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Archive for the ‘Legal Publishing’ Columns


Recently, the business press has contained articles and books about the abundance of products and services being produced by our economy. See Abundance-The Future is Better than you Think, by Peter H. Diamandis & Steven Kotler (2012).

Some commentators attribute some economic malaise to “too much of everything”. Examples of abundance are the over supply of commodities such as crude oil. Scott Barlow in the Globe and Mail on February 2, 2016 stated that there are “too many mutual funds, television channels, cereal brands, auto companies, clothing brands, taxis, department stores ….”. Barlow added that “technology increases efficiencies and reduces . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

2015 Roundup

The daily Pinhawk newsletter is one of the best ways to keep up with the torrent of information about legal information, tech, and publishing. Every day an email appears including links and highlights of the latest news from the blogosphere. (Slaw columns often get a mention.) In the spirit of Pinhawk, this column is a roundup of some of the more interesting recent developments in our world of legal information:

  • Fellow Slaw columnist Sarah Glassmeyer is spending a year at the Harvard Law Library Innovation Lab as a Research Fellow. Her latest column was a masterful discussion of the state
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Discipline of Thinking

Some measures of success in life require the development of some of the many virtues. Discipline or self-discipline and thinking are some of these virtues.
Self-discipline is the ability to do things that ought to be done. Focus on what ought to be done may be an important element of achieving success. Think of the focus by a great athlete like Wayne Gretzky or the focus of the Wright brothers who created the first powered aircraft in 1903.
Critical thinking may be an important element of reaching a goal. Critical thinking is an important component of most professions. It is . . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Osgoode Society for Legal History Makes It to 100!

After a year of quiet anticipation, the Osgoode Society launched four new titles bringing the total to 100. Surprisingly, little or no fanfare accompanied the momentous occasion. Even the usual collection of literary minded judges were absent, passing on hat should have been major celebration.

While reluctant to say so at an event launching four new titles, the 100th title announced by the Society that evening was in fact the latest offering by Ian Kyer. It was an appropriate acknowledgement of his many contributions to scholarly writing in Canada, on a range of subjects from the history of the Faskens . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Public Interests Versus Private Interests

In August of 2015 Gerard Comeau of Tracadie, New Brunswick, was the defendant in a trial following an agreed statement of facts. In October of 2012 Comeau bought 14 cases of beer in Quebec which he brought into New Brunswick where he was stopped by the police. Comeau was charged under the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act with illegally importing beer into New Brunswick. The beer was cheaper in Quebec than in New Brunswick. Comeau was fined $292.

At trial Comeau argued that the limitations in the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act were unconstitutional because s. 121 of the Constitution . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Publish and (Perhaps) Be Famed

Recently I was invited to make a written contribution to mark the 100th anniversary, in 2016, of the establishment of Tolley, now part of Lexis Nexis, where I was divisional chief executive until shortly after its acquisition in 1996. I was honoured to be approached and it set me searching through various documents and previously written materials from the seven-year period that I spent with the business. One such item was an article entitled Publish and be Famed (Gazette 93/24, 26 June 1996, p.20) that I wrote for The Gazette, the magazine of the Law Society of England and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Not So Fast!

What’s the right pace of change? A ridiculous question, I know; change is usually foisted upon us and we have little control generally. But for the few things we can control, it’s a great challenge to ensure that the pace of change we introduce is just right … not too fast and not too slow.

Our thinking over the past 20 years about what should change and when has been supported by a couple of core assumptions. But some recent information has challenged these beliefs.

The first assumption is that print is on its way out and dead as a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Thomson Reuters Labs in Waterloo Research Partnership

Cloaked in several “cliches and meaningless metaphors” (in the words of a colleague) is an announcement of a research partnership intended to improve access to “Thomson Reuters vast and unique datasets”. This could lead to significant developments in legal research. Then again maybe just cliches and….

Thomson Reuters to launch data and innovation lab in Waterloo, Ontario
By GlobeNewswire, September 16, 2015, 11:00:00 AM EDT

NEW YORK, September 16, 2015- Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today announced the establishment of Thomson Reuters Labs – Waterloo Region, in Ontario, Canada. The Lab will . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Loose-Leaf Redux

The latest round of columns on loose-leaf publications contains plenty of useful discussion about the format of legal information and the legal publishing business generally (see here, here, and here). I have a serious interest in these topics: CLEBC publishes 50 titles: practice manuals, annotated precedents, and annotated statutes on BC law and practice. We publish online and in print, mostly loose-leaf and some softcover.

I’ve written before about “Death to Loose-leaf?”. I’ve concluded that the fury that seems to attach to this format is only partly related to the format itself. Yes, filing is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Basis for Optimism About the Future

Should young persons be optimistic about the future?

Does history set the context for the present and the future? Is the past prologue?

Based on history, I submit that a young person should be optimistic about our future.

Some of our history that supports an optimistic outlook are :

  1. improvements in the health sciences and life expectancy;
  2. the growth of educational opportunities;
  3. the consolidation of governments;
  4. the growth of democratic government;
  5. the decline in violence over the centuries;
  6. the decline of wars by the major powers;
  7. the expansion of global trade.

1. Health:

In Canada our life expectancy has increased . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Publishing

Quality in Legal and Professional Publishing

“Quality”. It’s one of those nouns and/or adjectives that everyone uses to describe their own output standards but for the most part is applied to whatever level – high, medium or low, that they are willing and/or able to offer. In many respects, though, that’s a good and desirable thing as more often than not there are no objective standards of quality such as those of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In any case, sensibly, the word should be preceded by “optimum”, “appropriate” or suchlike as quality cannot be divorced from competence, price, speed, brand . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Loose Leaf Pain No One’s Gain.

There is a way out for the publisher

At the most recent meeting of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries in Moncton, it was clear that the present, past and future of looseleaf services continue to be a source of angst and concern in the legal research community. This fact has been documented on many occasions, most recently by Louis Mirando in The Curse of the Loose-Leaf Law Book posted on on July 22, 2015. There is no doubt that loose-leaf services are an open wound that can and should be healed.

A sense of loss

The issue is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing