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Archive for January, 2007

Yes Men

WTO NEWS: 2006 PRESS RELEASES. With a cursory glance the previous link looks like an official WTO press release, even looking at the URL it seems fairly official; however, upon closer inspection something doesn’t seem quite right. That is because this WTO Press Release is brought to you by the same people who brought you the documentary The Yes Men, “Changing the world one prank at a time.” Some might remember The Yes Men as an official selection of the Toronto Film Festival. A full description of their activities can be found at Wikipedia. To quote from . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Homer Simpson Meets the Rule Against Perpetuities

The Fall 2006 issue of Perspectives (this latest issue was not posted on the website at the time of writing this note) contains two articles with a refreshing approach to legal writing instruction: “Homer Simpson Meets the Rule Against Perpetuities: The Controversial Use of Pop Culture in Legal Writing Pedagogy” (Louis N. Schulze Jr.) and “Using DVD Covers to Teach Weight of Authority” (Michael J. Higdon).

While I have spent many hours thinking about effective legal research and writing training, it was not until I picked up this newsletter that I was reminded of one of the keys to learning . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Information Resource Centre at the Indian Law Institute

According to today’s The Hindu, Chief Justice of India Y. K. Sabharwal and Chief Justice-designate K. G. Balakrishnan inaugurated a Legal Information Resource Centre at the Indian Law Institute in Delhi on Thursday.

The computerised centre will provide access to a large number of Supreme Court cases as well as cases from other important courts across the world. Cases dealt with by international courts, case studies of various law institutions, commissions and human rights commissions would also be available online. It will also have links to other related websites.

A publication, enumerating the services offered by the centre is . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Web Widgets & the Law

Business 2.0 Editor Erick Schonfeld has a nice post that introduces the concept of Web Widgets and why they will be important in 2007 (& in the future). If you want a short concise explanation, link on over.

The idea behind these Widgets, is that web companies (often of the 2.0 variety) will offer the ability to plug content (eg. a Youtube video) into another website’s pages (think, a blog, Netvibes, or myspace page). And the big issue, or concern, is that these web companies won’t get credit under the traditional form of web metrics – the page impression . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

1st Year Law Students & Technology

Here at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law, we recently compilted the results of th IT/Computer portion of the annual 1st year student survey. Here is a link to the three page survey.

Here are some highlights from the Survey:

  • 94% of incoming students own laptops, and 98% of those laptops are wireless.
  • 87% have high speed internet at home, and only 1% do not have any form of internet access from home.
  • The average purchase price for laptops dropped again to $1358 (down from over $2000 in 2004).
  • See the last page of the report for
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Podcast on How to Do Quick and Dirty American Legal Research

The ABA’s Litigation Section’s website has a number of useful resources, but I hadn’t noticed its podcasts, including one that could be usefully shown to law students of young associates on how to use the web intelligently for American legal research.

It’s billed as follows:

Quick and Dirty Research

What happens when you need an answer right away, and you can’t bill for the research? No need to panic. Christina DeVries shares some techniques for finding the law in 30 minutes or less.

Lots of practical tips, which might just steer a student to use Google more intelligently. I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Award to Court Database

The Google Enterprise Search Superstar Award highlights people and companies using Google enterprise search products in innovative ways to improve the search experience and obtain better business results. Today the award was given to Justia Google Enterprise Search Superstar for its innovative use of the Google Mini for providing search results for its US Supreme Court opinion database.

Justia was selected for excellence in its approach to helping legal researchers search U.S. Supreme Court opinions online. “The Google Enterprise Search Superstar Award is great recognition for how we use the Google Mini to search U.S. Supreme Court opinions and other . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Book Search Update

For those of you following the debates around Google Book Search:

The January 2007 issue of Walt Crawford’s newsletter Cites & Insights has a great perspective piece on the past year’s developments related to Google Book Search. The developments discussed include:
-University of Michigan’s portion of Google Book Search
-the Google Librarian Newsletters
-improvements to Google Book Search (“Find this book in a library” and “Find libraries” links)
-University of California joins Google Library Project
-Google’s usage guidelines
-some publishers admitting that Google Book Search is helping sales
-value of using Google Book Search at the library reference desk . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Simonarcher.ca

If you can tolerate yet another Simon (and who couldn’t, I ask?) take a look at Simon Archer’s blog at simonarcher.ca. It’s not strictly a blawg, but Simon has a lot on the site of interest to lawyers. There’s a “law” category of posts; and a whole lot of interesting pages under the headings of “projects” (e.g. a regional network of labour lawyers, involving North and South America) and “research” (patterns of corporate finance). . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Multilingual Legal Glossary

Vancouver Community College and the Law Foundation of BC have produced a multilingual legal glossary. It is:

an attempt to respond to an issue identified by the Law Courts Education Society of B.C. (LCES) and the Vancouver Community College Certificate Program in Court Interpreting (VCC) – that of a lack of consistency in the comprehension and use of legal terminology among unaccredited court interpreters working in the courts of British Columbia. This issue is particularly significant in areas outside the Lower Mainland, where accredited interpreters are virtually non-existent.

I imagine this will be of interest to a wider audience, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous