Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The CALL Salary Survey is Important

I just wanted to say kudos to Gary Pon for facilitating the 2006 CALL Salary Survey.

If Canadian law librarians do nothing else to help their Association this year, please participate in this survey. Otherwise, you have no right to complain about compensation benchmarks.

It's time to step up.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

RSS Feeds for Cases ... Scrape, Scrape, Scrape!

No guarantees or implied warranties here, and use this at your own risk, but....

Cool tip time!

If you're still waiting for case law RSS like I am, try this trick... Conduct an advanced search, using the date restrictors, on your favourite decision database, like this. Then, take that URL, and paste it into an HTML feed scraper like feedtier. In this case, you'll need to click on 'try refining', and then highlight one of the case names. The final result - a make-shift rss feed for new-er Canlii cases (after July 1st, containing the term 'trade-mark act'.)

If anyone knows how make Canlii sort by date, please email me -- we can make this technique even better!

Court Decisions Next for RSS?

There are two fundamental areas that will make RSS technology indispensable to legal practice - the first is feeds for legislative changes, and the second is feeds for court decisions.

In Canada, legislative feed efforts are being led by Alberta's QP, with Parliament close behind. I also have high hopes that BC's QP Legaleze will release something in the near future. Things aren't moving as quick as many of us would like, but at least they're moving.

The next important step for legal RSS should be, as I see it, the ability to create RSS feeds for new court decisions. More specifically, decision database search results need to be available in RSS format -- similar to that of Google News. That way, as new decisions are added that match our keywords, interested users will be immediately notified in their RSS Reader software.

That's the vision, anyway.

Update 08/24: Gary Price notes the United States Appeals Court (Seventh Circuit) has just launched RSS Feeds. More movement, nice!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My Firm's First Law Blog!

Summer project announcement time [remember last year's?] ... As of yesterday, my law firm has launched our first professional law blog. Three members of from our Technology & IP Group - Neil Melliship, Larry Munn and Karen Monteith are going to collaborate on the Canadian Trademark Blog! [Subscribe here]

Disclaimer time... I'm the designer, developer, back-end-guy & blog coach here. So if anything goes awry, full marks to me; and if the blog's a success, kudos to Karen, Larry & Neil for the fantastic content I know they'll be publishing.

The concept is pretty cool. Here's the description from the official first post ...."Our goal here is to mix three different perspectives on Canadian Trade-marks - solicitor, litigator, and trade-mark agent; while still drawing connections and pointing out issues relating to technology, IP & privacy law."

Neil's the Solicitor, Larry's the Litigator & Karen is the Trade-mark Agent. My original thought was that Neil should do this alone (one blog, one voice), but after a little persuading (thanks Neil), I have no doubt that this will be a great group effort. The addition of Karen and Larry not only provide insightful voices, but like Neil, I'm personally pulling for them because of the type of people they are. And yes, you can consider that a personal endorsement. :-)

So congratulations gang, and here's to a successful first CW blogging effort!

Update: For those interested in the nuts & bolts of putting the blog together, I have a Slaw post up on that topic.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

CCH Canada RSS Feeds

As of August 8th, CCH Canada looks to have added RSS feeds for their new or modified publications. The feeds included are:
CCH also includes feeds for their complete product listings, which I'm presuming could be used to export or exchange their product databases. From a current awareness perspective, it doesn't look to be as useful, but perhaps they want the products to be searchable in the RSS Search Engines? (if it's something different, perhaps someone at CCH / Wolters Kluwer could email me.)

Welcome to the RSS party CCH!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Connie Crosby's Carnival Next Week

Keep an eye on Connie's blog next week for Carnival of the Infosciences Edition #49.

For those not familiar the blog carnival concept, each week a group of related blogs will put together a list of their best posts, or contributions on a particular subject. There's a master list of sequential 'hosts' published online (somewhere), and each host will take a turn at publishing the weekly Carnival. -- That's the gist of it anyway.

And for those looking to create exposure for their blog, or take part in a blog-to-blog conversation, Carnivals can be great tool to 'stick your nose in' where you might not otherwise feel comfortable. Good clean online marketing, in my books. :-)