Websites – the Definitive Source?

A recent Ontario Reports paper part contained a new Superior Court of Justice Practice Direction – correction – contained a summary of the Practice Direction, and advised readers to consult http://www.ontariocourts.on.ca for further details.

I guess it’s fair to assume that all Ontario lawyers now access websites regularly. It is certainly helpful to know there is one website containing such valuable information. Lawyers in other areas of practice, such as corporate finance, are quite used to accessing websites for day to day valuable information, so the use of websites to convey legal information is not new. The only issue, I suppose, is that it is becoming harder and harder to create a “definitive list” of what lawyers have to consult to carry on their practice (litigation, insolvency, corporate finance, etc.).

The editors of some consolidated rule books, for example, are doing their best to keep up with new developments. They now issue weekly or bi-weekly emails containing the latest rule changes and cases. Reviewing the contents lists of the paper parts of the various reporter series has been automated in that publishers now send emails containing this information (provided you continue to subscribe to the paper material).

However, as more and more legal material makes its home on a website (whether accessed without charge or through a subscription), shouldn’t there be a corresponding change in how lawyers “keep current”.

Email alerts have their pros and cons. RSS feeds are clearly relevant. Wouldn’t it be helpful if the legal publishers figured out a cost effective way of addressing this?

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