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Archive for ‘Columns’

How to Find Cases in English Translation, Revisited

Back in 2012, I wrote a Slaw blog post on “Tracking Down the Brazilian Anencephalic Abortion Case, in English.” I thought I’d revisit this frequently-asked foreign, comparative, and international law (FCIL) legal research question and highlight key resources for English translations of case-law.

Generally, it’s difficult to find English versions of cases, but here are some standard tools for locating them by country and topic, as well as general strategies to use.

Research Strategies

Check if someone has already located an English translation of the case. Look for citations in full-text law journal and book databases, as well . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

After the Gates Foundation Open Access Policy

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has demonstrated the power of philanthropy to reshape the world. Among the many instances, an earlier one touching my own area of work, which involves research on public access to research and scholarship, has been the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, which “is the first open-access journal devoted to the world’s most neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) …affecting the world’s forgotten people,” as the journal describes itself. The launch of the journal was funded by the Gates Foundation. The pointedness of its stance matters. The Foundation enabled a new and open journal that changes the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Browse in the Clear

The Web browser has become a fundamental law practice tool. It’s what you use to get to Google’s web search, and perhaps your Web-based e-mail system, or your cloud-based practice management tool. As you travel across the Internet, you leave a trail behind you. Sometimes that’s on purpose but if you aren’t aware, you may find that the linkages marketers are making with that trail will surprise you. Use Web browser extensions to show, and block, this trail. Extensions can help you to browse and do online research with less clutter.

In Cognito Isn’t In Visible

The first thing to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Enduring Value of the Mediation Skillset

During Conflict Resolution Week in October, Mediate BC Roster mediators made a number of presentations around the province about mediation. We tried to answer the public’s question: “What is Mediation?” That seems like a simple task – it is not.

First, “mediation” is not just one thing. It is a flexible tool that includes a variety of processes. Some practitioners have tried to catalogue the processes and to assign names (interest-based, facilitative, transformative, narrative, evaluative, rights-based, joint, shuttle, etc.). From the perspective of the people in conflict, each of these processes will look very different and the role of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Understand Your Best Clients and Win Their Next RFP

Request for proposal. Those three words are usually the start of a slow churning stomach ache that burns until the moment your response is sent and received. And confirmed three times over. This is especially true, I have found many times over, if the request is lobbed into your office by a current client.

The potential to lose the work, and, I suppose, to lose face among both clients and colleagues, can be stressful.

Proposal responses do not require a law degree or legal drafting. In fact, they usually require plain language, practical responses and succinct promises. I often . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

A Legal Publisher and the McGill Guide

Early in my career, when I was a freshly hatched legal editor, I pored over the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (the McGill Guide). It answered many of my questions about the finer points of legal citation: the meaning of square or round brackets; which words should be italicized; the correct order of parallel cites; and so on. I’m pretty sure I was using the first or second edition (we’re talking about 1988 and 1989). The Guide was tremendously helpful to me; although the rules were somewhat complex, they were clearly spelled out and easy to follow. On reflection, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Confidentiality of Mediation and Arbitration

Confidentiality and privacy are often mentioned as advantages of mediation and arbitration over litigation in commercial disputes.

In some cases, of course, the threat of publicity can be a tactical advantage for one party. But, going into an agreement at least, both parties usually have an interest in protecting trade secrets and business goodwill. Even after a dispute arises, private and public-sector organizations may be reluctant to air their disputes in public, for a variety of reasons. So they want any agreed dispute resolution process to be private and confidential.

Recent cases in Canada and elsewhere illustrate the care parties . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The Value of Library Resources

The end of the year is budget season. For librarians, part of the budgetary process is looking at our collections, calculating how much it will cost to keep each service, print or electronic, and then deciding if the cost of the service reflects the value we get from that service.

When I look at what the value of an item is for my library, I consider a number of variables:

  • Current usage. Circulation statistics do not tell the whole story. Some lawyers use books in the library rather than checking them out. Other lawyers may take a book out
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

The Good Guys of Legal and Professional Publishing

I wonder if many others, like me, find almost all those uplifting messages posted and spread on social and business media sites, intensely nauseating? Mostly they instruct, or rather order us to have some kind of simplistic emotional feeling surrounding “do something awesome”, “life is like a (any noun will do)”, “17 things that mentally strong people do” or, maybe even more shallow, the command that we “keep calm” followed by something really tedious. However, I could probably live with “keep calm and stop getting childishly over-excited about next to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

A Book Review: Paul Lomic, Social Media and Internet Law: Forms and Precedents

What is it about social media that make them such a hot topic these days, even for lawyers, as this new book demonstrates? I suggest it’s all the people. Other areas of technology can be dry or technical or mystifying, other areas of law can be the realm of big corporations or telecoms or governments. Social media combine cutting-edge technology with real human beings just doing what we do – spouting ideas, going places, making pictures, telling stories. The topic is more about us than most of the others in law or technology.

Social media do not have all their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Trends in Legal Marketing for 2015 – the Experts Weigh In!

Each year, we at fSquared Marketing reach out to our friends and colleagues around the world who are experts in various areas of legal marketing. We ask them to describe what they are seeing in the market, ask them where our clients should be focusing, and what predictions they have for the coming year.

This year, as always, we received great insights and tips to share. I’ve included some excerpts below so you know what to consider in your marketing and business development plan (and budget!) for the coming year.

CONTENT MARKETING:

Several trends that we have seen emerge and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Too Much Information!

Discussions of legal ethics and protection of information often don’t distinguish between confidential information and privileged information. The seminal case of Macdonald Estate v. Martin[i] provides a good example. As Justice Sopinka put it:

Typically, these cases require two questions to be answered: (1) Did the lawyer receive confidential information attributable to a solicitor and client relationship relevant to the matter at hand? (2) Is there a risk that it will be used to the prejudice of the client?

Of course, not all confidential information received by a lawyer in the context of a solicitor and client relationship is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics