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Archive for February, 2008

JD Supra – Free Access to Legal Documents Goes Live

Over on his Law Firm Web Strategy blog Steve Matthews announced that JD Supra has been launched. I had a preview of this service back in September, so I had a fresh look am pleased to see the further development of this new service.

JD Supra
allows for law firms, law schools and other legal organizations and individuals to share documents. Having a name behind the documents lends credibility to them, while the contributors get to be known for having expertise in their respective areas. This is combined with a profile that will drive traffic back to their websites. A . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Federal Budget Measures on Security and Justice

Yesterday’s federal budget contained a series of security and justice measures:

  • $400 million to encourage provinces and territories to recruit 2,500 new front-line police officers – this amount is non-recurrent. In other words, once the funds have been spent, provinces will have to find the cash to pay for new officers hired with the federal funds
  • $122 million over two years to help overhaul the federal corrections system. A report in December 2007 called for a modernization of the service, cracking down on narcotics in prisons as well as improving rehabilitation services
  • $32 million over two years for the new
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Picture of UBC Library’s ASRS

Log this one into the cool picture category… This photo from the Flickr account of Jason Kurylo shows UBC’s ASRS (Automated Storage and Retrieval System), which allows millions of extra books to be stored in half the space of a traditional shelving.

In unison now… Oooooh, Aaaaaah! :) . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

National Centre for First Nations Governance Research Paper Series

The National Centre for First Nations Governance has announced the publication of “The Jurisdiction of Inherent Right Aboriginal Governments” [PDF] by Osgoode Hall Law School Scholar Kent McNeil. From the press release:

The inherent right of the Aboriginal peoples to govern themselves has become a generally accepted aspect of Canadian constitutional law.

But what is the scope of the governmental authority, or jurisdiction, that can be exercised by inherent right Aboriginal governments? And how does the jurisdiction of Aboriginal governments interact with the jurisdiction of other governments in Canada, especially the federal and provincial governments?

This important research

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law

New Transparency and Surveillance Research Project Announced

A 2.5 million dollar grant is being given to a group of 8 academic researchers by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Announced today, the grant is to be spent over seven years in the study of how and why average citizens are being watched by public and private organizations. The study is being titled “The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting.” Part of the study will be to look at the flow of surveillance information that is now possible with computer use.

From the Queen’s University press release:

The new project will examine

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law, Technology

Lawyers Beset by Information Overload, Study Finds

A national workplace survey reports that more than seven in ten American white collar workers feel inundated with information at their workplace, while more than two in five feel that they are headed for an information “breaking point.”

Sponsored by our friends in Dayton, OH, the news release states:

Eighty percent of legal professionals feel overloaded with information, and 70 percent say they spend a lot of time sifting through irrelevant information. Nearly half say that research takes up so much of their time that they occasionally omit billing clients for this work.

Other survey findings that demonstrate challenges for . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

A Couple of News Snippets

No time for long posts, but three small timbits from the news today.

Job cuts announced at Reed Elsevier, the owner of Lexis-Nexis

Reed Elsevier, the Anglo-Dutch media group, is drawing up plans to axe more than 1,000 jobs as part of a continuing efficiency drive, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

The company, which owns the LexisNexis information service and the medical journal, The Lancet, is understood to be preparing to cut the jobs over the next couple of years as it centralises functions such as procurement, human resources and IT across the group. Analysts expect the job cuts

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

CLB Announces BestCase

As Slaw readers know, effective April 1, 2008, Canada Law Book is pulling its law reports and case summaries from Quicklaw Lexis Nexis ((Dominion Law Reports (since 1912)
Canadian Criminal Cases (since 1898)
Labour Arbitration Cases (since 1948)
Canadian Patent Reporter (since 1941)
All-Canada Weekly Summaries
Weekly Criminal Bulletin
Canadian Law List
Alberta Civil and Criminal Cases
Federal Court of Appeal Decisions
BC Civil Cases
BC Criminal Cases
BC Labour Arbitrations
BC Labour Relations Board Decisions
Canadian Labour Arbitration Summaries
Saskatchewan Civil and Criminal Cases
Supreme Court of Canada Decisions
Manitoba Civil and Criminal Cases))

CLB today announced a new . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Tufte Talks… and Waves

These are “amber waves of grain” and they close off a short movie that would never win an Oscar. Edward Tufte, who’s appeared more than once before in Slaw ((Tufte Touted, Visualizing Ideas, The Friday Fillip)) does the voice-over in a film that, in his words:

blur[s] and… reduce[s] distinctions between movies and statistical graphics, to get some visual depth to data graphics, and to bring all the capacities of HD movie-making to data-graphics-making. As the metaphor for sparklines is the resolution of typography, the metaphor for wavefields is the HD video (which records approximately

. . . [more]
Posted in: Uncategorized

Does This Count as Overkill?

From a story in today’s Global Reinsurance newsletter

Executives guilty in Gen Re/AIG case – 26 February, 2008

Former Gen Re and AIG executives face more than 1,000 years in prison … 

Four former senior executives of General Reinsurance and one from American International Group were found guilty of securities fraud and conspiracy by a federal jury.

Collectively the five defendants face more than a 1,000 years in prison and $213.5m in fines.

This is the case where the company executives were accused of setting up phony reinsurance schemes (about $500 million worth under which Gen Re undertook no risk)  . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario Linguistic and Rural Access to Justice Project

Amazing what retired Canadian family law professors get up to.

The Law Foundation of Ontario has launched a project on access to legal information and legal services by linguistic minorities and persons living in rural or remote areas. It recognizes the challenges faced in gaining access to legal information and services by persons who do not speak English or French and persons living in rural or remote areas of the province. George Thomson will be leading it.

This project will focus on access to two components (legal information and legal services) by two groups who can face isolation in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous