Canada’s online legal magazine.

One Billion Internet Users

Fascinating discussion by Jakob Nielsen on One Billion Internet Users of the growth of the Web and the implications of having passed the billionth user.

The Internet is growing at an annualized rate of 18% and now has one billion users. A second billion users will follow in the next ten years, bringing a dramatic change in worldwide usability needs.

Nielsen’s report is worth reading in full, but a few Timbits:For our readers outside British North America, the cultural reference to Timbits is explained here in the Wikipedia, which for once is reliable. There are even pictures of this . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Wikilaw

Well, I got curious after that last post and soon discovered that there is a Wikilaw at http://wiki-law.org/.

According to this website, its mission is “to build the largest open-content legal resource in the world.” The site encourages all law professors, practitioners, and students to share their knowledge.” The founders of the site appear to be two graduates of a New York law school.

There does not appear to be a lot of substantive content on the site. For example, under the “treatises” section for “contracts” there is a table of contents with headings but no content – see: http://wiki-law.org/mwiki/index.php?title=Wiki-Treatise:_Contracts. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Citation Online

One of the most frequent questions law students ask about legal research is whether the “McGill Guide” is online. Of course it is not. There is, however, an online “American” citation guide – Peter W. Martin’s Introduction to Basic Legal Citation at http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/– but this does not have Canadian content.

In checking out Wikipedia on various legal research related topics, I see that they have a good article entitled “Case Citation” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_citation which, although emphasizing US case citation, does provide examples of Canadian, British, Australian and NZ case citations. Unfortunately, there is a comma missing in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Predictions for 2006

I saw a reference earlier today to Dennis Kennedy’s “Legal Technology Predictions for 2006: Small Steps for Most Firms, Giant Leaps for a Few Firms” (December 17, 2005) published on LLRX.com. Worthwhile reading; most of his predictions seem spot on (e.g., wikis overtaking blogs, increased RSS publications by law firms, the ongoing need for better time management technology tools for lawyers, etc.). . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

It Looks Just the Same as the Print!

I saw a note on the ALLG listserv this morning from a Lexis rep announcing the availability of the NZ Law Reports and Queensland Law Reports in PDF. I’m not sure but I think this may be a first for Lexis, although Westlaw was there some time ago with the National Reporter System and of course we’ve had the wealth of resources from Hein and LLMC and Gale available in that format for a long while now. Its clearly a growing trend and a welcome one – I’ve always found it a useful ‘persuader’ for those who still resist giving . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

It’s the Time of the Year for Year End Lists

Well the wire services are reporting the top legal stories of 2005, as graded by the legal experts:
1. Katrina
2. Rehnquist-Roberts transition
3. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act

A touch insular, perhaps.

In the wider world, what were the top issues?

I’m tempted to list some of the huger mistakes that courts have made, ranging from the RIM saga [of which the New Yorker has a great piece today] and the collapse of the BCCI brought by Deloittes on behalf of BCCI investors against the Bank of England, which collapsed after 12 years. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Building Beyond Wikipedia

We noted last month the Cornell wiki that required that experts be validated.

Today’s Register has a venture that builds beyond similar scepticism about the reliability of an encyclopaedia on which anyone can post.

$10m for a Wikipedia for grown-ups

The Register notes:

Digital Universe aims to garner the best of both worlds: harness wide public input, but with acknowledged experts acting as stewards.

The project has a long list of institutions signed up, including the National Council for Science and the Environment, the American Museum of Natural History, the World Resources Institute, the UN and UCB.

Material will . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Death of Traditional Book Publishing

http://www.michaelhyatt.com/workingsmart/2005/12/the_death_of_tr.html

At this time of year, I indulge in one of my favorite pastimes: browsing bookstores. The theory is that I’m looking for gifts for friends and family, while the reality is that I also end up at the till with books for me. Guessing that most of us are bibliophiles, I thought you’d be interested in the above article. The link is to a publisher’s view of the future of the book publishing industry. The link takes you to “The death of traditional book publishing”; there is a link from there to another post by the same publisher, which . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Open Source, Collaboration and Getting Beyond the IP Innovation Roadblocks

This morning an announcement from four information technology companies, seven American universities and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that Higher education and the IT industry address open software research

ARMONK, N.Y. and KANSAS CITY, MO., December 19, 2005 — Leaders from four information technology companies, seven American universities and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced today that they have adopted guiding principles to enable open collaborative software research.

Summit participants developing and adopting these principles include the Kauffman Foundation, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stanford, University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

No to Just Legal Information – Yes to Work Process

In an interesting profile in the Star-Tribune for November 15, entitled On Business: Thomson West becomes the go-to firm for online legalese the company’s strategy is clearly away from simply being in the information provision business. Indeed it’s so wedded to content and process, that Thomson West is more like an integrated information and software company. Some of this was becoming clear in its early and ambitious Westworks, whose birth is lauded at The ASP Approach: Experience Equals New Products and whose obituary can be found at WestWorks Melds Into ProLaw

The new West vision is shown at On Business: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

My Take on Blogging – and Slaw

My column for the OBA this month is part one of a two parter on Blogs, Wikis and RSS. Here is part one, in which Slaw features prominently.

Blogs, Wikis and RSS – barbaric words that sound strange.

What do they have to do with practising law? If you’re not thinking about building Blogs, Wikis and RSS into your practice – you’re not alone among Ontario lawyers. But I think you should be, for these odd neologisms describe new tools within the reach of every lawyer, which for the right practice can expand your marketing reach for minimal out-of-pocket cost.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous