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Publishers Get Few Accolades for Customer Service

Today’s WhatPC magazine has an interesting discussion of the high prices charged and poor service delivered by the major legal information companies, specifically naming Thomson (with its Westlaw and Sweet & Maxwell services) and LexisNexis (including the Butterworths and Tolley brands).

A few choice quotes:

“Although the sector boasts a lot about listening to customers, this is largely not so,” says one independent business information consultant. “Customer consultation is often just going through the motions because it’s expected or it looks good.”

“One key supplier introduced a new platform without adequately reflecting the needs of UK users and has been

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Geeky Librarians and Terrorist Threats

I’m still recovering from the realization that summer is over and classes have started again, so I was pleased to see two humorous and somewhat contradictory postings on the Alcuin Society blogpage ” “But You Don’t Look Like a Librarian!” and “Are you Geeky Enough to be a Librarian. The first is by Guy Robertson who writes some interesting and funny articles for the Canadian Library Association journal Feliciter and the BCLA Reporter . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Canada Law Book Law Journals Online

I am getting old (and careless). I thought I knew most if not all of the law journals that were available online. In a recent post, I jokingly raised the need for Canada Law Book (CLB) to put its journals online. I have since found out that in fact a number of their journals are or will be online online. To wit:

Canadian Business Law Journal – on HeinOnline (Vols. 1-40: 1975-2004) and soon to also likely be available through CLB.

Criminal Law Quarterly – on CLB’s Criminal Spectrum product

Other CLB journal titles will also be digitized, likely soon, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Someone Else’s E-Discovery Nightmare

(Ogilvy Renault LLP)

As a commercial litigator, I have dealt with cases having large volumes of documentary production and e-discovery. But I decided that I would share the thoughts of some individuals currently in the trenches instead of blogging about a personal e-discovery experience or trying to come up with any words of wisdom (which we all know, in the e-discovery realm, means something that I learned from my own mistake or a corporation’s well-publicized mistake following a U.S. judgment).

An e-discovery project is underway in my office that I affectionately think of as “someone else’s nightmare”. The case involves . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Parliament Poised to Prorogue

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced yesterday he has asked Governor General Michaëlle Jean to prorogue the current session of Parliament. The session was originally supposed to start again on September 17th. This means the Parliament would not sit again until October 16th, starting the Second Session of the 39th Parliament. See the Prime Minister’s Sept. 4th announcement.

According to a report by the CBC:

the move sets the stage for a non-confidence vote that could trigger an election campaign — a vote and election campaign that could turn on Canada’s commitment in Afghanistan.

Opposition parties must decide whether

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

Movies and the Law

This morning I went to the College Park box office for the Toronto International Film Festival to pick up my 25 tickets for my daypass to the festival this year. Saw a lineup of over 300 people snaking outside the building and almost gave up. Fortunately, there was a separate line inside (with no lineup) for people like me merely picking up their packages. I got 25 out of 25 of my film selections; my wife only got 21 of 25.

On movies and their connection to law: if you Google “law-related movies”, I am the first hit! Well, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

“New” Slaw Not Quite Ready

Well, I got half way there: I’ve upgraded to the latest version of WordPress and I’ve introduced the new categories. Of course, you won’t really see any changes — except to observe, perhaps, that the categories have been removed from the right sidebar. The new design and structure needs more work, so it’s back to the drawing board for a bit until I can command the pixels to behave as I wish. In the meantime, and as always, please enjoy the great posts from our contributors — and please continue to respond with comments.

I’ll keep you posted. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

A “New” Slaw

For the next few hours, Slaw will be in a state of disarray as I upgrade our WordPress, introduce a new design, new categories and a bunch of new features — all while juggling a beach ball on my nose.

Expect to see strange objects, no objects and all manner of error message. Do not adjust your sets. The problem is temporary (with any luck).

Come the morning, a bright new Slaw should appear, about which I’ll have more to tell you when that comes to pass. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at the new design via a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Open Source Cell Phones

I gave up my cell years ago after I got soaked for local calls while out of my home network. I think in the end I was charged at both ends of long distance from my location to my home network, and then from my home network to my location (4 long distance charges in total for on local call). Here’s a link to Michael Geist’s latest column in the Tyee, which outlines the issues around “locked” cell phones, and how Canadian law and policy stands at the moment. In the breach, there are a number of open source . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Steven Point New BC Lieutenant-Governor

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced the appointment of Steven Point as British Columbia’s newest Lieutenant-Governor.

Steven Point’s experience includes being a provincial court judge based out of Abbotsford BC, the Chief Commissioner of the British Columbia Treaty Commission, and is an elected Chief of the Skowdale First Nation. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Back to School!

On the first day of the new school year (since this is my first time in a while not actually going back to school, I’m feeling a little nostalgic) people are often optimistic about what the year holds in store. In the spirit of this optimism, I thought I’d point out an online application for any students reading here.

Notemesh, a “social note-taking” application, is based on a philosophy that can seem a little out of place in law school. In their own words, “the goal is that everyone will work together to create a set of lecture notes . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Update on Scrybe

Earlier this year, Simon Fodden wrote about Scrybe, an online calendar that was in beta at the time. Although it is still not generally available, Scrybe was written up in this weekend’s NY Times.

The calendaring functions look pretty intriguing, but as Simon pointed out, they may not be enough to cause people to leave their familiar programs. I’m still interested, though, if they can find some sort of solution that allows me to sync up my various calendars – my Google calendar for my personal life, Outlook for my work life, and my phone for important nags when I’m . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous