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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’

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

Selling It… With Standards

If you’re ever at a loss for a hit of quasi-judicial material that’s easy on the brain and fun to read, try the adjudications of Britain’s ASA (no, as Michael lines would say, not that ASA, or that, or that or…), the Advertising Standards Authority. The association’s adjudications are made available on a well-designed website, week by week, set out with brevity, and linked to the particular standard that was alleged to have been violated. The one that caught my interest involved a broadcast ad by Moët Hennessy UK Ltd. that:

showed a man sitting on a couch with

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

Vagueness and the Scope of Caselaw Databases

Caselaw databases are frequently described as being “comprehensive” collections of cases with the meaning of the word “comprehensive” left undefined. The exceptions, of course, are databases based on print series of law reports which are by definition “selective”.

Some but not all database providers do say that they have so many hundreds or so many thousands of judgments covering specific years or time periods. Some say nothing at all. A few provide further details of the number of decisions by court level but, in general, vagueness is the order of the day.

“Vagueness” is not an acceptable standard

Legal researchers . . . [more]

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

LLRX.com December 2008 Updates

On my must-read list are some of the LLRX.com articles for this month. The authors have put together some great resources. Here’s the line-up:

Neurolaw and Criminal Justice
Ken Strutin’s article highlights selected recent publications, news
sources and other online materials concerning the applications of
cognitive research to criminal law as well as basic information on the
science and technology involved. — Published December 28, 2008

Deep Web Research 2009
Marcus P. Zillman’s guide includes links to: articles, papers, forums,
audios and videos, cross database articles, search services and search
tools, peer to peer, file sharing, grid/matrix search engines,
presentations, . . . [more]

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

2009 Strosberg Essay Prize

The 2009 Harvey T. Strosberg Essay Prize competition was announced earlier this month:

Harvey T. Strosberg, Q.C., Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Class Action Review, and Irwin Law Inc. are pleased to announce the sixth annual Harvey T. Strosberg Essay Prize competition. The prize of $10,000 is awarded to an outstanding student paper on Canadian class actions.

The competition is open to all Canadian students enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional program. The deadline for submissions is 2 March 2009.

Please see the Irwin Law web page for details. . . . [more]

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