Canada’s online legal magazine.

Secondary Sources

I’ve noticed that librarians, like lawyers, have a language of their own.

When I get together with another library person and we are talking about textbooks, we never say textbooks, we always say secondary sources. Secondary sources?

The Collections Canada Learning Centre provides a great definition of primary and secondary sources in the context of archival research. Wikipedia also has a well worded definition:

secondary source is a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere

Secondary sources involve generalization, analysis, synthesis, interpretation, or evaluation of the original information

Since a systhesis of a topic that we . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Toronto Opinions Group Makes Memos and Precedents Available

Slaw is pleased to announce that the Toronto Opinions Group (TOROG) has agreed to make public on Slaw memos and precedents that may prove to be helpful to others. The Toronto Opinions Group consists of a group of lawyers, primarily practising with the Toronto offices of the larger Canadian law firms, with an interest in third party (or transaction) opinion practice. TOROG meets regularly to review current opinion issues with a view, where appropriate, to discussing problems, assessing best practices and developing common approaches to opinion issues and opinion language. It does not involve itself in specific transactions or opinion . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Now We Know What’s Open:
Google Scholar Identifies Open Access Versions of Research Articles

When I first noticed this new aspect of Google Scholar, well over a month ago, I initially didn’t get it. What were these new tags marking up what are already pretty busy entries in the search results? Some entries had a green marker pointing at the title of the article. Others had the marker pointing at a URL that followed the title. And before or after the title or URL came a square bracketed tag that read [PDF] or [HTML].

Of course, this was Google. No explanation, no announcement. Then it hit me. Google was identifying a version of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

CRTC Rejects Internet “throttling” Complaint

The CRTC has just released its decision in the complaint brought by the Canadian Association of Internet Providers against Bell regarding Internet “throttling” or “traffic shaping”. It rejected CAIP’s request, which turned on the specific wording of Bell’s wholsale service agreement. However, it has also announced that it will launch a proceeding to examine Internet traffic shaping as a question of policy, to determine whether new rules should be imposed.

The news release is here; the decision on the CAIP complaint is here. The public notice regarding the new proceeding does not yet appear to have been posted, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Canadian Government Throne Speech Vague on Justice Initiatives

The federal government’s Speech from the Throne was delivered today by Governor General Michaelle Jean in the Senate Chamber.

The Speech from the Throne outlined the recently re-elected Conservative government’s legislative agenda for the 40th Parliament.

As expected, the speech concentrated almost exclusively on the current worldwide economic crisis. Details of what the government plans to do about the slowdown will be unveiled next week by the Finance Minister.

Not that the government is relegating hot button law and order issues to the back burner.

The speech did mention justice initiatives, including added penalties for offences related to youth crime, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law


Newser seems interesting. It is a news-gathering site that requires free registration if you want to comment, contribute or receive email alerts.

Its “take” is as follows:

At Newser a team of editors and writers culls the most important stories from hundreds of U.S. and international sources and reduces them to a headline, picture, and two paragraphs. It’s the Newser guarantee: we can take any report or column or video and pack what you need to know into 120 words or less. Newser’s short-form aggregation, visual format, and unique information tools help you get more of the kind of news

. . . [more]
Posted in: Uncategorized

Google Hosts Life Photos

Google is in the process of hosting the archive of photographs owned by Life magazine, making them available via Google Images search. At the moment about 2 million photos are online, with another 8 million to come, some dating back to the 1860s and the birth of photography.

This has no direct relevance to law, of course, and so is off-topic for Slaw. But the publication of 10 million images from America’s past might be of general interest to our readers. As well, this move has Google entering the publishing field in a big way.

There’s a ton of stuff . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Copyright Laws Weaving a Wicked Web

That’s the title of my Free Press article from Monday. As it seems to be getting a large number of hits on my own blog, I thought it worthwhile to post it here as well.

I can’t reproduce it here for contractual reasons – the full article is here.

The gist of it is that in both the Canadian and US elections, there were instances where those running for office were frsutrated by the very laws they enacted or positions they took on proposed legislation.

McCain complained to Youtube that they took down content based on allegations of copyright . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Effective Litigation Knowledge Management

Yesterday I attended and spoke at Day 2 of the Canadian Law & Technology Forum in Toronto. There were several new products I learned about in addition to taking away a few new ideas, and I will try to post to SLAW some of my thoughts on the conference over the next few days on topics discussed (including outsourcing of legal services, both domestically and abroad; e-discovery; litigation case management software, really cool stuff from Adobe 9.0, and records management).

My paper and presentation was entitled “Effective Litigation Knowledge Management” in which I first discussed the explicit knowledge that litigators . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

The ABA Journal

The ABA Journal is surveying lawyers about the job market and the current state of the economy. They would like to spread the word and encourage as many readers as possible

Here is the link:

Survey results will be published in the January ABA Journal. They state that answers will be kept confidential and used only in combination with all other responses received. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact Stephanie Francis Ward, Legal Affairs Writer, ABA Journal. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Colonial Despatches Online

The University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre has put its archive of Colonial Despatches (The colonial despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871) online:

This project aims to digitize and publish online a complete archive of the correspondence covering the period from 1846 leading to the founding of Vancouver Island in 1849, the founding of British Columbia in 1858, the annexation of Vancouver Island by British Columbia in 1866, and up to the incorporation of B.C. into the Canadian Federation in 1871.

The online archive consists of three parts, a collection of photographed original documents, a collection . . . [more]

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