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Archive for May, 2014

Sleep Deprived and Proud of It

Law firms and sleep deprivation seem to go together. So when The Atlantic needed a real world example to lead off their piece on the topic, guess which profession was front and centre?

And the described daily routine is brutal:

“Missy rises at 5:30 a.m. to run on the Capital Crescent Trail or head downtown to work out with a personal trainer. She’s back home by 7 to make sure the kids are awake and getting ready for school.

… “Arrives at her spacious office by 8:30 or so”

… “gets home between 7:30 and 8”

Then: dinner, which

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Show Me the Money … Reprise

I thoroughly enjoyed all the discussion around my last column. It seems to me that these conversations are really around our long-time favourite legal publishing topic: where will change come from and what will it look like?

Colin Lachance’s response gave me plenty to think about. What’s the business model of the future for Canadian legal publishers? (This is another way of saying “show me the money”.) And what will new legal information sources look like?

There’s obviously an appetite in many parts of the country for more relevant and cost-effective secondary sources. Our CLEBC publishing program is something . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Friday Fillip: My Big Bach Theory

Bach is the best.

Better than all the other big B’s — Buxtehude, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Bizet, Berlioz. . . . Better even than the M’s — Mozart, Mendelssohn, Mahler . . .

Foolish thing to say, though: that one composer at that level of excellence is “better” than another. Surely “different” is the right word. But for me, Johann Sebastian is the bees knees, il miglior fabbro, Napoleon brandy, the MVP.

Now I know that baroque music is not to everyone’s taste: it’s been called “sewing-machine music” because of the underlying ricky-ticky, rum-tum-tum lines that keep the . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

HeinOnline and Fastcase Win American Association of Law Libraries New Product of the Year Award

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) announced this week that Fastcase and William S. Hein & Co. were the joint winners of its 2014 New Product of the Year Award.

According to AALL:

“This award honors new commercial information products that enhance or improve existing law library services or procedures or innovative products which improve access to legal information, the legal research process, or procedures for technical processing of library materials. A “new” product is one which has been in the library-related marketplace for two years or less.”

Under the partnership with Fastcase announced last July, HeinOnline . . . [more]

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

A New Generation Requires New Structures for Law Firms

The early articling hire-back numbers look dismal for a number of firms in Toronto, and this, coupled with the lengthening number of years that it takes associates to make partner – if they ever do – and the merry-go-round of serial lateral partners, should make all lawyers stop and think about how this environment is shaping the next generation of Canadian lawyers, and in turn, the structure of legal services providers.

My friend, consultant, John Chisholm was recently quoted in Australia’s, Lawyers Weekly. “I hear from senior associates who have had to wear the fact that their partnership prospects . . . [more]

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

Federal, British Columbia and Alberta Privacy Commissioners Issue New Guidelines for Online Consent

Many companies seem to be struggling with the issue of online consent, according to a 2012 study by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). The review of popular Canadian websites showed significant shortcomings in how organizations communicate their online privacy practices to consumers. On May 8, 2014, the federal, British Columbia and Alberta Privacy Commissioners published new guidelines to help organizations understand the importance of being transparent about their online privacy practices, specifically regarding consent.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Search You

Lawyers want to find information quickly. I often hearken back to now-increasingly dated LexisNexis workplace productivity surveys – 2008 and 2010 – for data on this need. Desktop search periodically raises its profile as one of the tools that lawyers can use. Vivian Manning and Catherine Sanders Reach have both taken a look at some of the tools commonly discussed in legal circles and they provide a good short list of products to review.

We had a recent need for a simple tool to roll out to a small group of researchers and decided to take a look at desktop . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Thursday Thinkpiece: White on the Tension Between Legal and Ordinary Languages

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.

An Old-Fashioned View of the Nature of Law
James Boyd White
Theoretical Inquiries L. Vol. 12, no. 1 (2011): 381-402

Excerpt: pp. 387-389


Exactly what are the tensions of which I speak, and how do they work? How are they to be addressed? What does it . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Google and the Right to Be Forgotten

A Spanish citizen has compelled Google to delete links to online newspaper articles that described the person’s debt problems in the 1990s. The European Court of Justice held that the information was ‘no longer relevant’ and it thus violated the man’s privacy for it to be available through an easy search. (A Spanish court had earlier refused to require the newspaper sites to take down the information, which was perfectly true.)

So: does this ruling make any sense at all, to impose the obligations of a ‘data controller’ on a search engine?

How can the search provider know for sure . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

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. GFL Environmental Inc. v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles, 2014 ONSC 2728

[1] The Applicants, GFL Environmental Inc. and GFL Excavating Corp. are operators of commercial motor vehicles whose safety is rated by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. On January 16, 2014, the Registrar advised them that he proposed to downgrade their safety ratings from “Satisfactory” to “Conditional.” After the Applicants responded . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Where’s the Lawhacker Website?

I am an avid reader of the website Lifehacker. Every day, there are new posts on an incredible range of topics with the single goal of making life easier. Yesterday, for example, there were hacks on communicating with seniors, peeling hardboiled eggs, getting roadside assistance for your bicycle and applying the GTD philosophy in dealing with your emails.

Lifehacker absolutely lives up to its motto:

Tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done.

I’ve noticed that Lifehacker has a way of pinpointing issues in my daily life that I’ve not yet identified as issues, and in many cases, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

‘Change’ Is Everywhere and How This Relates to Libraries

I was poised to write about change when I found Kate Simpson’s post: The Speed of Change. I agree with her that ‘change’ is the buzzword du jour and I have been encountering the word almost everywhere. Recently I listened to the keynote speeches and attended a track on change at Computers in Libraries 2014 and I took a MOOC about Library Advocacy which stressed that libraries need to change the way they do their advocacy. I want to share some of what I have learned.

My focus here is on change in libraries, which are viewed by non-librarians . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information