Blatchford’s style for many years has been incisive, descriptive, graphic, and often ruthless when she (more often than not) reaches the conclusion (usually well in advance of the trial judge or jury) that your client is a fiendish monster. So legendary is her vitriol and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Thursday Thinkpiece: Dodek on Solicitor-Client Privilege

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.

Publishers note: We at Slaw would like to congratulate our columnist Adam Dodek on the release of his new book, which follows his prior work on The Canadian Constitution (2013).

Solicitor-Client Privilege
Adam M. Dodek
Lexis Nexis, 2014

Excerpt pp. XXVI – XXX


Solicitor-client privilege is the strongest privilege protected by law.[ . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

The Cloud – Panacea or Perilous?

The cloud has been touted as a significant revolution in computing – providing scalable, secure, and cost effective alternatives to owing and managing your own computing infrastructure. It has also been criticized for being insecure, unreliable, and a potential threat to the future of your business if something goes wrong.

So which is it? It can be both, actually.

Done right – with the right application, the right vendor, the right agreement, and with proper attention to issues like security, encryption, privacy, and continuity – it can work very well.

Done wrong – without those details being considered – it . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Tips for the Beginner Blogger

When I first started blogging here on Slaw, I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew all the objective reasons why it would be good for me at a professional level, but some of the personal aspects of the process proved to be a genuine surprise.

A few observations gleaned from my first months of blogging:

  1. It will take longer than you expect to write your first blog posts.
    My first post took 10 hours to write. Really. I even hired an editor to review it. I always thought I was a “good” writer. Until I realized how inefficient
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous