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Archive for March, 2007

Legal Information for the Public

A news release from the South Australian government led me to the Law Handbook Online which contains an overview of the law in South Australia presented in everyday language. It outlines rights and responsibilities in a range of legal areas in plain language and advises on where the public can go for more assistance.

All of this done at Fitzroy on a grant of $30,000.

The taxonomy is fascinating, since it is entirely client-need oriented.

What is there comparable in Canada?I duly note the pioneering work of Ted Tjaden, the Jewetts (Access to the Law: A Study Conducted for . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Librarians in the (New Social) Media

Librarians are hitting the big-time news like never before. Here are the latest offerings:

Public Library Geeks Take Web 2.0 to the Stacks, Wired, March 29, 2007

Helene Blowers of the North Carolina’s Charlotte & Mecklenburg County public library describes the Learning 2.0 program she developed:

Recognizing that librarians need to know how to participate in the new media mix if libraries are to remain relevant, Blowers challenged her 550 staffers to become more web savvy. Using free web tools, she designed the program and gave staff members three months to do 23 things.

They created blogs and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Managing the Library of the Future

Fascinating testimony from the Librarian of Congress on the challenges that the library faces in being a repository library when digital information is exploding.

In today’s digital environment, it takes only 15 minutes to produce an amount of information equivalent to the 134 million analog (physical) materials the Library of Congress has acquired in more than two centuries.

He emphasized that digital materials, contrary to some assumptions, are less stable than analog materials, because digital content is easily altered, corrupted or even lost. He noted that the average Web site’s life span is between 44 and 75 days and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Blog Cemetery?

Where do blogs go when we die? That’s one of the latest questions Dave Winer’s asking. See point number two of Dave’s four predictions of the future.

Many of us have made substantial investments into the digital realm. Unfortunately, the blunt truth is that we have no guarantees that our work, including efforts here at Slaw, will survive much beyond our death. As an example from the Library field, I’m seeing few digital footprints to Dr. Anne Clyde’s work since she passed just two years ago. [Internet archive being the exception…]

So here’s Dave’s idea: a trustworthy entity . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Enterprise 2.0: Recent Surveys

Mathew Ingram’s article in todays Globe and Mail “Social media slowly scaling the walls of corporate halls” discusses how businesses are starting to adopt Web 2.0 tools. He discusses the results of 2 recent surveys from Forrester Research and McKinsey & Co. that ask corporate executives about Web 2.0.

Forrester Research survey
McKinsey & Co. survey

Another great resource Ingram mentions is Andrew McAfee’s blog. He is the Harvard Business School professor who coined the term “Enterprise 2.0”, and the author of HBS case studies about companies that have successfully adopted social media tools. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Obituary for Charter Litigation Pioneer Brian Morgan

There was a lengthy bio/obituary of Canadian lawyer Brian Morgan in today’s Globe and Mail.

Morgan was a Rhodes Scholar, a law clerk for Mr. Justice Brian Dickson, who later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt in Toronto.

He also argued the first case heard by the Supreme Court after the passing of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Law Society of Upper Canada v. Skapinker, [1984] 1 S.C.R. 357.

He died early last week in Toronto from a brain tumour at age 56. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Which Law Is Most in Need of Reform?

That was the topic for the first Times Law Panel’s discussion in January.

What was interesting was the number of times that establishment / bif firm lawyers came out with examples from the civil liberties / criminal law areas.

If one asks the question on Slaw, what would the answer be.

Now that we’re going to have a revived Law Commission at Osgoode Hall Law School, what are the priorities for action? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A … of Baby Lawyers/articling/law Students

David Cheifetz and I consider that it would be a major contribution to both the English language and the profession if we had a collective noun for any or all of the groups that I have mentioned or, indeed, for any other group within the profession: a parade of judges, a snarl of litigators perhaps.
David and I (assisted by an impartial arbiter in the event of a tie) will choose the winning entries and offer the winners some unimaginably fabulous prizes.
There is a site,, where there is a longer (and more dubious) collection of collective nouns than . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

News and Politics

Statistics Canada has released a new Canadian Social Trends report: “Keeping up with the times: Canadians and their news media diet,” by Leslie-Anne Keown. Among those who “consume” news frequently, TV is the main source. (If you click on the images of the charts, you’ll see full-size versions.)

The money quote that will get picked up on has to do with the association of getting your news mainly from TV and political inactivity.

The level of political engagement Canadians report is also influenced by their frequency of news consumption and the choices they make from the media sources

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous