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Legal Blogs as Legal Scholarship?

The Lawyers Weekly December 21st article “Should legal blogs be seen as scholarship?” does just what its title says: It briefly explores the key differences and similarities between legal blogs and journal articles, and whether blogs have the same authority/credibility as journal articles inside or outside a court of law. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

The 1000 Most-Cited SCC Cases

I thought it would be interesting to make use of CanLII’s new ability to sort search results by “most-cited,” imperfect though it is, in order to examine Supreme Court of Canada cases.

There are 4160 SCC judgments in CanLII’s database — a complete set from the beginning of 1985 up to the present, and an incomplete set earlier than that. Essentially, the pool from which to draw is that of all cases in the last 22 years. I took the most-cited 1000 cases as my sample and first simply listed them in rank order, along with some information about each. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Big Legal Stories of 2007

In its Dec. 21, 2007 issue, The Lawyers Weekly devotes a special section to reviewing the major news stories of 2007 in the legal field.

Perhaps the biggest story of the year is the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that has fundamentally changed Canadian society (see Library Boy posts Survey on Canadian Attitudes Regarding Charter of Rights, Feb. 8, 2007; Articles on 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, April 6, 2007; Top Ten Charter Cases, April 14, 2007).

The Lawyers Weekly article draws attention to a number of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Miscellaneous News Notes

Herewith a slaw of small news items that have been gathering in my RSS reader:

  • The loose Magna Carta has been sold to an American. (Sigh. I never expected that the Canadian government would actually be bold enough to bid for it… but still…) David Rubenstein paid USD21.3 million for what he called “the first rung on the ladder to freedom.”
    BBC News
  • IBM, which has been playing around in Second LIfe, is planning to create a virtual world of its own, called Metaverse. It’ll be used for corporate communication — and to build spaces for clients, I’d guess.
    ZDNet
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Information on a Blanket

The CBC is reporting on an innovation by the Pivot Legal Society and Mountain Equipment Co-op to provide warmth and rights information to Vancouver’s Homeless.

The high-tech Blanket, co-designed and produced by Mountain Equipment Coop, is designed for homeless people, made of waterproof dernier nylon and features a printed list of people’s rights in relation to housing, security guards, police and welfare.

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

Highlights From the Technology Quarterly

Last week’s Economist magazine included their periodic Technology Quarterly supplement – always one of my favourite issues. With its focus on “augmented reality”, it included a number of great articles for anyone interested in how technology can change the way we work, communicate, and collaborate. And it even had a few articles about how law plays into all of this!

The lead article, Getting Serious, discusses the potential and problems showing up as virtual environments meet the real world. Virtual worlds have been successfully adapted for business purposes, particularly training. A British company has developed a simulator to help . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

CanLII and Parties’ Names

Here’s another reason why cases may get missed, even by better researchers.

CanLII’s privacy policy  para. 14 states

14. In order to limit prejudice to individuals that could result from free publication of documents containing personal information, CanLII is actively involved in advancing standards and policies that promote optimal protection of the privacy of people who appear before the courts.

It seems that CanLII, under this policy, is changing the name of the plaintiff in sexual assault cases to initials even though the plaintiff’s full name is in the title of proceedings in the pleadings and the reasons. This includes . . . [more]

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

Lexis Moves Beyond Legal Research

Yesterday’s Sunday Times ((From the Murdoch empire in London, not the NYC one)) was reporting on Lexis’s parent’s plans for the legal market – and they want to focus far beyond the mere $18 billion plus market for legal research and associated applications in 2004.

They report that the average lawyer is going to spend almost their morning using Lexis products:

“Two or three years ago, Lexis Nexis was a legal research company, full stop,” Sir Crispin Davis said. “By and large, a typical lawyer would spend half an hour a day using our products. Now it is more like . . . [more]

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

Air Travel… Lately

Law is increasingly a peripatetic (no, not “very pathetic”) profession. ((So much for video conferencing and other virtual get-togethers; f2f (^`^ en français?) just won’t go away, it would seem.)) And those of our members who are more mobile may have wondered whether it was just advancing age or that flying was indeed getting even more difficult lately — hard as that may be to imagine. Well StatsCan has just released November’s plane-spotting score, and the fault is in the stars and not ourselves:

The 42 Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers reported 388,559 aircraft take-offs

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Technology

Bill C-12 Receives Royal Assent; Wages & Pensions to Be Protected

The Canadian Labour Congress announced a “Victory for Workers” on Friday:

Workers finally have new law to protect their wages

OTTAWA – Canadian workers have finally won new legal protection for their wages and their pension contributions when their employer goes bankrupt. Bill C-12, a series of amendments to existing insolvency and wage protection laws, was approved by the Senate last night and received Royal Assent today. This was accomplished after an intensive three-year campaign by the Canadian Labour Congress and its affiliated unions to change bankruptcy laws that unfairly put workers last in line to get paid.

It seems . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Keeping Current: RSS May Reduce RISK

RSS, as we know, means Really Simple Syndication. 

Let’s imagine that KISS means Keeping It Simple Syndication.

An adequate use of RSS combined with KISS may help to reduce RISK (Rats, I Should Know) problems and this feeling:

Law.com’s Legal Technology page has a nice overview of the use of RSS to keep current but the focus is on keeping up-to-date on matters that might specifically affect one’s clients, or potential clients. The article is written by the David Whelan of Osgoode Hall’s Great Library.

Previous posts, here, have . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology