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Archive for June, 2006

Frivolity – and It’s Not Even Friday

Thanks to Mark Tamminga for a lead to Google’s Shakespeare project.

While Project Gutenberg has had flat text for ever, it’s nice to have these antique digitized editions publicly available.

Though there is still a strange bias in the language of the texts. Go looking for Molière on Gutenberg, and the plays are available – 19 in English, 5 (only) in French, and one in Finnish. Racine is even more pitiful – 2 in English, one in French and one in Dutch.

Best to go to the motherlode at the Universal Library – ABU: la Bibliothèque Universelle. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

MSM Gets It

In one of my day jobs, I chair the Editorial Board of the American Bar Association’s Law Practice magazineLet me know if this is behind a firewall – cookies tend to get forgotten.

This morning we’re pretty chuffed to realize that we’ve won the blawgreview award for Best Print on Law Blogs.

The prize went to Law|Practice Magazine, published by the American Bar Association for the July/August 2005 issue, Behind the Blogs.

Of course, being MSM it took us almost six months to wake up to the posting of the awards which happened at the end of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

More Browser-Based Applications

I hesitate before introducing you to yet more browser-based applications, for fear of sharing my feeeling of being overwhelmed. But some people were caught short by Google’s snapping up and shutting down of Writely, so here are two online wordprocessors that seem competitive.

ThinkFree Online is a Java app that offers you a simple and a complex word processor. The complex version is remarkably like Microsoft Word. You can “share” the document by email invitation, and you can publish the document to their server and make it publicly available that way. Of course, you can also download the documents in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Unmet Needs for Legal Information and Legal Advice

As cutbacks in legal aid budgets continue to reduce services, it’s refreshing to see today’s news release from Wellington:

Improving access to justice focus of legal aid survey
Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 2:19 pm Press Release: New Zealand Government
13 June 2006

A nationwide survey on access to legal services, which is currently underway, will ultimately help improve public access to justice, Minister of Justice Mark Burton said today.

The survey, which is being conducted on behalf of the Legal Services Agency, will help define the extent and impact of unmet legal needs.

“When completed the survey will provide . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

House of Lords Decision Today in Sampson State Immunity Case

The House of Lords today allowed an appeal by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against a Court of Appeal decision in October 2004 allowing four men (including Canadian William Sampson) who claim that they were tortured in Saudi Arabian prisons to sue for damages. The kingdom, backed by the UK Government, had argued that its officials were protected by the 1978 State Immunity Act from proceedings brought in Britain.

This was the first time that the Lords had considered whether a foreign country could claim state immunity over civil proceedings brought against its officials for damages for personal injuries caused . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Slaw readers may be interested in this new open access electronic journal, as well as the call for submissions in the “Innovations in Practice” and “Theory and Research” sections. (This came to my attention via a posting to the University of Alberta SLIS alumni list, cross-posted elsewhere also.)

Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

The first issue is scheduled for the fall of 2006 and we are now calling for submissions for the peer-reviewed sections: Innovations in Practice and Theory and Research. Deadline for submissions is July 15, 2006.


This electronic journal is a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Libraries in the Community

Remember the roles of your public library, and their importance to the broader community.

This morning the Americans for Libraries Council released a major report funded by the Gates Foundation.

The report argues that public libraries are poised to lead the way to solutions to today’s pressing community problems, including providing a safe and engaging place for teens; building a strong and literate workforce; and extending access to technology. Taking on such challenges is also the best bet for libraries to strengthen their communities and their own funding futures.

There is a future for public libraries in the Internet age.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

How Do We Use the Web Today?

A useful piece in this week’s Business Week.

What’s different about this survey is that it’s not just another Zoomerang link asking people to self-report. This time, they actually watched people through an entire business day.

A few interesting bites:

People are spending a lot more time during the day on the Web, too — on average about 120 minutes.

People in different age groups, and men and women, are spending approximately the same number of hours on the Web. Specifically, men aged 35 to 49 are spending roughly the same amount of time browsing the Web as men

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Terror in the SCC – Day 1

The world’ media is focussed on how the Supreme Court of Canada is addressing the use of security certificates in terror trials. The BBC, the Chicago Tribune, NDTV in India, and even a Korean wire service have all covered the case.

There doesn’t seem to have been a lot of commentary in the blogosphere – though an interesting take was that the appellants’ counsel were apparently setting up a media spin that the court was insufficiently independent from the government.

Here is what the reporters in the court are saying about the questioning:

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Cultivating a Knowledge Sharing Culture

Discussion highlights – Ark conference on KM, Toronto June 14, 2006

Peter Nagy, Director of KM, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Eugene Cipparone, Director, KM, Goodmans LLP
Kelly Alayne Johnson, Legal Assistant, McCarthy Tetrault LLP

Peter Nagy:

Organizational structures (from Max Boisot):
– Market
– Clan
– Fief
– Bureaucracy

Where do law firms fit into this paradigm?

Simon Chester disagrees with this categorization. He prefers types of organizations with an element of disorganization e.g. String orchestra, children’s summer camp.

Eugene Cipparone: it may actually vary by practice group.

Joshua Fireman: where do hermits fit in?

Peter Nagy: hermits fit . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Browser-Based Apps and the Offline Problem

Following on Google's recent release of their Browser Sync and Spreadsheet applications, there's been a lot of discussion about whether this is finis for People are trying to figure out how to take the persistence capabilities in both Flash and Java, and instead of using that persistence just to handle whatever Flash or Java app you're running, it could be used to store Web pages (for fetching when offline) and user data (for submitting when offline).... The next natural step is to figure how to turn something more dynamic, like a USB-based thumb drive, into the persistence mechanism that such a Flash- or Java-based storage driver uses to handle the persistence of anything that may have to last until the next session or whenever a connectivity returns (cookies, history, the Web pages that normally drive your Web-apps, the data you create with those Web-apps, etc.).... Then, any data that needs to synch into the cloud synchs (imagine your offline authored Typepad blogs going to Typepad, your updates to a WikiCalc spreadseet going to the right WikiCalc spreadsheet, or the emails you composed for Gmail automatically flowing through your Gmail outbox).»
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Articling Students, Kosovo “Supreme Court Bulletin” Project and Canadian Lawyers Abroad

I thought Slaw readers might be interested in some international co-operation in producing legal information“Kosovo Law Centre and Heenan Blaikie LLP Partner on Pro Bono Project” Canadian Lawyers Abroad-Avocats Canadiens à L’étranger Newsletter, Vol. 1 (December 2005) 3, online: Canadian Lawyers Abroad.. Nine months ago, one of our articling students, Ryan Teschner was approached by Pro Bono Law Ontario Executive Director, Lynn Burns with an introduction to Catherine McKenna and Yasmin Shaker, co-founders of Canadian Lawyers AbroadFor more information about Canadian Lawyers Abroad, visit their website. .

At the time, CLA had started a relationship with the Kosovo . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous