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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’

Spokeo and me.dium – Two New “Social Network” Search Engines

A thanks to colleague Brenda Wong for letting me know of two new “social network” search engines mentioned at a recent SLA event she attended. I was not aware of either. They are: Spokeo and me.dium.

However, maybe I am getting too old. Both seem geared towards the “younger crowd”, at least based on their own descriptions of their products but the first may help with due diligence type of investigations and the second appears to be taking advantage of the “wisdom of the crowd” philosophy.

Spokeo, for example, features a picture of teenage girls whispering in each other’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Ontario Proposes Amendment to Limitations Period on Demand Loans

Schedule L of Bill 114 in Ontario, if passed, will effectively over-rule the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Hare v Hare. The Bill will amend the Limitations Act, 2002, by tying the limitation period to the date of default under a demand loan rather than the date of the loan. The Ontario Bar Association discusses this issue in its October 28th e-newsletter. . . . [more]

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

Case Law Demonitized – Free at Last.

The significance of the offer by Maritime Law Book of free access to its collection of over 215,000 cases under the name “Raw Judgments” has not yet been given the attention it deserves in the world of Canadian legal information as a portent of things to come.

Eric Appleby, the founder of Maritime Law Book, has long been a leading innovator in Canadian legal publishing, from the launch of the New Brunswick Reports, to the creation of a national jurisdictional law reporter system in print and online, to the introduction of the MLB Key Number System. Based on his track . . . [more]

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

David Weinberger on “Knowledge at the End of the Information Age”

I really enjoyed the lecture tonight by Dr. David Weinberger as part of the Bertha Bassam lecture at the University of Toronto’s i-school (Faculty of Information). The lecture was titled “Knowledge at the End of the Information Age.”

SLAW readers will know Weinberger as the author of Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder (2007), as discussed previously on SLAW ( ).

Weinberger continued his themes from Everything is Miscellaneous: By starting with the premise that the Internet is both extremely odd at the same as being quite familiar, he documented the transformation of information . . . [more]

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

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