Susannah Tredwell's blog

Legal links for June 10, 2011

B.C. court decision that costs of online research are "overhead"

In the recent judgment Fairchild v. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, 2011 BCSC 616, the judge stated that he was "even more convinced today that the cost of computerised research is properly an item of overhead than I was in 2001 when I decided Prevette v. Cusano." He went on to say:

In this current electronic age there are even more resources available (at no cost) for conducting legal research online than ever before (for example, there is now the CanLii system and our own courts website — which includes the vast majority of the court’s written reasons issues since 1999, at least). Therefore absent convincing evidence that pay-per-use type of computerised legal research was a necessary adjunct of the prosecution of this case, I will not allow the claim for these amounts.

[79]           In respect of the Westlaw charge, Mr. Orchard said that his law firm (Borden Ladner Gervais) does not maintain a monthly subscription service for Westlaw. Each search is billed to the firm as it is conducted and the costs of those searches are then passed on to the client. As to why a Westlaw search was required, Mr. Orchard said that Westlaw has an excellent database for searching cases in respect of quantum.

Legal links for May 2, 2011

New Parliament of Canada website

The Parliament of Canada has unveiled its new website.The changes are intended to "provide users with easier access to content about Parliament, its institutions and processes, as well as enhanced access to legislation."

LEGISinfo now displays bills with a "progress bar" so that you can see at a glance how far a bill has travelled in the legislative process. You can refine the results by bill type, sponsor and/or status. LEGISinfo has also introduced an overview option, whereby bills are sorted based on the stage they have reached (e.g. Third reading, Committee, etc.)

CanLII now has RSS feeds for searches

CanLII announced yesterday that users can now set up RSS feeds for their CanLII searches. An orange RSS feed symbol will now appear at the top of search results; clicking on this symbol allows users to subscribe to an RSS feed for that specific search.

CanLII also announced that it has changed the way that search results for searches involving proximity operators are displayed. Instead of highlighting all the search terms (whether or not they were in proximity to each other) it will now highlight only the keywords that match the query.

The full text of the announcement can be found here: http://www.canlii.org/en/blog/index.php?/archives/52-Major-Improvements-to-Search-Tools.html.

Legal links for March 3, 2011

  • Ted Tjaden has written a great article on SLAW on Finding English Translations of French Language Court Decisions in Canada.
  • Luigina Vileno's recent article "Testing the Usability of Two Online Research Guides" in Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research  looks at usability testing of online research guides. The conclusions are probably the most relevant part of the article for law librarians; they include avoiding jargon, making "greater use of headings and subheadings", removing links to pdf pages, creating shorter pages and hyperlinking significant words.
  • A summary of Roberta Schaffer's (she's the Law Librarian of Congress) keynote speech at the AALL Vendor Colloquium can be found here and here. Schaffer looks at trends in publishing and knowledge sharing.
  • Michel-Adrien Sheppard of the SCC library has some useful links to metrics for measuring (and showing) your library's value.
  • Steven A. Lastres has a recent blog post (February 26, 2011) on SLA's Future Ready 365 blog on "Knowledge Management in a Changing World".

Legal links for February 23, 2011

Legal links for January 13, 2011

Legal links for December 9, 2010

And last (but not least, given the current weather in Vancouver):

CLA Copyright Grassroots Advocacy Kit now available

From: cla-bounces@lists.cla.ca [mailto:cla-bounces@lists.cla.ca]
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 3:45 PM
To: cla@lists.cla.ca
Subject: [cla] CLA Copyright Grassroots Advocacy Kit now available

Copyright is a key issue for parliament this fall, and CLA is continuing its advocacy efforts to ensure that government and department officials know our views on the proposed legislation.  Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, will have second reading in the House of Commons on 2 November.

We need your help to get the message to all MPs now.  This Copyright Advocacy Kit provides you with all the tools you need to contact your Member of Parliament and communicate our key points.  The kit includes a list of 8 key messages, a sample form letter to your MP, a guide for holding an in-person meeting, and a link to find contact information for your MP.  The kit also contains background information, including the latest CLA Position Statement “Protecting the Public Interest in the Digital World: the views of the Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques on Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act”.

Copyright impacts all of us.  Contact your MP today!

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