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Is It Worth It?

This is not a frivolous issue but rather a tragedy that should prompt sober reflection on all of us who work within large law firms, and who may face extraordinary pressures. This is a Cross Posting from the College of Law Practice Management‘s blog

Today’s Times has a lengthy discussion of the death of an overworked young associate at Freshfields who was putting in 16 hour days seven days a weekNote that any suggestion that Courtney’s death was causally related to his workload at Freshfields is a distortion of the facts as they currently stand. It is still . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


It’s likely everyone knows that this year daylight saving time kicks in the second Sunday of March (the 11th) to the first Sunday of November (so it’s now “remember, remember the 4th of November) everywhere in Canada except Saskatchewan, which never went for this nonsense anyway. Because the U.S. thought it might save some energy, they pushed out the usual dates of the first Sunday of April to the last Sunday in October by a month and we followed suit.

As I said, you probably know this. But does your computer? The old dates were in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canadian National Class Actions Database

On Jan. 2, 2007, the Canadian Bar Association launched the National Class Action Database, a repository for information and documents about new class actions across Canada.

This two-year pilot was initiated by the CBA Civil Litigation Section, following a recommendation by a Uniform Law Conference of Canada’s Working Group on Multi-jurisdictional Class Actions. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Madrid Train Bombing Trial

The Madrid train bombing trial opened last Thursday. 29 defendants are on trial for the bombing that took place almost a year ago. As you might expect, the BBC has a good summary online and videos of some aspects of the trial’s opening. In light of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s test of cameras in the courtroom for the recent Truscott appeal, I thought some readers might like to know that the Madrid trial is being broadcast live on the internet. But because of the time difference, you’ll have to get up early to see a Spanish court in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

I never got past trigonometry in math, so fractal geometry hurts my brain. Fortunately, it can be portrayed in images, the most famous of which belong to the endlessly creating (literally) Mandelbrot set. I’ve discovered a program called XaoS (“chaos”) that takes not only the Mandelbrot equations but many others and causes them to output glorious fractal images — images that let you drill down into them only to discover worlds as complex as the one you left — on and on until the ability of the application is exhausted. If you’re feeling lazy you simply ask XaoS to conjure . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Using RSS Feeds for New Book Titles: Calling All Publishers to Jump Right In!

Back to my old sawhorse. I am delighted that we have three Canadian legal publishers using RSS feeds for new book titles. I’ve now broadened my call to legal publishers to include the rest of the world!

In my latest The Tao of Law Librarianship column on, I talk about how using RSS feeds for new book titles is making my job more efficient, and I call for more publishers to take this on.

A swimming Woman originally uploaded by gabyu to Flickr.

In a very informal survey of major legal publisher websites from around the world using . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Hotel Dusk is a new game for use with the Nintendo DS that might catch the interest of those interested in taking books to the electronic sphere. In order to play, the system has to be held sideways, like a book, then one must read and interact with the characters using the stylus in order to proceed. To get an idea, open the book and go to the Easy Touch Navigation paperclip.

The title is reviewed at Wired. And also described at Wikipedia, of special interest is the Gameplay section.

It is not quite at the stage where . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Knowledge Ontario – Electronic Library of EBSCO and Thomson Gale Products

Of particular interest to Ontario residents would be the initiatives by Knowledge Ontario to providing online resources to Ontario residents. Access is free of charge from “home, school or work” and is 24/7 and includes licensed full-text newspapers, magazines and journals, references books and newswires .

Two of the major providers are Thomson Gale and EBSCO. There is law-related content, including LegalTrac, which includes links to a fair number of (recent) full-text law journal articles as part of its indexing.

Those in other provinces should check with their provincial library bodies for similar initiatives. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Sedona Canada on Electronic Document Production

The Sedona Conference has released a draft document that’s a product of the Sedona Conference Working Group 7 (Sedona Canada), entitled “The Sedona Principles: Addressing Electronic Document Production, Canadian Edition.” [PDF]
From the preface:

Working Group 7, “Sedona Canada,” was formed out of the growing recognition that the discovery of electronically stored information can no longer be seen as a peculiarity of litigation in the United States or limited to complex commercial lawsuits in Ontario and British Columbia. It is quickly becoming a factor in all Canadian civil litigation, large and small. It requires universal understanding by the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

YouTube (Again) on Legal Research Related Technology

I am normally loathe to bother readers times with humorous emails and the like, but the following YouTube video is particularly funny (and does not appear to have yet been posted on SLAW – I checked the previous YouTube postings). Without telling you too much, it relates to the impact of “new” technology (books!). Everyone I have shown it to has enjoyed it and suggested they will incorporate it in their LRW training. See:

Thanks to colleagues Wendy and Louis for forwarding it on. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Fake Bloggers and Real Law

No lies, please. We’re British.

A European directive (Directive 2005/29/EC Of The European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 [PDF]) that deals with unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices became effective law in Britain at the end of last year. As people wake up to its import, there have been reports that certain of its provisions would apply to misuse of the internet by bloggers. Annex I of the directive lists those commercial practices that are “in all circumstances considered unfair”; and item 22 in the Annex reads as follows:

22. Falsely claiming or creating the impression that

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Blogs for Scholarly Research?

Two weeks ago, I attended the session “Citizens, Pundits and Scholars: In Defence of Blogs” at the Ontario Library Association’s annual conference. Presented by Mark Robertson and Kalina Grewal, both Reference Librarians at York University, it wasn’t a “how-to” session on creating a blog. Instead, it examined the content of certain blogs, and highlighted their value as sources for academic research. Based on a workshop they gave to York faculty, the speakers discussed how blogs’ interactions with global social/political issues have important implications on scholarly work. Specifically, they looked at the value of blogs for academic researchers via three contexts: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous