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Archive for May, 2012

Tough Lawyers

Lawyers probably work in one of the most stressful environments that exist. If they are in private practice, they have the stress of working to provide their clients the information, advice and services that the client is looking for when the client wants it. If they are in-house counsel or in the public sector, they have employers, bosses who want information, advice and strategy when they need it, not on the lawyers’ schedule. As well, lawyering is such that sometimes there does not seem to be any clocks and everything else can be put aside including family, friends and one’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

You Might Like … a Dalliance With 1812, the 7th Century, Mars, Regent’s Canal, Helena Bonham Carter, and More

This is a post in a series appearing each Friday, setting out some articles, videos, podcasts and the like that contributors at Slaw are enjoying and that you might find interesting. The articles tend to be longer than blog posts and shorter than books, just right for that stolen half hour on the weekend. It’s also likely that most of them won’t be about law — just right for etc.

Please let us have your recommendations for what we and our readers might like.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: You might like...

Fifth Annual Link Rot Report of the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group

The Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group has just published its 5th annual study of link rot among the original URLs for online law- and policy-related materials it has been archiving since 2007.

“Every year, the Chesapeake Group investigates whether or not the documents in the archive can still be found at the original web addresses from which they were captured. The group analyzes two samples of web addresses, or URLs, pulled from the archive’s records”

“The first sample includes 579 original URLs for content captured from 2007-2008. This sample is revisited every year to document link rot and explore how it

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

Mandated or Mandatory Pro Bono

Chief Judge Looks to Pro Bono to Address Access to Justice Concerns

The Chief Judge of New York State announced that henceforth (did I really use that word?) all applicants for the New York state bar must complete 50 hours of pro bono work. Can he do this? Yes he can. In New York, as in many states, lawyers are licensed and regulated by the courts. Many state courts have delegated this power to state bar associations, but not New York state. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said that the new requirement was intended to provide badly-needed legal services in urgent . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

CanLII Partners With Lancaster House to Publish Open Access Text

The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) and Lancaster House announced this afternoon that they are cooperating in a project to provide open access legal commentary. The digitized text of Wrongful Dismissal and Employment Law (1st Ed.) by Peter Neumann and Jeffrey Sack “will be fully integrated and freely available to the public on the CanLII website” as of tomorrow, May 4, according to the joint press release. The press release also states that CanLII President, Colin Lachance, sees this a first step in improving access to law through the free provision of explanatory materials.

The Wrongful Dismissal e-text will be . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

The Ethical Requirements to Be Cost-Effective and Efficient

Rule 3.01 (1) of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Rules of Professional Conduct is always overshadowed by its sister rules. Yet, it is perhaps one of the most important rules of our profession:

3.01(1) A lawyer shall make legal services available to the public in an efficient and convenient way.

This rule suggests that if a lawyer is not providing legal services in an efficient manner, she is breaching the rule; and, if a lawyer is not providing legal services in a convenient manner, she is also breaching the rule. Interestingly enough, the commentary in rule 3.01 . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

How CALL Saved the Canadian Abridgment

The Quebec Riot

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of CALL, it is perhaps worth reminiscing about one of its most infamous and contentious dialogues with a legal publisher. Some of you may know it as the Quebec Riot, an expression no doubt coined by the ever perceptive and distinguished, but sometimes mischievous, Denis Le May.

It came about as any riot usually does, when law librarians felt no one was listening to them.

They were right.

The seventies and eighties saw a veritable explosion in the number of reported cases. New jurisdictional and topical law reports, combined . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Past Lessons on Legal Project Management?

Legal Project Management (LPM) has received a major boost downunder with the leading Australian/Asian firm King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) launching a program with the assistance of Edge International. Tony O’Malley, Managing Partner Australia, King & Wood Mallesons and Pam Woldow, Edge International give a convincing 5 minute audio explanation of why it is such a good idea.

If it is true as Shaun Plant says in The New Holy Grail of Legal Practice that “much of the practice of law is not about technical legal detail, but managing projects”, and, as Tony O’Malley has said that “Clients have been . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

LAC Cuts and Government Library Closures: Part of a New Paradigm?

I’d hoped for a happier first post for my return to Slaw, but I do think it’s important to shine the light on the forthcoming reductions to Library and Archives Canada and any broader impact or mirroring of reality. The cuts to the LAC announced in last month’s budget received some media coverage and commentary from interested parties at that time. This coincides with LAC’s announcement of a phased-in shift in the manner in which reference services are handled, to provide service with reduced staff.

This week we learned more precisely the nature of the impact on LAC. According to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Statute and Regulation Citations on CanLII

CanLii just released a new feature today, which allows one-click citation of statutes and regulations. You can read more about this feature here.

With the addition of new search features the free legal database is continually closing the gap with the commercial publishers, who will have to develop completely innovative services to take legal research to the next level. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Self-Help Law – Good Enough or Recipe for Disaster?

We are heading to a legal services world where increasingly more legal advice and legal services will be provided online. It is not a matter of if, but when. And people have access to massive amounts of information and advice online – some good, some not so good. For many online businesses geography and thus jurisdiction is unimportant and revenue can come from almost anywhere in the world.

Combine that, and it is easy for a business to take the attitude that it can figure it all out itself – without the help of lawyers or accountants. Or at the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous