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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’

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

Goa CM Kamat Goes Online – Indian Lawyers to Follow

Courtesy of the Goa Blog (although it’s also in today’s Hindu (Chennai edition):

Country’s first e-law library inaugurated

Panaji (PTI): Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat inaugurated the country’s first e-law library here aimed at facilitating legal practitioners. . . . [more]

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

Legal Research for Hong Kong’s Special Admin Region

Hong Kong has a unique legal situation, being a former British colony inheriting the common law. As a result the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has a different legal system than the civil code found in the mainland.

To complicated it further , Hong Kong borrows from other common law jurisdictions when necessary. Chapter 4, S. 4 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region states,

Article 84
The courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall adjudicate cases in accordance with the laws applicable in the Region as prescribed in Article 18 of this

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

Wiki on Forced Migration Issues

Librarian Elisa Mason, who has worked at the UN High Commission for Refugees and the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford, has created the Forced Migration Guide using wiki software.

The guide offers descriptions of resources for the study of refugees, internal displacement and human trafficking.

“The principal audience for this guide is students in a higher education setting who require an introduction to the main research tools and information sources in their subject area of interest. However, it should also appeal to novice researchers based in non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies, and international bodies who may not be familiar with the

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

Back to School…

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted to Slaw (tsk, tsk) so I thought I’d try and redeem myself and share two legal research wikis that I’ve created using PBWiki, for two courses I’m teaching this term. The first one is CML1101: Principles of Legal Research. It’s for all first-year students in the Common Law English program at uOttawa. I’m teaching the bulk of the sections (8) while my colleague teaches the rest (4) as well as the equivalent course for all first-year students in Common Law French. Another colleague is instructing all first-year Droit civil students in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Signets Du Juriste Québécois

Me Marco Rivard maintains a superb website for anyone interested in doing research in Québec law. Obiter2 sets out the links to the principal sources in the following categories:

1- Recherche de ressources juridiques et gouvernementales

2- Législation

3- Jurisprudence

4- Doctrine et information

5- Information juridique pour le grand public

6- Registres officiels et gouvernementaux

7- L’informatique au service du juriste

8- Divers outils utiles

9- Dictionnaires et orthographe

10- Les principaux portails québécois d’intérêt général . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Can Wikipedia Be a Source of Evidence?

Badasa v. U.S.: Here’s a US immigration case in which the US government offered information from Wikipedia to support its argument about the status of Ethiopian travel documents. The appeals court eventually found that this was not a good source of evidence, and sent the matter back for reconsideration.

ArsTechnica has the story.

Does this sound right to you? Would a print encyclopedia be any better?

I don’t see in this story any concern about the hearsay nature of the evidence — like that of any website, pretty well, surely — though that might depend on the use being . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

A Little About Max Planck*

I am spending a month on an academic exchange at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg. This is a researcher’s heaven. There is a library of nearly 500,000 volumes covering about 200 (yes, 200!!) jurisdictions, with legislation, caselaw, journals, and monographs available for use in the library. The major databases, including key European West databases, are available to researchers. Every researcher has an allocated desk or office.

There are perhaps 100 users of the facilities at any one time, from all around the world. They are not here to undertake a specific degree, . . . [more]

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

LexisWeb

Lexis has released a web search page, LexisWeb, that offers, in effect, federated searching across an unspecified number of law-related web pages from sites vetted by Lexis editorial staff.

From the user guide [PDF]:

The Lexis Web product includes important, legal-oriented Web content selected and validated by the LexisNexis editorial staff. You can trust that all content has met LexisNexis criteria for being authoritative and accurate. The current beta version combines content from thousands of Web sites and millions of Web pages, with more being added each day:

• Governmental agency information (federal, state, local)
• Informal commentary on

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

India as a Legal Research Powerhouse?

Not yet, according to widely reported remarks from Bangalore over the weekend, to the graduating class at the National Law School. See the Hindu ((Not the Hindu Times, Simon, as you blogged in August)),Economic Times and Mangalorean reports.

National Law School of India University Vice-Chancellor A. Jayagovind on Sunday expressed concern over decline in the number of students pursuing higher studies in law.

The Vice-Chancellor went on:

“Our law schools are however yet to make a mark in terms of advancement of knowledge. Hopefully, most of us have been able to impart reasonably good legal education which was

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Pipl Search: Online Directory for Searching for People

A column by Randolph Hock in this month’s edition of The CyberSkeptic’s Guide to Internet Research alerted me to Pipl (apparently pronounced “people”). It does not appear to have yet been discussed on SLAW so I thought I would mention it now.

It is a search engine to find people. What’s makes it different, according to the site, is that it searches various (presumably free) databases on the Web that are part of the “deep” or “invisible” web:

Unlike a typical search-engine, Pipl is designed to retrieve information from the deep web, our robots are set to interact with searchable

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