Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for December, 2005

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Our firm is on the verge of rolling out its SharePoint portal. Akin to renovating one’s home, it is difficult to resist the urge to tackle one more project “while you’re at it”. Project managers warned me about scope creep but that didn’t stop my inclination to completely overhaul the desktop.

This background is intended to give some context to our decision to voluntarily remove the QL “classic” direct connection from our network tonight. From tomorrow onwards, all of our core Canadian online legal research services will be delivered through browser interfaces.

As the head of our portal project, I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The New Wave? Subscription Archives

Customers have been pushing the legal publishers of annual publication editions and online services to create “archival” versions of the publications. The first one I have seen is

Martin’s Archival Criminal Code from Canada Law Book.

From the description:

Martin’s Archival Criminal Code is a unique and convenient online resource that offers you easy access to fifty years of the Criminal Code and commentary in one place. This archival collection from 1955 to the present will enable you to access the Criminal Code at a specific point in time.

It looks like a good idea, and I am interested . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

We Do Love Our Lists: Best of the Blogs

The WebLog 2005 Awards have closed nominations for the best web logs, and now we can vote. The blogs are put into categories, including law blogs, and international (including Best Canadian blogs). Here’s the link to the top 15 law blogs you can vote on: And, for voting on the best Canadian blog (none of which appear to be blawgs): . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Oxford Companion to Law

A couple of weeks back Simon Chester referred to the value of the Oxford Companion to Law, which I endorsed in a comment, but it occurs to me that it is worth highlighting on the ‘main’ page. A copy of this wonderful book sits very close to me at all times. I answered my first reference question from it, way back sometime in the early 1980s – one that’s always stuck in my memory. Someone wanted to know when Jack the Ripper
did his horrible deeds. Sure enough the Oxford Companion has an entry that gives the details. Now of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Personal Library and Scholarship

In my earlier posts, I mentioned the contribution that lawyers have made to libraries and to our understanding of the law. Speaking of a personal library, the prime example must be the Ess Collection, which was the largest individual contribution to the Harvard Collection. There is a delightful essay by Ess which describes the library of a Sixteenth Century English Lawyer at .

Ess was an interesting chap – I found it fascinating that his collection was largely stored at Sullivan and Cromwell – see
And there is a nice summary of Ess’ place among Harvard benefactors at . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

This reporter had no axe to grind. Thought this was a nice piece on the next generation of law students, who are tomorrow’s practitioners. You need to read the full article.
I quote without comment

A component of Pitt Law’s foundations of legal research class sends first-year students flipping through the wood pulp for legal information. Called “scavenger hunts” or “search and destroy” for their effect on the library stacks, this exercise requires law students to learn cross-referencing methods in the profession’s most antiquated medium.

First-year student Yvonne Messeih added, “If you are working for someone who is old-fashioned,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Windows at Twenty

Bring out the trumpets and the drums!

While we are all out there rushing around dealing with our regular day to day rush, Microsoft Windows is celebrating its twentieth birthday. Can you imagine that. I can recall having staff playing with early versions (1.0 and 2.0) before the product took off with version 3.

Eweek devoted much of a recent issue to reflections on the last twenty years and prognostications for the future. The real questions are: have we really progressed? does the MS Windows standard encourage or stifle innovation? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Connie’s Top 5 Lessons for Neophyte Intranet Managers

These are the top 5 lessons I learned at the recent KM World and Intranets 2005 conference, for someone (like me) just setting out to create an intranet:

1. Don’t jump into buying a system right away. Spending only 3 months finding and picking a content management system, it could take a year or more to prepare your content. Better to spend 9 months gathering together content and cleaning it up, and then buying the system. Otherwise you pay for something that will just sit there. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Most Cited Legal Periodicals

The Most-Cited Legal Periodicals Database hosted at the Washington and Lee University Law Library measures the citations of law journals over the past 8 years (this time period was chosen in order to prevent a bias in favour of long published journals and to measure the most recent legal scholoarship). Although the methodology is not flawless, I find the information contained in this database to be interesting and instructive nonetheless.

Rankings are according to Impact Factor and Immediacy. The Impact Factor shows the average number of citations to articles in each journal (citations to a journal divided by the number . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous