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Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Szakacs v. Clarke, 2014 ONSC 7487

[1] For best courtroom adaptation of a work of fiction, the award goes to the applicant, Clarissa Olenka Szakacs, who shamelessly feigned what she thought was necessary to convince the court to circumscribe access by the respondent to their almost-six-year-old daughter.

[2] One could sit in Family Court for many years and not encounter such . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Value of Library Resources

The end of the year is budget season. For librarians, part of the budgetary process is looking at our collections, calculating how much it will cost to keep each service, print or electronic, and then deciding if the cost of the service reflects the value we get from that service.

When I look at what the value of an item is for my library, I consider a number of variables:

  • Current usage. Circulation statistics do not tell the whole story. Some lawyers use books in the library rather than checking them out. Other lawyers may take a book out
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Data Visualization With CartoDB

No matter where you live in Vancouver, odds are pretty good there’s a dog nearby with the name Charlie.

How do I know this random tidbit? It’s thanks to CartoDB, a (mostly) free cloud-based mapping tool. While browsing their online gallery, I came across a user-generated map of popular dog names in Vancouver, created using open source data.

The product concept is pretty simple: CartoDB will take geo-location data, along with other connected contextual data, from an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file; and then turn those pieces into an professional-looking, interactive map.

We recently used CartoDB for . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Why Write?

I have a bit of a writing habit. I am not alone. Over the years, I have tried to determine why I enjoy putting words on a page or screen for others to read. It could be shameless need to promote my ideas, it might fulfill my outgoing introvert soul, and it could be that it helps me solidify the Why for my daily work life.

Why does anyone do what they do?

Regardless of how it came to be, I would like to share a new publication with you.

A Handbook for Corporate Information Professionals, edited by Katharine . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.

Technology

Create a playlist to help yourself fall asleep*
Dan Pinnington

Not sure if the experts will say this is a scientifically helpful idea for falling asleep (IMHO it seems better than just counting sheep), but sometimes you will want to listen to music as you (hopefully) fall asleep. But how do you set things up so you aren’t stuck listening to music all night?…

Research

Plan Your Research
Shaunna . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Good Guys of Legal and Professional Publishing

I wonder if many others, like me, find almost all those uplifting messages posted and spread on social and business media sites, intensely nauseating? Mostly they instruct, or rather order us to have some kind of simplistic emotional feeling surrounding “do something awesome”, “life is like a (any noun will do)”, “17 things that mentally strong people do” or, maybe even more shallow, the command that we “keep calm” followed by something really tedious. However, I could probably live with “keep calm and stop getting childishly over-excited about next to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

British Columbia Law Firm’s Computer Network Hacked by Cyber-Extortionist

The Law Society of BC recently issued a warning to its members to be vigilant about their firm’s cyber security after a BC firm’s files were held captive by a hacker who encrypted them and tried to extort payment in return for restoring access. There have been similar cases in Ontario in the last year.

…the firm found that its computer system was hacked and paralyzed by a computer virus known as the Cryptowall Virus when the staff showed up for work on Monday, December 29, 2014. Notices appeared on some of the firm’s computer monitors stating “Your files were

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

LII-in-Your-Pocket?

When I first learned about “LII-in-a-Box,” a new legal information service developed by the African Legal Information Institute, I thought it might provide a stand-alone information system that could operate independent of the internet. I thought it might be something that would alleviate poor and intermittent internet connections that make access to online information difficult in under-served communities and countries. Honestly though, what really came to mind was the LibraryBox Project that Jason Griffey has been championing for a number of years now. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

A Book Review: Paul Lomic, Social Media and Internet Law: Forms and Precedents

What is it about social media that make them such a hot topic these days, even for lawyers, as this new book demonstrates? I suggest it’s all the people. Other areas of technology can be dry or technical or mystifying, other areas of law can be the realm of big corporations or telecoms or governments. Social media combine cutting-edge technology with real human beings just doing what we do – spouting ideas, going places, making pictures, telling stories. The topic is more about us than most of the others in law or technology.

Social media do not have all their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from sixty recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. David Whelan  2. Éloïse Gratton 3. SOQUIJ  4. The Court  5. Ontario Condo Law Blog

David Whelan
Cut Your Library Nose Off to Fight for Space

File this one under different perspective. There is a tension in courthouse libraries. Keep in mind that, in most cases, whether the courthouse . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Workplace New Year’s Resolution #2: It Pays to Be Remorseful (And to Be Unionized)!

We can probably all agree that workplace violence can not and should never be tolerated. In my view, Employers should take a very firm stance and terminate any employees who intentionally physically assault another employee, particularly when they don’t show remorse. I’ve come across a recent decision that runs counter to this opinion, and while I don’t often critique decisions on Slaw, Kruger Inc., v. Unifor, Local 1646, 2014 CanLII 66101, deserves some discussion.
The Employer is unionized by Unifor and so the decision to terminate the Employee was challenged in a grievance. The facts are simple are . . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions