Canada’s online legal magazine.

A Technology Project for the LCO?

An explicit aspect of the Law Commission of Ontario’s mandate is to “consider technology as a means to enhance access to justice”. I see this aspect of our mandate as something we should incorporate into all our projects, although the odd one may not call for it (we did not consider it in our pensions project, for example, which was narrowly defined). But it is obviously an invitation to undertake a project specifically focused on technology and the justice system. As a group devoted to technology and the law, Slaw bloggers are a prime resource for project ideas for this . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Law Journals Lose Print Subscribers

Ross E. Davies, of George Mason University School of Law, has a brief piece called “Law Review Circulation” available on SSRN. The article has been summarized by Inside Higher Ed, and, simply, reveals a serious drop in the the paid circulation for the “top 15” U.S. law reviews, where the figures are available (as they are required by the U.S. Postal Service to be).

One example will suffice here: The Harvard Law Journal’s paid circulation over time was as follows:

1979-80: 8,760 \ 1987-88: 7325 \ 1997-98: 4367 \ 2007-08: 2,610

This is not surprising, perhaps, given the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

Workplace Privacy and Social Networks: OBA Session on Privacy Law

As part of the Ontario Bar Association‘s 2009 OBA Institute (continuing today) the Privacy Law section held a program yesterday entitled “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Privacy”. Dan Michaluk has blogged about his session in which he was a panelist with Professor Avner Levin from Ryerson University; their focus was on workplace privacy issues that came out of the Ryerson study The Next Digital Divide: Online Social Network Privacy. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law, Technology

What the Recession Will Bring

“Are we looking at a second Depression? I don’t think so,” said Paul Krugman, NewYork Times columnist and Nobel-Prize-winning economist, during his luncheon address to the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association’s World Summit [PDF] last week in Vancouver. Then he added: “A month ago, I would’ve said, ‘Absolutely not.’ But today, I’m going to say, ‘I don’t think so.'”

That was the standout quote for me from an economic assessment so pessimistic that at its end, Krugman admitted: “I wish I had some positive things to tell you.” But aside from, as he said, having “people in Washington I can now . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Outsourcing in Legal Publishing – Anything (And Possibly Everything) Goes

Just over three decades ago, the Canadian Law Information Council was established by the federal and provincial governments in order to create a framework for online access to legal information in Canada. The idea was that a national council of all of the interested parties could work together to ensure that any development was in the best interest of Canadians.

At the time, there was a serious concern that online databases of Canadian legal information would be built and controlled from the United States, with the result that Canadians would have to go offshore to access their own laws in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Not Enough Lawyers?

In one ear we hear the news that thanks to the recession firms are laying off lawyers and hiring fewer; and today in the other ear McLeans tells us that Canada needs more lawyers than its law schools can produce. According to the article, “Where’s a lawyer when you need one?” by Kate Lunau, Canada has fewer law schools for its population than any other Commonwealth country. Lunau explores some of the constraints — provincial refusal to fund new law schools being prime among them — and depends on Vern Krishna’s analysis to a large degree.

It might be that . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Tracking the Web, and Monetizing Off It

Yesterday, Nicole Baute of the Toronto Star covered a new social networking analysis company, Sysomos. The Canadian company gathers data from Twitter, Facebook, and 30 million blogs. Yes, 30 million.

It’s a new start-up by a UofT prof and one of his grad students, and they received financial support from the province to get things going.

They claim to go beyond brand monitoring by identifying what people are saying, who these people are, and what their tone is.

One recent practical application is mentions of Stephen Harper when parliament was prorogued. They also say . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

CanLII’s New Site for Legislation

CanLII always seems to release the good news late on Friday… Maybe it’s that as the weekend approaches the pressure to finish the project gets it done just in time. Maybe it’s some impulse to drop the bomb and run.

This time it’s their new database for legislation, over on their beta site, and the really good news is that you can do point in time searching and comparisons of different versions. This function is currently available only for federal, Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan legislation, but as the bugs get removed from the new system, other jurisdictions will be . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

New WTO Database, and CALI OA Instructional Materials

I’m working on my segue skills (no, no that Segway):

News arrived yesterday that the WTO has a new database, The RTA-IS, which collects existing and announced Regional Trade Agreements, as well as “Pre-Defined Reports”. If you’d like to know what those, are, see the User Guide.

Or perhaps you have other legal education needs regarding the WTO? Why not try CALI’s new open access Legal Education Commons? I found these materials introducing TRIPS. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

I’m English, and so teeth have always been a problem. Which is why, perhaps, the dentists’ mantra has stuck in my head since I first heard it many, many cavities ago:

[Product X will help you] when used in a conscientiously applied program of oral hygiene and regular professional care. ((And it’s still a byword: see the Canadian Dental Association Seal of Recognition page.))

Of course, that’s what advertising is meant to do: stick things into your head that wouldn’t otherwise find a footing there, so to speak. So I thought it might be amusing to take a look . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

LMA Webinar Replay: Crisis Communications and Web 2.0

The Legal Marketing Association sponsored a webinar by Rich Klein of Beckerman Public Relations on January 24th called “Crisis Communications and Web 2.0”. That webinar is available for replay here (it will start as soon as you click on the link). It is about 1 hr 15 min in length. I believe it may only be available for a limited time, possibly to the end of February.

Hat tip to the Law Marketing Network. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology