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Law Dictionaries and the Millionth Book

Friday’s Daily Texan (which is yet another reason to keep an eye on Austin) featured a piece on Anthony Taussig, retired tax litigator and his visit to the Tarlton Law Library.

Not much unusual there, except that Taussig owns the largest private collection of rare English law texts in the world. His library is surpassed by only a small number of institutions in the United States and England. He teaches a one day course on Collecting Law Books and Manuscripts. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Video Chatting – Do You Do ooVoo?

Two weeks ago over on my personal blog I talked about taking part in My ooVoo Day, an event taking place in the new video chat platform ooVoo in which participants could sign up and talk to their favourite new media specialists. I took part in a talk with Joseph Jaffe of Crayon and Jaffe Juice fame.

Last week I participated in a workshop via ooVoo with Laura Fitton of Pistachio Consulting in Boston in which she taught us how to improve our presentations. I was doubtful how much I could get out of a one-hour session in . . . [more]

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

Recycle Those RSS Feeds, if You Can

Following on the interesting news Steven posted about Quickscibe’s use of RSS feeds, I found this list of 14 “other” ways to use RSS feeds. Some of these are quite specialized.

If you have ‘intellectual property’ concerns about any of these, maybe Cory Doctorow’s recent column in the Guardian will be of interest, though probably not much immediate help.

And then, if you are getting tired of all the options, and you harbor the fear that, in spite of your reputation as a web-efficient techno-savvy computer geek, you will eventually be exposed, perhaps this discussion will be therapeutic. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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