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Archive for February, 2007

Supreme Court Advocacy Institute Launches Website

A new training organization called the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute has launched its website.

The Institute will “provide pro bono, non-partisan advocacy advice to parties appearing in an appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada”.

Litigants will be able to apply to appear in front of a panel of senior counsel, former Supreme Court law clerks, and professors of law who will critique their presentation and advocacy skills.

It will be a bit like a moot court session that will simulate the experience of appearing before the Supreme Court.

The National Advisory Committee is chaired by former Supreme Court . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Communities of Practice, Social Networks & Knowledge Networks: Get in the Game!

Joel Alleyne, whom we haven’t heard from in a while here at Slaw (busy man!), was the moderator at the Ark Conference I participated in last week. The conference had the unwieldy but search-engine friendly title Best Practices & Management Strategies for Legal Library & Information Service Centers. I heard Joel speak a few years back to the Toronto Association of Law Libraries on Communities of Practice so I was quite surprised at how much the discussion has changed. In a Web 2.0 world, social media has made it even easier for communities to come together.

Without giving . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Où en Est La Fraude?

En même temps, ou presque, qu’en France, une récente étude menée sous l’égide du projet Sentinel, dont la FTC est partie prenante, vient de présenter l’état des plaintes qui sont déposées auprès de leur organisme. En effet, alors que certaines projections, particulièrement de hausse de la fraude, m’apparaissent parfois quelque peu fantaisistes, et motivées parfois par un discours de la peur commercialement rentable, ces données incluses dans ce rapport s’intitulant «Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft Complaint Data – January – December 2006 » sont pour le moins tangibles. Certes, plus de plaintes ne veut pas dire plus . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Hein Online Usage at Toronto Law Firms; Hein’s Continued Content Expansion

It appears that the major law firms in Toronto are equally divided on subscribing to Hein Online based on my recent informal survey.

Nine law firm law libraries subscribe to at least the law journal module on Hein with nine law firm law libraries not subscribing. Some noted that their incoming law students are well aware of the product (from law school) and seem to expect the firm to have it. Those that subscribe seem to love it and cannot imagine life without it. Many of those who do not subscribe expressed cost and budgetary restraints as a factor.

Although . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Purple Numbers, Plinks, Cruft and the SCC

As many of you may know, I’ve been working at establishing The Court, a new weblog at Osgoode Hall Law School that focuses on the work of the Supreme Court. In the course of editing contributions I’ve come to realize how handy it would be to be able to link over to a designated paragraph in an SCC judgment, para numbers being the points of internal reference for online judgments since there are no page numbers, of course.

Unfortunately, in the official judgments available online, the paragraph numbers are not also html internal anchors in the way that . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Research Makes Happy – Not

Today’s Education Guardian leads with a provocative statement:

Legal research, by tradition dreary and droning, is epitomised by the study Mental Decrepitude on the US Supreme Court. It is 93 pages of dreary, depressing documentation.

What’s it about – judicial retirement.

The issue of gaga judges seems to afflict the US Supreme Court, where lifelong tenure and the prospect of political pitched battles keeps judges sitting long after their best-by datesSee Supreme Court Senility or the even more provocative Slate piece on Chief Justice Rehnquist’s penchant for serious prescription drugs. Canadians will smile and remember Chief Justice Lyman . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Federal Legislation and Regulations Revamp


OTTAWA, February 27, 2007 – The Department of Justice has recently launched a new website that incorporates a cutting edge, made-in-Canada search engine for accessing federal acts and regulations.

The press release touts the improved search engine that can be used to quickly and easily find the most current version of a statute or regulation, and to get point-in-time searches of statutes and regulations, as well as track changes and amendments to them. For statutes, point-in-time versions date back to 2003, and March 2006 for regulations.

The new Justice . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Are You LinkedIn?

Steve Matthews kicked us off with LinkedIn way back last summer with his post Building Profile Beyond Blogs. At that time he invited a number of us into LinkedIn and we have since watched our personal networks grow!

Up until now this has been primarily a networking tool for the hi-tech group, not to mention a number of consultants. Sure, there were your early adapters from other areas, including librarians and lawyers, but it was largely a few of us inviting each other into our networks.

That is now changing! Almost overnight, this thing has gone into overdrive and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Decision of the Day Blog

There’s a nice little caselaw blog over at called Decision of the Day. It offers you three or four hundred words on a recent decision, which might be a painless way to surf atop the froth of U.S. law in general. The entries are pretty-much summaries — think of them as readable headnotes. And some garner commentaries that are interesting to pursue.

enotes is a sort of upscale and free “Coles Notes” for a bunch of topics, law being one of them. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Plaid, Bad and Dangerous to Sew

Back in 1964 Sol Gillis of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia designed the tartan you see to your left for the State of Maine; Jane Holmes, a Mainer (? Maine-liner?, Maineite? …), claims she got the rights to the design in 1993 and has been ordering the cloth from Scotland since that time. But now L.L.Bean is selling an “American Tartan Shirt” with that very design, and Ms Holmes is not best pleased. She’s sued L.L.Bean, which claims that the design is now in the public domain. (See the CBC story.)

It seems that the fact the copyright to the state . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Creative Commons License – Version 3

The Creative Commons folks have released version 3 of the copyright licensing package. A main feature of the new version is the disentanglement of the U.S.-specific license from the generic license useful in other jurisdictions. This aspect is not of critical importance here in Canada, perhaps, because like 30 or so other countries we have available a CC license set “ported” to our law. But version 6 addresses other matters that could be of interest to Canadians, such as moral rights, royalty collecting societies, exclusion of endorsement, etc. These are explained in some detail on the CC site. Presumably . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Halsbury’s Laws of England / Canada Usage in Major Toronto Law Firm Law Libraries

I recently polled some of the larger Toronto law firm law libraries regarding their holdings and use of Halsbury’s Laws of England (and the recently published Halsbury’s Laws of Canada).

Readers of SLAW might be interested to know:

Halsbury’s Canadian Converter

Only 3 of 16 law libraries continue to subscribe to the (green) “Canadian converter” volumes for the (old) 3rd edition (and two of those law libraries were likely to cancel). Although many thought it was a useful service, almost all responding noted that it was rarely used (and difficult to use since it was necessary to “translate” the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous