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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’

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

Next Time Cite Slaw in Your Factum

Kevin O’Keefe recently discussed Digital Darwinism as it related to legal researchers, publishers and advertisers. The economic downturn, coupled with technological advances, has resulted in the demise of many major industries that have been the backbone of corporate America.

But O’Keefe also suggests another slightly troubling proposition,

Blogs will be widely cited in briefs and court decisions.

What better way to provide compelling arguments and establish binding precedent than sourcing articles with a milisecond publishing turnaround time?

There is obviously a broad variety of quality and depth in the legal blogosphere.

The credibility and authority of both the author and . . . [more]

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

“Recognized as an Authority”

When can it be said that a new print publication is in fact “recognized as an authority” by the Canadian legal research community?

This question came to mind when I asked a law librarian attending the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries if she had added Halsburys Laws of Canada to her law library collection. Her answer was that she would do so as soon as Halsburys was “recognized” by the legal research community and not before.

The ultimate form of recognition

Identifying the ultimate form of recognition as an authority is an easy task. It is . . . [more]

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

Cornell Legal Information Institute Looking for Donations

I was just on the website of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (that’s the organization that kicked off the “open law” movement of which our own CanLII is a part). They are asking for financial donations. The notice explains:

Your support helps us help others.

There are over one million links to the LII, from hundreds of thousands of websites.

Today, many of those are sites that help people who are struggling with debt, and the people and organizations who help them: debt counselors, bankruptcy lawyers, consumer self-help sites, and countless others.

The LII stands out because we make law both

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