Canada’s online legal magazine.
CBA Skilled Lawyer Series
LexisNexis Legal Products

Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’

Implementing a Federated Search Product

The Nov. 2008 issue of the AALL Spectrum has an article entitled The Wise Researcher: One library’s experience implementing a federated search product.

The article, by Yumin Jiang and Georgia Briscoe of the University of Colorado, describes how the William A. Wise Law Library at that institution went about choosing a product that allows for searching across multiple specialty databases.

After comparing products on the market for things such as databases included, installation and maintenance, price, search options, and result sorting and display capabilities, the Wise Library opted for 360 Search, a product of Serials Solutions.

The authors caution . . . [more]

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

Legal Elements of Causes of Action

Tip of the Day: While preparing a paper on “Effective Litigation Knowledge Management” for the November 17-18, 2008 Canadian Law & Technology Forum in Toronto, I reminded myself of an extremely useful chart for any drafter of litigation pleadings, being Appendix A from Summary Judgments and Dispositions Before Trial (LexisNexis Butterworths) by Robert van Kessel. This chart sets out the legal elements for thirty-seven causes of action (ranging from abuse of process to unjust enrichment) and fifteen defences (including duress and novation). Citations to supporting case law are provided. UPDATE: The author let me know (23 October 2008) . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

New Products Due to LexisNexis / ThomsonReuters (Carswell) Competition

The competition between LexisNexis Quicklaw and WestlaweCARSWELL in Canada can only benefit users. In a number of areas, the companies are responding to the other by announcing new or improved products (e.g., the introduction by LexisNexis of Halsbury’s Laws of Canada appears to have Carswell reinvigorating the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest).

Another area where this has happened is in online Words and Phrases services. Although Quicklaw was first to the mark with an online service, WestlaweCARSWELL has recently added an online equivalent of its print (blue-colored) multi-volume Words and Phrases services (and I think I like it better).

Likewise, since . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Retiring an Old Friend

It was with mixed feelings we have “retired” our All England Law Reports – Canadian Annotations to the Consolidated Tables and Index looseleaf but it just wasn’t being used.

It was a great product that provided a list of U.K. cases reported in the All England Law Reports showing which Canadian court decisions had considered those U.K. decisions. Its strength was quality of entries. However, its time has likely come given the ease by which one can search on the name of the U.K. case (e.g., jarvis /4 swan) in a Canadian full-text judgments database to get a more exhaustive . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

JD Supra – Sharing Documents With RSS and Widgets

Steve Matthews frequently teaches us about using RSS feeds and how to repurpose them for different uses. I like this example: last week JD Supra announced all documents are now available for redistribution using RSS feeds and widgets. If you are a member of JD Supra, you can re-purpose your own documents using these tools. Whether you are a member or not, you can also pull specific types of documents (hot documents, law practice articles, legal alerts and newsletters) or specific subjects (currently commercial, environment and energy, and technology law) onto your blog, website, or intranet page.

For an . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Blog Action Day Against Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day 2008, an international call to action for bloggers to raise awareness on issues of poverty:

“Poverty is not only a pressing issue, it is a complex one. It’s easy to think that there isn’t much an individual can do. Fortunately this isn’t the case at all. With activities ranging from advocacy and professional contribution to charity and financing, there is in fact many ways that we can act.”

The idea is that bloggers sign up to blog about poverty reduction today.

This year’s Blog Action Day has dozens of organizational sponsors and supporters, including . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

International Development Law Organization

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) is an intergovernmental organization of 18 states aimed at helping developing countries establish the rule of law and good governance practices. Canada, though CIDA, has been working with IDLO in Afghanistan since 2002.

Readers interested in issues of law in developing countries might consult IDLO’s publications, where you will also find a library of links to relevant online resources (journals, newsletters, newspapers and news agencies). . . . [more]

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

Will Old Law Reports Ever Die?

From the earliest days of online legal research, the death of the traditional law report in print was predicted. Online access to cases would make print unnecessary. In the paperless world that was imminent, there would be no need for the traditional law report. Storage problems for sets of law report series would be eliminated and the cost of searching cases would be greatly reduced.

That was the vision for online legal research in 1973 when Lexis Nexis and Quicklaw pioneered in offering commercial online access to case law. It was going to be just a matter of time before . . . [more]

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

U.S. Chief Justice Talks About Technology

The chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, warned law students in a speech last Thursday about relying too unthinkingly on internet sources for legal research. Delivering Drake University‘s Dwight D. Opperman Lecture, he pointed to what he described as the growing practice of using simple word searches to uncover precedents, when the cases recovered in this manner may have little doctrinal connection to the issues at hand. Thinking “outside the box” is fine, he said, but “…You cannot think effectively outside the box if you don’t know where the box is.” And that requires the . . . [more]

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

The Internet and Proof of Foreign Law

Has the Internet changed our practices on the proof of foreign law?

Canadian lawyers and judges are, almost by definition, comparativists. We take for granted from the start of our careers that we may have to look to English law, or American or Australian. Civilistes look at French doctrine, to Planiol, Tunc or the Encyclopedie Galloz.

One doesn’t need to spend much time in Michel-Adrien Sheppard’s wonderful collection at the Supreme Court of Canada to recognize the importance of comparative law to that court. Homage to Claire L’Heureux-Dube.

Our judges would regard as odd the debate between Justices Tony Kennedy . . . [more]

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

Ron Friedmann on the State of Legal Outsourcing

Ron Friedmann of Prism Legal Consulting Inc. has surveyed the current state of legal outsourcing in his fantastic article Why and What Lawyers Should Consider Outsourcing on LLRX.com (September 1, 2008).

In the article, he discusses the evolution of outsourcing in law firms and talks about outsourcing in terms of overall law firm management and cost efficiency. He summarizes the benefits, and has put together an excellent table outlining administrative and legal functions that might be outsourced by a firm. He discusses challenges HR departments face, especially with regard to maintaining the right amount of secretarial staffing, and he also . . . [more]

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

New Electronic Resource Review Blog From Nina Platt

Nina Platt is a U.S.-based consultant who, like me and Steve Matthews, has a law librarian/knowledge management background and started a consultancy last year in the form of Nina Platt Consulting Inc. Congratulations to Nina who has just added a third blog to her fold, the Electronic Resource Review. So far it covers research and knowledge management electronic products. I thought the September 19th write-up of KM products from West, Lexis Nexis, and Interwoven to be of particular interest.

Here is the list of Nina Platt Consulting blogs:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Technology