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Archive for the ‘Legal Publishing’ Columns

Legal Publishing Is Vogueing

Look around everywhere you turn is heartache
It’s everywhere that you go (look around)
You try everything you can to escape
The pain of life that you know (life that you know)

“Vogue” Madonna

Legal Publishing is vogueing again and Madonna’s lyrics must have been written for the legal publishing industry!

Here at Law Librarians News publishing legal books is a development that has come back into play in a big way in the last 12 weeks or so.

Management at various publishers may well raise their eyebrows at our comments if and when they read this. But it really . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

It’s the End of the World as We Know It …

Mobile devices! Google everywhere! Is this the end of the world as we know it? Is it the end of legal research as we know it?

Of course, it isn’t any such thing. Even so, the rise of mobile devices does seem to be related to changes in how legal research is conducted and what results are expected.

A recent post from Raymond Blijd of Wolters Kluwer predicts the death of legal research on desktop. As mobile devices become even more easy to use, and as information is organized and formatted to make it more accessible on those devices, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing


Lawyers are frequently asked to predict the outcome of litigation.

Predictions are important in many other fields such as economics, politics, the weather and earthquakes.

The future performances of employees and athletes are regularly the subject of prediction. Predicting the performance and character of persons is very difficult. Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister of Singapore when discussing the appointment of ministers stated “despite all the psychological tests, we could never accurately assess character, temperament, and motivation”. See Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights ….. by Allison and Blackwill (2012).

In the field of politics the polls sometimes fail . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

In Praise of Peer Review: A Modest Proposal for Identifying Unscrupulous Open Access Journals

I remain indebted to peer review. Sure, I’ve been called a dilettante. Had ideas dismissed as half-baked. Had the floor swept with the derivative nature of my work. Been chastised for treating data as singular. And then the self-inflicted wounds of my own careless error. But having suffered from what appears only at first glance to be the slings and arrows of outrageous peer-review, I stand by this process.

I will defend a career’s worth of the anonymous and thankless work of reviewers who have provided the concerted kind of attention that I undoubtedly needed. It has made me, such . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Professional Publishers in Professional Practice

Sean Hocking’s recent article Law Firms Should Have Become Legal Publishers Because Legal Publishers Are Now Becoming Law Firms, although prompted by the news of the establishment of Jordans Corporate Law Ltd., a new offshoot of The Jordans group of companies, brings into question an opportunity that for a long time I have thought feasible. Love or hate them, legal and professional information publishing entities for hundreds of years have been a critical component of the education, training of lawyers and their competence to practice. It is almost surprising to see that, at least since the beginning of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Naming Tradition in Legal Publishing

When is an author not the author?

The publication of the twenty fifth annual edition of Tremeear’s Criminal Code by David Watt and Michelle Fuerst raises an obvious question about the naming tradition in legal publishing. Why name a new edition of a book after someone long deceased, who had nothing to do with its creation.

Specifically, why name an annotated Criminal Code prepared by Justices Watt and Fuerst Tremeears Criminal Code?

The making of a “tradition”

Over the past century or two, a practice evolved whereby legal publishers launched new editions of established works under the name of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Less Serious Legal Research

Legal information is boring. As much as you may enjoy reading a court case, a legal article or conducting legal research, the experience cannot realistically be compared to listening to a song or planning a vacation. Browsing a legal resource will never entertain you more than searching YouTube or TripAdvisor. Exceptionally, isolated masterpieces here and there spark a certain degree of buzz and then the tide of uninteresting data takes over again.

Legal information professionals and users should not feel singled out though, because legal information is not the only boring information out there.

But why is it that legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Law Firms Should Have Become Legal Publishers Because Legal Publishers Are Now Becoming Law Firms

The really interesting piece of news that we’ve come across in the past fortnight is the announcement by Jordans publishing that they are now moving into the world of legal services.

Here at LLN / HOB we have always repeated ad nauseam that we hoped a law firm of some stripe would discover they could actually generate revenue from legal publishing activities; but instead the tables have been turned and Jordans have decided that there will be money in the world of practice while it appears to us, from the report, that they still intend to retain their legal content . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Why English?

As a result of international treaties, English is the official language for aeronautical and maritime communications. English is one of six official languages of the United Nations. It is the official language of many international organizations.

English is an official language or the language of government in 60 sovereign states. English does not have official status in both the United Kingdom and the USA.

English is taught in schools in India, Japan, China and others such as Singapore.

Approximately 375 million people speak English as their first language. Mandarin Chinese is spoken by over 800 million. And there are over . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

B to B or Not B to B?

That’s the question. Whether it’s a no-brainer to hang in and suffer all of the outrageous highs and lows of advertising, economic instability and the decline of print or instead, in search of fortune, shake a spear at that particular sea of troubles? These might be among the issues facing the multiplicity of business to business publishers that continue to produce magazines, directories, exhibitions and other activities that rely on advertising and sponsorship, for lawyers and other advisers.

It hasn’t been an easy time for the magazines and related sectors for a good number of years now. Moreover, many of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Oh, When the Public Comes Marching In

I want to add my voice to those concerned with what might be cast as Myriad Genetics Inc.’s continuing infringement of the public trust, most recently exacerbated by its recent efforts to enforce through the courts its patents for testing BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genetic tests, which grew out of federal funding for University of Utah research, can detect mutations that speak to much higher risks of breast cancer, which can be used, in turn, to take steps that significantly reduce those risks for women. The Myriad genetic tests cost approximately $4,000, and the company is working hard to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

MOOC, Distance Education, and CLE

 You can’t turn around these days without bumping into discussion of MOOC—massive open online courses. At the latest ACLEA (the Association for Continuing Legal Education) meeting, MOOC were the subject of the final plenary. Often the final session of this conference is sparsely attended or wrapped up early in favour of the cocktail hour. This time, though, it was one of the very best sessions; the audience, made up of continuing legal education professionals from across North America and overseas, paid close attention throughout and followed up with many questions.

Our speaker was Tanina Rostain of Georgetown Law. She did . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing