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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Publishing’

CanLII Reaches Half a Million Cases

The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), the source of free online Canadian legal information created by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, announced earlier this week that it has surpassed the 500,000 case mark in its database:

“When it was launched in the fall of 2000, CanLII contained less than 30,000 cases. Over the years, the content development went through various stages: first, recent cases from all appeal and superior courts, then from all courts, and so on. Recently, focus has been placed on the addition of important historical case law as well as administrative tribunals. All those

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Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Law Library Phone-in Show Today: Ken Svengalis Guests

Today at 3 pm CST/4 pm EST there is a trial run of a new law library phone-in show hosted by Brian Striman and Richard Leiter. Guest will be legal publishing industry expert Ken Svengalis. Call in or chat–details below from one of the AALL email lists. It’s a hot topic so I expect it to be a lively discussion! . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous

Maritime Law Book to Provide Free Access

This from Maritime Law Book to Slaw:

Effective June 1, 2008 Maritime Law Book will provide free access to over 215,000 cases in our 12 databases that cover every common law jurisdiction in Canada plus the House of Lords and Privy Council (U.K.).

No registration is required. And the databases are searchable.

Free access is limited to the judgment without a headnote. Also the free access does not include the MLB Key Number System.

Existing subscribers will continue to have access to our time saving headnote material at existing prices. And note that all users will now have access to

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

The Blogosphere: Past, Present, and Future

Sunny Woan, a JD student at Santa Clara University, recently published a paper in the California Western Law Review called “The Blogosphere: Past, Present, and Future”. The article is a nice look through the history of blogs, their role in journalism, and some of the legal issues they bring up, along with a small discussion of how blogs are treated elsewhere around the world.

It’s a quick read and refers in the footnotes to some articles that look very interesting.

The article is not up at the CWLR site, but is available from SSRN. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Digital Law Books, Redux

I have been thinking about books recently while considering our firm’s own print and online collection. Paul Emond’s column last week on The Future of Academic Legal Publishing addresses head-on the challenges and opportunities facing publishers of law-related books (and casebooks). In my September 2007 SLAW posting titled Digital Law Books in Canada, I suggested that we have perhaps reached a (positive) tipping point on the availability of digital law-related books with (very) roughly 10% of the major Canadian legal treatises being available in digital format. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to consider and debate this . . . [more]

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

Librarian Goes Head to Head With Rowling – Everybody Cries

The New York Times has a story on the copyright infringement lawsuit by J.K. Rowling against the proposed publisher of a Harry Potter Lexicon, created by Steven Jan Vander Ark, a librarian. Unable to resist some of the stereotypes associated with librarians (e.g. the very opening line: “Shhh! The librarian at the heart of…”), the Times reports that Rowling got emotional enough to cry during testimony Monday, and Vander Ark wept yesterday.

And in case you’re interested, it comes from the horse’s mouth that the “unlocking spell” Alohomora! does not come from Aloha, as Vander Ark had surmised, but rather . . . [more]

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

Computer-Generated Literature?

Like all of us, I sometime lament the state of legal writing, particularly of the academic sort. It is often so laden with detail (each one meticulously footnoted) that the reader can’t find the main point. But I think I may finally have stumbled on the culprit.

Philip Parker, a business professor, has developed a computer program that crawls through the internet gathering information from publicly available sources, and puts the information into book form. He then prints the books on demand and sells them through amazon.com. So far he’s generated more than 200,000 books.

Not surprisingly, the reviews . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

The Future of Legal Academic Publishing

What is the future of legal academic publishing in Canada? I ask for two reasons. First, as the leading publisher of Canadians legal casebooks I’d rather be on the cutting edge than on the trailing edge of new developments in publishing. I’d like even less to fall off the edge! Smart companies must anticipate changes in the marketplace and position themselves accordingly. That means, not being too far in front (remember, it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese) and not being too far behind. Secondly, as a law professor I reflect often on how to improve the student learning . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

New: Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy

Osgoode Hall Law School has launched its first fully online journal, the Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy. Edited by students and offering student articles for the most part, the Review will also publish in each issue articles on law or policy by practising lawyers or academics. This is the table of contents of the first issue [(2008) 1 Osgoode Hall Rev.L.Pol’y]:

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

Court of Appeal Videos… Writers’ Strike?

The Ontario Court of Appeal has gone off the air. Video coverage of certain appeals, which started last September (see Ontario Court of Appeal is Webcasting on Slaw) has apparently stopped and, more’s the pity, the archive of past hearings has gone. There’s nothing on the webcasting page now except the promises you have to make to get admitted to the screening room.

Watching a court of appeal in action is hardly up there with a viewing of the Sopranos or Six Feet Under, but it has its own attractions, and it would be a shame if the project was . . . [more]

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

Scribd Scans

Scribd is a free service that lets you put your document or image files online, where they are available to the public. Now Scribd is offering to scan your print documents and put those online — for free. You mail in your documents, wait some weeks, and then enjoy your words in pixels. Even accounting for the fact that Scribd is in complete charge of the project and so can move as slowly and as selectively as it wishes, this is a remarkable offer.

…and it got me wondering: would this be a good way to put public domain case . . . [more]

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

BestCase Born Today

We’ve discussed the transition of the Canada Law Book Company caselaw materials from Lexis-Nexis to a new BestCase product providing electronic access to almost all the caselaw that CLB has ever produced ((Due to licensing restrictions in the arrangements that CLB has with Thomson-West, the Canadian Patent Reporter is excluded)).

Today it launched. Tomorrow Lexis-Nexis’ Canadian materials will have an entirely new set of source materials.

Along with the other Toronto research lawyers, I had an advance look at the interface last week.

The good news is that in an amazingly short period of time, CLB has managed to develop . . . [more]

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