Canada’s online legal magazine.
CBA Banner

Roz Rows Across the Pacific

At a Univ brunch on Park Avenue last month, I met a bright young English blogger, Roz Savage, who is blogging from a rowing boat, as she crosses the Pacific in a bid to be the first to row the largest ocean in the world. This may not have much to do with most of what we find on Slaw, but if you’re not awed by the boldness and courage of the venture, not to mention the humour of the blog, and the way that she is engaging with her friends commenting on the blog, then go to the next . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Important Articles Dropped From Print

Here are a couple of links to interesting pieces that editors (in their infinite wisdom) decided didn’t need to appear in the print versions of either the Globe and Mail or Canadian Lawyer.

Martha McCarthy was asked to comment on the five years that have elapsed since the Ontario Court of Appeal’s Halpern decision.

Philip Slayton talks about how little we actually know about the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada. He observed from a conversation in a Yaletown bar that it was easier for two Canadian lawyers to list members of the U.S. Supreme Court . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Forbes Takes Notice of Fastcase

We’ve noticed Fastcase a couple of times on Slaw, including a piece in 2006.

A recent piece from Forbes uses Fastcase as the poster boys for open source access to the law. But it also speculates what impact services like PreCydent, Public.Resource.org and Collexis Holdings’ Casemaker division will have on the major players. It makes a convincing case that for small to medium firms, the majors may have priced themselves out of consideration, opening a niche for new entrants ((Lest anyone is tempted to organize a flag day for the majors, Forbes reports that Fastcase’s revenue last year . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

WorldWideScience

From time to time lawyers need to touch base with sub-political reality, and scientific journals offer one way to do that. WorldWideScience is a cooperative venture among 44 countries under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (sigh: I wish I didn’t wish it was run out of Denmark or Korea or Chile) that offers a federated search of the various countries’ databases. Canada’s contribution, for example, is the National Research Council’s Institute for Scientific and Technical Information and Defence Research and Development Canada’s Defence Research Reports.

I ran a simple search . . . [more]

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

Sabrina Pacifici Wins SLA Innovations in Technology Award

I am currently in Seattle at the Special Libraries Association annual conference. SLA is a large international organization made up of specialized information professionals.

SLA awards were handed out last night, and I am delighted to report law librarian Sabrina Pacifici was honoured with the J.J. Kellar Innovations in Technology Award for her long-standing work as creator, founder and sole editor of law and technology blog beSpacific and e-zine LLRX.com. Sabrina Pacifici was one of the first in the legal research industry to harness the Internet and especially blogs as a way to communicate with colleagues and bring together . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Distracted and Stupid?

Almost two years ago, Simon C. posted this entry about the many distractions created in the Information Age. Two years later, we’re probably just as distracted but now we need to worry about whether the Internet is messing with our intelligence. In the July/August issue of Atlantic Monthly, Nicholas Carr asks: “Is Google Making Us Stupid?.”

I’m glad I’m not the only know who’s noticed that longer texts are much tougher to absorb and that “power skimming” is what I regularly do. However, I’m still very much amused by the fact that I once bought a book on . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

MyLawyer U.K.

Forms of practice are changing — in the U.K. certainly. MyLawyer is, or plans to be, a front end for participating law firms who want a way of delivering legal services over the web. In the language of the website:

Epoq Group (www.epoq.co.uk) with its 10 years’ experience in developing legal services for customers of financial institutions, is now working in conjunction with a limited group of leading UK law firms, to develop a symbiotic partnership network (the MyLawyer network)…

And aimed at the potential client:

We will enable you to provide instructions to your lawyer over the Web instantly

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

CanLII Adds Past Ontario Cases

Let me quote from the Thursday news release on the CanLII site:

Thanks to a grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario, the following additions have been made on CanLII:

  • All Supreme Court of Canada cases originating from Ontario back to 1876 in searchable HTML and PDF-image format (2,100 cases)
  • All Court of Appeal for Ontario cases that were appealed at the Supreme Court of Canada (1,300 cases)
  • All reported Ontario Superior Court of Justice cases back to 1994 (3,500 cases)

This project added 100,000 pages of historical material on CanLII. CanLII wishes to sincerely thank the Law Foundation of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Private Knowledge Management Teams

The benefits that knowledge management can deliver to a law firm are well documented. They include reducing wasteful duplication, increasing the firm’s intellectual capital, enhancing the firm’s ability to anticipate and meet client needs, improving the firm’s recruitment and retention arsenal, and more besides. Firms that get KM right, like Morrison & Foerster, have every reason to boast about their success.

But the obstacles to successfully implementing a KM program in law firms are equally well-known. They include:

  • Hoarding: lawyers who believe their livelihoods depend on the knowledge tucked away in their files, both print and neural, are
. . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law