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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

A Meeting of “Repositorians” in the Revolutionary City

I had the opportunity to gather with fellow “repositorians” in Williamsburg, Virginia, last month. It was the first meeting held to discuss the development and maintenance of institutional repositories for law and legal resources. The event was called, “Law Repositories: Shaping the Future,” and was made possible through a grant from the AALL/Bloomberg Continuing Education Grants Program and the sponsorship of both bepress and the Legal Information Preservation Alliance (LIPA).

Jona Whipple, Digital Resources Librarian, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, has provided a nice report on the event and I refer . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Ontario Reformats Its Electronic Laws Site

Ontario’s e-laws site has been reformatted to conform with the general provincial presentation standards – without changing the integrity of the content.

The new version of e-Laws has several improvements, including:

• Easier navigation between related documents (e.g. statutes and regulations, consolidated law and source law, current versions and previous versions)
• A cleaner look and feel
• Quick and easy search and browse functions for each law category, (e.g., current consolidated law, source law, repealed and revoked law, and law in force at particular times)
• Simplified “Help” information
• More accessible for more people, including those who

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

Copyright, Author Rights and Open Access

Anyone involved with clearing copyright permissions to allow for open access to digital resources on a personal website or in an institutional repository are probably familiar with the SHERPA/RoMEO database.

SHERPA/RoMEO began as a UK research project developed at the University of Loughborough and is now maintained by the Centre for Research Communications (CRC) at the University of Nottingham. It’s an excellent starting point to find summaries of “permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher’s copyright transfer agreement.” Policies can be searched for by journal titles or their ISSNs or by a publisher’s name. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

An Ontario Benchers’ Candidates’ Word Cloud

The candidates for the forthcoming elections have all – save one – drafted statements or manifestos to garner support.

What these documents frame is what’s on the minds of the candidates as they try and anticipate the issues that most concern the lawyer members of the legal profession who will shortly be voting.

The picture speaks volumes. The size of the text reflects how frequently the concept occurs in all of the candidate statements.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

Favourite Legal Words and Expressions

The Law Library of Congress in Washington recently conducted a survey of its staffers to find out what their favorite legal terms or phrases are and why.

Among the results are:

  • in custodia legis
  • proprio motu
  • amicus curiae
  • res ipsa loquitur
  • estoppel
  • force majeure
  • Miranda warning
  • pettifogger (!)

One employee’s entry was for “in loco parentis”:

In loco parentis [in place of parents]. When I see this term, I see not the Latin word for “place” but the Spanish word for “crazy,” as in “parents make you crazy” or “in parenthood, craziness.” I think of this term whenever my

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

Connecting the Dots Just Got Easier

It’s tempting (and fun!) to dismiss futurists and trend spotters as people who see connections and consequences where none exist. It is equally tempting (and fun!) to assume the role of the clairvoyant because, in the words of Future Babble author Dan Garder, the soothsayer can never lose: “Heads I win, tails you forget we had a bet.” Sometimes, however, it can be quite easy for everyone to see the future.

Last week, many of us were reading and sharing the latest “future of law” warning. The fine folks over at The Economist offered a sobering look at just . . . [more]

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

Developing Ontologies: An Ontology for Legal Research

Almost exactly a year ago Amy Taylor, Emerging Technologies Librarian and Adjunct Professor at the Pence Law Library, Washington College of Law, wrote about creating a legal ontology for basic 1L legal research instruction. She shares her experience and provides a useful methodology that can guide you if you ever set out to create your own ontology.

Taylor was motivated to start thinking about this when she saw a change in headnote presentation in the then new (Fall 2012) WestlawNext platform. The change, in both style and content, prompted her to ask a couple of good questions: . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Should Search Engines Index Court Decisions?

In the days of electronic access, judicial decisions (and sometimes other court records that have always been public in principle) no longer benefit from practical obscurity. Court have had to wrestle with the consequences of this, including tailoring the way decisions are written to reduce the amount of personal information they contain.

The Canadian Judicial Council has published material on this, as have the federal and state courts in the US.

Recently a US lawyer proposed that databases of court decisions should block search engines from indexing the decisions – a block that is very easy to implement, with a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Supreme Court of Canada Updated Policy for Access to Court Records

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Canada published its revised Policy for Access to Supreme Court of Canada Court Records. It took effect March 17, 2015 and replaces the policy dated February 9, 2009.

In addition to the hearing schedules, docket information, party information, case summaries, webcasts of appeal hearings and factums on appeal, the Court will begin to post memorandums of argument on applications for leave to appeal after they are granted.

The revised policy also introduces a Registered Access process for frequent users.This is for people who require regular access to multiple court records in one . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

Canadians Create New Searchable Database of Edward Snowden Documents

George Raine, a recent graduate of the Faculty of Information’s Master of Information program at the University of Toronto, has created the Snowden Surveillance Archive, a searchable database of all the publicly released classified documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The leaks reveal the widespread surveillance practices by security and espionage agencies in the US and allied countries.

Archive project partners are Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the Politics of Surveillance Project at University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. Funding came from The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting, a seven-year Major Collaborative . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

Of Social Media Evidence Capture and WebPreserver

Vancouver is already headquarters to big names in the legal SaaS and social media software markets. Both Clio and Hootsuite are homegrown. For a couple of years I suspected that one of these—or perhaps an enterprising partner relying on the market reach and platform of one of these companies—would come along to knit legal and social media together in a product that served the unique needs of lawyers.

The unique need, to state it succinctly, is for an easy-to-use browser-based tool that captures posts (incriminating Facebook admissions, credibility destroying tweets, etc.) and preserves them with “evidentiary quality” . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

Addressing Link Rot in Canadian Jurisprudence

Reading the latest edition of MIRLN, I was reminded again of the Perma.cc service for addressing link rot in journal articles and judicial decisions. I know the issue has been discussed a couple of times on Slaw. I was wondering what Canadian courts are doing to address the problem of link rot. Is there a Canadian equivalent to Perma.cc? Are any Canadian courts using or considering using Perma.cc? Is this a service that could one day be provided by CanLII, or are individual courts’ websites being used for this purpose already? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet