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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

Expertise Management and Networking – an Emerging KM Challenge

When the subject of “finding experts” comes up in most groups of legal KM professionals, the discussion often polarizes into two camps – either automated solutions or self-declared solutions. Indeed, some of this is fueled by early solutions that either tried to mine email, document and other work product to determine who the experts were (based on frequency, but not depth or quality, of conversation) or systems that allowed an individual to tick off the boxes indicating their self-declared expertise or interests in particular areas. But the landscape is more complex than that. It is simply not an “either / . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Are Good Litigators Born?

I’ve always been leery of proponents of a biological basis for intelligence [or running].

I have conceded that genetics play some role on an individual basis, but need to be activated by the environment. Measures of intelligence are far too culturally specific, and ignore many other forms of intelligence. And I wholly reject, for largely scientific reasons, attempts to correlate genetic intelligence with racial or ethnic groups.

The same holds true for great lawyers.

Some of us are born to a long line of lawyers, or have parents that are judges or legal academics. We grew up . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Extended Powers of Attorney: WCLRA Report

The “Western Canada Law Reform Agencies” — i.e. those of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — have together produced a report entitled “Enduring Powers of Attorney: Areas for Reform” [PDF] with the aim of harmonizing their separate pieces of legislation. The report is 90 pages in length and contains the following substantive chapters:

  • Recognizing and Extended Power of Attorney
  • Clarifying Attorney Duties Under an EPA
  • Preventing Misuse of an EPA
  • Transitional Provisions
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Point-in-Time Legislation From a LII

AustLII is developing point-in-time legislation on their site! You can read about the project here.

In Canada, the Department of Justice Laws site has point-in-time legislation available back to Jauanary 2003 for acts and from March 22, 2006 for regulations.

e-Laws has Ontario period in time legislation available too.

The Alberta QPSource Internet paid site has point-in-time statutes back to January 1, 2002 for subscribers. Other legal publishers offer some point-in-time services too.

Wouldn’t it be great if other LII’s could offer point-in-time legislation for one stop shopping. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation

Censorship in China – on the Internet and Elsewhere

Media reports today from the Times Online (UK) remind us all that censorship is alive and well in China. The story describes how two Chinese national women (ages 77 and 79!) — who applied 5 times for permits to protest at designated venues their house evictions relating to the Chinese Olympics — have been sentenced to one year of “re-education through labour.”

Three years ago I raised on SLAW in a post the issue of Internet censorship in China (and others here have done so as well).

I am amazed at how tightly the Chinese government has been able to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Number 10 Goes Beta

Number 10 Downing Street recently launched a website, Number10.gov.uk,… in self-proclaimed beta! That’s a bit of a head scratcher: it’s not as though creating a website is so complicated that you’ve got to announce to the world that “We may not get this right, folks, the first time around, so stand by for patches…” And this for a site about the Prime Minister of the U.K.

There are some interesting things about the site, though, gamma or not. They’ve made considerable use of social media to keep things interesting and up-to-date: so you’ll see links to Number 10’s pics . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Anonymization of Parties’ Names in Canadian Case Law?

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner has advocated to the Canadian Bar Association the anonymization in some (or all?) Canadian judicial decisions published on the Internet – see her remarks here and one online media report of her address here.

I have mixed feelings about this. Clearly, it makes sense when children are involved. But adults who knowingly enter into litigation? What about companies or businesses? We will need to await more details of her recommendations. However, I would lean in favour of open access to all information unless the court on its own initiative or the parties request with valid reason . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Sorting Appellate Judgments by Judge

Maybe you too have experienced this frustration. You want to know how many judgments a particular appellate court judge has written. So you turn to your favourite case law search tool and type in the judge’s name, perhaps using the special field designated for that purpose. Unfortunately, the results of your search include all of the cases where that judge was on the panel – not just those cases where the judge actually wrote a judgment. I know there are some articles that gather this kind of statistical data for certain courts at various times, but I was wondering if . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

MLB Offers RawLaw

An email from MLB today introduces RawLaw:

This new service allows users to have free access to all judgments in our databases 24 hrs a day, 7 days a wk with the option of purchasing the headnote at a very low cost. We offer convenient pymt methods in the form of billing or immediate credit card charge through Pay Pal. Check it out at www.rawlaw.ca

Interesting! . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

CBA Conflicts Report

Well Saturday saw the unveiling of the Canadian Bar Association Task Force Report on Conflict of Interest which was adopted virtually unanimously by Council on Sunday morning. While implementation of the reforms will be up to the Law Societies, and the acceptability of our analysis awaits the judgment’s of the courts in adjudicating conflicts cases, one important part of the Report is a Toolkit of conflicts management materials which is available for use by Canadian lawyers right now. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Technology

De-Publishing Decisions

What do Slavians/Slawyers think about the US practice of courts deciding that their decisions will not be published, or to ‘de-publish’ decisions that have already been published? I came across a citation for a case like that, where the higher court decided, apparently, that the lower court’s decision should be de-published. The effect is that it is not to be cited as authority and is removed from official court reports.

The case is People v Wu, 235 Cal.App 3d 614, 286 Cal Rptr 69 (1991), (California Court of Appeal); order of depublication by California Supreme Court Jan 23,1992. The case . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions