Joint Study Institute update

Joint Study Institute: Constitutional Law, the Charter of Rights and Parliament

We hope you are planning to join us in Montreal for an exciting series of programmes covering Canada’s Legal Kaleidoscope.

On Monday morning, June 21st, we will have two programmes designed to introduce attendees to the unique legal and political situations in Canada. 

"The Constitution and Charter in the 21st Century” will start the conference off with a discussion of constitutional and charter issues in the news and the courts right now.  Mahmud Jamal will provide a brief introduction to the Charter of Rights and then speak more specifically about a number of topical charter issues: freedom of religion, freedom of expression, gay marriage, and federalism and the creation of a federal securities regulator. The second speaker, Professor Bev Baines, an expert in the constitutional rights of women, will discuss such topics as reasonable accommodation, Sharia law, decriminalization of polygamy, and religious equality.

Joint Study Institute update

We hope you are planning to join us in Montreal for the CALL Joint Study Institute June 20-23, 2010. We are very pleased to be able to feature Mr. Justice John H Gomery, who will be speaking on Transparency and Access to Information. Best known as the Commisioner of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities, Justice Gomery was recently elected President of the Quebec Press Council. Transparency in society is a major preoccupation for Justice Gomery and there is no doubt his speech will give us great food for thought on Canadian politics.

For more information and to sign up now, go to: 

Recent Alberta judgment involving online charges

Shaunna Mireau's latest column in SLAW talks about the comments made by Mr. Justice Macleod in Aram Systems Ltd. v. NovAtel Inc., 2010 ABQB 152 regarding recovering the costs of legal research. Although the disbursement was ultimately disallowed, the judge's summary of the current situation facing law firms is spot on:

"Indeed, it might be argued that a lawyer who chooses to forgo computerized legal research is negligent in doing so. This is particularly so given that many law firms and indeed governments are now cancelling hard copy subscriptions to legal resources in favour of the electronic versions. The practice of law has evolved to the point where computerized legal research is no longer a matter of choice."

Many thanks to Shaunna for pointing out this case.

The Business of Law: Views from the Law Firm Administrator's Chair

This January, we were very lucky to have a distinguished panel of speakers shed some light on this timely and important topic. They were:

  • Ernie Gauvreau, General Manager with Gowling Lafleur Henderson
  • Miriam Redford, Director of Administration and Finance at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP;
  • Bob Waterman, Director of Administration at Richards Buell Sutton LLP.

The Art of Communicating Change

If you were not able to attend Peter de Jager's webinar last week on "The Art of Communicating Change", you have another chance to see it.

The webinar is available at The file is a Windows Media Video file and you can view it with a variety of utilities, including the Windows Media Center application.

Peter de Jager is a well-known speaker on the subject of change management. You can find more information on Peter on his website at

Reminder: Applications for Peter Bark Bursary deadline March 1, 2010

Peter Bark Bursary

The Peter Bark Professional Development Bursary was established by VALL to commemorate Peter Bark and his contribution to VALL and law librarianship. The Bursary assists VALL members demonstrating financial need in attending meetings of the Canadian Association of Law Librarians or other law library associations, continuing education workshops or other professional development. The fund is sustained by donations from individuals, law book publishers and grants from VALL.

For more information about Peter Bark, please read his obituary, published in the Advocate, (1991) 49: 155-16. Thank you to the Advocate magazine for permission to post this article.

Guidelines for applicants

Value:  Bursaries up to a maximum of $1,500 per successful applicant may be awarded per year. 

Eligibility: Applicants will have been members of VALL for a minimum of one year. Members of the current executive are eligible to apply.

Financial circumstances of applicant(s) will be considered.

Preference will be given to applicants attending a professional conference for the first time or who have conference responsibilities or who are active in VALL or in the law library community.

UBC SLAIS Co-op program

UBC’s School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies (SLAIS) Graduate Co-op students are now available for Summer 2010!

Co-op students are a flexible, cost-effective way to supplement your staff team for short-term opportunities or special projects.

The Business of Law – Views from the Law Firm Administrator’s Chair

Mark your calendars for the VALL/BCLMA KM JOINT SEMINAR on Tues. Jan. 26, 2010! 


This seminar provides an understanding of the business of law from the Administrator’s perspective.  It develops your capacity to think and act strategically in your library by focusing on the business models and latest trends and practices in law firm Administration and challenges facing Administrators in today’s economy.  The goal is to enable both new and experienced law library professionals to develop a working knowledge of the following areas and to be comfortable discussing financial and administrative decisions:

Latest issue of PLL Perspectives now available

The latest issue of PLL Perspectives (the newsletter of AALL's Private Law Libraries SIS) includes the following articles:

  • PubMed Searching for the Novice
  • Marketing & the Library: Best Practices for Working in Tandem — interesting article on how to make collaboration between the Marketing and Library departmentswork
  • Digital Collections — a list of of some of PLL members' favorite digital collections

Free U.S. journal search engine

The American Bar Association’s Technology Resource Center has unveiled a "free search engine [that] searches the free full-text of over 300 online law reviews and law journals" online. You can find the search engine (and a list of the journals) at Naturally, coverage varies on a journal by journal basis.

(Thanks to Simon Fodden for pointing this site out.)

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