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Atlantic Getting Wider

Since I’m in the East Neuk of Fife without access to the web, this posting will be brief – and without the usual bevy of hyperlinks that normally are scattered like vole droppings over my blog postings.

And the lack of web access also gives me some distance to think about Canadian law, as contrasted with English law as reflected in the four major Sunday papers.

It’s been interesting over the last thirty years to note how English law – once so central to Canadian law – has moved to the margins. And not to be replaced by American law . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

More From CALL/ACBD 2006 – a Call for a Legal Taxonomy

Well, Simon Fodden’s intuition was correct. There does appear to be a need for a model legal taxonomy which can be used across Canada. At the CALL/ACBD conference in the Members’ Open Forum, there was a call for someone to put together one taxonomy for common and civil law rather than everyone reinvent the wheel. I don’t see that any official vehicle was put into place to achieve this other than it being a possible future research project. There does seem to be a lining up of the stars on this one if there is someone who wants to take . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

May the (Coming Into) Force Be With You

Following on the recently completed CALL/ACBD conference, I wanted to bring to Slaw-ers attention, some material rising out of Senator Tommy Banks plenary session. For those of you who were not there, the plenary was entitled: Legislation Repeal: Cleaning Out the Attic. A very interesting session regarding Federal Statutes which have received Royal Assent but have not been brought into force. The Senator detailed this occurance and explained his efforts to change the status of these statutes in limbo. Coming out of that session here is the link to the bill sponsored by the Senator: Bill S 202 – . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Research Mash-Up in 3D

The Edmonton Law Libraries’ Association runs Headstart – an annual 2-day legal research bootcamp for articling students. The firms pay $70 per student (or the students can pay their own way) and the bench, bar, faculty, vendors, and Law Society Library support it.

We focus on the nuts and bolts of daily research tasks, such as locating regulations, and noting up cases. We are big on underlining the practicality of some paper resources. And the true beneficiaries are the librarians… they get intelligent, informed questions right from the start! . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Research – the Heart of the Matter

Is it fair to assume that some of the “legal research” issues of past decades live on in 2006? Back in the 1980’s, when a small number of Canadian lawyers started to call themselves “research lawyers”, the debate was about whether a “research lawyer” could have the same profile and credibility as that accorded to a “line lawyer” (aka a lawyer with a traditional practice). Back then, there was a concern that legal research was something that juniors did until they were in a position to delegate the research assignments to the new “junior” on the team.

I decided to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Five From Google

Google announced four new tools today at their press conference: - Google Co-op is a way for users to help us improve search.... Whether it's information about a hobby, a profession, or an unusual interest, everyone can contribute to making Google search more relevant and useful for the entire community.- Google Desktop 4 gives you another way to improve search, by personalizing your desktop. New “Google Gadgets” deliver an array of information--ranging from games and media players to weather updates and news--straight to your desktop.- Google Notebook is a personal browser tool that lets you clip text, images, and links from the pages you're searching, save clippings to an online notebook, and then share notebooks with others.- Google Trends builds on the idea behind the Google Zeitgeist, allowing you to sort through several years of Google search queries from around the world to get a general idea of everything from user preferences on ice-cream flavors to the relative popularity of politicians in their respective cities or countries.
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Research Skills: Law Schools and Law Firms

It’s that time of year when law students turn into lawyer-trainees, whether because of articling or summer jobs, and from everything I’ve heard most hiring law firms give their students a crash course in legal research. Brenda Johnson recently laid out for us the elements of her program at (the burgeoning) Bennet Jones LLP. This, and the fact that I too am in the process of hiring a research assistant for the summer, got me thinking about the relation between law schools and law firms.

Law schools have been known to bridle at suggestions from practice that they aren’t . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

End of the Video Store?

We’ve known for a long time that the end of the Video store was inevitable (interesting how they’ve kept that name, despite the fact that the number of actual video-cassettes in such a store is usually now very tiny; the bulk of the stock being DVDs). Today a small article in the Business Section of the New York Times brings it closer. Warner Brothers are going to start making movies and TV shows available over the Internet, starting this summer. Warner are doing this through BitTorent – the software most used for illegal downloading of movies. If you can’t beat’em, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What the Judge Actually Said

As Canadian readers of Slaw will likely know, there’s been a small contretemps in Ottawa over the last few days involving a Conservative MP and the Chief Justice. According to the CBC News report:

Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott took a swipe at the Supreme Court on the weekend, prompting a swift response from the country’s top judge.

Maurice Vellacott attributed comments to the country’s top judge, but a spokesperson says she never said them…

“I don’t think it is the role of the judge, whether left or right or conservative or whatever stripe [he] happens to be, to actually

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous