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Very Short Stories

I’m having to scan through a lot of search results in CanLII, looking for cases that might be appropriate to include in some teaching materials, so I’m paying attention to the five keywords or phrases that are used to classify the various judgements (about condominiums in Ontario, as it happens). Some of the five-word clusters — “pentalogs”? — provide an intriguing narrative arc, if not quite what I’m looking for, and I found myself imagining what might have underlain these very short stories. Herewith some examples:

  • caveat emptor — bulldozer — latent defect — leak — purchaser
  • spousal support
. . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The TimesMachine

Back in September we joined the chorus of praise for the New York Times’ decision to make a whackload of their archives available free (Some NY Times Articles Now Free). Now the folks at the Times have shown once again that they really are interested in making their data available, this time by releasing a browser designed to view the free archives (which stretch from volume 1, September 18, 1851, through that of December 30, 1922). Called, naturally, the TimesMachine, the browser is in fact an online app that appears within your current browser. A few clicks . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

NYPL and Blogs

First the newsy bit: The New York Public Library has a blog. This isn’t law, but it is libraria (is there such a word? there should be), which is a lot of what Slaw is about. And even more, it’s simply interesting. It’s a multi-author blog, so at the moment there’s stuff, for example, on an animated Bayeux Tapestry, on Aubrey Beardsley (who was something of an animated tapestry himself, come to think of it, and English 17th century hand-pressed propaganda.

Then the terminology bit. At the top of the blog page is the word “Blogs.” Now a lot . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Criminal Law

1. Introduction
A recent Global Television poll claims that 90% of Canadians are upset with Canada’s criminal justice system. Can anything be done to change this perception? Not while we have our present Constitution.

2. Constitutional Mistakes
The criminal justice system got off to a very bad start in 1867 when the framers of our Constitution made two fundamental mistakes.

First, they gave the subject of criminal law to federal legislators. This mistake overlooked the fact that most criminal conduct like most civil misconduct are best controlled by local or provincial law makers. The federated common law nations of Australia . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

New BC Legislation Portal

I’d like to invite Slaw readers to come check out Quickscribe’s new BC Legislation Portal. Launched yesterday, this site provides daily updates (every 4 hours actually) for changes in BC Law.

To relay a bit about what’s going on under the hood, this site is actually extending the value of Quickscribe’s RSS feeds. I posted on the VLLB a while back about the detailed nature of these feeds, but as I got to use them more, wondered if there might be some value to aggregating them as a collection. The BC Legislation Portal does just that. . . . [more]

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

The Friday Fillip

Usually in this spot I point you away from words, because, well, you’ve already used too many of them and something other is required. But today it’s more words, this time as objects in a video.

The Child” is a short video by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet in which he tells the story of the birth of a child using typographical elements. Simple, effective, enjoyable. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Awards Season.

It’s that time of year again. The red carpet is being rolled out, outfits are being coordinated, after parties are being planned……

You guessed it, it’s the Stellas! What are the Stellas? The Stellas are named in honour of Stella Liebeck who infamously sued a fast food chain after she spilled coffee on her lap and burned herself because the coffee was too hot; she was subsequently awarded 2.9 million in damages. From that lawsuit the Stella awards grew; in their own words: “(e)ver since, the name “Stella Award” has been applied to any wild, outrageous, or ridiculous lawsuits — . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

EFF Pioneer Award Goes to Michael Geist

Huge tip of the Slaw collective headgear to our friend Michael Geist for being one of the winners of the Electronic Frontier Foundation 2008 Pioneer Awards: three awards, to the Mozilla Foundation and its Chairman Mitchell Baker, University of Ottawa Professor Michael Geist, and AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein.

Michael’s stance on the threat to community implicit in copyright change was one of the major reason’s for his win:

Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa. Last year, he led the public protest to proposed Canadian copyright law changes that would have

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

U.S. Bluebook Online

The American uniform citation handbook, the Harvard Bluebook, is now online. You will need an account to access it, either a paid account of your own or an account of your subscribing institution.

We’ve talked at Slaw about the need for a free online Canadian uniform citation guide — indeed, even offered the services of our members to the McGill Guide folks, who declined our help. How hard would it be for us to produce a basic online guide that could then be improved over time?

[via Jim Milles on law.librarians] . . . [more]

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

Legal Citation Guides – Online Versions?

One of the more frequently asked questions I would receive when I was at the Faculty of Law at U of Toronto was: “Is there an online version of the McGill Guide (the Canadian guide for legal citation)? (The answer of course was “no”).

Two posts just now by LawyerKM and Jim Milles indicate the American equivalent – The Bluebook – is now online for a very reasonable annual subscription fee.

I hope Carswell is considering doing the same for the Canadian McGill Guide (print version details available on Carswell’s site here). One of the better, free online guides . . . [more]

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

Ten Emerging Technologies 2008 – MIT Tech Review

MIT Technology Review has released its list of the 10 technologies that it thinks are most likely to change the way we live. Some of the more interesting ones include:

  • Offline web applications: Programmers using Web technologies to build desktop applications that people can run online or off.
  • Reality mining: Using data gathered by cell phones to learn more about human behavior and social interactions.
  • Wireless power: Moving towards a world of wireless electricity.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology