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Archive for November, 2006

Google Book Search: New Features

Here are two neat features that have been added to Google Book Search in the past few months:

Public domain titles can now be downloaded, saved, and printed in full. To find public domain titles you can download in PDF format, select the “Full view” radio button on Google Book Search, and click the new “Download” button on the right side of the title’s record page.

“Find this book in a library” links have also been added to many more titles. Also on the right side of the title’s record page, this link leads you to OCLC’s Open WorldCat. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Website Use Agreements

Wandering around the Borden Ladner Gervais LLP website I noticed by chance a reference in tiny type at the bottom of the web page to a “Website Use Agreement.” Always curious about invitations to treat (or trick), I clicked the hyperlinked words and was taken to this page. I should warn you now that in the view of BLG I have just committed a breach of our agreement, theirs and mine, and although I doubt that you are now, or will become during the course of your reading this blog entry, a party to this wrong, I must warn . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Scholarpedia

This notice of Scholarpedia from Open Access News, quoting another source:

Eugene M Izhikevich, editor-in-chief of Scholarpedia, points out its based on the same MediaWiki technology engine behind Wikipedia, and that’s now a pretty proven force. The difference with Wikipedia is that each article in the encyclopedia has an expert editor attached to it as a “curator”, who approves all changes and effectively ensures the actual article is an approved version.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Online Exhibit for 25th Anniversary of the Charter

2007 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Constitution Act, 1982 which entrenched Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Library and Archives Canada has put together an online exhibition Building a Just Society: A Retrospective of Canadian Rights and Freedoms for which it has “invited a number of individual Canadians to contribute their personal thoughts and thought-provoking commentary on this vital section of our Constitution.”

The contributions are from The Honourable Mr. Justice Michel Bastarache of the Supreme Court of Canada, poet George Elliott Clarke, environmentalist Severn Cullis-Suzuki, the former Premier of Alberta Peter Lougheed, civil libertarian Julius Grey, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

New E-Book on Managing a Law Firm

NXTBook publishes ebooks which are wondefully evocative of high production-value print products. Combine that with content from Canada’s leading consultant on managing law firms, and one wonders what could be better. Well the price – is free.

Patrick McKenna has just released his book on the First 100 Days and it’s the sort of thing that all Slaw readers should be drawing to the attention of their organizations.

It’s also commendable that Patrick has committed so strongly to this formatMy one criticism is that italic fonts on faux-lined paper isn’t especially legible.

Makes me wish I hadn’t been quite so . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law Firm Blogging

Law.com’s Small Firm Business has a piece by Edward Poll called “Ten Ways Blogs Boost a Law Firm’s Image.” The lead paragraph is pretty much on the money, I’d say:

When done right, blogs are an informative, vibrant calling card that represents you to the world. When done wrong, blogs are a chore and unwelcome expense, and produce little return on your effort. The difference between the two depends on having a realistic understanding of what you face before you start a blog.

Poll’s bullet points are:
1. Hit the target.
2. Demonstrate your expertise.
3. Write clearly . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Redefining Expectations

I was fortunate to attend this week’s CBA conference “Leading the Canadian Law Firm in the 21st Century: Managing the Future”. Key topics included the talent pool, managing risk, and managing conflicts (Simon Chester was a speaker on this last topic). While the materials and discussions on these topics all merit further comment here, probably the sessions that were most discussed (aside from the Monday night live music and dance extravaganza which featured an incredible array of Maritime talent) were two sessions that addressed client service.

While both sessions were addressed at lawyers dealing with their clients, the strategies discussed . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Great Idea

Michel-Adrien Sheppard, full-time Library Boy and part-time Slawyer, has a great idea:

Robert Ambrogi, the writer of Law.com’s Legal Blog Watch column and of the Lawsites blog, is conducting an informal poll asking people for the one law-related blog you feel you must read as regularly as possible.

Why don’t all we Canadians write in and suggest Slaw.ca?

See? Isn’t that a great idea? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

The International Center for Not-for-profit Law, or ICNL, describes itself thus:

ICNL strives to create a world where civil society can freely develop in all its forms and participate in public decisions. In pursuit of that goal, ICNL’s programs and research focus on promoting an enabling legal environment for civil society and public participation worldwide.

ICNL helps establish the legal framework for a strong and effective global civil society through:

* technical assistance to over 90 countries;
* the expertise of our multinational in-house staff and global network of legal specialists; and
* our partnerships with civil society representatives,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

LCCJTI: Bonne Fête La Loi !

La semaine passée, précisément le 01 novembre 2006, fut la date du cinquième anniversaire de l’application de la Loi concernant le cadre juridique des technologies de l’information (plus brièvement LCCJTI). Un bilan, je crains qu’il faille le dire, pour le moins mitigé tant son accessibilité aux avocats J’ai déjà vu des contrats référer au droit ontarien pour ne pas voir cette loi s’appliquer. et aux juges est difficile. Et c’est dommage!

Dommage car cette loi est nécessaire et ambitieuse. Nécessaire pour pallier à certains obstacles juridiques à l’utilisation des technologies de l’information. Ambitieuse dans le sens où elle va . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Online File Conversion Service

Zamzar offers free online conversion among file formats. For a very wide variety of document, image, sound and video formats they let you upload a file smaller than 100 MB and have its type changed. This will be handy for folks on the road who don’t have access to all of their software — and someone must have a pdf or an rtf version of your data; and, perhaps, handy too for people who don’t have software to perform conversions of audio or video files, or who want to create a thumbnail version of an image. You might not want . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law Librarians Debate Student Research Skills

Back in July, The Lawyers Weekly published an article I wrote entitled Students still unprepared for legal research (July 21, 2006, page 14). I had great feedback on the article, with the exception of students who objected to the title. In my defense, the editor chose a provocative title to “sell” the article.

I recently updated the article and it was published in the CCH Law Student eMonthly (October 2006). See: Law Librarians Debate Student Research Skills. I had more space to include additional quotes from my colleagues Laurel Murdoch, Joan Rataic-Lang, Shaunna Mireau and Neil Campbell . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous