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“Lawyers Need More Than an Electronic Library”

Here is an interesting piece from the Legal Times about which I wanted to blog for while. It is of particular interest for the librarians (and lawyers) out there regarding the need of a paper library. Really? What about the paperless lawyer in me?

Even if the article refers to the experiences of our southern friends, the conclusions are applicable across the border and abroad. Primary sources of law being now available from different paying services and free public Web sites providing access to resources as well, what will happen of librarians? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Slaw and reCAPTCHA

As a result of the recent kerfuffle with our comments, I’ve taken another look at our comment spam filters and found that it’s very difficult to achieve the results I’d like through the use of filters alone. Therefore, I’ve introduced reCAPTCHA.

As most of you will know, “captcha” is a means of requiring a would-be commenter to enter a word or letters read off a graphic before being allowed to comment, the notion being, of course, that machines which pump out the spam can’t decipher graphics.

Introducing a captcha system does produce a slight disincentive to commenters, which is why . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Civil Courts Statistics

StatsCan’s Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics began a civil court survey in 2003/04, involving two provinces (British Columbia and Nova Scotia) and two territories (Nunavut and Yukon Territory). The results for 2005/06 were just released, according to an announcement in The Daily. The data are officially only available on request from Information and Client Services (toll-free 1-800-387-2231; 613-951-9023), Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

It seems likely that the survey will soon be expanded to encompass all jurisdictions.

I requested the data and have made it available here in PDF. (I inquired about permission and was directed to StatsCan’s copyright . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Top Tech Trends – LITA

The LITA blog (Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association) has a category called Top Technology Trends. This is where you can find great posts and podcasts from LITA members and others on the tech trends affecting the library world. Trends discussed include:
-end user as content contributor
-demise of the library catalogue and the rise of the portal
-sustainable social software . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Russell: The Database

I know this entry is not likely to set many (if any) lawyerly hearts a-flutter, but I thought the discovery worth mentioning in any event, because it shows the value and power of digitization of records and their distribution on the internet. The scholarly, and recondite, journal Russell “is devoted to the study of all aspects of Bertrand Russell’s thought as well as his life, times and influence.” First published in 1971 by McMaster University Library, where much Russellania is held, the journal was recently digitized and made available to the world about a month ago. As the editor, Ken . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Big Thanks to Simon Fodden

Hello everyone. I just swapped emails with Simon and it looks like our comments database problems are thankfully coming to an end. Over the past couple days Simon has put in countless hours on our behalf, trying to recover what must be thousands of hours of our cumulative work.

So this is a quick note to say, Slaw doesn’t exist without you, Simon. We all know that, and we know this has been a very stressful time. And let me be the first to say it … Thank-you for your work over the past few days. And over the past . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

American Bar Association ABA Journal Website Redesign

There has been a recent redesign of the ABA Journal website with all sorts of interesting features.

  • There is a constantly updated daily news section
  • There is a section of news articles organized by topic.
  • There is a very well-organized blawg directory (broken down into topical categories, author type, region and law school). At the moment, the editors have only identified 13 Canadian blawgs.
  • There is a feature showing the most read articles of the day, the past 7 days and the past 30 days.
  • There is another feature showing the most popular blawgs of the day, past 7
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Lawyers Using LinkedIn?

Do you or any of the lawyers in your firm use LinkedIn as an effective business development tool? Please send them over to this question posted by Janet Ellen Raasch, who frequently writes articles for the CBA National, to share their experiences.

Janet is looking for responses from Canadian lawyers in particular, and any help would be much appreciated! . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Evan VanDyk

I’m delighted to announce that Evan VanDyk is joining Slaw as a core contributor. Evan is a recent Osgoode grad and was a founding member with me on The Court and is a seasoned blogger. He’s also, not incidentally, clerking this year at the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Welcome to Slaw, Evan. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

“Insanely Useful” (U.S.) Legislative Sites (From LLRX)

I just had a read of Peggy Garvin’s current The Government Domain column in, and wanted to bring it to the attention of Slaw readers. The sites that Peggy reviews, most of which are drawn from a list compiled by the Sunlight Foundation, are wonderfully – I don’t know about insanely – useful components of a U.S. government/legal research toolbox. As is pointed out in the column, many of the sites take essentially a mash-up approach to information derived from the venerable THOMAS and GPO Access. It has been some time since I carried out any . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

University Publishing

…”What the world looks like today, and where it is headed” How can you not love the chutzpah of a lead heading like that? The fact is, not everyone has loved the material that follows in the report University Publishing in a Digital Age [PDF], put out by Ithaka, a U.S. not-for-profit that works closely with JSTOR and Portico to “accelerate the productive uses of information technologies for the benefit of higher education worldwide.” (See the Inside Higher Ed report and comments for a variety of responses to the report.)

How will the world of scholarly publishing be? Unsurprisingly, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous