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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

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

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

Lawyer Collaboration Tools Is a Blog

We’ve mentioned The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools & Technologies, Dennis Kennedy’s and Tom Mighell’s book, a few times here on Slaw. We’re big fans of both the authors. Now it’s time to report that they’ve started a companion blog — of the same name, natch. A month and a week old, the blog has a couple of interesting entries and we expect more of the same in the future. . . . [more]

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

Lawyers: Get Viral Already

One of my profs during the first-year of university told me there are 4 types of lawyers:

  1. Finders are those who find the work, better known today as rainmakers
  2. Grinders are those who grind out the client work, and are really efficient and doing research memos
  3. Binders are those who bring the members of a firm together by (for example) inviting a small group to lunch or recognizing achievements of the firm’s lawyers
  4. Minders are those who perform administrative tasks, and coordinate the efforts of the finders, grinders, and binders to be sure that the firm will run as
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

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:

    ILO database on international labour standards. A list of the database contents is available.
    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