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Launch of New Magazine: Precedent – the New Rules of Law and Style

I earlier commented on the blog called Precedent-The New Rules of Law and Style, as did Jordan Furlong, here.

Well, that site has now been revamped as part of the launch of a new magazine under the same name published by Law and Style Media Inc. and edited by Melissa Kluger (she was key in getting Ultra Vires, the U of Toronto law student law school paper off the ground).

I unfortunately missed the magazine launch last night since I was not feeling well. I suspect, however, the magazine will do well since it fills a gap by . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Vacuums and Cameras and Phones, Oh My!

In plenty of time for the holiday gift season, Wired Magazine has released Wired Test in PDF, free to download. There you’ll find the results of tests on an advertised “300+ New Products,” gadgets all. The fun of cruising atop our society’s excess aside, this issue of Wired has some real value, given that firms must evaluate and buy a wide range of tools, that, seen from the outside might be labelled gadgets. So you or your firm may well want to know which is the best Camcorder or DSLR camera, the best laptop or smart phone. And, yes, there . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

McInnes Cooper’s YouTube Effort Makes ATL

It’s not often we Canadians get some play on the US legal gossip queen Above the Law, so let’s congratulate McInnes Cooper’s student recruiting video for making the grade.

Law firms are in tough when it comes to online video. The quality standard expected by the average user is that of the nightly news. And the inevitable re-hash of unoriginal legal imagery is a huge block in the road – someone is *always* going to critique your choices.

So isn’t it great to see McInnes Cooper bring this out? A mix of fun & facts, and a shot . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology

Susskind on the Future of Lawyers

The Times Online is running its own Law21 column, starring Richard Susskind (OBE) and titled “The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services,” which also happens to be the title of his forthcoming book from Oxford University Press.

Susskind says of the 6 columns — “draft excerpts” from his book:

This is neither a lawyer-bashing polemic nor a gratuitous assault on the legal profession. Instead, it is a collection of predictions and observations about a generally honourable profession that is, I argue, on the brink of fundamental transformation.

Much of what he says in his . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Labour Relations Goes Virtual

One area in which the new ways of communicating and collaborating that are discussed so often at this site are coming to the fore is in labour relations. Social networking sites are proving to be a valuable tool for labour union to bring a group of people together in a common cause.

In a widely-reported event last month, IBM workers in Italy wanted to stage a protest over a performance bonus they had not received. They decided to hold the protest in Second Life; IBM has long been a business leader in the virtual world. Protestors from around the (real) . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Draw Your Own Conclusions

The rejuvenated ABA Journal recently conducted an 800-lawyer survey, the results of which appeared in the October 2007 issue and on the Journal’s website. Some of the findings say a lot without having to say much at all. Consider the subtexts within respondents’ level of agreement with the following statements:

“I find the practice of law to be intellectually stimulating” — 81%
“I am satisfied with my career” — 55%

“I am satisfied with my career”
– Public-sector lawyers — 68%
– Big-firm lawyers — 44%

“I feel that my firm or organization values my contribution”
– White . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Electronic Paper – Still Coming Soon

The Future of Things has an update on the progress of electronic paper. The article is an interview with “the father of e-paper” Nick Sheridon, and includes some history, notes on current applications (including sony’s e-reader), and speculations about 2012, when he expects to see e-paper in widespread use.

The main advantage of e-paper, of course, would be the ease of editing. It might be especially useful for labeling foods and drugs, for instance.

via Stephen’s Lighthouse . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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