Canada’s online legal magazine.
Rogers OutRank
Canadian Bar Association

Archive for ‘Legal Information: Publishing’

Digitisis, Part Two: The Symptoms of Digitisis

The disease that afflicted legal and professional publishing for the last two decades was corrosive on many levels.

The first symptom of the Digital obsession or Digitisis disease was the overspending on document structure definitions and an obsession with rescuing whole ‘limbs’ of content that were probably going to be amputated in due course anyway. No-one in Lexis, Thomson, Bloomberg-BNA or Wolters-Kluwer-CCH could agree on what future content should look like so they had no idea what to keep or discard. This indecision led to the lowest common denominator strategy of ‘digitise and it will be worth it . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Digitisis, Part One

The larger legal publishers’ 2013 half-year and interim results season was quietly revolutionary. At 80% the issue is done and dusted. The issue that has been plaguing the legal and professional publishing world for decades now can be consigned to history. With a palpable flop over the finish line, you can hear the words ‘largely complete’ panted in an exhausted and rasping whisper. The digital transition is finally finished; honest; no really; trust me – finished.

Looking back over the 15 years it has taken to get here 2 lessons are clear:

  • Readers buy confidence not content; formats are secondary; . . . [more]
  • Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

    CALL/ACBD Blogging – Full Steam Ahead

    I am impressed with the sharing aspect of Canada’s legal community, and the generosity everyone shows in blogging. Every day we see great new examples of this with both thought leadership and informational blogs. On Friday members of the CALL-L listserv received a note from the CALL/ACBD Website Editorial Board chair Michel-Adrien Sheppard reminding us about the blog on the Canadian Association of Law Libraries/L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit website.

    Even as a CALL/ACBD executive board member I didn’t quite realize how much blogging was going on inside the members’ area! Fortunately now members have the option of . . . [more]

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

    CanLII Hackathon

    Though others have posted about it, Slaw has not yet reported on the upcoming CanLII Hackathon. The two day event, hosted by CanLII and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law Centre for Law, Technology and Society — and properly titled Law, Government and Open Data Conference and Hackathon — will be held in Ottawa on September 13 and 14 at the Desmarais Building, Room 12101, 55 Laurier Avenue East.

    According to the CanLII announcement:

    The two day event will be roughly split as follows:

    • Day 1 describes the public policy objectives of access to information and introduces the

    . . . [more]

    Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing

    SmartChicago Annotates Legislation

    SmartChicago is a group formed with the aim of using technology to better the lives of Chicagoans. Among other things, they support centres that help citizens get access to their health records, they promote free broadband access, they work to improve citizens’ technological skills — and they try to make relevant laws easier to understand.

    To assist with this last aim, they’ve done a very practical and perhaps surprising thing: they’ve opened an account on the Rap Genius site, a place to go to learn the meaning of a lot of rap lyrics — or poems, or items in the . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

    Government of Canada Moves to E-Printing

    It is important for all persons working in the legal field to have an understanding of how this impacts on perpetual access to legal information from the federal government.

    This email was sent to members of the infodep listserv (from the Depository Services Program) on July 8, 2013:

    “The new Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) Procedures for Publishing are now in effect. These procedures clarify the continuing role of Publishing and Depository Services during the Government of Canada’s transition to electronic publishing.

    They apply to all departments listed in Schedules I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act,

    . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

    Hein and Fastcase Announce Publishing Partnership

    A press release shared that William S. Hein & Co. and Fastcase announced a publishing partnership today. Hein will share federal and state case law to subscribers via links provided by Fastcase. Fastcase will integrate HeinOnline’s law review and historical legislation. The press release goes into greater detail about the linkages and even discusses how customers will see this material.

    This is pretty exciting news. I am looking forward to hearing the reactions of AALL Members at the American Association of Law Libraries 106th Annual Meeting and Conference which kicks off this coming weekend. . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

    Shout-Out to SCOTUSblog

    Today’s conclusion of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) 2012-2013 session calendar— after a burst of some high-profile opinions—is an opportune occasion for a reminder of the fantastic resource that is SCOTUSblog. The site’s been around since the relatively early days of blogs—2002—and it has been discussed or referenced on this blog a few times. Indeed, a Google search for “SCOTUS” returns SCOTUSblog before it does the home for SCOTUS itself:

    SCOTUSblog can be seen as a superb example of an excellent public resource supported by commercial partners, including a legal publisher. It started small and rather . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

    Prosecutions Involving Social Media Evidence

    On Thursday, the retiring English Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, published final guidelines for crown counsel on the approach they should take in cases involving communications sent via social media. The approach they take could be usefully read by Canada’s prosecutors.

    First step is to assess the content of the communication and the conduct in question. It distinguishes between :

    Communications which may constitute credible threats of violence to the person or damage to property.

    Communications which specifically target an individual or individuals and which may constitute harassment or stalking.

    Communications which may amount to a breach

    . . . [more]

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

    Slaw Now in Library of Congress Main Search Database

    Actually, the big news, of course, is that the U.S. Library of Congress has integrated its web archives into its main web search function. For quite some time now, LOC has been archiving significant websites, of which Slaw is one. At the moment there are 940 such sites being archived. Though archiving began in 2008, the archives of Slaw contain some posts reaching back to its inception in 2005 but extend only up to 2010, because the archiving process lags by a few years. (As a digital archivist at LOC explained to me by email, “We do have an . . . [more]

    Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

    New: Journal of Open Access to Law

    A brand new peer-reviewed academic journal has just come into being and is issuing a call for papers. The Journal of Open Access to Law (JOAL) is a project of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), the Italian National Research Council’s Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques (ITTIG-CNR), and the Institute of Law and Technology (IDT) of the Autonomous University in Barcelona.

    From the main web page:

    JOAL is an open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal of international scope. Its purpose is to promote international research on the topic of open access to law.

    JOAL provides

    . . . [more]

    Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Publishing

    Dwight Opperman Dies

    The name of Dwight Opperman will be familiar to older members of the Slaw community – he was the former head of the West Publishing Company, who presided over the sale of the premier US legal publishing company to Thomson.

    Back in 1996 he sold West for $3.4 billion. According to Wikipedia, in 2002, Forbes 400 ranked Opperman as the 239th richest person in the United States – and I’m willing to wager that no-one else (before or since) has made quite as much out of legal publishing. He started out as the son of a railroad worker, whose . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous