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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

The Walk to Freedom

The World’s Columbian Exposition was an influential social and cultural event (“The Devil in the White City” from Erik Larson brilliantly communicates the vibrancy of the preparation of the Exposition). On October 9, 1893, the day designated as Chicago Day, the fair set a world record for outdoor event attendance, drawing 716,881 people to the fair. Electricity occupied a very special place in the White City. An entire building was devoted to electrical exhibits. Electricity powered everything: fountains, a moveable sidewalk, elevators, automatic door openers, and even electric cigar lighters. GE, Westinghouse, Thomas Edison, Brush, Western Electric were showcasing various . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Twitter in the Courtroom

A news article quotes Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court and how impressed he was about the use of Twitter by reporters during a recent trial.

“I couldn’t get over how well it had worked,” Kennedy said in an interview, describing it as the closest thing to gavel-to-gavel coverage he has seen.

I didn’t think it was going to be as accurate as it turned out to be. I have to say that I was very impressed.

The Crown attorney Darcy MacPherson is quoted as saying he used printouts of a reporter’s tweets to augment his . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

Of Authoritativeness and Crowd-Checking

It’s not hard to light up a debate over the digital legal information revolution and its impact on law. There’s plenty of kindling. What’s hard is to pick an issue and keep the blaze contained. And the sources of fuel keep adding up.

Dutch financial giant ING might have struck a new spark with a report last month on social media and how it impacts news reportage. The full title of the ING report is “An International Study into the Impact of Social Media on the Activities of PR Professionals & Journalists, News & News Dissemination.” It has . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology

Wolters Kluwer Notification of Planned Divestiture

Quoting from the notification:

Today, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory announced the sale of the Canadian Legal Products in Canada to LexisNexis, a part of the Reed Elsevier organization. This includes all English and French Legal products except Municipal Law and our Aliform product in Quebec. This in no way affects our Tax & Accounting Division nor any Tax publishing products, software, or Tax assets of any kind. Our Tax law products remain with Wolters Kluwer CCH in Canada.

Why was this divestiture made?

Wolters Kluwer continuously examines its global portfolio of products to ensure that corporate investments are aligned

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

A Tool for Finding Trite Law

Every once in a while a lawyer will ask a law librarian to find the source that establishes that a point of law is well established. Personally, I hate getting these questions. It is frequently time consuming and difficult to find a reputable, cite-able source for something everybody knows.

Sometimes the best method to answer these question is searching cases for the phrase “trite law” in proximity with keywords for an issue. There is a new website in development that does just that. Check out WellSettled.com. Thanks to Bob Ambrogi at his LawSites blog for sharing this service. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Edward Snowden Tells the Legal Profession That Protecting Client Confidentiality Now Requires Encryption

From Saturday’s Guardian – here is the complete transcript.

The NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has urged lawyers, journalists, doctors, accountants, priests and others with a duty to protect confidentiality to upgrade security in the wake of the spy surveillance revelations.

Snowden said professionals were failing in their obligations to their clients, sources, patients and parishioners in what he described as a new and challenging world.

No matter how careful you are from that point on, no matter how sophisticated your source, journalists have to be sure that they make no mistakes at all in the very beginning to the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Office Technology

More Summer School: Managing Legal Resources in the Semantic Web

Today I’m daydreaming of Italy …

The district of Ravenna lies in the north east of Italy, some 80 km (50 miles) from Bologna, the regional capital of Emilia Romagna. Ravenna is the second largest commune as per land area in Italy.”

If you need a good excuse to travel to Italy this may be the perfect opportunity.

The Summer School LEX programme is taking place in Ravena the first week of September. This is “an intensive 6-day, 8-hour-a-day program, that requires participants’ total dedication and intellectual commitment.”

  • September 1-2: Basic Module (an introduction to XML web technologies
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

Of Woodsheds and Clients’ Social Media Habits

Here’s another post under the “social media law” umbrella—this time about what intelligible advice, if any, lawyers can bank on when it comes to directing their own clients to “clean up” social media accounts. It’s not the first time this has been canvassed here on Slaw, as John Gregory’s post from earlier this year attests, but since I recently prepared materials for a webinar on social media as evidence, and in the course of that started a trial run of X1 Social Discovery (which is what the Department of Justice, RCMP, and at least two major Canadian law firms are . . . [more]

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

Summaries of Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference Sessions

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has just published summaries of many of the sessions at its most recent annual conference held in late May in Winnipeg. Here are a few of the sessions for which CALL has prepared summaries (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Legal research instruction: a whole new classroom, Eunice Friesen, University of Manitoba (May 26, 2014)
  • Mysteries of government information revealed, Erica Anderson (Ontario Legislative Library), Susan Barker (University of Toronto Bora Laskin Law Library) and Wendy Reynolds (Ontario Legislative Library) (May 26, 2014)
  • Notes from the road to access to justice,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Law Reform Commission Reports: Recent Releases

Legal researchers too often overlook law reform commission reports as sources of vital information and analysis.

Law commissions consult widely with stakeholders, sometimes compare how other jurisdictions have dealt with the same problem and they frequently dig into the history of an issue.

Here are a few reports released in the past few weeks.

  • British Columbia Law Institute Report Proposes Franchise Act : The report recommends that British Columbia become the 6th Canadian province to adopt franchise legislation. The report analyzes franchise legislation in force in Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere, and contains a detailed legislative proposal with commentary. Alberta,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Getting Started With Legal Knowledge Management

How do you get started with Knowledge Management (KM) in the legal profession?

I get approached on a regular basis with this question by small law firms that want to have the advantages of the larger firms, by lawyers or librarians who want to become part of an existing KM team in a larger firm, or by individuals hired into firms to lead KM initiatives. There are programs specific to Knowledge Management that exist, but there is not a lot of introductory material specific to the legal industry.

I recently sat down with Garry Wise of Wise Law so he . . . [more]

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

Visualizing Law: “A Scheme of Cosmic Synchronicity”

Anyone following the possibilities of visualizing law will be interested in Robert Ambrogi‘s recent cover story in the ABA Journal, “Visual law services are worth a thousand words—and big money.” Ambrogi is a lawyer and consultant who has been writing about legal technology and social media for a couple of decades.

He provides a nice overview of the current players working in the visualization of legal research. He begin’s with Ravel, the “legal research alternative” developed by David Lewis and Nicholas Reed at Stanford Law School and Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. When . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology