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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

How Deep Is Your Usual Legal Research Dive?

Reading Susan Munro’s post about some of the interesting products and services she learned of at the CALL conference got me thinking. Susan noted:

Countervailing forces (for example, the common use of Google as a first stop for all kinds of research) pull us away from deep-dive research. I keep hearing about the legal research habits of law students and newer lawyers: they start with Google and often go no further.

It is interesting to step back and think about what patterns exist for legal research. If most often a legal research need is fulfilled by a surface scrape, what . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Machine Learning: Truth, Lies and “Gold Standards”

There’s an interesting article in the recent issue of AI Magazine called “Truth Is a Lie: Crowd Truth and the Seven Myths of Human Annotation.” AI Magazine is considered the “journal of record for the AI community” and is a product of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. It’s a “delayed open access” journal which is nice because that means the articles are openly available 15 months after they’ve been published.*

One reason this article caught my attention is because I’ve been thinking about Kevin Lee’s comment on my post a couple of weeks . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Michael Silverstein – Editor, Mentor and Gentleman

Friends and colleagues of Michael Silverstein recently gathered at MacLean House in Toronto to share reminiscences and a musical tribute in his memory. Michael passed away on May 6, 2015, at age 63.

Michael was best known to the legal research community as the “interpreter” of the Canadian Abridgment. Beginning with the co-authoring in 1989 of the Guide to Research Using the Canadian Abridgment, Michael became known as the expert on the structure and content of one of the most byzantine publications that ever saw the light of day. Over the following decades he guided its restructuring and and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Indigenous Law Portal Celebrates Canada’s National Aboriginal Day

National Aboriginal Day was on June 21. The Library of Congress celebrated this event by providing access to Canadian aboriginal law on the Indigenous Law Portal. This is the first time the Indigenous Law Portal has provided coverage that extends beyond the United States.

The Indigenous Law Portal: Canada is organized in three regions: Northern Canada and Arctic, Eastern Canada and Western Canada. The information can also be searched alphabetically or by province. Jennifer Gonzalez has written a nice introductory blog post including information about the origins of Canada’s National Aboriginal Day.

For more information . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Role of Canada’s Museums and Archives in Reconciliation in Wake of Indian Residential School Abuses

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) many calls to action that focus on the information management community (museums, Library and Archives Canada, archivist associations, vital statistics agencies, etc.).

Earlier this month, the TRC released its findings after its years-long investigation into the many abuses against Aboriginal children at Church-run Indian Residential Schools in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This week, the website published an article by Krista McCracken, Archives Supervisor at Algoma University’s Shingwauk Residential School and Wishart A. Library.

It is called The Role of Canada’s Museums and Archives in Reconciliation: . . . [more]

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

Complaints Against Globe24h Deemed Well-Founded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Last June 5th, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) issued its findings (Complaints against, 2015 CanLII 33260 (PCC), the “Findings”) in relation with the activities of a Romanian entrepreneur who illegally downloaded a large number of Canadian decisions in order to commercially exploit the desire of the individuals named in these decisions to maintain some degree of privacy. The story of Sebastian Radulescu, the operator of the website, has been reported by news organizations such as the Financial Post, the CBC and the Globe and Mail. See our summary . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Librarian Visibility

Three things are converging for me today on the theme of law librarian visibility. The first: On Firmer Ground – a blog promoting the value of law firm librarians – has revived; the second: I am preparing to attend the Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference in Calgary on behalf of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries in August; the third: a look forward in my calendar to Thursday when I will be at the Edmonton Law Libraries Association HeadStart program.

At their core, a reason behind all of these activities is to raise the profile of law librarians with . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

A Few Thoughts for Family Law Litigants, Part Two: Comments From the Bench and Others From Me

In my recent post “A Few Thoughts for Family Law Litigants: Why it Pays to Let Bygones Be Bygones,” I wrote about the foolishness of litigants who allow themselves to be guided by hurt feelings or desire for revenge when taking their family law dispute to court. I also gave a few examples of the typical sort of silliness I often saw in my practice when parents managed their conflict by exchanging allegations and counterallegations in affidavits, such as this gem from early in my career:

Her: “You drink all the time. You’re always drunk and there are

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

Enfin. a Good Paper in the Canadian Law Library Review!

I just read Mark Phillips’s paper recently published by the Canadian Law Library Review: “Charting Law’s Cosmos: Toward a Crowdsourced Citator” (2015) 40:2 Can L Libr Rev 13. Phillips’s text is sufficiently refreshing to merit the deliberately provocative title of this short post. Immerging oneself in it is like being 40 again: abundant critics of the slow moving incumbents, strong expressions of idealism peppered with some good ideas. Such a reading is good for the heart and the brain.

The thesis of Mark Phillips is that full-text searching alone is hazardous for legal research. Citators could be useful, but they . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management

Will Libraries Outlast the Internet?

Hannah Furness, Arts Correspondent at the Telegraph, reports that the Director of the British Library Roly Keating thinks this could be the case. In a nice piece on the future of libraries Keating says the following:

I was surprised, and continue to be, how many smart people ask me in all seriousness ‘do we really still need these library things in this age of smart phones, search engines’ and so on? … Our commercial partners in the information delivery space do wonderful things and we couldn’t live our lives without them. But the time frame we think

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Library and Information Community-Related Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools

On Tuesday, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its findings after its multi-year investigation into over a century of physical, cultural and sexual abuses against Aboriginal children at Church-run Indian Residential Schools.

The Government Library & IM Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association, has compiled the Commission’s many calls to action that focus on the information management community (museums, Library and Archives Canada, archivist associations, vital statistics agencies, etc.).

Library and Archives Canada has compiled a list of resources relating to residential school records.



  . . . [more]

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

Managing Legal Resources in the Semantic Web: Summer Courses

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the Public Review of LegalDocML’s Akoma Ntoso v1.0. If you’re interested in legal XML and want to learn more about the Akoma Ntoso XML standard there are a couple of courses being offered at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia this summer.

The first is the Basic Course offering an, “introduction to Akoma Ntoso XML standard and to basic XML technologies for drafting and managing standard-compliant legislative and legal documents.” The second part, an Advanced Course, will provide, “in-depth analysis of the higher levels of Semantic Web technologies . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Information Management