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Sobering Reality

Since it’s my “day” to blog, I’m indulging in a topic quite far removed from legal research and technology (but so have the rest of you from time to time!). This news story reminds me of the freedoms we generally take for granted:

I guess I hadn’t realized or had forgotten how religion trumps the state in countries like Iran. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

You Can Still Be Fired for Surfing the Web?

Despite the fact that Judge John Spooner, an administrative law judge, ruled that a New York City employee cannot be fired for surfing the Web at work in April, the employee has been fired anyway, reports Techdirt and a number of other news sites.

So, slackers beware. Despite the best protestations, it seems that goofing off – whether it be with your iPod, the phone, email or the Internet won’t go unpunished if most companies have their way. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Student Research Training

The research lawyers here are in the middle of our summer student/clerk Boot Camp training, so it’s uppermost on my mind. These are students that have completed either 1 or 2 years of law school, and will be given less complex research assignments during the 4 months here at the firm. We’ve developed a week long training schedule, that I will share with you as follows (if anyone is interested in the detailed schedule, I can send it via email):

*Introduction to the firm’s expectations, internal processes (submitting memos for review, etc.);
*creating and recording a research plan/trail; research guides; . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Word Out West

If you think things are a bit quiet this week, it’s because so many of our colleagues are whooping it up in Edmonton, sin city of the wicked west, at the CALL conference.

But some inkling into the goings-on can be found at the CALL Blog. Don’t forget to check it too – it’ll let you know where the latest rave, pub crawl or thé dansant is happening this week. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

English Legal Research – Useful Guidance

In my ebulletin this morning from Chancery Lane, a list of links that may be helpful to Slaw researchers who have to look at English law.

Obviously a complete pathfinder would be a much larger taskStart with these:

Sarah Carter’s LLRX Guide
the Essex Guide
the Duke Guide
Duke English Legal History Guide
Good PowerPoint from the Law Bod
and finally the Kent portal
, but these offer a good starting point.

How to find Treaties

How to find public statutes

How to find Bills

How to find law reports

How to find information for a student project


. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Commoditized Legal Products – a Reality Check

After the front cover piece in CBA National , recently mentioned on Slaw, it may seem as if there is a certain inevitability in the move away from billable hours, and to the development of technology-enabled commodity products.

This was the view espoused by Richard Susskind and embraced by legal futurists in North America and Australia.

I questioned whether this was really occurring in practice and whether firms were prepared to make the necessary investments in a piece at the first Pacific Legal Technology Conference back in 2002.

Now a survey of major projects suggests that there . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Susskind Lecture Now Available

Richard Susskind’s visionary look forward at the SCL 2006 LectureFor those who missed it there was a good summary at Legal IT, postings in the US, Australia, and England and of course the the good folks over at Slaw picked it up as well: The Next Ten Years is now available in transcript form as well as in podcastAnd here as well..

The most interesting ideas are picked up in a recent interview Richard gave to the Law Society Gazette:

‘Lawyers are correct about worrying about the economics of commodity pricing, because when

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

AALL’s History – the Canadian Angle

Since the history of law librarianship in CanadaI acknowledge the start made in the Diana Priestly festschrift, Law libraries in Canada : essays to honour Diana M. Priestly, edited by Joan N. Fraser and published by Carswell in 1988, and the recent CALL publication on Law Reporting and Legal Publishing in Canada: A History, but that’s not really on topic. is relatively underdocumented, it’s interesting to note the Canadian references in our American colleagues’ massive centennial history of AALL.

1912 – June 26–July 2 . . . AALL’s 7th Annual Meeting is the first to be held outside . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Electronic Signatures

Two cases, one fairly recent, that address the issue of whether a name within an email might constitute a signature for the purposes of forming an enforceable contract: Mehta v J Pereira Fernandes SA [2006] EWHC 813 (Ch) and SM Integrated Transware v Schenker Singapore, [2005] SGHC 58.

The Singaporean case is found on LawNet, to which I don’t have a subscription.

The English court said that the sender’s automatically inserted email address did not constitute a signature, not being intended as one, but “if a party or a party’s agent sending an e mail types his or her . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Ola! Today our Mexican colleagues, and some of those in the U.S., celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo, literally, means “the 5th of May.” Many people mistakenly think it is a celebration of Mexican independence, but that day is celebrated in September. From the web:

“Cinco de Mayo” (the fifth of May) is a day of remembrance of the “Batalla de Puebla” (Battle of Puebla): in which poorly equipped but highly motivated Méxican forces of less than four thousand troops, defeated the French forces of five thousand who were well equipped and disciplined. The city of Puebla, 100

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous