Online Services

Calling all Practitioners

Posted on Updated on

Christine Muldoon, Resource Coordinator

As you may have noticed if you have visited them lately, the Law Society’s Saskatchewan Practice Checklists need work. While much of the guidance therein is still relevant, there have been legislative changes and new court directives since the checklists were last revised. Some of the authorities and the case law we cite are somewhat dated, too.

Please consider volunteering to help us update the checklists if you have any experience in the following areas, or even if you are a student or a new lawyer who is relatively new to these subjects:

  • Corporate & Commercial Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate
  • Wills & Estates

We are immensely grateful to our past contributors and would welcome further assistance from anyone who is available and willing, but we would also like to encourage new members to take part in the process.

If you are interested in making your mark on the Saskatchewan Practice Checklists, please do not hesitate to contact me at christine.muldoon@lawsociety.sk.ca.

What You Can Do With Your Folders on Lexbox ūüóĀ

Posted on Updated on

By Alisa Lazear, Community Manager at CanLII and Lexum; reposted with permission from the CanLII blog

Lexbox is a free tool that has been integrated into CanLII, which is designed to help you keep track of your legal research online.

We are sharing this tip on what you can do with your Lexbox folders, to help you use Lexbox to its full potential:

1. You can create and rename folders from your account or any supported website. You can find a list of supported websites here.

2. Whether you organize your folders by file number, client number, or year, Lexbox can list folders according to the date of creation or by name. For example, you can have folders created and organized by file number, or have folders created by area of practice and list them chronologically.

3. It‚Äôs easy to move folders around to adapt your folder architecture as things change in your practice. Simply click the ‚Äúmove‚ÄĚ button located on the right end side of the folder bar when passing your mouse over it.

This can also allow you to convert a folder into a sub-folder and vice versa. Subfolders are a great way to keep track of complex files, or if you have a client that has a wide range of research questions. For the example below, client number 2975 has its own folder with subfolders pertaining to difference research questions (2975-1, 2975-2…)

4. At the folder level, you can easily add notes to provide context for later when you are browsing your folders’ list.

5. Lexbox enables you to generate a properly formatted list of authorities in Microsoft Word format from the content of any of your research folders. Learn more about this from a previous Lexbox tip here.

You Can Now Search Commentary on CanLII by Subject

Posted on Updated on

By Alisa Lazear, Community Manager at CanLII and Lexum; reposted with permission from the CanLII Blog

An additional filter feature has been added to CanLII to help you find commentary.

You can now search CanLII commentary by subject area. To do this:

  1. Conduct your search from the CanLII mainpage using your chosen keyword(s), case name, or piece of legislation.
  2. Under the ‚ÄúCommentary‚ÄĚ tab, click on ‚ÄúAll subjects‚ÄĚ and select a subject from the dropdown menu.

Additional subject areas are being added with the goal of having a comprehensive list to best help you narrow your search by topic.

Over 55,000 Summaries and Commentaries on CanLII Connects

Posted on Updated on

By Sarah Sutherland; reblogged with permission from the CanLII Blog

The CanLII Connects site has now reached over 55,000 summaries and commentaries! That is more than double the number of documents since its launch on April 4th, 2014.

These documents relate to over 45,000 cases from jurisdictions across Canada.

The contributor of the 55,000th piece was Supreme Advocacy who is one of CanLII Connects’ original contributors.

Special thanks go to all the original contributors of CanLII Connects listed below:

Thank you to all of our CanLII Connects authors, past and present, for their contributions. With their support, and that of the broader legal community, CanLII Connects has helped make it faster and easier for legal professionals and the public to connect with high-quality legal commentary on Canadian court decisions.

Want to share your work with this growing community? We are accepting contributions from anyone with a demonstrated capacity for legal analysis. Sign up here! 

New Icons Improve HeinOnline‚Äôs Usability

Posted on

By Alan Kilpatrick

HeinOnline is a popular online law library that provides over 2000 legal journals from Canada, the United States, and the Commonwealth as well as an impressive historical collection of case law and legislation from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Recently, HeinOnline launched a new series of ‚Äúinformation icons.‚Ä̬† These icons make it easier to stay up-to-date with the details about a particular legal journal.¬† Located to the left of each title, the information icons will help you learn more about a journal and the last time it was updated:

Hovering over an icon with your cursor reveals that icon’s purpose.  It’s often challenging to identify information about specific journal titles in large electronic databases.  This is why HeinOnline’s new information icons are so helpful and appreciated.

Members can access HeinOnline through the Members’ Section of the Law Society website.

 

Source:

Zurawski, K. (2018, June 27). Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Introducing our New Icons in HeinOnline. Retrieved from https://home.heinonline.org/blog/2018/06/ch-ch-ch-changes-introducing-our-new-icons-in-heinonline/

 

HeinOnline: 18 Years in the Making

Posted on

By Alan Kilpatrick

HeinOnline, the extremely popular online law library, is turning 18.  Launched in the early years of the internet in 2000, HeinOnline positioned itself as an electronic pioneer.  Recognizing the potential of the internet to transform legal information services, HeinOnline aspired to become the world’s leading electronic law library.

The resource has grown dramatically over the past almost two decades.¬† The convenient ‚Äúone-stop shop‚ÄĚ platform now includes over 2000 legal journal titles from Canada, the United States, and the Commonwealth as well as an impressive historical collection of case law and legislation from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Fortunately, Saskatchewan members can take full advantage of this must-have resource.  It is available on demand at your fingertips and on your computer’s desktop in the Law Society Library Members’ Section.  The Law Society Library remains committed to providing members with access to online legal resources, wherever they may be in the province, in the latest and most convenient digital formats available.

 

Sources Cited

Sabo, S. (2018, May 23). HeinOnline Is Legal!. Retrieved from https://home.heinonline.org/blog/2018/05/heinonline-is-legal/

 

Changes Underway at CanLII

Posted on Updated on

By Gregory Walen, Q.C.

Most members of the Law Society of Saskatchewan are familiar with the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII). For those not so familiar, CanLII is a not-for-profit organization whose sole shareholder is the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Since 2001, CanLII has operated and maintained a website providing members of the legal profession and the public-at-large a virtual  Library of Canadian legal information.

At present, CanLII operates with a skillsbased, expert board of directors appointed by the Federation of Law Societies. Prior to the Federation moving in this direction, the board of directors was
comprised of representatives from all law societies. The Federation felt that a skills-based board of directors would be better suited to carry out their vision of CanLII’s future. Of note, Tom Schonhoffer, Q.C., our former Executive Director of the Law Society, was recently appointed to the Board.

The success of CanLII as an on-line research engine for lawyers cannot be overstated. This comment on its website sums it up:

‚ÄúWith one million documents¬†across 200 databases, CanLII is closer than¬†ever to achieving the dreams of its founders¬†to become the best place for lawyers and all¬†Canadians to consult Canadian law.‚ÄĚ

Since its inception, CanLII has relied upon a company called Lexum, a software company delivering online management and publication of legal information. That legal information mostly consists of cases from all levels of court in every province and territory in Canada. Without Lexum and its proprietary software, many would argue that CanLII would cease to exist, at least in its present  successful state.

Of course, CanLII contracting with Lexum did not come cheap. The cost of contracting the services of Lexum was not an insignificant portion of CanLII’s annual budget. Ultimately, it is every member of every law society in Canada that funds CanLII through an annual levy which we pay through our law society membership fees. In the 2018 year, members of all law societies across Canada (excluding the Barreau du Quebec and the Chambre de Notaire) will pay or have paid a levy of $41.94 for CanLII’s operations.

Needless to say that over the years some of us have had concerns that CanLII’s future essentially rested with its ongoing contractual relations with Lexum, a company that also provided software solutions to other organizations. Those concerns appeared to have disappeared in the later part of 2017 when an opportunity arose for CanLII to acquire a 100 per cent interest in Lexum.  Negotiations took place over many months and, on February 28, 2018, the Federation announced that the deal was sealed and CanLII was now the owner of its own service supplier.

In announcing the acquisition, the Federation President, Sheila MacPherson said

‚ÄúCanLII has grown from a pilot¬†project to become the indispensable goto¬†legal research tool for Canada‚Äôs legal¬†profession…The acquisition of Lexum¬†marks an important milestone in the¬†history of CanLII positioning both to take¬†on future challenges in a competitive legal¬†information marketplace.‚ÄĚ

So where to from here? It is my view that CanLII will move on to be the Canadian legal profession’s most utilized legal research tool, if it has not already reached that status. I suspect we may see a move towards publication of secondary sources such as digests and texts supplementing CanLII’s focus on primary sources of law.

[Originally published in Benchers’ Digest, Spring 2018]