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Trouble Contacting Your Favourite Lawyer?

According to the CBC, thousands of homes and businesses in Ontario and Quebec lost power due to high winds yesterday. Many of those still do not have electricity back today, and according to CBC Newsworld reports, may not have power back until Wednesday as they work to get everyone back online. It appears to be a lot of suburban and rural areas affected. This means that some who have gone to a hometown for the holidays may not have Internet access, unless with a Blackberry, iPhone or similar device, and presuming they have a way to keep them charged . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized December 2008 Updates

On my must-read list are some of the articles for this month. The authors have put together some great resources. Here’s the line-up:

Neurolaw and Criminal Justice
Ken Strutin’s article highlights selected recent publications, news
sources and other online materials concerning the applications of
cognitive research to criminal law as well as basic information on the
science and technology involved. — Published December 28, 2008

Deep Web Research 2009
Marcus P. Zillman’s guide includes links to: articles, papers, forums,
audios and videos, cross database articles, search services and search
tools, peer to peer, file sharing, grid/matrix search engines,
presentations, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

2009 Strosberg Essay Prize

The 2009 Harvey T. Strosberg Essay Prize competition was announced earlier this month:

Harvey T. Strosberg, Q.C., Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Class Action Review, and Irwin Law Inc. are pleased to announce the sixth annual Harvey T. Strosberg Essay Prize competition. The prize of $10,000 is awarded to an outstanding student paper on Canadian class actions.

The competition is open to all Canadian students enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional program. The deadline for submissions is 2 March 2009.

Please see the Irwin Law web page for details. . . . [more]

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

A Few Book Notes From Nungambakkam

This will be a brief post, since I’m on a dial-up connection from Nungambakkam in South India where it’s a balmy 30 degrees – and the word snow doesn’t appear to be in the vocabulary.

The ABA has just published The Little Red Book of Wine Law by Carol Robertson, which might just have been triggered by Slaw’s notes on the same subject and our more recent update.
The ABA President blurbs thus:

“Fans of law, golf and wine alike will enjoy these well-written and entertaining works. I give the Little Green Book to my golf hosts as thank-you

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

Who Does Legal Research?

Sorry if you thought I am writing a “Who does legal research anymore, anyway?” column this time. What I mean by the title, and what I mean to ask in the column, is in what settings and by whom is legal research done today, and whether the answers to these questions call for any action by legal research professionals. Those of us who carry out legal research or provide legal research instruction as a regular part of our livelihoods or occupations often think of legal research in what I think of as a more traditional context: the private law firms, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Next Time Cite Slaw in Your Factum

Kevin O’Keefe recently discussed Digital Darwinism as it related to legal researchers, publishers and advertisers. The economic downturn, coupled with technological advances, has resulted in the demise of many major industries that have been the backbone of corporate America.

But O’Keefe also suggests another slightly troubling proposition,

Blogs will be widely cited in briefs and court decisions.

What better way to provide compelling arguments and establish binding precedent than sourcing articles with a milisecond publishing turnaround time?

There is obviously a broad variety of quality and depth in the legal blogosphere.

The credibility and authority of both the author and . . . [more]

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

Canada Loves Computers

According to the Economist’s Pocket World in Figures, Canada had more computers per capita than any other country but one in 2006. Israel beat us out for the top spot. Apparently there were 87.6 computers for every 100 people in the peaceable kingdom — and a whopping 122.1 in Israel. Here’s a shot of the first ten spots:

It’s good, I think, to be suspicious of this sort of data. I say this because the Pocket World table for 2005, the prior year, published in May of this year, shows a considerable difference:

That’s a lot of computers for . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

The Friday Fillip

Chances are you got one for Christmas, if you’re into exchanging gifts at this time of year. And chances are pretty good that, if you did, you cracked it today if only for a look and a fondle. I’m talking about a book, of course, the favourite object of those of us in law who work the internet.

Now, some of you may want to mark the book as yours, if there isn’t already an inscriptions saying “to Hortense from Uncle Toby on the occasion of Christmas 2008,” or some such, on the flyleaf ((which, I’m only slightly . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Halsbury and Canada

This is a response to Gary P. Rodrigues’ post, “Recognized as an authority.”

I think it has been a safe bet since its inception that Halsbury’s laws of Canada would be frequently cited in Canada. In fact, a simple Quicklaw-LexisNexis search of the phrase,”Halsbury’s Laws of Canada,” already (as of today) turns up four hits, including one decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.

But why Halsbury’s Laws of Canada? The obvious answer is that the good people of LexisNexis believed that Halsbury’s was a valuable trade-name in Canada. But apart from editing a great . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

“Recognized as an Authority”

When can it be said that a new print publication is in fact “recognized as an authority” by the Canadian legal research community?

This question came to mind when I asked a law librarian attending the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries if she had added Halsburys Laws of Canada to her law library collection. Her answer was that she would do so as soon as Halsburys was “recognized” by the legal research community and not before.

The ultimate form of recognition

Identifying the ultimate form of recognition as an authority is an easy task. It is . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

A Financial Plan for Christmas

Merry Christmas, seasons greetings, happy holidays. These can be empty words for those struggling to cope with challenging financial times. Even in economiclly stable Alberta, recession planning has become the topic of the day. My gift on this day of celebration are some tips for financial stability from those who know far more than me.

From Slaw:

From the ABA Law Practice Managment Section:

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

5 Things I’d Like to See Change…

♫ Looking forward,
All that I can see,
Is good things happening
to you and to me…♫

Words and Music by Neil Young, recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

In these trying and troubling times, perhaps the hardest thing to imagine in looking forward is things getting better. Yet, the coaches out there continually emphasize that, in order for something to come true, you have to imagine it in your mind – first – before executing the necessary action. This holds true whether you are practicing a golf swing, a ski turn or a business plan. In . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology