Earlier this month here in Nova Scotia we undertook an exercise in democracy, the very foundation of our legal system. From a numbers perspective two very interesting numbers came out of that exercise. Firstly, the results of the election proved to be the first time in 130 years that a first term government in Nova Scotia was not returned to power. This is not a political blog so I'm not going to go into any depth on that point other than to say that something happening for the first time in 130 years sounds like a significant event but actually . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Legal Information’
I wrote last month on a recent conference, The Future of Law School. The backchannel and later discussion was considerable, as I've noted, and several others wrote about the rich panel presentations and their own ideas about the future of law school. Weeks later, I still find myself pondering ideas from it often. I'm thinking lately about the place of the law school and its connection—in Canada—to the university and its library.
The focus of the conference was where law school curricula are, should be, or could be headed. Participants and presenters discussed various factors that do or might drive . . . [more]
Last Thursday, the Edmonton Law Libraries Association welcomed Mark Diner, Chief Advisor, Open Government and Transparency, Service Alberta to give a presentation on Alberta's Open Data initiative. Mark is best introduced with a blog post he wrote this summer about the, then new, Open Data Portal.
The Alberta Open Data initiative is supported by an Open Government Licence. Individuals are free to:
3.Copy, modify, publish, translate, adapt, distribute or otherwise use the Information in any medium, mode or format for any lawful purpose.
The idea of having access to data that would otherwise be costly (or impossible) to . . . [more]
The deadline for program submissions for the Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 25-28, 2014 has been extended to November 1st (this Friday). Submissions can be made by anyone; you do not have to be a member. If you have an idea but have been wondering if you should submit, now is your chance!
Details and links below.
2014 Annual CALL/ACBD Conference
CALL FOR PROGRAM SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE EXTENDED: November 1st, 2013
Submissions for the 2014 Annual CALL/ACBD Conference program are open! The conference is an exciting opportunity to explore and learn about emerging
. . . [more]
The British daily The Guardian reports that the Supreme Court in the Australian state of Victoria wants to make the justice system more understandable for citizens by making its website more interactive and hiring a retired judge to blog about cases:
"[Victorian Chief Justice Marilyn] Warren said the court’s new interactive website would become a hub for the court’s communication with the public, who would be able to comment on the website, watch video on demand, debate in online forums, and download judgments and summaries."
"She said employing a retired judge to blog the courts represented a 'historic shift
. . . [more]
Discussions about access to justice typically focus attention on access through the traditional routes of courts, lawyers, law schools and pro bono or legal aid service providers. In this context, solutions tend to emphasize more effective use of online technologies or simplification of processes to bridge the gap between those who need legal services and the services they require.
But, as Julie Matthews made clear in her recent article, Educating the Early Assistance Providers, in some cases, community-based intermediaries can function effectively to provide assistance that can reduce or eliminate escalation of a legal problem to the point where . . . [more]
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has launched a new website this month. The site will be rolling out additional features in the coming months, but already has a new section for the public called "Going to Court?" which provides some basic information about the justice system. There is also a page in this section for teachers and students which provides instructional resources.
In Chief Justice Heather Forster Smith's speech during the Opening of the Courts on Sept. 24, 2013, she focused on access to justice and the role of technology. In addition to envisioning greater e-filing in . . . [more]
As we've discussed a number of times on Slaw, a good many hyperlinks break over time as their targets get moved or taken down. This link rot is particularly challenging in academia and in law, where cited authorities are an important component of one's argument.
In a 16 page document available on SSRN three weeks ago, "Perma: Scoping and Addressing the Problem of Link and Reference Rot in Legal Citations," Harvard professors Jonathan Zittrain and Kendra Albert:
. . . document a serious problem of reference rot: more than 70% of the URLs within the Harvard Law Review
. . . [more]
It is budgeting season again for many law firm libraries. My process for this arduous task is to look at the things that my department collects in baskets, compare the balance of the baskets to each other, and decide which baskets need more and which need less. As an example, for the last few years the 'print collection' basket has been weighing less.
My law firm library has a lot of baskets: print collection, database access, items used for current awareness, Canadian content, foreign content, things that are available to borrow locally, things that we can share between our offices, . . . [more]
Industry standards are wonderful things. They help keep us safe in myriad contexts; they promote economic efficiency; they form a kind of "democratized" and rational element to a lot of legislation, typically by being incorporated by reference.
And they're really rather expensive to consult.
So, according to an article in Next City, Carl Malamud is buying copies of safety standards across the US, scanning them, and putting them online for anyone to consult for free. The folks who develop these standards object. They've launched a lawsuit claiming that Malamud is infringing on their copyrights. In order to defend the . . . [more]
Earlier this week I had one of those discussions/debates with a friend of mine whereby neither of us could remember a certain point. However, our discussion was quickly laid to rest with a quick perusal of the nearest search engine. In our particular case we were trying to remember all the characters that have been in KISS (avec make-up). Trust me, it is not as easy to recall as you might think (absent enlistment in the KISS army).
This occasion brought home a lament of mine, that the interweb has killed the bar stool argument, one no longer goes back . . . [more]