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Archive for July, 2008

New Feed Mix for DUI Law

I’ve just released a new blog watch website over at Stem; this time tracking 54 different law blogs on the topic of DUI law.

A while ago here on Slaw I published a Yahoo pipes tutorial, and tried to show how we can take a set of authoritative feeds for a particular topic and mix them together as a current awareness tool. This new site is a good example of a subject-based feed mix. It’s also a good example of how feed mixing might help for the development internal collections; not simply because it pulls together like subject . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

We’re Not Hiring Your Grads Until You Improve Your Legal Research Program

Title says it all. But a good piece on Law Librarians’ Blog that should resonate outside the US.

If students didn’t take the optional advanced legal research course taught by law librarians, they will leave law school ill-equipped for real world research. The problem is systemic and nationwide; the typical 1L legal research and writing program just doesn’t get the job done.

Nothing much will change until private sector employers and their law librarians demand improvements in legal research instruction. It won’t happen internally. The traditional legal research and writing program and its instructors are simply too entrenched.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training


I was off for a couple of weeks and am quite proud to say that I did not access my email for 10 days, which is up there with my personal bests. I did have 266 messages in my inbox when I returned but it was worth it. I still find it nice to know that there are places where wireless signals aren’t bouncing off of me and I can’t plugin.

Upon getting plugged back in this week, it has been interesting to watch the goings on with Facebook, Scrabulous and Hasbro. I find it curious that Hasbro has . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law

Principles of Litigation Management

Law firms struggling with e-discovery tend to lack leadership, not technology. Litigation clients deserve to be represented by knowledgeable litigators who can provide good strategic advice, follow well-defined practices for ensuring the admissibility of evidence, and use modern technology effectively to reduce costs and improve the quality of advocacy.

Corporate clients expect a high level of competence especially in areas of high potential risk such as electronic discovery.

But where to start? When we consider the complexities of ESI, the long legacy of paper-based discovery rules, and the unwillingness of some lawyers to embrace technology, how can a firm even . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Google’s Movable Notebook

It’s been a while since I made any use of Google Notebook — mostly, I think, because I’m not much of a note-taker unless I have a project in the works, and then I’ll probably use a desktop app. But I may revisit the online application because the Official Google Notebook Blog tells us they’ve added an export function that lets you:

  • Export this notebook to Google Docs.
  • View this notebook as a web page.
  • Get updates from this notebook in Google Reader.
  • Get updates from this notebook as an RSS feed.
  • Save this notebook as an Atom document. This
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Top Tech Trends Panel 2008

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), conducted the Top Tech Trends panel at the 2008 ALA Annual conference in July. Consisting of ten library technology experts, including two virtual participants, the key topics discussed included:

  • Open source software and APIs
  • Increasing demands on bandwidth and infrastructure from streaming audio and video
  • Growing usage of mobile devices
  • Future of bibliographic control

The full audio of the Top Tech Trends panel is posted at the LITA blog. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Google Further Customizes Searches

Google is rolling out a new feature that will use some of your data to “improve your search experience.” According to the Official Google Blog, we can expect to see a notation appearing in the upper right hand corner of search results pages that state “Customized for the [your city] area.” Using the location of your ISP, Google will give prominence to results that come closest to that location. You will have the ability, apparently, to dictate which address is used for the location customization.

What is not made clear is whether you will be able to turn this . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Source for Finding Law Firm Newsletters

Fee Fie Foe Firm Canada is a new custom search engine in beta for searching across Canadian law firm websites.

It indexes content from all manner of law firms, big and small. This includes practice group and individual profiles, press releases, news releases, case analysis, and publications such as newsletters.

I have commented on the Library Boy blog on a few other sources for finding law firm newsletters:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

Copyright Conference at Queen’s

If you’re planning to be near Kingston Ontario come August 7, 8 and 9, you might want to check out “copyright’s counterparts,” an academic workshop on the connection between copyright and creativity. From the “about” page:

In some forms and circumstances, copyright, the main reference point for the workshop, can encourage creativity, promote and regulate the circulation and preservation of knowledge and creative work, and ensure compensation for authors. But this workshop ventures in a different direction: it will invite scholars to compare the workings of a number of existing alternative systems, both ancient and emerging,

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

Obama on “Time to Think”

The debate on distractions and thinking made it into the US presidential race last week. During his visit to England, Barack Obama was overheard speaking with British Conservative Party leader David Cameron.

According to Obama, “the most important thing you need to do is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you’re doing is thinking.” I’d imagine it must be more difficult for the President of the US to set aside time to think than it is for even the busiest lawyer, but it’s positive that this is getting broader recognition. Maybe a backlash really is . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Interesting Use of LexisNexis

As I’m sure many of you are already aware, LexisNexis has received some interesting press lately. In the July 28, 2008 report issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, a LexisNexis search used by a DOJ employee is reprinted (on p. 21). This search was apparently used for vetting potential employees:

[First name of a candidate]! and pre/2 [last name of a candidate] w/7 bush or gore or republican! or democrat! or charg! or accus! or criticiz! or blam! or defend! or iran contra or clinton or spotted owl or florida recount or sex! or controvers! or racis! or fraud!

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