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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Happy Birthday Canlii

Our friends at Canlii are celebrating eight years. Yes August 29, 2000 it all started.

Now CanLII publishes over 140 databases, gets nearly 25,000 visits per day, 2,500 new cases are added every week and 11 statutory databases are updated monthly.

The announcement has links so you can look back at what it used to look like.

Long may it thrive. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Cognition for Legal

The race is on to make (and sell to users) the first truly good search engine that deals well with concepts, such that a search for “dog bites man” would include results without the word “dog” or “bites” but that include “Pomeranian” and “attacks,” to give a very simple example. Natural language processing — or NLP — is not easy for machines to learn, of course. Not only must they have a decent thesaurus, but as well they should be able to parse a document and derive some sense of context so that the results of a “dog bites man . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Are Good Litigators Born?

I’ve always been leery of proponents of a biological basis for intelligence [or running].

I have conceded that genetics play some role on an individual basis, but need to be activated by the environment. Measures of intelligence are far too culturally specific, and ignore many other forms of intelligence. And I wholly reject, for largely scientific reasons, attempts to correlate genetic intelligence with racial or ethnic groups.

The same holds true for great lawyers.

Some of us are born to a long line of lawyers, or have parents that are judges or legal academics. We grew up . . . [more]

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

Sorting Appellate Judgments by Judge

Maybe you too have experienced this frustration. You want to know how many judgments a particular appellate court judge has written. So you turn to your favourite case law search tool and type in the judge’s name, perhaps using the special field designated for that purpose. Unfortunately, the results of your search include all of the cases where that judge was on the panel – not just those cases where the judge actually wrote a judgment. I know there are some articles that gather this kind of statistical data for certain courts at various times, but I was wondering if . . . [more]

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

De-Publishing Decisions

What do Slavians/Slawyers think about the US practice of courts deciding that their decisions will not be published, or to ‘de-publish’ decisions that have already been published? I came across a citation for a case like that, where the higher court decided, apparently, that the lower court’s decision should be de-published. The effect is that it is not to be cited as authority and is removed from official court reports.

The case is People v Wu, 235 Cal.App 3d 614, 286 Cal Rptr 69 (1991), (California Court of Appeal); order of depublication by California Supreme Court Jan 23,1992. The case . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

What Do We Want From Our Judges? to Be the “CCH of Legal Publishing”?

Michael Kirby, Mr. Justice Kirby of the High Court is known to love the limelight and he doubtless was tickled when the latest issue of Australian Business described him as the Rock star of the bench.

In a wide ranging account drawn from a speech to university students he talked about the organization of judgments:

“I know the real reason you love me,” Justice Kirby said.

“Headings. Headings. Sub-headings. Sub-sub-headings. Indent dot points. That’s the real reason.”

Kirby had some other helpful hints for those who find his judgments time-consuming. “You don’t communicate ideas if you write High Court . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Social Networking Site Launched for Law Students

CasemakerX announced today the development of a social networking site which will be available to American law students, law school faculty and law librarians who register as users ((CasemakerX is a free service supported by the Casemaker Bar Consortium and its 475,000 attorney membership consisting of State Bar Associations across the USA. The purpose of CasemakerX is to provide a conduit to network law students and legal professionals, creating an information portal for self-promotion, education, mentoring and future opportunities in the legal profession. Our mission is to help law students connect and use the power of group knowledge and professional/social . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

My First Slaw Post – SCC on Blogging

I’d like to thank Slaw for inviting me to be a regular contributor.

Ironically, this first post is a reference to my latest weekly London Free Press article that was inspired by a post on Slaw entitled “SCC Recognizes Blogging“.

While I can’t reproduce the article here for contractual/copyright reasons, you can read it on my blog, on Canoe, or on the Free Press site.

The article starts off with “A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision concerning a libel suit against a radio host referred to the changing attitudes surrounding public comment and defamation . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Value of Halsbury’s Laws

Or rather the value of access to Halsbury’s Laws. That’s the issue that the English courts must decide in a breach of contract claim involving a Reed-Elsevier legal author and the Anglo-Dutch legal publishing conglomerate.

English silk, David Phillips is suing the English division of the publisher, trading as LexisNexis Butterworths, for £316,730 including interest and costs.

Legal publishers aren’t used to being sued.

The claim alleges that LexisNexis breached a deal with Phillips’ father a High Court judge who edited the Income Tax volume of Halsbury’s in the 1970s. I suspect that his Lordship didn’t think it . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Important Case on Privilege From Supremes

Doubtless our friends at The Court will be on this but Binnie J (writing for a court of seven) handed down today in Canada (Privacy Commissioner) v. Blood Tribe Department of Health a decision which confirms the importance of legal professional privilege, and confirmed that the Privacy Commissioner, while an Officer of Parliament, lacks the authority of a judge to make determinations of privilege. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

SCC Recognizes Blogging

Small footnote to the SCC’s recent decision in Simpson v. WIC and Mair.

LeBel J’s concurring judgment mentions blogs:

[73] This is all the more true in an age when the public is exposed to an astounding quantity and variety of commentaries on issues of public interest, ranging from political debate in the House of Commons, to newspaper editorials, to comedians’ satire, to a high school student’s blog. It would quite simply be wrong to assume that the public always takes statements of opinion at face value. Rather, members of the public must be presumed to evaluate comments

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet