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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’

A Model Open Access Journal Publication Agreement

There’s a relatively new online journal focusing on open access and scholarly communication called The Idealis. The Idealis was introduced in April this year and as Lee Skallerup Bessette put it, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, it’s a “resource for librarians looking for high-quality, open-access library and information science research.”

Each week their team of experts, led by founding editors Stacy Konkiel and Nicky Agate, work to “liberate research” by recruiting the “very best scholarly communication literature from across the Web, working with authors to make their research available, ensuring that librarians are connected to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Courthouse Libraries BC’s Open Invite in UX Testing “Sprint” to Improve Website

The key to improving ease of use is to erase assumptions. 

That’s important when aiming to improve website usability, generally, but it’s not always easy when you’re dealing with an esoteric culture of users (such as lawyers) who are used to finding information according to old patterns.

Luckily, tools like Treejack, offer “tree testing” as a “usability technique for evaluating the findability of topics in a website.” This is a structure . . . [more]

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

Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories

Alan Kilpatrick, a law librarian with the Law Society of Saskatchewan (LSS), wrote earlier this month on the Legal Sourcery blog about a new Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories published by the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries (the linked version is a reprint by the LSS).

From the text of the Primer:

“This primer to legislative research is arranged by province/territory, with each table providing answers to seven questions.

  1. Do you have a centralized resource for Court Rules (either print or online)?
  2. Do you have any resources that help you with Provincial Point-In-Time Research?
  3. What is
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

Immigration Lawyers: Use Provincial Resources

This week is Bring a Buddy to a Section Meeting for CBA/MBA groups. For the fun of it, I attended my first meeting with the General Practitioners Section. Our resident research guru, Karen Sawatzky gave a lively and information presentation on services provided by the Law Society of Manitoba. These are free for members but the services are not widely advertised and, apparently, not widely known. Let’s fix that!

Caught in my immigration bubble, I did not expect to learn about useful services from a provincial service. I am so used to relying on our CBA Immigration listserv for . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

University of Virginia Website on US Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

The University of Virginia School of Law has launched the Gorsuch Project, a website devoted to the career of Neil Gorsuch, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left on the US Supreme Court by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016:

“Hearings on the nomination of the Honorable Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court are scheduled to begin March 20 and interest in the nominee’s judicial record is high. To assist researchers, we’re proud to announce the launch of the Neil Gorsuch Project, a website that assembles all of Gorsuch’s written opinions, as well

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Quebec Legal Info Service CAIJ Adds Commentary From McCarthy Tétrault

CAIJ, the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has signed resource sharing agreements with many major law firms in Québec that make their legal commentary freely available on the organization’s website.

This week, CAIJ announced that it will now feature texts written by lawyers from the firm of McCarthy Tétrault. This means there are 29 law firms that share material with CAIJ in English and French.

Their material will be added to a collection that already includes full-text commentary and textbooks including the Développements récents  (annual reviews of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

#Research4Refugees: A Cross-Canada Law Student Effort

An inspiring event began late last week and rose to a crescendo on Saturday: the law student-driven Research-a-thon for Refugees. The 12-hour distributed pro bono legal research marathon was kickstarted in a whirlwind of spark of initiative, quick communication, outreach, collaborative effort, and perhaps a bit of collective consciousness.

Volunteer law students receiving an immigration and refugee law overview from UVic Professor Donald Galloway

The goal of #Research4Refugees was to produce a collaboratively researched document for a Canadian NGO, focusing on interpretation and application of the US-Canada safe third country agreement for arriving refugees, on a project managed by . . . [more]

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

The Sweet Morbidity of Link Rot

A couple years ago, the New Yorker ran a great, comprehensive piece on “link rot”—that scourge of dead-end links and vexing “404” errors that annoys us all and ensures the Web’s enduring reputation as an “ethereal, ephemeral, unstable, and unreliable” ravel of non-sequiturs.

The article charts the curious history of the Wayback Machine—that most indispensible weapon in the fight against link rot—and mentions the “disastrous” effects for lawyers and judges who seek to erect houses of reason on the quicksand of internet sources.

It is all quite topical given the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent move to tackle the . . . [more]

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

“The First Thing We Do, Let’s Poll All the Lawyers”

Courthouse Libraries BC (CLBC) just launched its #CLBClawyersurvey2016. Now we’re looking for sweet, precious survey fuel to reach the moon-like destination of 350 respondents—our statistically significant sample. By “survey fuel” I mean, of course, human lawyers in BC capable of clicking through a 10-minute survey. Eligible takers can start the online survey now.

CLBC has a long history in BC. We have served lawyers and the public for over 40 years in (and beyond) dozens of branches in courthouses throughout the province. This survey is the first of its kind for us, and it should help CLBC evolve  . . . [more]

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

Consulting With Canadians on a Federal Accessibility Legislation

Between July 2016 and February 2017, the federal government is consulting Canadians on planned federal accessibility legislation. The goal of the law would be to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of every day life. It is expected that the new legislation will incorporate many features from Ontario and Manitoba’s accessibility laws that would include the process or processes that the Government would use to develop the accessibility standards, as well as the areas or activities to which the standards would apply. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

New Law Library of Congress Reports on Encrypted Communications and Foreign Intelligence Gathering

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., reported earlier this week on two recent comparative law reports published by the institution.

The first, Government Access to Encrypted Communications, “describes the law of 12 nations and the European Union on whether the government, pursuant to a court order or other government process, can require companies to decrypt encrypted communications or provide the government with the means to do so”.

The other one is an updated version of an earlier report entitled Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws that examines the legislation regulating the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Of Copyright, Copyleft and the Unique Creative Commons Needs of PLEI

Unlocking Intellectual Property

Last May, Vancouver Foundation, Canada’s largest community foundation, announced it would develop and adopt an open licensing policy. This is a big deal for an organization that spends over $50 million yearly on its grantees and programs. The right policy could amplify the impact of the Foundation’s spending, and create knock-on benefits shared by other groups working for good causes. On the flip side, a flawed one could dilute the incentives (real or perceived) for grantees expected to share success, credit and perhaps even intellectual property with unknown others.

Meanwhile, Clicklaw Wikibooks, a project I . . . [more]

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