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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Publishing’

Of CanLII Quirks and Hacks for Noting Up Supreme Court Family Rules in BC

Apologies to other Slaw readers in advance. This post is mostly for BC lawyers interested in using CanLII to note up specific Supreme Court Family Rules. I shared these tips recently in a paper for a CLE and thought the general principle or method might be helpful to a broader audience too.

I’ll preface this post to say that 95% of the time, CanLII is a simply phenomenal tool. Deeply customizable search operators and a clean interface/search template. It’s a killer app for lawyers and others seeking to know the law. It is, however, strangely ill-suited to note up specific . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

What Does It Really Mean to “Free the Law”? Part 2

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

 

Attributed to Nelson Mandela, that quote fits the experience of groups around the world that sought over much of the past 20 years to make the law freely accessible on the internet. Beginning today (November 9th), dozens of members of the Free Access to Law Movement (FALM), along with other supporters, are meeting in Sydney, Australia where AustLII is hosting the 2015 Law via the Internet conference. Some countries attending are currently at the “impossible” stage and look to achievements in Canada and elsewhere for inspiration of what is possible. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

What Does It Really Mean to “Free the Law”? Part 1

A fantastic development out of the United States last week – Harvard Law School and Ravel Law plan to make access to the school’s entire library of reported U.S. case law available for free on Ravel’s website. In a multi-year effort and at a cost said to be in the millions (exact details not known), some “40,000 books containing approximately forty million pages of court decisions” are being digitized and uploaded to Ravel’s platform, where anybody will be able to search, read and use the material at no cost. This is an incredible advance in open access to law and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

Of Wikibooks and the Impossible Trinity of Information

Poo-pooing Wikipedia’s citeworthiness has a rich and honoured tradition, and not just among academics. The authoritative quality of crowd-sourced wisdom is a well-flogged heel for those in legal circles too, often trotted out in judgments like some Karl Von Hess to be beaten up by proper prudent legal authority. Wikipedia was first knocked about in Canadian jurisprudence in Bajraktaraj v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2005 FC 261, a decision of the Federal Court which set the tone for dealing with the pariah:

… the quality of the sources relied upon by the applicant, including an article

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

US Supreme Court Justices Prefer Shakespeare

According to a recent article about the favourite literary references used by current US Supreme Court justices in their judgments, Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll top the list.

This was followed by:

  • George Orwell
  • Charles Dickens
  • Aldous Huxley
  • Aesop
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, William Faulkner, Herman Melville and J.D. Salinger (equal number of references)

This reminds me of one of my posts on Slaw.ca (way back in 2006!) on Popular Song Lyrics in Legal Writing. Oklahoma City University School of Law professor Alex B. Long did a study of citations to pop music stars in law journals.

In descending list of “popularity” . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Slaw Contributor Adam Dodek Wins 2015 Walter Owen Book Prize

Slaw Contributor Adam Dodek has been awarded the Canadian Bar Association (CBA)’s 2015 Walter Owen Book Prize for his book Solicitor-Client Privilege, published by Lexis-Nexis:

“Solicitor-Client Privilege explains key aspects of lawyer-client confidentiality, analyzes the exceptions to privilege, conditions where privilege is unclear, and situations of competing interests that might bring into question the application of privilege (…) ”

“Prof. Dodek teaches public law and legislation, constitutional law, legal ethics and professional responsibility, and a seminar on the Supreme Court of Canada at University of Ottawa. He is a founding member of the faculty’s Public Law Group, the director of

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

The Only Thing Wrong With Looseleafs Is They’re Printed on Paper

Like lawyers, computer scientists need up-to-date publications in a field that changes constantly, and in my case, sometimes frivolously. In effect, I need looseleafs, except I really don’t need them on paper in three-ring binders.

When I’m trying to put together an argument for a particular “design pattern” (think verdict), I want to refer to a classic reference I can pick up and read, where I use it enough that I remember where things are, and where I can cite it and have it recognized it by my peers. I want something like Gold’s Practitioners Criminal Code, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Of Lexbox and the Promise of Convenience for CanLII Users

CanLII has a new friend. Its name is Lexbox.

It’s a product from Lexum — the Montreal-based company responsible for the undergirding technology of CanLII — which first emailed me and a clutch of other legal research types back in late March with an invite to help test the experimental tool when it was still in a closed beta phase.

We were told then that the aim of Lexbox (and you can read a lot more about it here) is to simplify how lawyers store, monitor and share online legal information. Having kicked the tires over the past . . . [more]

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

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 Globe24h.com, 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 Globe24h.com 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

E-Laws Discontinues the Detailed Legislative History Tables – Sign Our Petition Today!

As you may have heard, during the recent E-Laws website migration, the decision was taken to discontinue producing the Detailed Legislative History Tables.

In 2002, Ontario stopped publishing the Table of Public Statutes in the Statutes of Ontario. Instead the SO directed users to E-Laws for these tables moving forward.
The Table of Public Statutes has been published since 1877 as an important historical legal research tool.

Now the tables have been discontinued outright, however the E-Laws team has not yet devised a solution to take its place.

Accordingly, I have prepared a letter and petition to the Ontario Attorney . . . [more]

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

2015 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing Awarded to Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History

Earlier this week at its annual conference in Moncton, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries announced that the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History book series was the winner of the 2015 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

Over the past 35 years, the Society has published books that cover the breadth of Canadian legal history, including the history of crime and punishment, women and the law, the legal treatment of minorities and much more.

The Award is named after the late Hugh Lawford, law professor at Queen’s in Kingston, Ontario and the founder of Quicklaw. . . . [more]

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

Harvard Law’s Perma.cc Wins 2015 Webby Award for Best Law-Related Website

Perma.cc, a service invented by the Harvard Law School Library that helps organizations create an archive of permanent links for web citations, has won the 2015 Webby Award in the category of best law-related website.

Perma.cc is supported by some 60 law libraries and was developed to deal with the problem of link rot, the growing problem of broken or dead hyperlinks.

The Webby Awards recognize outstanding achievement in websites, online film and video, mobile and apps, and interactive advertising and media. There are numerous categories, ranging from activism to sports.

The Awards are presented by the . . . [more]

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