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Archive for June, 2006

The Paperless Lawyer-Speaker: Dominic Jaar

Last week, several lawyers from the Office of the Judge-Advocate General converged to Ottawa, at the Government of Canada Conference Center, for a National Retreat on integrated information management. The 3-day retreat opened with a one-hour session on Modern Law Practice led by Dominic Jaar, corporate counsel at Bell Canada. Dominic accepted an earlier invitation posted on slaw.

Dominic treated us with something far better than a vision of a future, modern and paperless lawyer: he simply shared with us how he currently worked and demonstrated his day-to-day practice, including court room practice. From accessing remotely the corporate Practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Flash: Books Make Profit!

Revenues in Canada's book publishing industry exceeded $2 billion in 2004, and foreign-controlled companies accounted for almost half of the industry revenues, according to the latest data from a survey of book publishers.In fact, 19 foreign-controlled publishers, who represented less than 6% of all companies surveyed, accounted for 47% of total revenues for the book publishers surveyed in 2004.In total, the 330 book publishers covered by the survey had revenues of more than $2 billion in 2004, up 12.5% from 2000. The 19 foreign-controlled book publishers alone had revenues of $949 million.In terms of revenue from book sales in Canada, the share held by foreign-controlled publishers was even higher. Their revenues from Canadian book sales reached $808 million in 2004, 59% of the total of almost $1.4 billion.Book publishers had a total industry profit of $235 million in 2004, for a profit margin of 10.9%.
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Classification Scheme – All the Small Things

If you are a classification junkie, this will make you salivate: The Collier Classification Scheme for Very Small Objects, a project by Brian Collier.

An attractive, clean and intriguing website design, a very cool classification scheme for things that might have previously been considered “square pegs”. An interesting choice of everyday English instead of Latin for the taxonomy. Don’t miss the introduction, which I found fascinating.

Check out the database of collected and classified very small objects. Don’t you want to collect, classify and contribute one of your own? I’m going to be looking in my library corners . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Fate of Canadian News Media

Oh, what will become of Canadian news media?

CanWest announced Wednesday it will be pulling out of its association with Canadian Press. Various articles on Google News indicate that this will take a large chunk out of CP’s budget, but won’t be nearly crippling as the pulling out of Southam Inc. (CanWest’s predecessor) would have at one time been. From the Globe and Mail, June 28, 2006:

In an era when content has become an increasingly valuable media commodity, feeding websites and print, CanWest is concerned it may be giving material to CP that it could otherwise be selling. The

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The OED Has Spoken

In its latest list of new words added to the OEDVoted Best Book in the English Language by the Weekend Wall Street Journal on 20 May 2006 this week is the word Google, now officially recognized by the official source of linguistic authority.For a dissenting view of the OED’s authoritativeness.

Of course, when you scan through the rest of the list and see the following thirty words, apparently unrecognized, one has to wonder what the criteria of inclusion are.

* amaretto, n.
* brewmaster, n.
* Brillo, n.
* calzone, n.
* catfight, n.
* close-captioning, n.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Do You IM?

I don’t. Not yet, at least.

But I can ignore a social force (when it has a technological nose cone) for only so long, and it’s been quite a few years now that instant messaging has been around. For all that time, I’ve been like the telephone user who could never understand what email was about: why write when you can call? For me, IM lay in the middle, equidistant betwen email and the telephone, and I couldn’t see the charm of the middle when the extremes were available.

〈parenthesis〉 This has often been my problem, this caroming between poles. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

RSS by Stealth?

I’ve had good intentions about more aggressively trying to get our lawyers using RSS but time has been restrictive and though I keep putting out hooks on our office blog, only one lawyer has taken the bait so far. I have plans for a workshop but that just hasn’t happened yet … I’m aiming for the fall when enthusiasm will be higher than usual (I think).

With all this in mind, it was with interest I read Michael Stephens’ post at Tame the Web, “TTW Mailbox: Selling RSS to Medical Librarians” (the title is a little misleading) . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Gitmo Trials Struck Down

In a blow to the Bush Administration, the United States Supreme Court just handed down its decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. By a 5-3 majority, the court struck down the military tribunals system, holding the tribunals inconsistent with military law and the Geneva Conventions.

The majority decision was written by Justice Stevens, with strong dissents from Justice Thomas, Justice Scalia and Justice Alito. Since the Chief Justice had been involved in the Hamdan case lower down, he did not sit.

The case raised core constitutional principles involving the separation of powers as well as the applicability of fundamental constitutional . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ah – American Students Aren’t That Different

Students Lack Legal Research and Information Literacy

That’s the headline on a piece in today’s It pushes the value of Information Literacy as a key skill for all students and particularly law students.

They quote from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

“Information technology skills enable an individual to use computers, software applications, databases, and other technologies to achieve a wide variety of academic, work-related, and personal goals. Information literate individuals necessarily develop some technology skills”.

“Information literacy, … is an intellectual framework for understanding, finding, evaluating, and using information

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Serial Monogamy — Not

Or, almost not.

A new study from Statistics Canada’s Social Trends, Till death do us part? The risk of first and second marriage dissolution (by Warren Clark and Susan Crompton) [also available as a pdf file] finds that most people who marry do not divorce; that 46% of those whose first marriage ends will remarry; but that fewer than 1% of the “ever married population” indulge in a third marriage. There’s much more in the report to interest family lawyers. And spouses. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous