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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

LexisWeb

Lexis has released a web search page, LexisWeb, that offers, in effect, federated searching across an unspecified number of law-related web pages from sites vetted by Lexis editorial staff.

From the user guide [PDF]:

The Lexis Web product includes important, legal-oriented Web content selected and validated by the LexisNexis editorial staff. You can trust that all content has met LexisNexis criteria for being authoritative and accurate. The current beta version combines content from thousands of Web sites and millions of Web pages, with more being added each day:

• Governmental agency information (federal, state, local)
• Informal commentary on

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

25 Most Modern Libraries in the World

…at least according to a list put together by Best Colleges Online. The list is divided under the heads of Architecture, Technology and Innovation, and Digital Collections.

Not a single Canadian pick, alas. And though the bulk are U.S. libraries, of course, there’s a solid rank of choices from abroad under the architecture section, for some reason. And speaking of the architecture section, I have to say that whoever put the list together wasn’t thinking: many of the links lead to the main library sites, where (somewhat surprisingly) there are no photos of the building or the facilities. ((For much . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Document Management a Necessity…

♫ Oh I…
I want to be with you everywhere… ♫

Words and music by Christine McVie, recorded by Fleetwood Mac.

It seems that we are living in a mini-renaissance with new technology applications being released seemingly daily. Google has released Google Chrome (see Simon Fodden’s post of Sept 1, 2008) with the stated justification that the web needs a solid foundation for modern web applications. Law firms face a similar problem – the need for a solid foundation for capturing of all the myriad bits of information that form the electronic client file into one place. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Victorian Government Commitment to Access to Legal Information

Good news from Austlii, which has had a rocky year since some of its core funding was cut off. There is a good explanation of just how the legal profession benefits in a letter from the Law Council.

From a Canadian perspective, Austlii has effectively supplanted the commercial services for our access to Australian law. It’s financial troubles are deeply troubling, and one hopes that Canberra will follow Victoria’s lead

The Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) is to receive nearly $840,000 to expand the scope of Victorian legal information, such as legislation, decisions and interpretive material, that was

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

India as a Legal Research Powerhouse?

Not yet, according to widely reported remarks from Bangalore over the weekend, to the graduating class at the National Law School. See the Hindu ((Not the Hindu Times, Simon, as you blogged in August)),Economic Times and Mangalorean reports.

National Law School of India University Vice-Chancellor A. Jayagovind on Sunday expressed concern over decline in the number of students pursuing higher studies in law.

The Vice-Chancellor went on:

“Our law schools are however yet to make a mark in terms of advancement of knowledge. Hopefully, most of us have been able to impart reasonably good legal education which was

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

E-Mail Management Tool Announced

At ILTA last week, Lexis teamed up with Interwoven to announce a new product that they claim will solve the vexed problem of e-mail management, including the ability to automatically file by subject and client, as well as support for archiving and disposing of e-mail as appropriate. The tools integrate tightly with Microsoft Exchange Server and Open Text’s document management tools.

Here is the announcement: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Technology

Happy Birthday Canlii

Our friends at Canlii are celebrating eight years. Yes August 29, 2000 it all started.

Now CanLII publishes over 140 databases, gets nearly 25,000 visits per day, 2,500 new cases are added every week and 11 statutory databases are updated monthly.

The announcement has links so you can look back at what it used to look like.

Long may it thrive. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Law Librarians and Virtual Worlds

While we’ve had discussions from time to time about Second Life, but we missed telling you about a novel virtual workshop on innovative forms of library services through virtual worlds. The workshop explored the benefits and challenges of operating a virtual world law library program, leading to practical advice on how to create and present a program or topical resource within Second Life.

The website noted that a legal community is developing in Second Life: over 65 lawyers and firms have an official Second Life presence, the “Second Life Bar Association” has 200+ members, and the ABA has recently . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Board and Tribunal RSS Feeds

I am occasionally surprised by really great service.

Here is an example: In the spring I sent an email to the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board to let them know that even though their news releases were available through the Alberta Government RSS feeds, I thought it would be a good idea if they had their own RSS channels so that if someone only wanted their material, it would be available. I was happily surprised this week when I received an e-mail saying they had their own RSS feeds.

A quick check tells me that there are a couple of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Cognition for Legal

The race is on to make (and sell to users) the first truly good search engine that deals well with concepts, such that a search for “dog bites man” would include results without the word “dog” or “bites” but that include “Pomeranian” and “attacks,” to give a very simple example. Natural language processing — or NLP — is not easy for machines to learn, of course. Not only must they have a decent thesaurus, but as well they should be able to parse a document and derive some sense of context so that the results of a “dog bites man . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ontario Justice Portal

Chris Bentley, Ontario’s Attorney General announced today a new one-stop “Justice Ontario” Website And Hotline to provide access to legal information

Justice Ontario is billed as providing

An online door to the justice system including easy-to-use information on family law, criminal law, lawsuits and disputes, human rights, estate planning and tickets and fines

Easy access to legal resources such as lawyer referral services and family law information centres

Toll-free telephone access to the same information in 173 languages at 1-866-252-0104.

The Press Release states that “Improving access to justice for all Ontarians begins with better, easy-to-use legal information,” a point . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

An Online Law Library – Sunbury PA Politicians Have Their Doubts

Cost of online law library criticized

MIDDLEBURG — Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz doesn’t understand why county leaders last year tossed hundreds of law books into the garbage.

Last October, officials heaped the county’s law library into a green Dumpster behind the Snyder County Courthouse, leaving the county to swap paper and ink for software.

While the books did require periodic updates, Kantz said Snyder County now is shelling out $10,000 each year to maintain its online law library — a sum at which he scoffed Tuesday. “That was a pretty good waste of taxpayer dollars if you ask me,” . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information