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Death of a Product – Index to Federal and Ontario Statutes

Captus Press has notified customers today that it is discontinuing its Index to Federal and Ontario Statutes Online. Although the online version had a slightly clunky interface, it was reasonably priced and sometimes a useful trigger to identify possibly relevant Ontario or federal legislation on a given topic.

At the time Carswell stopped publishing the convenient print edition of this title back in 2000 or thereabout, I recall being surveyed by someone (likely Captus) about demand for the product and preferred format, etc. I always liked (and preferred) the print edition and wonder if there are plans to somehow . . . [more]

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

Crave, the Gadget Blog

I, Crave – Crave is Cnet.com’s gadget blog.

Crave says: “The name says it all. Crave is our blog about gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff.”

URL is http://crave.cnet.com/

Hat Tip Crave for what’s below.

Here’s a current sampling, including information about Sony’s newest electronic book reader. I’ll consider an “EBR” when I can purchase one that smells like an old book in some antiquarian shop in some street with too long a name in Wales. Well … not really. I’ll compromise at Atticus Books so that I can feed the mind within a short walk of the Harbord Bakery . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Winds of Change Picking Up

Three interesting items in the inbox today, each of which reflects a different facet of the many forces hard at work on producing imminent changes to the profession.

First comes news from the ABA’s Law School Admissions Council that the number of applications to U.S. law schools dropped in 2006 by 7.6%, the second straight annual decrease on top of a sharp deceleration in 2004 in the longstanding trend of rising admissions. The linked article focuses on the drop in both applications and admissions among women, and properly so. But many of the reasons for the decrease cited in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

Blogging From Burma

As the tragedy in Burma has unfolded over the last week, accurate information has been extremely hard to come by. In a country with no traditional media worth speaking of, blogging has attempted to fill the void. I won’t comment at length here, but I would like to leave you with a few articles discussing the brave attempts of Burmese bloggers to tell the world about what is going on in their country.

Burmese Government Clamps Down on Internet (NY Times)
Burmese blogs expose junta atrocities (Telegraph)
A vivid cyber window into a violent crackdown (Globe and Mail) . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Seeking Judgment

A clear candidate for today’s doc du jour would be the decision of Justice Benotto in the Red Cross tainted blood criminal trial, released yesterday afternoon. The only trouble is I can’t find it in an online form I can link to. For most lawyers this is no biggie: the commercial databases will have all the hot (and luke) decisions up within hours, if not minutes. CanLII, of course, will have the decision online in a few days’ time. But that’s not soon enough in a case like this, a case that excited considerable public attention, a lot of it . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Office Live Workspace

Simon wrote yesterday about Adobe’s purchase of Buzzword, an online word processor. In an almost simultaneous announcement yesterday, Microsoft announced the launch of its own Office Live Workspace, an online service that will allow Office users to store and access their documents online.

Each user will have 250 MB of space to store documents. The catch? Although you will be able to share the documents with other users, who can read and leave comments on your documents online, only a desktop coy of Office (2003 or 2007) will be able to edit them.

The service isn’t yet available, so . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Adobe Share

Adobe acquired Macromedia some time back, bringing Flash, Dreamweaver, Acrobat and others under the same roof. Clearly they were headed for a broader market. It seems that they’re about to enter the web app contest now, planting their flag on the same fields as Google, MSN, Zoho and the rest. What interests me most is their online word processor, Buzzword, recently acquired from Virtual Ubiquity; reports are that it’s heads, if not heads and shoulders, above the competition; but alas it’s what I call a transpiring beta and I’ve only just now sent in my email request for an . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Banned Books Week

The ALA’s Banned Books Week runs Sept. 29-Oct. 6. They have a first amendment resource page, which includes links to notable cases. In Canada, the CLA supports the Freedom to Read Week, coming up Feb 24-March 1. The Week is the collaborative work of several organizations, with the Book and Periodical Council in the lead role. Their website is worth a browse, as it has quite a bit of interesting content, including a list of Canadian articles and books on freedom of expression issues. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Law Firm Web Presence – Latest Links

My latest reading, listening and watching seems all to tie back to the law firm’s presence on the web. I’m sure others besides those in law firms will find this summary useful, too:

1. Law Firms Go a Bit Hollywood to Recruit the YouTube Generation , by Karen Donovan, New York Times, September 28, 2007. Interesting article highlighting some of the newer recruiting techniques. Link courtesy of Wendy R.!

2. Mentioned in the article above is Choate Hall & Steward LLP’s use of video for student and associate recruitment. Their videos playing off the “Apple vs. PC” commercials . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Georgia, Georgia, No Peace I Find

Language Log, the multiple author blog on — what else? — language, continues to surprise, this time with an entry on a treason trial in Georgia (the country, not the U.S. state). Roger Shuy, a retired but very active linguistics professor, discusses his role in the trial of Maia Topuria, a leader of an opposition party in Georgia who was accused of plotting to overthrow the government. ((His article points to these sources of information on the trial: Christian Science Monitor, Russia Today, and two pieces in Harper’s: . ))

His specialty is forensic linguistics, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Millennial Fever

During the past 50-odd years, the North American legal profession has been notable for a ready supply of labour. The post-war population boom and increased access to post-secondary education, combined with the enduring lure of a legal career, ensured that there would always be a deep pool of lawyers into which firms could dip for talent.

When a buyer’s market lasts that long, the buyers’ advantages become locked into the prevailing culture of the marketplace. Much of what we take for granted in modern law firms — hourly billable targets, ever-increasing workloads, lengthening partnership tracks, client hoarding by partners, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law