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Courts of Nova Scotia

 

The Courts of Nova Scotia are the First in Canada to Enter The “Twitterverse”

The Courts of Nova Scotia have achieved a “First”. They are now “tweeting” news and information about the Courts, decisions of the Courts, and notices to the Bar as a way to better serve the public, the legal profession and the media.

The Nova Scotia courts, on their web page, state that Twitter “replaces a similar but outdated notification technology on the Courts website known as RSS Feeds.”

RSS feeds outdated? Pity – seems I was just getting used to them.

The Courts of Nova Scotia website sets out the twitter feeds that have been created. I have reproduced them below. As you can see, each is targeted to the needs of prospective subscribers. But since Twitter is an open platform, anyone can choose to “follow” any of the feeds:

News Of The Courts Get News of the Courts On Twitter
Notices To The
Legal Profession
Notices To The Bar On Twitter

Amendments To The
Civil Procedure Rules
Notices To The Bar On Twitter
Changes To The
On-Line Dockets
Notices To The Bar On Twitter

Decisions Of The
Court of Appeal
NSCA Decisions On Twitter

Decisions Of The
Supreme Court
NSSC Decisions On Twitter

Decisions Of The
Provincial Court
NSPS Decisions On Twitter

Decisions Of The
Small Claims Court
NSSM Decisions On Twitter

I think this development is significant as it indicates the growing importance of Twitter to the legal community. Twitter is a mobile technology, meaning that lawyers and others can receive updates from these feeds on their smartphones and iPads and other devices. Twitter is also a social medium – allowing anyone to retweet a breaking decision of the courts – thereby spreading word of new developments quickly.

There is another implication of this move by the Courts. It underscores the fact that lawyers who are not keeping up with legal technological developments are becoming increasingly outdated in a connected, mobile and very digital world.

Just recently I reported on the first every Twitter Moot -held here in Canada.

I would respectfully suggest that Nova Scotia tweeting lawyers consider using a twitter hash tag #NSLegal – as a way to aggregate and follow all developments in the legal area for Nova Scotia (we have a similar hash tag for BC: #BCLegal).

(hat tip to Judge Gary Cohen of the Provincial Court of British Columbia for putting me onto this development!)

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Comments

  1. Sara R. Cohen, Fertility Law Canada

    This is a fantastic development. The practice of law in Canada is often said to be 50 years behind the times, but this use of twitter by the courts is a leap into the present. Further, it makes the court more accessible to the public. I applaud the Courts of Nova Scotia for being so forward thinking.

    I agree with Mr. Bilinsky’s suggestion that a hashtag ought to be used and may I also respectfully suggest that the lawyers of Nova Scotia who use twitter create a twitter list including all of the Courts of Nova Scotia’s feeds.

    Sara R. Cohen, Fertility Law Canada
    @fertilitylaw

  2. Congratulations to the Nova Scotia Courts.

    Let me piggy back on Dave’s post to remind folks that Slaw’s been tweeting appellate decisions as CanCourts for over two years now. You’ll find the list of available Twitter accounts in the most recent update post: http://www.slaw.ca/2011/01/10/more-cancourts-twitter-accounts/

    And RSS? It’s not about to disappear soon: a whole lot of the internet is run by RSS behind the scenes—including CanCourts tweets.

  3. Dropping RSS and replacing it with a proprietary system seems misguided.

    RSS might be older than Twitter, but that is not the same as being outdated, as any senior-citizen spring chicken might attest.

    Worse still, updates at twitter.com may be simply inaccessible to those behind Draconian workplace proxy filters that prevent access to work-related legal material that happens to also be labelled “Social Media”.

  4. I agree with David. Even though Twitter has gone “mainstream” and most people know about it, RSS still has uses. A shame to pull that down. But, I suppose one could monitor the RSS feed of the twitter stream if it is complete and timely.

  5. I agree as to the ongoing usefulness of RSS feeds, which remain more accessible than Twitter feeds for many, especially since now it is exceedingly difficult to scrape a RSS feed from Twitter. I hope no one is planning to continue multi-source monitoring using RSS readers.
    Not sure of the logic with this move. As Simon points out, creating Twitter posts from RSS content on the other hand has always been quite easy, and a number of services (Twitterfeed, Hootsuite) allow this. Why wouldn’t the Nova Scotia Courts simply leverage existing RSS feeds into these new Twitter profiles?
    Seriously, does anyone know why the move at the cost of RSS? I think it’s great to have the Twitter option, don’t get me wrong, but I’m stumped why both could not be sustained.