Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Geek in Review Podcast - Episode on Plain Language

The most recent episode of the Geek in Review Podcast by US law librarian Greg Lambert (and others) is available.

Lambert is a former president of the American Association of Law Libraries.

The podcast features guests who are prominent in the field of plain language in legal writing:

  • Neil Guthrie – Director, Professional Development, Research, and Knowledge Management, at Aird & Berlis LLP in Toronto and author of Guthrie’s Guide to Better Legal Writing.
  • Chris Trudeau – Law and Medical Professor at the University of Arkansas/ Little Rock and author of The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication
  • Jesse Katz – Litigation Editor at O’Melveny and Myers, as well as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist before taking on his editing role.
  • Sara Harris – editor for the American Lawyer’s Young Lawyer Editorial Board.

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Copyright Fair Dealing Week

The library world is celebrating Fair Dealing Week in Canada from February 24 to 28, with a host of activities across the country.

As the Fair Dealing Canada website explains:
"The Canadian Copyright Act allows the use of material from a copyright protected work (literature, musical scores, audiovisual works, etc.) without permission when certain conditions are met. People can use fair dealing for research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review, and news reporting. In order to ensure your copying is fair, you need to consider several factors such as the amount you are copying, whether you are distributing the copy to others, and whether your copying might have a detrimental effect on potential sales of the original work (...)"

"Fair dealing has a large, positive impact, including for:
  • Educators and students at all levels,
  • Creative professionals (journalists, authors, filmmakers, musicians, etc.),
  • Individuals who want to use, copy or share portions of copyright protected works in their daily lives."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:29 pm 0 comments

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Law Library of Congress Interview With Natella Boltyanskaya, Scholar in Residence

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has posted an interview with Russian-born legal scholar in residence Natella Boltyanskaya, It is part of an ongoing series of interviews:
"How would you describe your research project to other people?
My current research explores the means and extent of the support that was provided by American legislators to the Soviet human rights movement. The discovery of original documents led me to a better understanding of the full story, starting from the first acts of solidarity by American people shortly after World War II, and ending with national legislation restricting economic cooperation with the USSR due to their poor human rights record. In other words, it is a story of sanctions which is quite relevant for the modern world."

"It was extremely important for my research to find documents demonstrating how on numerous occasions American legislators acted to advance the human rights agenda and keep Soviet leaders accountable for not meeting their international obligations. The most famous example is the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, and I was able to explore the history of its adoption here at the Law Library. Naturally, not every legislative initiative was successful; however, all of them, even those which did not go through had a great impact, both in the USSR and internationally."

"The analysis of those initiatives might prompt solutions to the human rights problems of today. While researching political and economic sanctions imposed by the United States on the Soviet Union in order to force it to respect the rights of its own citizens, I was able to locate materials on how the Congress addressed other recognized methods of dealing with human rights breaches in foreign nations, such as sending troops, bringing in refugees, and supporting local activists and protesters externally. These materials will make my research comprehensive and perhaps suggest some new approaches that would respond to present-day social and political challenges." 
"Why did you want to conduct research at the Law Library?
There were several reasons – both practical and romantic. American libraries are a treat for any researcher – many databases are available; everything is comfortable, and the workplace is well-equipped. I have worked in many of them. The Library of Congress is truly a top tier library. The Law Library of Congress is a very special place, where you can work with the documents showing American lawmaking processes in full detail. It is an ideal place for my research."
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of almost 3 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Newest Issue of Canadian Law Library Review

The most recent issue of the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR) is available online.

The CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL). It is an open access publication.

It is available on the ISSUU platform and in PDF format on the CALL website.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Library of Parliament Research Publications

The Library of Parliament in Ottawa regularly publishes research publications on a range of topics.

I find they are often a good starting point for background information, as the Library explains:
"The Library of Parliament offers its parliamentary clients a range of research publications on current and emerging issues, on legislation and on major policy topics. These research publications provide timely and authoritative information and analysis on issues of relevance to the work of parliamentary committees and associations, and to parliamentarians in their constituencies."
For example, I was recently looking at their October 2019 document on the distribution of legislative powers under the Canadian Constitution.

It is possible to get news about new publications via an RSS feed or on Twitter.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:50 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 17, 2020

Self-Represented Litigants Research Project on Vexatious Litigants

A report by the Self-Represented Litigants Research Project (SRLRP) recently came to my attention.

It is about how the description of some litigants as vexatious has often been applied to self-represented litigants in Canada.

Based on an analysis of matters in its caselaw database, the SRLRP reports that:
"we are already seeing a number of trends in the case law that we believe are important to highlight. These include an overlap between cases in the database which have been been flagged as raising 'procedural fairness' issues (where an SRL has made mistakes which appear to be a direct consequence of their lack of knowledge and familiarity with the process, despite best efforts) and those in which they are formally designated as a vexatious litigant. As well, the relationship between CLD cases involving disabilities, substantial or punitive costs, and vexatiousness raise concerns about conflation between intentional process 'abuse' and genuine confusion and mistakes, which we have drawn attention to before ... This report provides more evidence pointing to this problem."
The NSRLP, which flows out of the work conducted by Dr. Julie Macfarlane, Faculty of Law of the University of Windsor, describes itself as a clearinghouse for resources, research data, new initiatives, training materials and other information that affects and reflects the SRL phenomenon.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:05 pm 0 comments

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Updated GlobaLex Research Guide on the United Kingdom

GlobaLex, a very good electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, has updated its research guide on the legal system of the United Kingdom.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:51 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from February 1-15, 2020 is now available on the Court website.

It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:42 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Canadian Bar Association - Alberta Branch Publishes Inclusive Workplace Toolkit

The Alberta Branch of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has published an Inclusive Workplace Toolkit:
"This toolkit is designed to support lawyers in every practice setting in cultivating an inclusive workplace culture. We have included a variety of resources to take some of the legwork out of addressing specific issues that you may be facing in your practice now, or choosing to proactively address. The CBA does not endorse any of these resources – we solicited recommendations, reviewed offerings, and included resources that respond to areas of need identified in our survey of the profession."

"The Policies, Procedures, and Exit Interview template included present a model option from a relevant authority. These were prepared with a variety of practice settings in mind, but may require some adaptation..."
Table of contents:
  • Experts in Building an Inclusive Workplace Culture
  • Model Policy
  • Supports from Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society
  • Sample Investigation Protocol
  • Meaningful Exit and Stay Interviews

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Monday, February 10, 2020

2020 Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference Program Now Available

The program for the 2020 annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is now available.

The conference is taking place May 24th – May 27th, 2020 at the Hamilton Convention Centre.

Registration details can be found on the CALL website.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:26 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Federal Bill on Sexual Assault Training for Judges

The Canadian government has introduced Bill C-5 that would require federally-appointed judges to undergo sensitivity training to learn about myths and stereotypes in sexual assault cases.

If passed, the legislation would also require the Canadian Judicial Council, which has authority over the work of federally-appointed judges and is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, to set up and report on the training program.

It would also amend the Criminal Code to make sure judges provide written reasons when they rule on sexual assault cases.

It is possible to follow the progress of the bill on the LEGISinfo website.

Justice Canada has provided some background on the issue.

An earlier proposal from the last session of Parliament, known as Bill C-337, died in the Senate before the 2019 federal elections.

News coverage:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:11 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Twitter Chat February 19

The Executive Board of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is organizing a Twitter chat on February 19, 2020 at 1P.M. EST with the hashtag #CALLACBDCHAT.

As a blog post on the CALL website from CALL President Shaunna Mireau explains:
"For those who haven’t participated in a Twitter Chat, the process is straightforward. The @CALLACBD account will pose some questions that will have the #CALLACBDCHAT hashtag and a question number, i.e. Q1. Anyone can chime in with answers using a corresponding answer number; A1 and include #CALLACBDCHAT and any other hashtags you wish. We expect that the questions will be asked over one hour but the conversation may continue past that time. I will be chiming in from my account @smireau."

"The goal of this Twitter Chat is to engage this community in thinking about legal information specialists and how to increase awareness and relevance of CALL/ACBD. We want more people in our conversation about legal information so that we have engaging discussions, valuable knowledge sharing and fresh and interesting ideas to bring to our organizations. The CALL/ACBD Executive Board is exploring the big existential questions – who are we and why are we here?"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:59 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 03, 2020

February 2020 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The February 2020  issue of In Session is available online.

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:17 pm 0 comments

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from January 16-31, 2020 is now available on the Court website.

It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:35 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of February 2020 Hearings

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of upcoming appeals that will be heard this month.

To find out more about any particular case, click on the docket number in parentheses next to each case name to find docket information, case summaries as well as facta from the parties.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:34 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

2019 International Library Automation Perceptions Survey

Every year since 2007, Library Technology Guides has conducted an International Library Automation Perceptions Survey.

Responses are now being invited for the 2019 edition:
"The survey measures the levels of satisfaction that libraries have in their strategic technology products and their perceptions of the quality of service and support that they receive. The results of this survey provide valuable information to libraries as they formulate technology strategies and to vendors as they refine their support services and product development."
It is possible to view the results of all previous surveys on the Library Technology Guides website.

The website is is maintained by Marshall Breeding, a well-known library automation expert.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:03 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 27, 2020

New Law Librarians' Institute 2020

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is hosting the 2020 New Law Librarians’ Institute (NLLI) at the the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton from June 16–19, 2020.

NLLI is an intensive four-day program aimed at developing librarians’ skills in the key competencies of law librarianship.

Registration will be opening very soon so keep an eye out.

You can find the programs from past NLLIs at the bottom of the NLLI page on the CALL website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:52 pm 0 comments

CanLII Publishes Instructional Materials from CALL Members

The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) has published a series of instructional materials produced by members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL). They show how to use the CanLII website for legal research.

There are materials on:
  • How to Browse Legislation
  • How to Limit Search Results Using Filters
  • How to Browse Commentary
  • How to Search Commentary
  • Using Commentary
As this CanLII blog posts explains:
"This time last year, the CanLII team asked Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) members to produce instructional materials to assist users on how to use CanLII."

"We were pleased to learn that there was immediate interest from CALL members when a call for volunteers was announced. Since then, a motivated working group was formed and we have received content in the form of visual aids and handouts."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:45 pm 0 comments