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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

Ontario Librarians Go Online

askON ( is an online chat service available presumably to anyone with an internet connection and a question for a librarian. There are ten public libraries in Ontario involved, as well as those of three universities (Lakehead, Ryerson, York) and four colleges. I’ve checked and the York Law Library at Osgoode Hall Law School is not involved in the project.

When you’ve finished your online chat, a transcript can be sent to your email address. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Law Library Phone-in Show Today: Ken Svengalis Guests

Today at 3 pm CST/4 pm EST there is a trial run of a new law library phone-in show hosted by Brian Striman and Richard Leiter. Guest will be legal publishing industry expert Ken Svengalis. Call in or chat–details below from one of the AALL email lists. It’s a hot topic so I expect it to be a lively discussion! . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous

From Berkman Centre to the Harvard Law Library

Occasionally a single appointment can signal everything. Today, Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan announced the long-awaited replacement for Harry S. Martin, who has been director of the Harvard law Library ((Which is the most extraordinary law library I’ve ever used, with due apologies to Ruth at the Bodleian and David at the Great Library)) for 27 years. Martin’s contribution deserves a post in its own right for his service as Henry N. Ess III Librarian and Professor of Law at the Law School and his seminars on Art and the Law.

But let’s focus on the new . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information

Holocaust Archive Now Open to the Public

The archive of Nazi concentration camp logs and other German war documents are now available to the public. Administered by the Red Cross since the 1950s, this archive containing information about Holocaust victims was accessible only by Red Cross staff. Historical researchers, survivors and relatives had to wait for replies from Red Cross staff to find out about missing persons or to obtain records supporting compensation payments. The decision to make the 50 million pages in the archive open to the public was made in November after the 11 countries that oversee the archive ratified an accord.

Reported in The . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Law Reform Commissions Listed

The Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge maintains a list of law reform commissions around the world that have some downloadable material (in English) available. As they note, the British Columbia Law Institute maintains a law reform database that provides information on a much wider selection of reform documents whether or not they are available online. But, and this is a little surprising, there’s no simple list of the various websites available on the BCLI site.

The Cambridge site is missing the newly re-instituted Law Commission of Ontario site (I’ve emailed them), which now contains their Report on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

BCCLS Needs Help From BC Lawyers

As posted earlier today on the VLLB, the BC Courthouse Library Society is seeking feedback from BC Lawyers to help plan their online future.

Part of their overall web strategy and service planning, the BCCLS is looking for input from practicing British Columbia lawyers via this short 3-minute web survey.

Participants will also be entered to win one of two 8G iPod Touch devices.

If you or someone you know fits the demographic, please help us spread the word! Help from Slaw readers who are also BC law bloggers would also be greatly appreciated. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

New Sources for US Law

The Tuscaloosa News yesterday had a pot-pouri of useful information under the heading Lawyers Open Their File Cabinets for a Web Resource, focussing on JDSupra, a database for contributed legal documents and PreCYdent.

The San Diego Business Journal describes this under the headline PreCYdent Legal Research Web Site Takes on LexisNexis, Westlaw. The product was built in San Diego and Milan, and offers a free and quite robust interface to U.S. Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases.

It describes its content as:

US Supreme Court: complete with official US citation and pagination since 1759

Federal Reporter . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Old Bailey Records Online

Thanks to Jon Smithen for a link to a BBC piece discussing the availability of The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913, which is a fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court.

The site is fascinating, although I would advise North American readers of Slaw to look at the site in the evening, since there is so much traffic from British researchers that the site is crashing.

A conference on the use of these resources is planned for later . . . [more]

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


LawInfoChina offers a combination of free and subscription services to keep you up to date on Chinese law. Many of China’s regulations have been translated into English and can be searched here. As well there are notes on the Chinese legal system and doing legal research into Chinese law.

Curiously, I wasn’t able to find any links to RSS feeds. Perhaps I was looking in the wrong places. Which brings me to another criticism: the site is poorly laid out in my view — too busy, way too many red hyperllinks, and generally the kind of unlovely appearance we’ve come . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Maritime Law Book to Provide Free Access

This from Maritime Law Book to Slaw:

Effective June 1, 2008 Maritime Law Book will provide free access to over 215,000 cases in our 12 databases that cover every common law jurisdiction in Canada plus the House of Lords and Privy Council (U.K.).

No registration is required. And the databases are searchable.

Free access is limited to the judgment without a headnote. Also the free access does not include the MLB Key Number System.

Existing subscribers will continue to have access to our time saving headnote material at existing prices. And note that all users will now have access to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

McMaster University Library to Host Faculty Blogs and Wikis

I love hearing about libraries coming up with new innovative services. This is a great (local) example:

McMaster University Library is now using WordPress and PmWiki to host blogs and wikis for interested faculty and staff. As Amanda Etches-Johnson, the leader of the project, says in a news release, this new service responds to faculty’s growing interest in using blogs and wikis to extend and encourage class discussions, group work and collaboration. See Amanda’s blog post “A toolbox for faculty” for more details on this project. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology, Technology: Internet

Berkeley Research Tutorials Re U.S. Congress

The University of California at Berkeley’s library has a wiki with some tutorials on how to find Congressional materials on the internet (and in their library, natch). So, for example, you can learn how to find a bill, a hearing or a congressional debate.

The instruction is delivered in a Flash slideshow (no sound). Below the Flash window is a live window on the actual web source so that you can mimic the lesson in real time. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research