Susannah Tredwell's blog

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

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Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 3:45 PM
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!

CLA Vancouver Event: Finding the Sweet Spots: The Value-Added Special Librarian

Thursday, October 28, 2010, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Delta Vancouver Suites, 550 West Hastings Street, Innes Thompson Room

Whether they like to think so or not, info pros have a brand, and the clients’ perception of that brand will influence their careers.

In this session, Ulla traces the similarities and dissimilarities between well known consumer products’ and companies’ brands and ours, discussing the need to build a professional image consciously to foster client confidence in the quality and value of our services.

Illustrating how seemingly superficial “signalers” send messages clients pick up on, Ulla provides a checklist of tips for selecting and supporting the brand we want to project.

Alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw in Law Firms

A recent article by Laura Justiss ("A Survey of Electronic Research Alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw in Law Firms") looks at what alternatives exist to Lexis and Westlaw in U.S. law firms.

The abstract reads as follows:

Mrs. Justiss conducted a survey of law firm librarians in 2010 that identified electronic research database alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw and ranked them by subscription frequency. The survey included research databases for primary source alternatives; court docket and case information services; secondary sources for topical legal research and legal periodicals; financial, business and news sources; public records; and non-legal and legal-related sources, including intellectual property databases. The survey also generated information regarding suggested or mandated legal research policies in law firms for the use of alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw and examined their applicability to billable and non-billable research. Lastly, it examined the prevalence in firms of flat rate pricing agreements with Lexis, Westlaw or both.

The link to the article can be found here:

Job Posting: Alberta Law Libraries - Calgary Librarian

A challenging and rewarding position has recently become available within the Alberta Law Libraries. Reporting to the Information, Research and Training Services Manager, the successful candidate will be accountable for organizing and managing effective and efficient operations of the four Law Libraries located in Calgary. This responsibility includes the delivery of timely and relevant legal reference, research and training services to the judiciary, bar, crown prosecutors, government lawyers, Alberta Justice employees and the public. This position also provides considerable opportunity for participation in strategic planning and developing and implementing procedures. Providing skilled administration of the Calgary libraries and effective human resources management, the Calgary Librarian is a key figure in the continued growth and future success of Alberta Law Libraries' client services.

2010 American Lawyer library survey

The American Lawyer 2010 library survey is now available online at (free registration required).

The article looks at how the recession in the United States has affected law libraries, along with lots of interesting statistics (hours billed back, percentage of online costs recovered, etc.) and some telling anecdotes:

"In the old days it used to be enough to say, my contract is for $100,000 a month, but I'm getting $500,000 of value," says one library director. "[But] my boss doesn't care about value, he cares that we get that $100,000 down to $75,000. His thinking is that the vendors should be happy just to have our business these days." She paused for a moment and added what her boss didn't realize, but what everyone who has ever worked in a law firm library has long known: "It doesn't work like that."

Podcasts from 2010 CALL Conference available

If you are a member of CALL, but were not able to attend the conference in Windsor this year, you may be interested in listening to some of the podcasts from the conference.

The available podcasts are:

  • We are Stewards of the Great Lakes: Law and Policy for Changing Times - Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
  • Avoiding Obsolescence: Understanding and Engaging the Net Generation - Susan Gibbons, University of Rochester
  • Law Libraries in a Changing World
  • Twitter and Blogging in the Courtroom
  • CALL/ACBD Annual General Meeting
  • Vendor Liaison Open Forum

To access them, go to, log in using your member ID, click on "Professional Development" and then click on "Podcasts".

New B.C. Supreme Court Civil Rules

The new B.C. Supreme Court Civil Rules came into force on July 1, 2010. They can be found at

To coincide with the coming into effect of the new Supreme Court Rules, the Supreme Court has issued a new collection of Practice Directions and Administrative Notices; these can be found at They include an Index and Table of Concordance.

Crown Publications has announced that the updates for its Rules of Court loose-leaf are expected to be delivered in late July due to a publishing delay.

Irwin Law's Canadian Online Legal Dictionary

Irwin Law has released its Canadian Online Legal Dictionary, available for free at The dictionary is currently comprised of terms "defined in glossaries of Canadian law books published by Irwin Law" but will be kept up-to-date by Irwin Law editors. It also has a collaborative element so that "users will be able to submit terms of their own choosing for addition to the dictionary."

(Thanks to SLAW and Shaunna Mireau for the tip.)

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