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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

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What do Slavians/Slawyers think about the US practice of courts deciding that their decisions will not be published, or to ‘de-publish’ decisions that have already been published?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

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


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