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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’

Rolling Out WestlawNext Canada

My team is consumed with rolling out the new WestlawNext Canada platform to our colleagues. This is a big job that many firms will face, so I thought I would share some things we have done to support this project.

First, as with any change, communication is key. Before we started down the rollout road, we discussed it as a library team, then with our key stakeholders – our Library Committee, and also with the Director of IT. We looked at the timing of this rollout from the perspective of capacity of our human resources, capacity of our technology (hardware . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Canadian Scientific Research Threatened

Canadian scientific research is under threat following the federal government making it more difficult to access scientific information and significantly down-sizing or closing federal science libraries. We are seeing a drastic reduction in accessibility to information and related literature research services needed by the Canadian scientific community, far exceeding library maintenance and restructuring that would typically be done to keep up with changing information, technology and standards.

Today CBC News reports that the main Health Canada science library has been closed. According to the news report, the closure was justified by a drop in in-house staff use of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous

C’monnnnnn – Justice Laws Fail

I’m on for a little rant today but this is significant topic, courtesy of one of my LRW students conducting some research on the Nadon appointment to the SCC (on the plus side this does drive home the point I continually try to make that you cannot exclusively rely on one source or the web all the time). Interestingly, I thought we were getting rid of all the print government publications because the Interwebs are so much more efficient and effective? Well try and find SC 2013, c 40 which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2013, over a month . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

Sources Consulted and Legal Research Costs

There are some recent decisions of the Federal Court that acknowledge the necessity of using online legal research sources and seem positioned to allow law firms to charge reasonable disbursements for them. The basis for having computer research costs allowed appears to be the ability to justify both the amount claimed, how it is calculated and the relevance and necessity of the research performed.

The key to costs happiness will lie in how legal researchers keep track of their work. A researcher in a costs argument will have to explain that the disbursements for billed research on Westlaw or Quicklaw . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Debut of Journal of Open Access to Law

Join me in welcoming the debut of Journal of Open Access to Law, or JOAL. A post on the B-SCREEDS blog at the Legal Information Institute announced the launch:

I’m proud to announce the debut of the Journal of Open Access to Law, a multidisciplinary journal that will publish the work that its title suggests: research related to legal information that is made openly available on the Internet.

Simon Fodden wrote about the new peer-reviewed journal in June, posting about the call for papers for the first issue.

That issue is now available and, true to its subject, is . . . [more]

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

Sharing Searching Quirks

We have a pretty darn fantastic research training program at my shop. We offer learning objective based source training and give refresher training at lawyers desks, in groups, as feature items on meeting agendas, and we also share what we know via blogs, email bulletins and on our Intranet in both text and multimedia. We keep our skills sharp by attending vendor delivered training and by doing legal research daily.

Even with this highly programmed scenario we learn search quirks by initially not getting things quite right and then figuring out why things did not work as expected. Here is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Law Library of Congress Report on Adjudication of Sexual Offenses in Military Justice Systems

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a new comparative report on the handling and adjudication of sexual offenses in the military.

The report examines how the military justice systems of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom deal with alleged sexual offending by service members.

The Library occasionally publishes reports that compare the laws on a given theme in a number of countries.

Earlier comparative law reports from the Law Library of Congress have covered topics such as:

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

Full Federal Hansard Now Online

Some exciting news today for fellow Hansard geeks:

The full digitized historical federal Hansard, Senate and House of Commons, is now available online, browsable and searchable.’s Historical Debates of the Parliament of Canada portal was launched today:

The project has been in development for some time. It complements the content that has been available on (House: 1994 onward; Senate: 1996 onward), to create a full collection of digital federal Hansard.

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

Google Scholar Launches “Library” Feature

Yesterday Google Scholar Blog announced the launch of Google Scholar Library, a feature that allows a user to:

. . . save articles right from the search page, organize them by topic, and use the power of Scholar’s full-text search to quickly find just the one you want – at any time and from anywhere . . .

You’re able to use “labels” to organize the material you’ve saved to your library.

A user must log in to Google and via this link activate the Library feature.

This is clearly of potential benefit to the profession, because Scholar’s database includes . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

More on the Future of Law School

I wrote last month on a recent conference, The Future of Law School. The backchannel and later discussion was considerable, as I’ve noted, and several others wrote about the rich panel presentations and their own ideas about the future of law school. Weeks later, I still find myself pondering ideas from it often. I’m thinking lately about the place of the law school and its connection—in Canada—to the university and its library.

The focus of the conference was where law school curricula are, should be, or could be headed. Participants and presenters discussed various factors that do or might drive . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

CALL/ACBD 2014 Call for Program Submissions – Deadline Extended

The deadline for program submissions for the Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 25-28, 2014 has been extended to November 1st (this Friday). Submissions can be made by anyone; you do not have to be a member. If you have an idea but have been wondering if you should submit, now is your chance!

Details and links below.

2014 Annual CALL/ACBD Conference


Submissions for the 2014 Annual CALL/ACBD Conference program are open! The conference is an exciting opportunity to explore and learn about emerging

. . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Deciding What Is Not Needed

It is budgeting season again for many law firm libraries. My process for this arduous task is to look at the things that my department collects in baskets, compare the balance of the baskets to each other, and decide which baskets need more and which need less. As an example, for the last few years the ‘print collection’ basket has been weighing less.

My law firm library has a lot of baskets: print collection, database access, items used for current awareness, Canadian content, foreign content, things that are available to borrow locally, things that we can share between our offices, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research