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Archive for March, 2007

Vicariously Experiencing ABA TechShow

This is a week that I normally commune with geeks, bloggers and amateurs de toute technologique at the ABA’s TechShow in Chicago.

This year, it’s being chaired by Toronto’s own Dan Pinnington, who has become the fourth CanadianFollowing Chester, Tamminga and Bilinsky to chair the premium legal technology show.

I started going in 1986, which was before the Flood in technology terms, visiting the extraordinary Infomart in Dallas, which looked like a capsule from the future.

But this year, I’m following the adventure through the blogosphereDennis is sitting it out too.

If you’re a thirsty blogger (pleonastic I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Tale of Two D’s: Mickey and the OE

This is a story that almost has it all: fast food, research tools, and the whiff of legal challenge. Meat and drink, so to speak, to the world of Slaw.

Word has it that McDonald’s has taken a scunner to the OED‘s inclusion of McJob, at least defined as it now isThe story is everywhere: a link will suffice.:

McJob, n.
colloq. and depreciative (orig. U.S.).

    An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector.

Apparently Mickey D’s has been around this block once before, when in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

BAILII’s New Search Forms

We’ve been having a discussion about CanLII’s new search forms, and lo and behold, BAILII announces a novel set of their own for caselaw, legislation, other materials, and a browse list. (Hat tip: beSpacific). Can’t say I remember how it used to be, so I can’t comment on the changes. I do think, though, that they might have made the interfaces a whole lot more pleasing to the eye, and therefore the mind.

May I suggest that comments on this be made in the discussion about CanLII’s new interface? I’d hate to have split up . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Library Journal’s 2007 Movers & Shakers

Every year, Library Journal profiles 50 innovative North American librarians and other information professionals. This year, many of the “Movers & Shakers” selected are profiled for their creative uses of Web 2.0 technologies to develop and deliver amazing research services and products; they’re branded the “2.0 Gurus”. Here are some of them:

Amanda Etches-Johnson, Reference and User Experience Librarian, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
-Started a library blog in 2003 and instant messaging reference in 2005

Casey Bisson, Information Architect, Lamson Library, Plymouth State University
-Using a plugin within a WordPress framework, he created a library catalogue called Scriblio (formerly WPopac) . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Are Law Reviews Irrelevant?

The Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog commented earlier this week on a piece by the New York Times legal correspondent Adam Liptak who argues that the influence of law reviews is on a sharp decline [one has to register online to read the original Times piece]:

“Meanwhile, the law-review articles have become less readable and less relevant, as the best legal writers and legal minds have reserved their analyses for blogs or for supporting briefs they file in cases that interest them. Summarizing a recent discussion at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law about the dwindling influence

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Linex Legal

I received an unsolicited email newsletter from a group called Linex Legal. I have never heard of them, but from the website they claim to offer a mulitjurisdictional service that gives updates taken from government and law firm client publications and websites.

Does anybody know more about this service? It may be useful to get access to some of the law firm publications, but I’m always skeptical when I get something unsolicited. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Elections and Web 2.0

Reading both the Guardian’s blog Comment is Free on WebCameron and today’s accounts of the use of collaborative technologies by Senators Obama and Clinton, makes one wonder why Canadian politicians use of the new technologies has been so lame.

You wouldn’t think from the offerings of Dumont, Boisclair and Charest, that candidates elsewhere had more passionately embraced the technology, or that Monday’s vote might be moved by spontaneity.

On this continent, you can browse the video offerings of the declared candidates at Youtube. But don’t expect Canadian equivalents – Stephen Harper is way behind Nicolas Sarkozy and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Library of Congress and Digital Preservation

beSpacific points us to a U.S. Library of Congress site about the problem of digital preservation. Well worth a visit by anyone who creates or stores digital records, not only librarians.

One of the things that interested me was the statistic that the “average” website lasts somewhere between 44 and 100 days — yet another reason to crow that Slaw is not your average website. The LOC says, in that regard, “Fortunately, the Library is now collecting political Web sites as part of its digital preservation program.” Note the bias that “politics” is the most important matter. Why not . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Giving Law Librarians Their Due

Good helpful article in the American Lawyer today, with practical tips on how librarians can persuade partners and management of their value: read on for exegesis of the following six practical pointers.

Bill for your time.

Document cost savings.

Get involved in marketing.

Help lawyers keep on top of client activities.

Be a technology booster.

Prepare an annual report. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


I sat in on the hearing of Kerr v. Danier Leather at the Supreme Court today and suprised myself by thoroughly enjoying it even though it had to do with securities law, something distant from my heart (and head). The quality of argument ranged from decent to very good; all of the justices had questions; and I learned once again that the sorts of things I taught my students to think important are in fact important at the top court, at least.

The law apart, three things having to do with IT came to my attention.

First, an intermittent noise . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

«Spider Contract»

L’Office de la langue française m’en excusera peut-être, mais je ne sais comment traduire cette forme possible de contrat en ligne. Une forme dont je viens de prendre connaissance sur le blogue d’Eric Goldman, précisément un billet de John Ottaviani, faisant état d’une décision de première instance d’un tribunal du Colorado, l’affaire Internet Archive v. Shell (No. 06-cv-01726-LTB-CBS (D.Col. 2/13/2007).

Cette forme de contrat, parlons-en. Il s’agit d’un jugement déclaratoire relatif à un site Internet qui dispose d’un encart juridique avec la clause suivante:


. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous