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Makes You Think

The case of Q. (P.) c. L. (A.), Quebec Superior Court, concerns a claim by a father for damages against his former wife and the mother of his children, based on the fact that she made unfounded allegations of improper sexual touching of their two young daughters against him. The catchlines in 52 C.C.L.T. (3d), 242, say in part, “… Mother’s vindictive behaviour and untimely fashion in which she launched infernal machine against father constituted civil faults for which she was liable”. I cannot find the phrase which was translated into “infernal ma-chine” in the reasons for judgment, though . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Practical Law

Times Online has a nice little piece from an interview of Rosemary Martin, the new chief executive of The Practical Law Company, in which Ms Martin argues that law firms will need to change the way they do business, and in particular move away from charging by the hour.

“The clients have been supine,” Martin says crisply. That may be about to change if she has her way. “For the past 25 years lawyers have largely resisted changes. My goal is not to make lawyers poorer but I do want to make law firms more productive and effective.” If

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

Scribd Scans

Scribd is a free service that lets you put your document or image files online, where they are available to the public. Now Scribd is offering to scan your print documents and put those online — for free. You mail in your documents, wait some weeks, and then enjoy your words in pixels. Even accounting for the fact that Scribd is in complete charge of the project and so can move as slowly and as selectively as it wishes, this is a remarkable offer.

…and it got me wondering: would this be a good way to put public domain case . . . [more]

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

Government of Canada’s 2008-09 Reports on Plans and Priorities

Earlier this week, the President of the Treasury Board tabled the 2008-09 Reports on Plans and Priorities in the House of Commons on behalf of 93 federal departments and agencies.

The 2008-09 Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) are departmental expenditure plans that elaborate on the information contained in the 2008-09 Main Estimates tabled on February 28, 2008.

These RPPs set out departmental priorities, provide performance measurement indicators, and explain a department’s expected results.

The 2008-2009 RPP for the Supreme Court of Canada is included in the list.

One of the big priorities is “court modernization” which includes:

  • modernization of
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Look Again at Adobe

After enjoying years of solid success thanks to its PDF technology, one of the technologies warmly embraced by lawyers, and what must be the number two piece of software in the world, Photoshop, Adobe has begun to move. Google builds a castle in the clouds out of plain boards and fittings, a trifle ramshackle-seeming but for that reason also unthreatening: hey, this is how you’d do it, if you could, honest, simple — not like that pseudo slick Disneyesque Microsoft machine.

Meanwhile, Adobe, having acquired Macromedia and its all-important Flash, has begun to construct its own set of computing in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Librarians and Knowledge Management

All is well at the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto. I was a guest lecturer at the FIS 2133 Law Librarianship and Legal Literature course taught by colleague John Papadopoulos.

I was very impressed at the class’s willingness to discuss and debate issues surrounding knowledge management and the role that librarians can play, particular in a law firm environment.

We discussed such things as: (i) document management, information management, records management and knowledge management and whether and how they were different; (iii) the role – good and bad – that technology plays in knowledge-sharing and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management

Visiting Cornell

I’m on a two-week trip to Cornell Law Library courtesy of the New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO). I’m here to check out how they do their work, to learn a little about US law and collections, and to smuggle the ideas back across the border. Just to prove that I’m actually here, and not pulling your collective leg, here are a few snaps:

That’s the law school in the background. Here’s a better shot of the main building, Myron Taylor Hall:

and here’s one of a student at work in the Gould Reading Room:

I’ve got a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Now We’re in Trouble!

Legal blog watch notes the continued use of footnotes in blogs by *some* lawyers.

And guess what? We have the footnote blog plugin enabled here on Slaw! Now, it’s mainly used by the senior members (and by senior, I mean those members way more knowledgeable, experienced, pleasant & nicer looking than myself. [Enough sucking up? – nah, this is Simon & Simon we’re talking about here. They’re nice guys! ] But this could have been footnoted, couldn’t it? oh, but I digress… ).

Ok, Fess up!! Who actually uses that footnote feature! We are in so much trouble… . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Which Is the Best Law School?

Back in the 70s, then Professor ((pre Dean and pre President)) Harry Arthurs touted Osgoode Hall as the best law school in the Commonwealth.

I’ve just read an extraordinary newsletter from Oxford which lists such an extraordinary range of academic, comparative and pro-bono activities that I wonder whether any other law school could match it.

Whether this is due to the new (Canadian) Dean of the Faculty Timothy Endicott (whom we have saluted before) or just that for the first time, the whole seems larger than its collegiate parts, but page after page manifests intellectual energy and engagement.

And . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Miscellaneous

Google Docs Goes Offline

Google Docs has announced that as of today, they’re rolling out an offline capacity. (I’ve checked my account and I’m not one of the lucky ones — yet.) If you’re among the favoured, you’ll see the word Offline in the top right menu, as in this graphic, taken from a simple video demonstrating how it works. You’ll have to have Google’s Gears installed to make it work.

This is a Good Thing, I suppose: any increase in functionality is valuable. But at the same time it does seem to be a bit of a zag after so much Web 2.0 . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Has the Internet Failed to Provide Public Access to the Law?

That’s the question raised in a webcast from Outlaw, consisting of an interview with BAILII executive director Joe Ury.

The article based on the Interview, announces that Bailii will shortly publish the 3000 most important decisions in the English common law:

Bailii approached academics at universities all over the UK and asked them to list the most important rulings in their area of expertise. It then sought permission to publish those rulings one by one.

“It’s been a long slog,” said Ury. He said that the project was returned a list of 2,600 judgments, and that it has . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology