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Discussions With Faculty of Information Students in Law Librarianship Course

I had the pleasure again to guest lecture in FIS 2133 – Legal Literature and Librarianship at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, being taught by John Papadopoulos and Sooin Kim. The topic was knowledge management (KM) in law firms.

Two broad themes emerged (albeit slightly unrelated): (i) their concern over the job market for future law librarians / knowledge managers, and (ii) my continued proselytizing for an integrated approach to information in law firms by merging library functions with KM and continued “convergence” with library and KM and other administrative functions in law firms, including training, marketing and . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management

University of Ottawa’s JuriGlobe – World Legal Systems

While updating some international law research resources, I came across the University of Ottawa’s JuriGlobe – World Legal Systems website. I have not had time to explore it in depth but it appears to be a vary ambitious site with lots of research, links and statistical information. The “About JuriGlobe” link describes the site in these terms:

JuriGlobe is a research group formed by professors from the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa, which focuses on the development of a multilingual information data bank, accessible to all on the internet, containing general information relating to the different

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

The Dawn of a New Decade?

♫ A new decade
A new decade
The radio plays the sounds we made
The radio plays the sounds we made
And everything seems to feel just right
And everything seems to feel just right…♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by The Verve, “A New Decade”

An interesting article by Mel Beckman appeared in InfoWorld on March 23: “Why even IT Pros are Demanding Macs

Mel Beckman writes: “A mid-2008 Yankee Group survey of 750 senior IT executives found nearly 80 percent have Macs onboard, up from 47 percent in 2006.” This is not the 20% or so . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Communication on the Periphery

At different ends of the continuum, the texting between M.T. and her paramour D.B., on the one hand, and President Obama, friend to and of both new and old media (so far, anyway, although there seems to have been some resiling from free and easy use of social/new media – if only that had been the case with M.T. And D.B.), on the other, are reminders of how peripheral I feel – am – to how one interacts with society. This last sentence is proof that I’m not a natural for Twitter, but I’m pretty well out of the game . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Is It OK for Regulators to Make a Mirror Copy of Files?

Lawyers’ Weekly reports that the Law Society of BC is considering whether it should be able to insist on doing a complete copy of a member’s computer in the course of an investigation. Pros and cons are discussed in the article, along with the proposed policy.

Concerns raised have included the lawyer/member’s privacy, and solicitor-client privilege.

Could not however the Law Society have sent in an investigator who would have had physical access to all the same files? Is the concern that once the mirror image is made, it is accessible to more people, with unknown controls?

In Ontario, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Many Eyes and a Legal Judgment

IBM’s ManyEyes [Slaw posts] has introduced a new visualization tool, Phrase Net, that graphically presents pairs of words in a text depending on the term that links them. Thus, if the linking term “a” is chosen, Phrase Net would find in the prior sentence “introduced | new” and “in | text”. The visualization comes with a menu of ready-made linkage terms, such as “and” “is” “‘s” etc. as well as a text box that lets you put in a linkage term of your choosing. (And for the sophisticates, there’s the ability to use regular expressions.)

I’ve uploaded . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ada Lovelace Day 2009

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, honouring women in technology. From the website:

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.

Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants. The list of tech-related careers is endless.

Recent research by psychologist Penelope Lockwood discovered that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male ones. That’s a relatively

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology, Technology: Internet

Electronically Manufactured Law – Made in Canada

In a recent post, Simon Chester drew attention to an article entitled “Electronically Manufactured Law – Why the shift to electronic research merits attention” that was published in the Fall Issue of the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology. In the article, the author discusses changes that may be expected in legal research resulting from the shift in legal research from print based case research to electronic sources.

The article is thought provoking with regard to the possible changes that may result from such a shift but incidentally highlights the significant differences that exist in legal research methodology and resources . . . [more]

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

An Obligation to Discuss Facebook During Discovery

Hat tip to my young – and learned – friend John Salloum for alerting me to para 28 of Leduc v. Roman, 2009 CanLII 6838 (ON S.C.) which suggests that there may be a new standard of care for Ontario lawyers emerging when advising their clients about litigation against an individual.

The issue in the story discussed by CTV arose in the context of a personal injury case where Facebook was specifically discussed during the discovery process, but the ruling by Justice David Brown of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice appears to go beyond the narrow context in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Talking in the Court

There’s an entry on Language Log, How fast do people talk in court?” by Mark Lieberman that should be of interest to court admins, translators, reporters and some litigation lawyers. He and a colleague are doing a study to determine what are typical rates of speech in courts or depositions, so that court reporter tests can be useful. (There are also a couple of related entries referred to, one on the old court stenograph, and another on “voice writing.”) And as for fast talking, you should check out the excerpt on YouTube from the Little Britain . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Sure was an exciting week, if you enjoy parsing politicians’ public proclamations… Gary Goodyear, Canada’s Minister of State for science and technology, dug himself a deep hole when asked about evolution and although he kept digging for quite some time, he appears to have found neither a coherent response nor a convincing fossil. 

And speaking of divine intervention, no sooner did I put up a post bemoaning the worldwide biotech cash shortage, than over $1 billion in new venture funding rained down from … well, the Ontario and Québec governments. More legislative intervention than divine, but don’t let that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet