Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Legal Information’

Access to Court Records in Ontario

Is there anyone else out there who is tearing their hair out over Ontario’s antediluvian system of providing access to court records?

In the Federal Courts, the Supreme Court of Canada, and (to some extent) the Manitoba courts, one can obtain free, web-based access to case and docket entry information. In British Columbia and Quebec one can also obtain such information via the web, though it is not free.

Meanwhile, in Ontario, we are making do with pencil and paper. No, I’m not joking. For actions commenced after April 25, 2008, so I’m told, searches – by . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Knowledge Transfer in a Multigenerational Workplace

The Conference Board of Canada’s new report “Bridging the Gaps: How to Transfer Knowledge in Today’s Multigenerational Workplace (July 2008)” is full of ideas on how to transfer and retain knowledge between the generations in corporate settings. After providing an overview of the concept of knowledge transfer (knowledge transfer life cycle, types of knowledge, etc), the report goes on to describe how to select an effective knowledge transfer method and discusses 15 specific methods. Methods discussed include blogs, wikis, instant messaging, mentoring, and storytelling. For each method, the report examines its benefits, common business applications, good practices, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Spare a Tear for the Profit-Challenged Legal Publishers

Well Thomson Reuters reported this morning and as is consistent with its competitors’ results, this hasn’t been a happy quarter.

Thomson has had indigestion-expenses from the Reuters acquisition, but even so, the sort of profit margins that management have been expecting over the past decade from legal publishing haven’t been as easy this year. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

U.N. LEX Databases

[Image via Wikipedia] The United Nations is a huge source of legal information, much of which is available in searchable databases. (I’ve not found any single entry point into all of the U.N.’s legal and law-related material.) A number of these sources are marked by the “LEX” in the URLs or titles. To wit:

  • ILOLEX
    ILO database on international labour standards. A list of the database contents is available.
  • NATLEX
    Another ILO database, this one containing national labour, social security and related human rights legislation. The database offers 65,000 records covering over 190 countries and over 160 territories
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Iurisconsulti Canadae Vivunt in Terra Incognita

One of the more interesting parts of Guy Joubert‘s recent interview with the Canadian Lawyer is his observation that there is only scant accurate and current statistical information on the Canadian legal profession. We encountered this in drafting a background chapter of the CBA Conflicts Report in which we discussed trends within the population of Canadian lawyers and access to justice. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

We Are All Publishers Now

I’m chuffed (is that a peculiarly British expression?) to have been invited onboard Slaw as a contributor and will aim to provide a UK slant to some of the the core issues Slaw addresses surrounding legal information in the digital age.

I have been fortunate to have been involved at first hand in the entire modern publishing revolution. When I first started out in law publishing, authors produced copy on manual typewriters, editors used pens and literal cut and paste to hack it into shape, typesetters set the copy in movable lead type or “slugs” and made it up . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Settlement Is Good

A piece in yesterday’s New York Times talks about the results of a soon-to-be-published study which finds that in most cases (61%) where plaintiffs refuse to settle and go to trial they wind up with less than the proposed settlement would have given them. That settlement is good is hardly news: according to the authors of the study somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of cases in fact settle; but the study hopes to raise questions about the reasons for going to trial in the 2054 disputes studied. The study, “Let’s Not Make a Deal: An Empirical Analysis of Decision . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law

EISIL

Although EISIL (Electronic Information System for International Law) has received a glancing mention here on Slaw, we haven’t pointed at it directly until now. From the “About” page:

EISIL offers the international law expert the depth of resources for sophisticated legal research. At the same time, EISIL can provide the novice researcher with the information needed to undertake a successful search. The comprehensive scope of EISIL enhances its potential as a research and teaching tool.

The search page is organized into the following main topic heads, each of which offers links to “basis sources” in the area and appropriate sub-topics . . . [more]

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

French in the English-Speaking Canadian Legal Profession

First, many thanks to Simon F. and the rest of the Slaw team for asking me to join. I’ve been an enthusiastic reader and occasional commenter on Slaw for the last couple of years, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute more regularly to our exchanges of ideas.

As a topic for discussion, I’d like to propose the following hypothetical scenario. Let’s suppose that tomorrow you are presented with a legal problem requiring a bit of digging. You go to the library, and find, much to your surprise, that every fourth book is filled with empty pages. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information

Legal Opinion Resource Centre

This is an important (though admittedly recherché) area of corporate practice, which has a great resource of background materials maintained by the ABA Business Law Section Committee on Legal Opinions.

The Canadian equivalents are (hélas) maintained behind firewalls. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Social Networking Site Launched for Law Students

CasemakerX announced today the development of a social networking site which will be available to American law students, law school faculty and law librarians who register as users ((CasemakerX is a free service supported by the Casemaker Bar Consortium and its 475,000 attorney membership consisting of State Bar Associations across the USA. The purpose of CasemakerX is to provide a conduit to network law students and legal professionals, creating an information portal for self-promotion, education, mentoring and future opportunities in the legal profession. Our mission is to help law students connect and use the power of group knowledge and professional/social . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Our Ontario (Ourontario.ca) – Digital Repository Useful for Research

A tip of the SLAW hat to Richard (Rick) Sage (of the Ontario Legislative Library) who made me aware today of “Our Ontario” (http://www.ourontario.ca) (SLAW’s Neil Campbell mentioned a related initiative relating to Alouette Canada in his 17 April 2007 post here).

The Government Documents collection on the “Our Ontario” site at http://govdocs.ourontario.ca can be used to find old Ontario Legislative Assembly Journals (turn-of-the-century old, e.g., from 1867).

If you type in the following terms – ontario legislative assembly journals – using the “AND” connector radio button, the first link is to the “repository directory” being http://www.ontla.on.ca/library/repository/ser/23347/ . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation