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Collaborative Search

As law schools explore more team learning (though they’ve a long way to go to get to the Business School small group culture), the possibility of collaborative tools becomes more important. Remember the line from Google’s Joe Kraus that “”the nature of information discovery is changing … from a solitary activity to a social one”.

That’s why a posting on the Italian blog Programmazione.it v6.0 beta caught our attention. A post on a tool for group collaboration, describing a free Internet Explorer plug-in that allows groups of people to collaborate on Web searches . The features include include group query . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology

Pipl Search: Online Directory for Searching for People

A column by Randolph Hock in this month’s edition of The CyberSkeptic’s Guide to Internet Research alerted me to Pipl (apparently pronounced “people”). It does not appear to have yet been discussed on SLAW so I thought I would mention it now.

It is a search engine to find people. What’s makes it different, according to the site, is that it searches various (presumably free) databases on the Web that are part of the “deep” or “invisible” web:

Unlike a typical search-engine, Pipl is designed to retrieve information from the deep web, our robots are set to interact with searchable

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Expertise Management and Networking – an Emerging KM Challenge

When the subject of “finding experts” comes up in most groups of legal KM professionals, the discussion often polarizes into two camps – either automated solutions or self-declared solutions. Indeed, some of this is fueled by early solutions that either tried to mine email, document and other work product to determine who the experts were (based on frequency, but not depth or quality, of conversation) or systems that allowed an individual to tick off the boxes indicating their self-declared expertise or interests in particular areas. But the landscape is more complex than that. It is simply not an “either / . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Easy Money?

♫ There ain’t no such thing as easy money…♫

Words and Music by Rickie Lee Jones.

Law.com in an online article dated August 26, 2008: Lawyer falls prey to Pricey Internet Scam has reported that at least 7 lawyers in the USA have fallen prey to a collection scam that targets lawyers acting on collections. Details of how the scam works are set out in my blog from an entry in May, 2008: http://thoughtfullaw.com/2008/05/02/another-clever-fraud-scam/.

US lawyers are not the only ones affected; Canadian lawyers have been caught by a similar scam. Fraud attempts against lawyers appear to be on . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Mapping Canada’s Law Firms

Inspired by the map that “Mr. Peabody” made of law firm locations in Manhattan, I’ve started to map the location of Canadian law firms, starting here at (my) home, Toronto. Thus far I’ve only got 30 or so mapped. If anyone spots a mistake, please let me know. If your firm is missing… read on.

I’ve opened the project to anyone who wishes to collaborate with me on this. Think of it like doodling: nothing much to do at that meeting? add a firm or two. It’s actually easy to do, and if you find yourself having difficulties, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Internet

Neat List of Undiscovered Websites and Tools

Courtesy of PC Magazine, here is a list of a gross of sites that has something for everyone.

Here are three snipits:

TripIt takes the hassle out of travel itineraries. Simply forward your travel confirmation e-mails to its e-mail address and TripIt will build you a master itinerary, complete with flight/hotel info, maps, driving directions, weather reports, and much more. TripIt is also rolling out automated travel guides so you know what to expect once you get there.

Want to know what’s going on in the chambers of the highest court in the land? Scotusblog is an excellent blog

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Manhattan Law Firms Mapped

The next time you’re in N.Y. on business you might find it helpful to have a link to this Google map on your PDA. Someone with the nom de net of Mr Peabody (a character in one of the all time great cartoon shows on TV — q.v.) has located approximately a hundred law firms in New York city on a Google map. He’s also provided addresses, phone numbers and websites as well. (Some are marked with blue buttons, others with red — I have no idea what the difference, if any, might be… Political leaning?) . . . [more]

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

Guantanamero. Guajiro, Guantanamero.

The song has travelled the world, and is recognizable worldwide as a classic Cuban folk tune about a local girl.

Except that’s not what it was always about.

Although the song was first written by José Fernández Diaz around 1929, the modern lyrics can be traced back to a poem, Versos Sencillos, written by a Cuban nationalist named José Martí (1853-1895).

Martí, who studied law in Spain while in exile from Cuba, served as joint consul for Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina in New York in 1881. He actively lobbied for Cuban independence from American ambitions to annex the island. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Commercial Pre-Law Courses Come to Canada

So, you’ve done your LSAT, completed your applications, and received your acceptance. You’re going to law school and starting in one week.

But that’s not enough. You want a boot camp to prepare you for the rigours of law school, and hopefully come out on top.

These courses have previously been available in the U.S. They often partnerwith LSAT courses to feed them incoming students, and using existing legal faculty from prominent institutions to teach their courses, often the same professors these students will have when school officially starts.

It’s a little less elaborate, but a similar enterprise has started . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Are Good Litigators Born?

I’ve always been leery of proponents of a biological basis for intelligence [or running].

I have conceded that genetics play some role on an individual basis, but need to be activated by the environment. Measures of intelligence are far too culturally specific, and ignore many other forms of intelligence. And I wholly reject, for largely scientific reasons, attempts to correlate genetic intelligence with racial or ethnic groups.

The same holds true for great lawyers.

Some of us are born to a long line of lawyers, or have parents that are judges or legal academics. We grew up . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions