Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Spring 2019 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The Spring 2019 issue of Connected is available online. The bulletin covers news about the impact of social media on courts.

The bulletin is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

In this month's issue:
  • ODR + SXSW = Success [ODR = online dispute resolution / SXSW = South By Southwest annual entertainment conference in Austin, Texas]
  • Jury Service in Utah
  • Learn a little something about Pennsylvania judges
  • Georgia’s social media state of mind
  • Kansas Supreme Court breaks special session attendance record
  • King County (WA) Superior Court's podcast

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Can Judges Be “Friends” on Social Media?

Last week on Slaw.ca, Patricia Hughes posted an article entitled Should Judges Be Tweeps and “Friends”? that looks at some of the risks judges can face when they start using social media like Twitter or Facebook.

It not only looks at the issue of perceived bias on the part of judges themselves, but it also raises an issue I had not thought of: the use of social media by judges’ families, for example where a family member may comment on a case or even be "friends" with a lawyer involved in a case before the judge.

The article makes reference to a number of reflections from the UK and Australia.

In conclusion, she writes:
"The use of social media should be an element in new judges’ education, as early as possible, as well as for existing judges. Guidelines from the CJC [Canadian Judicial Council] that recognize that judges may use social media in their professional capacity, as well as personally, but make clear the risks and limitations of use, are crucial. For example, if judges do use social media, they should not identify themselves as judges; they should consider very carefully whether it is appropriate to identify lawyers as “friends”; they need to appreciate fully issues around privacy; they need to acknowledge that lawyers have an obligation, even if not explicitly identified, to use what they learn on social media in representing their client; they should be aware that social media can intrude in their private life to haunt them in their professional life; they should discuss with their families how their use of social media might have repercussions; and so on. The guidelines should indicate the kinds of posts that are acceptable and those that are not. Individual courts may also establish their own codes for accessing or using social media. And generally, the best guideline of all (after the training session has occurred, and definitely before then) may be: if you’re not sure, don’t do it."

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

American Association of Law Libraries State of the Profession Report

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has released a State of the Profession 2019 report.

The document which can be purchased from the AALL website is
"a data-driven exploration of current legal information professionals’ contributions. It covers research platform expertise, contract and vendor negotiation, AI development and implementation, metadata management, legal writing and research instruction, competitive intelligence, customer and client relations, and leadership. The report provides quantitative insights on user services, technology services, operations, budgets, and partnerships. Additionally, the report features an inventory of expertise—including current skills held by law librarians and competencies for library and law school graduates." [press release]
There is a 6-page Snapshot that provides highlights of the report.

The ABA Journal has also published a summary of the report's contents (Law libraries chart a new direction for the future, new report shows, April 16, 2019).

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Roundtable on Law Librarian of the Future

The Canadian Association of Law Librarians (CALL/ACBD) is hosting a Presidents' Roundtable on the Law Librarian of the Future on May 8, 2019:
"What does the law librarian of the future look like? What do three experienced CALL/ACBD leaders working in diverse library types think? Shaunna Mireau (CALL/ACBD Vice President) will facilitate a discussion with Annette Demers (past President of CALL/ACBD and Law Librarian at University of Windsor), Ann Marie Melvie (CALL/ACBD President and Librarian for the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan), and Cyndi Murphy (past President of CALL/ACBD and Knowledge Manager at Stewart McKelvey) to hear their thoughts on the future law librarian. Webinar attendees can join the discussion to share their thoughts on the future and how CALL/ACBD can support the law librarian of the future."
The online event will take place from 1:30 to 2:30PM Eastern time.

Cost is $45.20 for CALL members ($28.25 for CALL student members), $67.80 for non-members. 

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from April 1-15, 2019 is now available on the Court website.

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


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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Supreme Court of Canada Publishes Its First Annual Year in Review

Last Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada released its first ever Year in Review, an annual document describing the Court’s activities in the preceding year.

In his introductory message, the Chief Justice of the Court, the Rt. Hon. Richard Wagner, writes:
"Our first judges could never have imagined how technologies like cable news, social media, and smartphones would change our world. Today, these are the media through which many Canadians learn about and interact with their public institutions, including the Court."

"The Supreme Court, its judges, and staff are dedicated to finding ways to better serve you. We’re leveraging technology and new media to better communicate with you, wherever you live, in both of Canada’s official languages."

"This document is part of that. We’ve also become more active on social media (Facebook and Twitter); please follow us! And we’ve started publishing Cases in Brief that explain our decisions in plain language, so everyone can understand them."

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Updated GlobaLex Research Guide on International Tax Law

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 guide on Researching International Tax Law:
"This research guide, based on International Tax Law: A Legal Research Guide (Buffalo: Hein, 2011) by Christopher C. Dykes, is designed to provide a starting point for those interested in international tax research. This guide will focus on international tax law from the global perspective but will also list information and sources for those interested in U.S. international taxation. This research guide will also discuss model income tax conventions, tax treaties, customary international law, and general principles of law. Secondary sources such as selected treatises, practice guides, and journals as well as online sources and research guides will also be covered."

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Tom Bruce, Pioneer of the Free Access to Law Movement, Retiring

Tom Bruce, who helped launch the Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell University in 1992, will be retiring as its director at the end of June 2019.

LII is the mother of all the little LIIs (like CanLII here in Canada), websites in dozens of countries that make legal information available for free to citizens.They all form part of the wonderful Free Access to Law Movement.

In his goodbye message, Bruce writes:
"Most of all, I am proud of all of the things that the LII has become, of all of the ways in which it has changed and grown over time, of its resilience and of the endless inventiveness of those who have worked here.  That has ensured our relevance for much longer than is usual for any program based in an American law school. I know of only one or two of any kind in any law school that have been as durable. None has performed a greater public service.  Our small group has preferred hard problems over shiny techno-trends, resisted dogma, and shunned facile media-friendly approaches. We have never assumed that serving a good cause guaranteed that our choices and methods were necessarily the best.  Bob Wilson [U.S. avant-garde theatre director] once said that an artist asks 'what is it?' rather than saying 'that is what it is'. I hope that we have been legal-information artists in exactly that way. Most of the time, we have been."

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Free Gladue Rights Database

The University of Saskatchewan has developed an open access Gladue Rights Research Database to help with pre-sentencing reports for indigenous offenders:
"This database is designed to provide much, but not all, the information required to write or review a Gladue report. It provides solid comprehensive information explaining the unique circumstances that have impacted and shaped Indigenous people’s lives in Saskatchewan – the essential historical backgrounds and contexts to the situations Aboriginal people face today. The additional recent and intimate personal information needed to complete particular Gladue reports must be acquired separately." (...)

"Gladue rights derive from Section 718.2(c) of the Criminal Code. The Supreme Court handed down its decision in R. v. Gladue in 1999. Gladue rights are enjoyed by First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people. They emerge from the unique experiences and circumstances that Aboriginal people have suffered under settler colonialism. That is to say, Gladue rights are derived from Aboriginal people’s unique history as the original occupants of this land and their distinct experiences as the victims of settler colonialism: “…the circumstances of aboriginal people are unique. In sentencing an aboriginal offender, the judge must consider: (a) the unique systemic or background factors which may have played a part in bringing the particular aboriginal offender before the courts; and (b) the types of sentencing procedures and sanctions which may be appropriate in the circumstances for the offender because of his or her particular aboriginal heritage or connection…. Judges may take judicial notice of the broad systemic and background factors affecting aboriginal people, and of the priority given in aboriginal cultures to a restorative approach to sentencing.” (https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/1695/index.do)"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:32 pm 0 comments

Monday, April 08, 2019

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of April 2019 Hearings

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of upcoming appeals that will be heard later 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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Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Canadian Judicial Council Launches Review of Ethical Principles for Judges

Patricia Hughes, the former Executive Director of the Law Commission of Ontario, published an article yesterday on Slaw.ca on the proposed revision by the Canadian Judicial Council of its ethical guidelines for federally-appointed judges in Canada:
"It has been 20 years since the current Principles have been in force; the CJC describes them as 'relatively unchanged since [then]'. As the CJC recognizes, much else has changed since 1998, including expectations about judges’ behaviour, use of technology and social issues. This has affected the nature of appointments, the background of appointees and the nature of contributions potential judicial candidates bring to the judicial process."
As part of its mandate, the Council reviews complaints or allegations against such judges.

It is chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada, currently the Right Honourable Richard Wagner.

As part of the revision process, the Council has issued a Background Paper as well as an online survey.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2019

April 2019 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The April 2019 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.

There is news about:
  • the nomination of John Sadler (Western University) as a CALL Honoured Member
  • the intervention by CALL in the March 29, 2019 Supreme Court of Canada hearing on Crown copyright (Keatley Surveying Ltd. v. Teranet Inc.)
  • upcoming annual conferences of CALL and sister associations
  • CALL committees (Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization Committee and Professional Development Committee)

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Monday, April 01, 2019

Law Library of Congress Interview With Kellee Bonnell, Legal Reference Librarian

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has posted a recent interview with Kellee Bonnell, Legal Reference Librarian:
"How would you describe your job (or research project) to other people?
I help people access the law. I help with research questions and I get to teach people the best way to find the answers. My favorite requests are the ones that start with, “I’ve looked everywhere and it feels like nobody can help me." (...)

"What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library of Congress?
I knew the Library was big and held a large collection, but I honestly had no idea just how large. The stacks downstairs are actual football-fields long. It’s just amazing the things the Library holds that I had never even considered before. Every time I learn something, and I definitely learn something new every single day, I’m stunned and awe-struck all over again."
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:29 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 March 16-31, 2019 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 3:21 pm 0 comments