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Two Clichés to Cut

Keeping clichés out of your writing is not easy. I’m sure that my hasty blog posts are peppered with the pesky things. So I ought to be more generous than I feel towards writers whose wheels slip into the ruts; but at least I keep my tsk-tsks to myself. Nearly always. Except today — when I want to carp about two phrases that have fallen into use. And use. And use.

The two candidates for exile from the language are “send a message” and “going forward” in all their variations.

As do all clichés, I suppose, these hackneyed phrases create . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Lord Black Loses U.S. Appeal

Conrad Black has lost his appeal to have his convictions on fraud and obstruction of justice overturned. You can read the judgment here [PDF].

Congratulations, by the way, to the Globe and Mail for making the actual document available and providing a link. I’d only just complained a few days ago about the lack of links on news media sites to to the actual documents involved in news stories. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Canadian Judicial Council Releases National Model Practice Direction for E-Docs in Civil Litigation

Last week, the Canadian Judicial Council released its National Model Practice Direction for the Use of Technology in Civil Litigation:

“The Practice Direction provides much-needed guidance to trial judges and lawyers with respect to the best practices for exchanging productions in electronic form, as well as handling paperless trials. Counsel will be encouraged to use a format of exchange which reduces the cost of litigation and improves access to justice.”

“The Practice Direction is accompanied by a Generic Protocol which can be adapted as a checklist and form of agreement between parties to establish a meaningful and simplified exchange

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law

CanLII Offers Popup Help

I just noticed this morning that CanLII has introduced a help feature. When you mouse into any of the search entry fields, a popup appears with the various options available to you to do a Boolean search dans les deux langues, naturellement. The graphic below shows what comes up when you mouse over the “full text” entry field.

It’s possible that this has been around for a while and I’m the last to find it — if so, I apologize for the stale news. But CanLII has a habit of introducing changes by stealth, so it might indeed be . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

LLRX Does Gadgets

Here it is again: the LLRX tour d’horizon of gadgetry, “60 Gadgets in 60 Minutes” by Ed Vawter, Barbara Fullerton and Dina Dreifuerst. From the frivolous (marshmallow gun) to the somewhat less frivolous (a Cadillac automobile), the gadget gamut is certain to offer you something that you just can’t live without — even if only for ten seconds, until rational thought kicks in again.

It’s offered as an iPaper set of slides and as a PDF and PowerPoint presentation suitable for downloading and viewing while you let your “sweat analysing shirt” do its work. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

The Death of the Semicolon

We’ve written about punctuation a few times here on slaw in the past, in particular, Simon’s lament for the semi-colon.

It’s not every day you get to read a lengthy article on the history of a punctuation point, but Slate’s piece today, “Has modern life killed the semicolon?” was just that. Despite current despair in France and the Fodden household about its declining use these days, the author points out that its disuse was despaired as far back as 1865.

The author seems to suggest that it was the telegraph that killed the semicolon. Makes you wonder . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

MLS Closes Down Real Estate Mash-Up Site

About a year ago founders Kevin Lai and Travis Fielding unveiled the website housing123.com, a mash-up between the Canadian Real Estate Association’s Multiple Listings Service and Google Maps. Their service allowed website visitors to view housing sales on a map rather than having to sort through pages and pages of listings on the regular MLS site.

Lai and Fielding received a cease and desist letter from CREA’s legal counsel and decided to close the site effective June 15th. There is some indication on their blog that they may re-open the site with user contributed property listings.

Blog TO’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Web 2.0 Challenge for Law Librarians

The AALL’s Computing Services Special Interest Section (CS-SIS — which does come off sounding a whole lot like our wholly different CSIS, no?) is offering a free online 5-week course for law librarians to introduce them to the new web technologies. The course will take a couple of hours a week, and the weekly outline looks like this:

  • Week 1: Blogs & RSS
  • Week 2: Wikis
  • Week 3: Social Networking and Second Life
  • Week 4: Flickr & Social Bookmarking
  • Week 5: Next Steps: Web 2.0 @ Your Library

You can get more info — and sign up — at . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology

Information Inflation and the Law

Thanks to our friends at Spada’s new Swordplay site for links to an article at the Richmond Journal of Law & Technology on INFORMATION INFLATION: CAN THE LEGAL SYSTEM ADAPT which asks, how do vast quantities of new writing forms challenge the legal profession, and how should lawyers adapt?

It’s written by George L. Paul, a partner in Lewis and Roca, LLP and Jason R. Baron, Director of Litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

The piece is well worth your attention. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

Top Ten Law Song List

Over at Above the Law, a silly season list of the best songs about the law, as polled by readers of that blog.

Here’s the official ATL Top Ten Law Song list:

1. I Fought The Law – The Clash [ LyricsYouTube ]

2. Lawyers, Guns, and Money – Warren Zevon [ LyricsYouTube ]

3. 99 Problems – Jay-Z [ LyricsYouTube ]

4. Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash [ LyricsYouTube ]

5. We’re All Winners, as arranged by Nixon Peabody [ Explanation]

6. Law and Order theme . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Honouring John Humphrey

How many Canadian law students could identify John Humphrey or explain his significance to the law? I certainly couldn’t when we met at a meeting in 1976, convened by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He was then seventy, a tweedy academic in bow tie, who had come down from the McGill Law School. Only at a break did a friend lean over and tell me that this academic had held the pen for the drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law