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Archive for February, 2007

Charter 25th Anniversary Conferences

McGill University organized a conference last week on the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Osgoode Hall Law School site The Court has listed some of the media coverage for the conference (see bottom of the article).

There are other conferences this year to mark the 25th anniversary of the Charter. Some of the key ones are:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

CALL/ACBD Conference 2007

Of late I seem to have been duplicating previous postings, but I’ve looked through recent postings and searched previous ones, and to my surprise nobody on SLAW seems to have put in a direct plug for the upcoming CALL/ACBD Conference from May 6-9 in Ottawa. The conference organizing commttee has put together some impressive conference sessions, including some members of SLAW.

Of course a chance to stay at the Chateau Laurier ain’t bad either. I love the art deco pool! . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

B.C. Justice Review

This is old news but I believe it hasn’t been blogged about here (I’ll be corrected swiftly if I’m wrong). The B.C. Justice Review Task Force released a report, Effective and Affordable Civil Justice [PDF], back in November. There’s a lot of interesting stuff here, particularly in the Appendices (see, e.g., Appendix N: UK and Australian Approches to Expert Witnesses). But anyone looking for something about the role of technology in all of this will be disappointed: the report acknowledges that more work needs to be done on this. I’d say they’re right. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Socialtext in Law

Socialtext offers wikis for use behind your firewall (or hosted on their server) in order to facilitate collaboration among employees. In their words:

As the first wiki company, Socialtext is the leader in making web collaboration secure, scalable and easy to use. A Socialtext wiki is a secure, group-editable website.

Nothing wildly new here, though I have to say they’ve got some powerful folks on their board in Tim Draper, Joi Ito and Jimmy Wales, which suggests to me that they’ve got a good chance of being around for a while.

I got a sales-ish email from one . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Is It Worth It?

This is not a frivolous issue but rather a tragedy that should prompt sober reflection on all of us who work within large law firms, and who may face extraordinary pressures. This is a Cross Posting from the College of Law Practice Management‘s blog

Today’s Times has a lengthy discussion of the death of an overworked young associate at Freshfields who was putting in 16 hour days seven days a weekNote that any suggestion that Courtney’s death was causally related to his workload at Freshfields is a distortion of the facts as they currently stand. It is still . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


It’s likely everyone knows that this year daylight saving time kicks in the second Sunday of March (the 11th) to the first Sunday of November (so it’s now “remember, remember the 4th of November) everywhere in Canada except Saskatchewan, which never went for this nonsense anyway. Because the U.S. thought it might save some energy, they pushed out the usual dates of the first Sunday of April to the last Sunday in October by a month and we followed suit.

As I said, you probably know this. But does your computer? The old dates were in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canadian National Class Actions Database

On Jan. 2, 2007, the Canadian Bar Association launched the National Class Action Database, a repository for information and documents about new class actions across Canada.

This two-year pilot was initiated by the CBA Civil Litigation Section, following a recommendation by a Uniform Law Conference of Canada’s Working Group on Multi-jurisdictional Class Actions. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Madrid Train Bombing Trial

The Madrid train bombing trial opened last Thursday. 29 defendants are on trial for the bombing that took place almost a year ago. As you might expect, the BBC has a good summary online and videos of some aspects of the trial’s opening. In light of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s test of cameras in the courtroom for the recent Truscott appeal, I thought some readers might like to know that the Madrid trial is being broadcast live on the internet. But because of the time difference, you’ll have to get up early to see a Spanish court in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

I never got past trigonometry in math, so fractal geometry hurts my brain. Fortunately, it can be portrayed in images, the most famous of which belong to the endlessly creating (literally) Mandelbrot set. I’ve discovered a program called XaoS (“chaos”) that takes not only the Mandelbrot equations but many others and causes them to output glorious fractal images — images that let you drill down into them only to discover worlds as complex as the one you left — on and on until the ability of the application is exhausted. If you’re feeling lazy you simply ask XaoS to conjure . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Using RSS Feeds for New Book Titles: Calling All Publishers to Jump Right In!

Back to my old sawhorse. I am delighted that we have three Canadian legal publishers using RSS feeds for new book titles. I’ve now broadened my call to legal publishers to include the rest of the world!

In my latest The Tao of Law Librarianship column on, I talk about how using RSS feeds for new book titles is making my job more efficient, and I call for more publishers to take this on.

A swimming Woman originally uploaded by gabyu to Flickr.

In a very informal survey of major legal publisher websites from around the world using . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Hotel Dusk is a new game for use with the Nintendo DS that might catch the interest of those interested in taking books to the electronic sphere. In order to play, the system has to be held sideways, like a book, then one must read and interact with the characters using the stylus in order to proceed. To get an idea, open the book and go to the Easy Touch Navigation paperclip.

The title is reviewed at Wired. And also described at Wikipedia, of special interest is the Gameplay section.

It is not quite at the stage where . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous