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Rethinking Associations

Along with my other life changes, my 2007-08 campaign will also include a new role, that of VALL President. While I’ve done my stint as the co-chair for BCLMA’s KM group, this is actually the first time I’ve led a larger Association — a little over 100 members. I know, I know, nothing like stringing all your ‘firsts’ together!!

Now I know many of you have played this role, and some of you many times. So let me ask, what really shakes things up in a modern Association? I’m just back from an Executive changeover meeting, and these are . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Les Blawgues Stagnent-Ils?

Dans un récent billet, consécutif à un long congès d’écriture sur mon blogue, et sur slaw, je soulevais certains doutes, et certains doutes seulement, quant à la pertinence d’un blogue, individuel, principalement en français, en droit, en amérique du nord. Encore une fois, si l’outil, comme formule d’apprentissage intégrée à un cours est, j’en suis convaincu, fort efficace, il demande, comme toujours, à être considéré dans son ensemble vis-à-vis de ses objectifs.

Élément symptomatique, on commence à trouver des sites juridiques qui se posent la question de la stagnation. Pour preuve, un billet sur le très bon blogue collaboratif . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Recovery of Charges for Searches on Online Databases, Redux

I was going to add what follows to the numerous comments posted in response to the posting by John Swan on 28 June 2007 called “Judges and Electronic searches”. Instead, I decided to start a fresh posting.

The issue is trying to predict when a court or taxing officer will award costs to the winning party for their disbursements of charges for searches of online databases such as Quicklaw or WestlaweCARSWELL.

The minutes of the June 2007 meeting of the Legal Research Section of the CBA BC Branch refer to a recent decision in BC where Quicklaw charges were . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

“A Hipper Crowd of Shushers”

I read a refreshing, but somewhat provocative article on the work and social life of librarians, including some law librarians, in the Sunday New York Times under the title “A Hipper Crowd of Shushers”. It had some interesting things to say about the changes in the profession and its image. I gather the article has sparked some debate, so some of you may have seen it. It has a link to a discussion on

I like the part of ordering drinks according to Dewey decimal classification, maybe because I’m just back from holiday; I wonder if this would . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

More From Google Labs

Okay, search freaks: there are a few more frills to try out courtesy of Google Labs. The folks with the bubbling beakers have introduced a timeline search, which disports your results along a timeline depending, it seems, on dates located within the results — though I imagine the algorithm is a tad more sophisticated than that. Here’s a search for “charter of rights and freedoms” in a timeline view. A timeline might be useful if you’re doing a quick bit of history.

Then there’s a map view of search results. This one is going to need more work. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Language Log

We’ve been known to worry about language here on Slaw. And so I thought that our readers might enjoy Language Log, a blog by linguistic profs Mark Liberman and Geoffrey Pullum. They offer an enjoyable mix of science and popular culture, applying humour or scorn depending on the requirements of the occasion.

They talk about law from time to time, as in “The Supreme Court Fails Semantics,” where they criticize the U.S. Supreme Court’s analysis in Morse v. Frederick [PDF], the “BONG HiTS 4 JESUS” case, or “The right to do process,” in which they . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Report: Deaths in Custody

The Office of the Correctional Investigator, perhaps one of Canada’s less well known bureaucracies, released a report last February on “Deaths in Custody” done by Thomas Gabor, a criminologist at the University of Ottawa. (There’s also a PDF version.)

There are about 15 “non-natural” deaths a year in Canadian prisons. The report analyses the various causes and the response of corrections authorities to the recommendations of coroners and boards of investigation. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Stem Legal

Slawyer Steven Matthews has just announced that he’s going out on his own with a new company, Stem Legal Web Enterprises.

The vision behind Stem is this: to offer an outsourced service for law firms to increase online profile and web-driven business opportunities.

Things will kick off in August, he says, heralded by a new blog to keep us up to date. We wish him luck. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Conference: Law via the Internet

Lexum is hosting the 8th International Conference Law Via The Internet – Access to Law and the New Web Reality [français] in Montreal on October 25 and 26. You’ll notice that Slaw is listed as a friend of the conference. Indeed: CanLII is a great institution and the themes of the conference are dear to our hearts:

  • Free access to law: impact on emerging countries
  • The identity of legal doctrine in the Internet age
  • Legal blogs and wikis
  • Electronic libraries of law articles
  • The future of traditional legal doctrine in the Internet age.
  • Problems linked with proliferation of
  • . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legislation Act, 2006 (Ontario) Proclaimed in Force 25 July 2007

It appears that the Legislation Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 21, Sched F. has been proclaimed in force 25 July 2007. A colleague (Clare Mauro) and I were visiting the page for something else and noticed this date in red at the top. We did not notice this proclamation date in any recent editions of the Ontario Gazette but may have missed it. If we didn’t miss it, presumably the proclamation may be announced in tomorrow’s Gazette.

As was stated by John Gregory in his 21 October 2006 posting on SLAW:

This is a comprehensive statute on

. . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Friday Fillip

Friends of yours? Bloggers here at Slaw? Whatever else they may be, these critters are also one of the creations of Levitated. Their full name is combinatoric critters, because they’re composed from a kit of parts that the computer draws on, making critters on the fly. You can play with them in their natural forest habitat, a click on one changing it to a different assemblage of parts. As well, a click on one of the trees gives you — and the critters — a different tree type. The page linked to just above explains all of this in some . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous