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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’

Law Journals Lose Print Subscribers

Ross E. Davies, of George Mason University School of Law, has a brief piece called “Law Review Circulation” available on SSRN. The article has been summarized by Inside Higher Ed, and, simply, reveals a serious drop in the the paid circulation for the “top 15” U.S. law reviews, where the figures are available (as they are required by the U.S. Postal Service to be).

One example will suffice here: The Harvard Law Journal’s paid circulation over time was as follows:

1979-80: 8,760 \ 1987-88: 7325 \ 1997-98: 4367 \ 2007-08: 2,610

This is not surprising, perhaps, given the . . . [more]

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

Outsourcing in Legal Publishing – Anything (And Possibly Everything) Goes

Just over three decades ago, the Canadian Law Information Council was established by the federal and provincial governments in order to create a framework for online access to legal information in Canada. The idea was that a national council of all of the interested parties could work together to ensure that any development was in the best interest of Canadians.

At the time, there was a serious concern that online databases of Canadian legal information would be built and controlled from the United States, with the result that Canadians would have to go offshore to access their own laws in . . . [more]

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


As we all know, there’s a continuing quest to encompass and, at the same time, tame the spate of information from the internet. Google is the most obvious champion in the quest: all the world’s knowledge … conjured up according to your particular search/need. Without that there’d be simply the blare of everything, which is to say, nothing. Another approach is to filter the flood through others, your friends or people whose judgment you respect: social networks perform this function, of course — Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. Somewhere in between are those services that bring you streams of everything in . . . [more]

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

Human Security Gateway

The Human Security Report Project, affiliated with Simon Fraser University’s School for International Studies, conducts research on political violence and makes that research available to scholars and the public generally. The Human Security Gateway is the tool used for dissemination of this material and as well relevant research available elsewhere.

Currently the counter on the site claims 23,701 resources, categorized as News Articles, Factsheets, Reports or Academic Articles. As well, it’s possible to filter the data by topic and region. There are, for example, 2,472 resources under the heading of International Law, Justice and Accountability . . . [more]

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

Juris Classeur – Major Encyclopedia of Quebec and Canadian Law Launched by Lexis Nexis

LexisNexis has just published the first two volumes of a major encyclopedia of Quebec and Canadian law in French – the Juris Classeur Quebec. Modeled on the celebrated series of encyclopedias that have for 100 years set the standard for legal publishing in France, this “made in Quebec” version of the classic French encyclopedia is expected to quickly establish itself as an essential and authoritative element of the practice of law in Canada.

The Juris Classeur is in fact a series of five separate multi-volume encyclopedias known as “collections”, each one dealing with one of the grand subjects of the . . . [more]

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

Taking Lexisweb Out for a Spin

Spurred by Doug Cornelius’s post on the Lexisweb beta, I decided to give the new kid a try.

I created a couple of scenarios and compared results in Lexisweb (LW) against CanLII (CL) and Google (G). Of course, I expected a certain variability in the results. CanLII has a deliberately limited scope, and Google extremely large. I expected LW to come in somewhere in the middle, as according to the user’s guide, there is deliberate selection of sources to be indexed. I’m guessing that otherwise, the process is automated, making Lexisweb roughly like MOSS or other enterprise search products.

The . . . [more]

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

Martin Luther King Jr. Collection Now Available to the Public

The Woodruff Library at Morehouse College in Atlanta has just made their collection of M.L.K. papers, books and other items available to the public. Via the website you can find the archival descriptions and other study aides. They purchased the collection in 2006 with the help of the Atlanta Mayor just before it was to go to auction, a coup for the city and an end to the controversy surrounding the estate.

From the website:

The Morehouse King Collection includes approximately 1,000 books from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal library with his handwritten notes throughout. In addition, there

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

Jactitation of Marriage – the Unnecessary Legal Phrase of the Day

In a rare immersion into a point of family law for something I was researching last week, I stumbled across – by accident because I wasn’t researching it – the phrase “jactitation of marriage” as a potential cause of action and recall having stumbled across the phrase in the past, having looked up its meaning in the past, and (of course) subsequently forgetting what it meant every time I came across it.

I assume that perhaps only two of our SLAW readers know the meaning, being the two Simons, one of whom wrote a book on family law and the . . . [more]

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

Electronic Citations and Case Citators – Collaborative Outsourcing

Traditionally, a key indicator of the quality and the utility of any case citator is the breadth and depth of its coverage. The better citators purport to cover all of the cases reported in print. Law reports published by a competitor are included as a matter of course, both as an original reference and as a correlative or parallel citation.

Online databases and “electronic citations” have not been treated in the same manner. Initially electronic citations were not seen as “legitimate” citations and were considered to be unworthy of the same attention as print citations. Case citators ignored them. There . . . [more]

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

CanLII User Meeting in Toronto – Feb. 11/09

Just posted to the CanLII blog:

CanLII invites you to a user meeting in Toronto

CanLII is pleased to invite you to a user meeting in Toronto on February 11 2009. On the agenda:

  • demo of SATAL – the point-in-time legislative system soon to be launched on CanLII;
  • creation of a CanLII users group;
  • demo of APIs developed to streamline use of CanLII content by institutional users.

The presentation will be followed by a cocktail. They ask you inform them if you plan to be present.

For more info, check their blog post for time, location and RSVP contact . . . [more]

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

Legal Citation Question on Indicating Jurisdiction in Case Law Citations

I have a question regarding including jurisdiction when citing a case that cites to a Quicklaw version.

Rule 3.2.10 of the McGill Guide states that “if the jurisdiction is evident from the name of any reporter, reference is made only to the level of court.”

As such, one must include the abbreviation for Ontario in the following citation since the Dominion Law Reports publish decisions from across Canada, and without the jurisdicational indication, the reader does not know which jurisdiction is involved:

McGrath v. MacLean (1979) 95 D.L.R. (3d) 144 (Ont. C.A.)

However, in the following citation, would you . . . [more]

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

Update Re Law-Related E-Books

I have earlier posted (here and here) on the increasing availability of Canadian legal treatises being available online (by subscription).

Here is a brief update: Colleague Katherine Thompson at my firm has compiled an internal list – with hypertext links – of all the Canadian e-books we have access to at our firm from LexisNexis Quicklaw, WestlaweCARSWELL, Carswell’s e-reference library, CCH Online and Canada Law Book.

We also included a few “historical” titles from HeinOnline for fun, such as Black’s Law Dictionary (2d ed., 1910) and Broom’s Selection of Legal Maxims, Classified and Illustrated (8th ed., 1882). . . . [more]

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