Canada’s online legal magazine.

Spring! and a Woman’s Thoughts Turn to Tax Time

Ah, Spring! This weekend my thoughts turn to Easter chocolate, crocuses, and……

income tax!

Unlike our colleagues in the U.S., many of us have today and possibly even Monday free from the office. What better time to sort out all those papers, gather up the receipts, and file that claim?

And yet, still so many women continue to put their heads in the sand and claim that completing a simple income tax form is “too complicated”. They recruit fathers, husbands, brothers to help or even fill out their forms for them. They may think they are saving themselves a headache . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Next Generation Search – the Voice Interface

Techtree in Mumbai is reporting today on a new Google patent for a voice interface for search engines.

This essentially means if and when the product is built, users will be able to phone an internet search query or say it aloud instead of typing it inAccording to Swapnil Bhartiya of EFY News Network, “You can have a demo of Google Voice Search on Google Labs, Google’s pre-beta-test site, for well over a year. Google Voice Search, still up on Google Labs, lets people call into Google by phone”.
Or in Patent Speak:

A system provides search results from

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

The Friday Fillip arrives a little early today, but it’s a holiday weekend and there may not be much posting to cap. (This weekend is Easter, Passover, Baisakhi, and only one week off Mawlid al-Nabi, Mohammed’s birthday, and three weeks off the birthday of the Buddha.)

So all of this calendaring, lunar and solar, got me thinking of time.

Charlotte van der Waals has designed a marvelously simple 12-sided clock. The concept is brilliant: no numerals on the face; turn one facet uppermost depending on what city/locale you want to know the time in; the top is noon and midnight, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Calendar

With all the buzz about Google Calendar, I skipped my coffee break to give it a spin not expecting to find it very useful given that I rely heavily on my Outlook calendar in conjunction with the rest of Outlook. Still, my only out-of-office access to my Outlook Calendar is through my PDA. I don’t yet know if Google Calendar will sync with my PDA.

What particularly appeals to me about Google Calendar even without testing it is the ability to share calendars in a collaborative way. Very 2.0.

I found Matt Cutts review of Google Calendar very helpful . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Into the Future: The Agenda for Civil Justice Reform

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice presents Into the Future: the agenda for civil justice reform, a conference to be held in Montreal April 30-May 2.

Thirteen expert sessions presented over 3 days will bring together the legal profession, the public and the most influential and respected leaders of Canadian civil justice reform!

Judges, lawyers, corporate counsel, litigants, court administrators, policy makers, mediators, academics, and the public.

-Civil justice system challenges and innovative solutions.
-Keynote speakers from Canada and abroad will provide expert advice on ways and means to make our civil . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


I spent some time up at the law school today and learned a new acronym — one new to me, at least: Snails.

It stand for “Students not actually in law school” and means to describe those insignificant others who hang about the halls and cafeterias drinking proto-lawyer coffee and generally scuffing up the court-like slate. Evidently Snails are allowed in the law library and will sometimes bother librarians with reference questions.

Nothing quite like a lawyer wannabe, is there? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Courts and Legal Research – What’s Next has just reported that the U.S. Supreme Court “adopted a historic rule change that will allow lawyers to cite so-called unpublished opinions in federal courts starting next year”. Apparently, unpublished opinions represent 80 percent of cases decided in the federal appeals courts.

It seems to me that recent rulings of the courts (Canadian and American) may be the start of a re-evaluation of the legal research process. The Ontario Court decision discussed in the April 10 post “Computers Have All the Answers”.- looks as though it will be impetus for some lively debates amongst practicing lawyers (I think the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous — that’s a numeral 1 — is a means of transfering text or files (2 MB limit) between computers. To do that, you go to and follow your nose. So, for example, I entered and when the entry page came up I put in some text that you’ll find when you go there; you can copy it with a click of the “copy” button.

What I’m not clear about at the moment, because I don’t have another computer handy, is what the password I’ve entered will do. I imagine that despite the password you can still see . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Windows Academic Search Is Live

Windows Live Academic Search is available in beta. For us — and for most people — it will be “academic” (in the poorest sense of that word) for a while yet, because it’s only drawing on content in computer science, physics, electrical engineering, and “related subject areas.”

I gave it a try with “topic mapping” (not the phrase) and got 5,670 hits. (For some reason “legal research” produced 63 hits, most of which had no apparent relation to the announced subject areas.) When you hover over a hit, an abstract appears in a right-hand panel, though you can choose at . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Spring Overload?

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been noticing a trend. Is this the busiest time of year? or is it just me?

First off, I’ve got a firm wide portal project set to roll out over the next few weeks (again, maybe just me, but it seems like there’s always a major spring project).

Add in the fact that it’s planning and budget time, that I’m prepping a presentation for the BCLA conference next friday, and the CALL Conference is coming quickly there after — and then, woh-and-behold — I should come back just in time to welcome . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Microsoft’s Academic Search

Get ready for Microsoft’s competitor to Google Scholar, Windows Live Academic Search, which may be announced either tomorrow or Wednesday, according to Charles Bailey Jr.’s Digital Koan. A note in PCWorld says:

Academic Search, aimed at Google Scholar, will allow users to search articles in academic journals or find out if books or articles are available in a library located near the user, according to another LiveSide posting.

According to LiveSide, Academic Search will allow users to do the following:

  • View an abstract for an academic article in a search preview pane;
  • View the complete article, as
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous