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Archive for ‘Book Review’

A Book Review: Stephen Mason, Electronic Signatures in Law (3d Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2012)

One of the fascinations of electronic communications is how they make many traditional questions of law new again. What is the nature of consent? Can one make an agreement with a machine (a computer)? How permanently must information be recorded before it can be considered ‘writing’? What is an original document? (Can one version of identical assemblies of bits usefully be called an original?) Where do instantaneous online transactions occur? And what is a signature?

Everybody knows that signatures are important. Children learn at an early age that signing something makes it special. We all sign a variety of documents . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review, Legal Technology

Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide

Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide, 2d ed
by Jim Hassett
contributing authors Steve Barrett and Mike Egnatchik
published by LegalBizDev, 2011
price: US $49.95

A practical reference guide on legal project management that includes both commentary and useful sample tools and templates.

The second edition of Jim Hassett’s Legal Project Management – Quick Reference Guide that my firm purchased arrived last week to compliment our growing collection of materials on this topic.

Hassett’s first sentence in the book – “Please do not read this book” – is consistent with his pragmatic approach (he assumes instead that lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

New Editions of Three Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guides — a Review

New editions of three Canadian legal research guides are coming out this summer, in time for the 2010/2011 academic year. Each is reviewed individually below, followed by some general comments. The books reviewed are:
Legal Research and Writing, 3rd edition, by Ted Tjaden
Legal Problem Solving – Reasoning, Research & Writing, 5th edition, by Maureen F. Fitzgerald
The Practical Guide to Canadian Legal Research, 3rd edition, by Nancy McCormack, John Papadopoulos, Catherine Cotter

Legal Research and Writing, 3rd edition

by Ted Tjaden
published by Irwin Law, 2010
price: $48.95
ISBN: 978-1-55221-175-2
Companion website:

"A sophisticated . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

The Goals of Private Law: A Book Review

The Goals of Private Law
Edited by Andrew Robertson & Tang Hang Wu
published by Hart Publishing, Oxford & Portland, Oregon, 2009
price: £85.00
ISBN: 9781841139098

What modern British and Canadian legal philosophy regarding private law is up to right now; its personalities, theories, ideas and sources.

This book is a collection of twenty papers originally presented at a conference held at the National University of Singapore in 2008. The authors are principally British and Canadian with two from the United States (one of whom used to teach at a Canadian law school), two from Singapore, two from . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

The Smarter Legal Model

The Smarter Legal Model – More from Less
by Trevor Faure
published by Practical Law Company, 2010
price: £250

“Insight into how General Counsel reconfigured an in-house legal department simultaneously increasing legal coverage, lowering costs, while managing headcount”.

Trevor Faure is General Counsel for Ernst & Young Global Ltd. From relatively humble beginnings he has forged a hugely impressive legal career, beginning as a London-based barrister at one of the top commercial law chambers, leading to positions as in-house senior counsel with Apple, serving as a Legal Director with Dell and then as VP and General Counsel with Tyco . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

Review of Electronic Evidence in Canada

Electronic Evidence in Canada 
by Graham Underwood and Jonathan Penner
published by Carswell 2010-1-30
price: $120.00
ISBN: 978-0-7798-2263-8

“A helpful reference for those dealing with issues arising from the production and use of ESI in litigation process.”

In the preface to the book, Penner and Underwood point out that guidance about the admissibility of electronic evidence is currently lacking in Canada and set out to remedy this situation with an commendable textbook on the nature of electronically stored information (ESI), its management both before litigation and once litigation commences, and its admissibility as real, documentary and demonstrative evidence.

 Government lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

The Checklist Manifesto and the Smarter Lawyer

The Checklist Manifesto
by Dr Atul Gawande
published by Metropolitan Books, December 2009
price: $29.50
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9174-8

Gawande shows how using checklists can significantly improve workflows and outcomes at work. The book has real lessons for lawyers and lawfirms

In The Checklist Manifesto, Dr. Atul Gawande examines how the use of checklists can significantly improve workflows and outcomes in the work environment. He focuses primarily on the aviation and construction industries, and analyzes where and how checklists are used. He speaks as well about his experience in a WHO-sponsored initiative bringing checklists to surgical operating theatres around . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law

Unsolicited Book Review

I’ve been sharing my commute with Chris Brogan and Julien Smith for the past few days. I’ve been reading Trust Agents, their latest collaboration. While writing to the SLAW community about the importance of social media feels a little redundant, I’d still like to expound on this book for a little while.

Trust agents are connectors – people who bring people together, who cannot help themselves from telling others about interesting ideas, products and people they’ve encountered. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about them in The Tipping Point. Brogan and Smith credit David Maister with describing the concept in The Trusted . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review

Legal Project Management – Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks and Maintain Sanity

Legal Project Management – Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks and Maintain Sanity
by Steven Levy
published by Daypack Books, Seattle WA, 2009
price: US$29.95
ISBN: 1449928641

Steven Levy’s book marries project management with legal practice. This is a useful practical guide on how lawyers can get started.

The nature of legal services is changing. Indeed barely a week passes without another article in the legal press about Alternative Fee Arrangements and the death of the billable hour. Consequently the need for better Project Management has become a hot topic within law firm practice management circles. It is . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Review