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Propylon’s Legislative Software

Propylon’s Legislative Workbench supports the creation, amendment, translation and multi-channel publishing of legislative documents. It addresses the unique challenges of legislative document authoring and workflow using XML and open standards. It can be deployed across a range of database and application server configurations.

Propylon’s Legislative Workbench is an integrated suite of legislative applications that includes bill drafting, tracking, status, automated engrossment, a searchable legislative repository, journal, calendar, publishing and in-chamber systems.

I’d never thought about this technology niche, but I can see how it makes sense. It would be interesting to play around with it, but this is definitely a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Time Management and Lawyers in the 21st Century

As a proponent of RSS, I try my best to follow the RSS feeds from a number of “very active” BLOGs. Recent postings on SLAW and other BLOGs have highlighted a problem with RSS – it’s a great way to divert content from bloated in boxes, but it’s just not as intuitive as email for many lawyers.

Perhaps more importantly (for me personally), the RSS vs. email issue merely illustrates the bigger issue – how can lawyers spend productive days in the office given the ever increasing demands on their time and attention? From emails and RSS whose only purpose . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google + University Complutense of Madrid Library

The Google Books Library Project got a big boost this week: University Complutense of Madrid Library has joined the project. Its the first Spanish language library ( and the first from a non-English-speaking country) to join the project. The library is the largest university library in Spain, and the second largest library in the country behind the National Library. In addition to holding thousands of Spanish language classics, the library’s collection includes French, German, Italian, Latin, and English language books.

Google news release

University Complutense of Madrid Library news release . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Education in the 21st Century

I wasn’t much of an articling student. I worked hard, but not smart: my learning curves were more like sheer cliff faces. I’m sure I wasted a lot of clients’ money and lawyers’ time during my year of service, and the firm was right not to ask me back.

In retrospect, I can see many things I should have done differently. But at the time, I was seriously peeved that no one had prepared me for this, that I hadn’t the first clue of what the practising Bar required. That’s been a pretty common experience for many new lawyers before . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What Do YOU Call a Law Blog in French?

There is an interesting little discussion happening over on the law blog of Frédéric Rolin about what exactly the proper French equivalent of “law blog” should be.

English. Simple: law blog or blawg. Sounds easy.

But in French?

Here are some of the suggestions by Rolin and by people who sent comments:

  • Give in to worldwide Anglo-Saxon linguistic imperialism and just call blawgs “blawgs” – Rolin does write that French blawgers who are on Technorati all seem to use the tag “blawg” (ha! vendus!)
  • bloig (blog + loi=law or statute)
  • juriblog – my favourite
  • blex
  • bleg
  • droig (from droit=law)
  • jurnal
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Access Denied!

Maps may not be our usual fare, though Simon’s posts on graphical representations of data are always interesting. Still, I remember a law firm library in Toronto that had a beautiful collection of extremely detailed maps of Ontario bound in large format.

Plus, there are a couple legal shadows falling over this picture… so this quote from a map librarian:

As of January 2007, Natural Resources Canada will discontinue the printing of paper topographic maps and will close the Canada Map Office. Our government wants to get out of the business of producing printed maps.

Many Canadians place a priority

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Fortune on Google

There’s an interesting article on everyone’s favourite web company, Google, in the recent Fortune magazine, available online at CNMoney.com. “Chaos by design: The inside story of disorder, disarray, and uncertainty at Google. And why it’s all part of the plan. (They hope.),” by Adam Lachinsky, takes you inside the sprawling (1.3 million square feet) headquarters of the giant (annual income: $10 billion; worth: $125 billion) baby (age: 8). The punchline:

With so many moving parts, it’s natural to wonder if Google is truly a company for the ages — or whether it’s the next Galaxy, that fast-moving, arrogant,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Technology and the 21st-Century Lawyer

As someone who still pays his bills with a chequebook and stamps, I’m a little reluctant to address the whole question of technology in the legal profession. But here we go anyway:

To get a sense of the degree to which the law is still a pen-and-paper profession, listen to the language that lawyers use. “Paper the other side,” articling students are told. “Note up the case. Write a memo to file. Docket your time.” In our mind’s eye, it seems, we’re working in the age of bound ledgers and three-ring-binder timesheets, and the phrases we use unconsciously reflect that. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Transnational Electronic Data Exchanges (Take II)

On September 21, I posted a request for caselaw and articles discussing transnational electronic data exchanges for discovery/disclosure or in the business management context. Not surprisingly, up to now, it has received no answer.

In fact, to most people and country, this remains a useless topic of no interest. However, being the e-information geek that I am, how can I not wander, in a world of virtual data/documents, how to get e-information from a party or third person residing in a foreign country?

Nowaday, it is so easy for a multinational corporation or anyone, for that matter, to keep its . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

First Year Law Students

Interesting post in Law.com about how the first year law students appear to an experienced law librarian, and what their attitudes are to books and paper materials, and to legal research assignments.

This is the start of the so-called Millennial Generation who have been told that they are:

Special: have been told they are special all their lives.

Sheltered: kept from harm’s way and have highly structured lives.

Confident: see special; they expect good news and believe in themselves.

Conventional: accept social rules.

Team-oriented: they like to work together and keep in contact with

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Current Affairs Literature

We’re building a ‘current affairs’ collection in the library at Osgoode Hall Law School – or more accurately a collection of major daily newspapers and weekly and monthly magazines for general browsing and a break from reading the law. I’d be interested from hearing from SLAWers for recommended titles for addition to this collection, some of which were mentioned during our ‘grey lit’ week. We currently get the NYT, International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, Globe and Mail, National Post and Toronto Star. In magazines we get the Spectator, New Yorker, Harpers Bazaar, Atlantic Monthly, McLeans and The . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous