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Archive for the ‘Legal Publishing’ Columns

Gratitude in Retirement

Next month I will be 88. Which has caused me to reflect on my good fortune. That includes my mother and father and their families, my wife, and my children and grandchildren. Adam Smith (1723-1790) said “What can be added to the happiness of the man who is in good health, who is out of debt, and has a clear conscience”. Perhaps family.

My age causes me to reflect on the medical advances made during my lifetime. I understand that life expectancy has doubled since 1867. When my father was born in 1900, life expectancy was circa 50.

I am . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Professional Development Galore!

Happily, I work for a continuing education organization that really walks the talk when it comes to professional development for staff; everyone is encouraged and expected to take advantage of these opportunities.

Sadly, though, we don’t have unlimited time or budgets, and not a week goes by without a flurry on Twitter, Storify, or other social media sites from the latest legal education, information, or technology conference. I am tempted more often than I can participate. It’s great that we can follow on social media, though; between the tweets and subsequent blog posts I can usually get a good idea . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Requiem for a Weekly Newspaper

Fittingly, I first read it in a tweet, which linked out to a brief article online. “Your favourite legal news, delivered daily” was the headline — burying the lede with a corporate cheerfulness that seemed reluctant to actually acknowledge what was happening. Journalists are taught to tell the story in the first paragraph; here, though, you have to scroll down to the last paragraph to learn what was going on:

The Lawyers Weekly will continue to publish each week until March 31, 2017. After that date, the weekly publication will be replaced by daily access to the most relevant legal

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Publishing, Practice of Law

What’s Not on CANLII – Playing the Devil’s Advocate

CANLII at 15

CANLII recently passed its fifteenth birthday, with announcements and pronouncements about its many notable achievements. Missing however, from the self-congratulatory posts, rationalizations for incomplete case law databases, and the unfulfilled promise of expanding its meagre coverage of secondary, was any realistic critique of what had been achieved and what remains to be done if it is to become a useful tool for legal research. A “devil’s advocate” seems to be required.

Legal Research

Legal research is more than checking recent cases. Legal research is more than checking current legislation.

The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide (formerly . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Law Publishing Business Is Finished

Delusion only lasts for so long but at a certain point all the indicators cannot be ignored; law publishing, as a business in its own right has run its course; it’s pretty much over, if not necessarily, according to the caselaw, in the toilet.

Previously I suggested a likely scenario envisaged in the not too-distant future. If accurate, I predicted that by that time professional publishing will have become no longer a business in its own right. Rather it may evolve into an increasingly not-for-profit skillset within larger media entities that simply wish to maintain overall relationships . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Of Amateurs Teaching Intellectual Property in the Age of Trump

I come to intellectual property law as an amateur. My interest in it has grown from a passing interest in sensational literary-estate cases, through a good deal of advocacy work on behalf of open access to research, into something of an educational mission. With the fervor of a convert, I now look for ways of introducing lessons on intellectual property into my teaching in the school of education and in the program in science, technology, and society (STS). I may throw a mini-lesson into a discussion of the materials that students are using for a project or on a headline . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Future of Law and “Intelligent” Technologies: Prophecies, Technologies and Opportunities – Part 2

In the first part of this blog post, we looked at the current benefits we are enjoying from technologies resulting from AI research. We also examined some risks accruing when AI approaches are deployed in legal activities where transparency and justifications are required. In the following lines, we will borrow from a recent study made of the impacts of AI on lawyers employment. We will also try to enumerate potential benefits of AI technologies in our own line of business, legal publishing.

In “Can Robots be Lawyers?” (forthcoming in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, (Spring 2017), currently . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Legal Technology

The Future of Law and “Intelligent” Technologies: Prophecies, Technologies and Opportunities – Part 1

Career prophets have been announcing the demise of the legal profession for decades already. According to some, the traditional lawyer will soon follow the way of telephone operators, bank clerks and travel agents. Recently, the prophecies have taken a new turn. While outsourcing, offshoring, legal Taylorism—all previous threats of course remain, we are now being forewarned about a new source of disruption: “intelligent software” in law. Once again, prophets insist that those who are not already into it are laggards, and by now we should all know what will happen to them.

In this post, I address the deployment of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Legal Technology

The Federal Court Confirms Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s Findings About Globe24h

Last Monday, on January 30th, the Federal Court issued a judgment in an application against the website and its owner, Mr. Sebastian Radulescu. Mr. Radulescu’s activities have been discussed over the past couple of years in mainstream media as well as here on Slaw.

In June 2015, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner issued findings (Complaints against, 2015 CanLII 33260 (PCC)) which we then commented. In his reasons (A.T. v., 2017 FC 114 (CanLII)), Judge Mosley confirms, among other findings, that Mr. Radulescu’s website has no journalistic purpose:

[70] In

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Magic Ingredient

What makes CLEBC publications so popular with BC lawyers? There’s no doubt our talented editorial and production staff make a great contribution, but I believe the magic ingredient is the combined wisdom of our excellent authors and editorial boards.

Once the authors have made their submissions, their work is carefully reviewed—page by page—by the legal editor and the editorial board. Editorial board meetings usually involved spirited discussions of law and practice. The implications of recent decisions, the significance of new statutory requirements, a new practice or understanding that has arisen within the BC legal community—all are flagged and discussed to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Subscribing to Open Access for Research and Scholarship

Among those of trying to imagine an alternative economic arrangement for scholarly publishing that will result in public access to research and scholarship, the journal subscription has become seemingly immovable impediment to the wider distribution of this form of intellectual property. This had led me to do a bit of historical digging into the commercial transaction of the subscription, as part of a larger project on learning’s role in the formation of intellectual property concept over many centuries.

I have come to discover that subscriptions were first used to raise money for scholarly publishing in the early 17th century. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Should Judges Be Appointed or Elected?

Ben Franklin thought that judges should be elected. He thought that the voting public would select the best person for the job. See page 455, Benjamin Franklin, An American Life by Walter Isaacson.

Judges are appointed in Canada. In the U.S.A. federal court judges are appointed. Some U.S.A. states elect judges. Many years ago a Denver lawyer told me that Colorado lawyers prefer to elect judges because it tends to make the judges accountable and responsible. In Canada supreme court judges are appointed until age 75. Some appointed judges act irresponsibly. For example, when I was practicing law in New . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing