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Ontario Justice Education Network Celebrates 5 Years!

The Ontario Justice Education Network (or OJEN) last week celebrated 5 years of developing and delivering justice education in collaboration with educators, judges and justices of the peace, lawyers, court staff, community members and other justice sector volunteers around Ontario. There was a write-up about the celebration on the Law Society of Upper Canada website. OJEN has a wide range of programs to encourage students to learn about the justice system, including their signature program Courtrooms & Classrooms which brings students into court to explain proceedings to them. They have really expanded their repertoire since their inception.

Congratulations, OJEN . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Substantive Law

Monday Mourn

So the Hogwarts’ Headmaster was. So much for innocence. In a pre-wired, pre-web connected world, would it have mattered? Will this effect sales? Will there be be some re-enactments of Fahrenheit 451? Celsius 232.78 doesn’t quite have the same ring. Or class actions commenced by entrepreneurial legalists seeing the return of their clients’ ill-obtained shekels? Or alleging intentional or reckless or at least negligent infliction of mental suffering on the sensitive souls nurtured in the gentility of NASCAR ?

Off to more important matters. I think I can add to the discussion that Barbara Johnson has started in her Slaw . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Zotero, COinS and Slaw

I’ve blogged a couple of times already about Zotero, that impressive Firefox extension that operates as a note-taker and bibliographic software. Zotero can tell when you’re viewing a book or an article or, now, a legal judgment, but until recently it had no category, if you like, for blog entry. That’s changed.

COinS (ContextObjects in Spans) is a simple way of embedding citation metadata in web pages. Zotero developed a WordPress plugin that uses the COinS specification for making basic metadata available to it. ((There seems to be a problem with the way the plugin interacts with version 2.2.2 . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

Live Search Books and Canadian Legal Materials

Microsoft’s Live Search has a “Books” section that lets you search for and within the books that Microsoft is scanning for those libraries with which it is partnering. Material in the public domain is 100% searchable, readable on line and, typically, capable of being downloaded in PDF.

I did a very crude search (Canada and Canada AND law) — there doesn’t seem to be an advanced search feature in Live Search Books — and came up with hundreds and hundreds of hits. There is truly a treasure trove here for legal historians and historians of law. . . . [more]

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

From the Trenches

Daily routine in the trenches of an active legal research practice affords little time for exploring technological innovations in the legal field. Alas, I am therefore often left in the dark even after reading posts on Slaw about such technology. I’ve confessed my confusion and ignorance to Simon F, and he has responded by encouraging me to give a different perspective on issues that surround legal research and technology.

I acknowledge that much of the research I do can be, and often is, conducted by searching online legal databases, as well as internet sites and search engines. In particular, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Boston Library Consortium Chooses Open Content Alliance

From the International Herald Tribune article, “Research libraries close their books to Google and Microsoft,” by Katie Hafner:

The Boston Library Consortium, a group of 19 New England institutions ((:The members of the BLC are Boston College, Boston Public Library, Boston University, Brandeis University, Brown University, the Marine Biological Laboratory & Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MIT, Northeastern University, the State Library of Massachusetts, Tufts University, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Lowell, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, University of New Hampshire, Wellesley College, and Williams College” . . . [more]

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

The Friday Fillip

The TED blog continues to delight and amaze. What caught my eye this time is a piece on graphic artist Maira Kalman, “The Illustrated Woman” (“I’m trying to figure out two very simple things: how to live and how to die. Period… And yell at my children and do all the normal things that keep you grounded.”). Kalman has illustrated many New Yorker covers, has written and illustrated many children’s books, and, if you can imagine, done 56 illustrations for a new edition of Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style.”

Because of the TED video . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law and the Emotions

I’ve just come across the site for a conference given at Berkeley early in the year: Law and the Emotions: New Directions in Scholarship and I have to say the topic was a new one for me. A couple of the papers may give you a sense of the thing:

  • Cheshire Calhoun, Department of Philosophy, Colby College, “Hope Matters” [abstract] [full paper PDF]
  • Owen Jones, Vanderbilt University Law School & Department of Biological Sciences, “Biology, Emotions, and Law” [abstract PDF] [precis PDF]
  • Dan Kahan, Yale Law School, “Two Conceptions of Emotion in Risk Regulation” [
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous

Communicating Our Value to Management – NE2007

I attended an amazing session today at NE2007. In “Reveille! Roll Call!: Communicating Our Value to Management,” Steven Lastres (Director of Library & Knowledge Management, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York) and Donna Purvis (Firmwide Library Manager, Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Francisco) energized me by discussing practical examples of what researchers/librarians can do to contribute to our organizations’ bottom lines. Some best practices discussed:

  • Learn about your organization’s business goals and objectives.
  • Find out what your organization’s leaders are saying about the firm in the media, trade publications, etc.
  • Use the same language as your firm when promoting
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Newsrivers, Topicstreams

The inventive Dave Winer has produced two “newsrivers” for those of you on mobiles. He’s taken the news feeds from the New York Times and the BBC and republished them as HTML streams of stories, updated every ten minutes, suitable for reading on a small screen. The Times is at http://nytimesriver.com/ and the BBC at http://bbcriver.com/. Seems to me that, because of their regular updating feature, these would also please news junkies who have widgets on their start pages.

In addition, because Dave has been talking on Twitter recently about the N.Y. Times’ keywords, I discovered Times . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Supreme Court of Canada Courtroom Modernization Project Moves Ahead

The Supreme Court of Canada has just added a section to its website about its Courtroom Modernization Project.

Over the summer, Court staff installed new audio-visual equipment and wireless connections as well as imbedded laptops in the judges’ benches. Judges started using the new equipment last week to call up cases and other appeal documents directly on-screen during hearings.

Display screens for counsel and media will be added in the Spring of 2008.

Future modernization initiatives include a web-based portal for electronic filing of appeal documents and webcasting of hearings.

Cross-posted to Library Boy. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Filter 2.0

Here’s a Library Journal article, referenced by Steven Cohen of Library Stuff on how to use 2.0 tools to help manage some of the flood of incoming info.

While librarians and users have been inundated with advice on how to produce content for MySpace, blogs, and other Web 2.0 services, there’s been much less discussion about using newer technologies to consume all this new content efficiently.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management