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Archive for May, 2008

2008 Webby Award Winners in the Law Category

Yesterday the Webbies were announced. They’re described by the New York Times as ‘the Oscars of the internet’, and are judged by a panel which includes Simpsons creator Matt Groening and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Once you get beyond the gushing over the creative use of new technologies by Stephen Colbert for the Colbert Report and on the Obama campaign, the list includes a couple of quite excellent law-related websites.

Out-law by Pinsent/Masons we’ve blogged about over the last couple of years, won the overall Best Website Award. Even more remarkable, it was the first non-US site to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

CanLII Reaches Half a Million Cases

The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), the source of free online Canadian legal information created by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, announced earlier this week that it has surpassed the 500,000 case mark in its database:

“When it was launched in the fall of 2000, CanLII contained less than 30,000 cases. Over the years, the content development went through various stages: first, recent cases from all appeal and superior courts, then from all courts, and so on. Recently, focus has been placed on the addition of important historical case law as well as administrative tribunals. All those

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Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Show Me You Care

In this crazy world of competing deadlines, priorities, sound bites and instant communication technology it sometimes seems harder than ever to nurture the important relationships in our lives. We are all under such pressure to perform and to achieve there is little time left in the day to reach out and show someone that we care.

The energy between two people is what creates great marriages, families, teams, and organizations. Yet, when we think consciously about improving our lives, we put almost all of our effort into self-development. (Tom Rath, Vital Friends)

It’s easy to forget that there . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

VoIP a Problem for Emergency Calls

Last week we saw the unfortunate death of a toddler due to the 9-1-1 team being dispatched to Mississauga instead of his home in Calgary. His family was exclusively using VoIP–or Voice Over Internet Protocol, a telephone system using the Internet rather than the cellular or land line system–through ComWave. They had moved and their records had been updated, but their emergency records had not been updated.

I always wondered why, when I signed on with Skype (an international VoIP system that has some level of free calls), it cautions that it is not meant to be used as an . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

ArtMob Exploring Intellectual Property in Canada

Last week I was invited, wearing my hat of law librarian, to participate in a round table discussion on art, the Internet and intellectual property with the group ArtMob. ArtMob is a group of artists, scholars and other stakeholders interested in the intersection between Canadian culture and copyright and intellectual property law, and how it comes into play with the Web. . . . [more]

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

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre tracks companies around the globe whose practices infringe human rights. From the “About” page:

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has become the world’s leading independent resource on the subject. Our website is updated hourly with news and reports about companies’ human rights impacts worldwide – positive and negative.

We seek responses from companies to allegations of misconduct: thus ensuring that our coverage is balanced and encouraging companies to address concerns raised by civil society.

The website covers over 4000 companies, over 180 countries.

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Posted in: Substantive Law

Law School Looking South

For some time there’s been a movement at Osgoode Hall Law School to change the degree awarded graduates from the LL.B. to the J.D. Recently the President of the Alumni Association reported that of the 500 or so alumni who responded to a survey on the matter, “approximately 90%” were in favour of the change, and that a vote by the current students found 75% of them in favour. (Note: Osgoode creates 300 alumni each year.) The issue now goes to the law school’s academic policy committee for consideration.

<rant>For what it’s worth, I’m agin’ it. The University of Toronto . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Law School Looking West

The Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia has concluded an agreement with their counterpart at the University of Hong Kong to offer a joint program that will give their graduates the opportunity to practice in both jurisdictions. From the press release:

The Faculties of Law at UBC and HKU will each accept up to five students per year, starting in 2009. All students enrolled in the program will be able to earn the law degrees required — subject to admission and completion of the professional course requirements — for law practice in an additional jurisdiction, that

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Posted in: Education & Training

The Friday Fillip

And and and and… and. One thing after another, joined with everyone’s favourite conjunction, the subject of today’s fillip. But because it’s Friday and we’re in a hurry to get to the weekend, we’ll shorten it for you: AND, therefore, becomes

    Corruption of ‘and per se–and’, the old way of spelling and naming the character &; i.e. ‘& by itself = and;’ found in various forms in almost all the dialect Glossaries. (Earliest quoted use in the OED is 1837.)

Which is all well and good but what about & itself? As you may know, it’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Odds and Ends

A couple of unrelated things in this post. Firstly, this link to a NY Times article about an author who utilizes a computer to actually compose his books; explains a lot of material out there web or non-web.

I’m also trying to get something straight. It seems that a number of graduates who are preparing for licensing examination are getting a raw deal from the L.S.U.C. Somebody please help if I don’t have a proper handle on this. But it seems that to obtain the materials to prepare for the exam, a student can either pick them up in person . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario Librarians Go Online

askON ( is an online chat service available presumably to anyone with an internet connection and a question for a librarian. There are ten public libraries in Ontario involved, as well as those of three universities (Lakehead, Ryerson, York) and four colleges. I’ve checked and the York Law Library at Osgoode Hall Law School is not involved in the project.

When you’ve finished your online chat, a transcript can be sent to your email address. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information