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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

Forbes Takes Notice of Fastcase

We’ve noticed Fastcase a couple of times on Slaw, including a piece in 2006.

A recent piece from Forbes uses Fastcase as the poster boys for open source access to the law. But it also speculates what impact services like PreCydent, and Collexis Holdings’ Casemaker division will have on the major players. It makes a convincing case that for small to medium firms, the majors may have priced themselves out of consideration, opening a niche for new entrants ((Lest anyone is tempted to organize a flag day for the majors, Forbes reports that Fastcase’s revenue last year . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology


From time to time lawyers need to touch base with sub-political reality, and scientific journals offer one way to do that. WorldWideScience is a cooperative venture among 44 countries under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (sigh: I wish I didn’t wish it was run out of Denmark or Korea or Chile) that offers a federated search of the various countries’ databases. Canada’s contribution, for example, is the National Research Council’s Institute for Scientific and Technical Information and Defence Research and Development Canada’s Defence Research Reports.

I ran a simple search . . . [more]

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

Sabrina Pacifici Wins SLA Innovations in Technology Award

I am currently in Seattle at the Special Libraries Association annual conference. SLA is a large international organization made up of specialized information professionals.

SLA awards were handed out last night, and I am delighted to report law librarian Sabrina Pacifici was honoured with the J.J. Kellar Innovations in Technology Award for her long-standing work as creator, founder and sole editor of law and technology blog beSpacific and e-zine Sabrina Pacifici was one of the first in the legal research industry to harness the Internet and especially blogs as a way to communicate with colleagues and bring together . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

CanLII Adds Past Ontario Cases

Let me quote from the Thursday news release on the CanLII site:

Thanks to a grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario, the following additions have been made on CanLII:

  • All Supreme Court of Canada cases originating from Ontario back to 1876 in searchable HTML and PDF-image format (2,100 cases)
  • All Court of Appeal for Ontario cases that were appealed at the Supreme Court of Canada (1,300 cases)
  • All reported Ontario Superior Court of Justice cases back to 1994 (3,500 cases)

This project added 100,000 pages of historical material on CanLII. CanLII wishes to sincerely thank the Law Foundation of

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

2007 Canadian Internet Use Survey

Today’s The Daily from Statistics Canada reveals new 2007 data from the Canadian Internet Use Survey. Interesting findings include:

  • Digital divides in Internet use persist, specifically on the basis of income, education and age.
  • High-speed connections are becoming far more popular.
  • More Canadians are participating in blogging, chatting and downloading.
  • Internet use rates are highest in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

This was the first time the survey included Canadians aged 16 and 17. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

U.K. Law Commission Selects Projects

After having solicited suggestions from all and sundry, the U.K. Law Commission has chosen seven projects to work on. According to an article in today’s Times Online these include marriage contracts and separation agreements (referred to by that irritating, to me, Americanism “nups”) the law on intestacy, consumer rights of redress, laws on residential care, treason and level crossings.

Only in Britain could an institution seriously combine interests in treason and level crossings.

The Law Commission’s own Tenth Programme of Law Reform is available as a PDF.

It interests me that the Commission has explicitly chosen to avoid issues such . . . [more]

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


Strange days in Canadian legal publishing.

We wonder what to make of reports that there’s been a major executive blood-letting at one of the big three legal publishers.

Perhaps its mere coincidence that a CEO, an Exective VP and the VPs of Customer Service, sales and marketing all appear to have left within a matter of weeks.

Perhaps its all business as usual and this is natural staff progression. Perhaps the profits aren’t flowing in from the Canadian market.
Perhap the company is imploding.

We’re just asking. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing


This is pretty cool: give Lingro a URL and it hotlinks every word on that page to a dictionary, and it offers you the ability to translate the word you’re looking up into one of a number of other languages. As you can see below, I gave it the current home page on Slaw, clicked on “superior” and asked for a French translation. This would be really helpful I imagine if you were reading a text in a language with which you weren’t very familiar and needed to get the definition for a lot of words.

There’s review of Lingro . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Tarlton Collection: Law in Pop Culture

The wonderful Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas in Austin is developing a collection dedicated to the portrayal of law in popular culture, the goal of which “is to provide as broad a picture as possible of the image of the lawyer in the United States and British Commonwealth.” There is material from print, TV and movies, with only cartoons missing — an important aspect, I should have thought, but one that may be difficult because of copyright.

The collection circulates to those with a Tarlton library card, of course, but for the rest of us there are . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Life Is Just a Fantasy

On June 2, 2008 (one week ago) the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of Major League Baseball Advanced Media v. C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc (2007) 505 F.3d 818. ((8th Cir.(Mo.) Oct 16, 2007)), the Fantasy Sports case. To backtrack a bit; for those who are unfamiliar, Fantasy Sports (or rotisserie and many other names), is the pursuit where players “select” teams of players from real sports teams and compete against other fantasy sports players based upon the statistics compiled by the players they have selected, Wikipedia Definition here.

Fantasy sports have evolved over the . . . [more]

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

Dig This DiRT

Digital Research Tools (DiRT)

This wiki collects information about tools and resources that can help scholars (particularly in the humanities and social sciences) conduct research more efficiently or creatively. Whether you need software to help you manage citations, author a multimedia work, or analyze texts, Digital Research Tools will help you find what you’re looking for. We provide a directory of tools organized by research activity, as well as reviews of select tools in which we not only describe the tool’s features, but also explore how it might be employed most effectively by researchers.

I like the way the table . . . [more]

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