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Archive for the ‘Legal Publishing’ Columns

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

Christmas Comes Early for Lexis Employees in the USA

You’re probably wondering what presents LexisNexis are doling out at this time of year.

Well being LN it’s the surprise that they usually roll out at yuletide for a percentage of their employees: the wonderful state of unemployment.

This time though they’ve decided to roll Christmas according to reports on Above The Law and The Dayton Daily News.

Here’s what Marc Osborn their spokesman told the Dayton Daily News this past week.

LexisNexis continuously reviews its needs, operations and other factors to identify what resources and services are necessary to optimally support our customers and improve business operations. As

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Publishing

Self-Publishing Courts

Bombardier makes trains and planes. Courts and tribunals make judgments. Decisions are the main product of the judicial activity. Why are then courts not more enthusiastic when it comes to assuming the responsibility to publish their product on their own? The responsibility to run an open court lies with the court itself and today access to digital case law on the Internet can definitely be seen as a requirement of the open court principle.

With regard to self-publishing information, the judiciary has been overtaken by other branches of government, such as legislatures and Queen’s printers. The reliance of courts on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

What’s the Latest?

One of the important ways we serve British Columbia lawyers here at CLEBC is by keeping them informed about changes in the law, both large and small. We are always alert for information about new legislation. What’s happening and when? Our legal editors and program lawyers have wide networks throughout the legal profession so we can know very early whether changes are in the wind. This information is critically important to our work.

If a significant new legislative regime is being considered, our BC government tends to recruit an advisory committee to provide input on the new statute, rules, or . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing