Monday, August 25, 2008

Blogging No NO

There was an interesting email alert from Lancaster House today. An Alberta arbitration board upheld the firing of a provincial government employee, ruling that what she had written in her blog caused irreperable harm to the employee-employer relationship.

Apparently, this employee was advised by her doctor to write her feelings out on a blog to help her cope with the stress of her father's illness and recent death. Unfortunately, she took the advice a little too literally. Not only did she write down her personal feelings, but she also shared her insights into colleagues and clients that she was helping. Many of her comments were insentive and derogatory. Thus, the arbiter ruled that the blog had become part of the public domain, and as such, caused so much hurt and distress that the relationship was irretrievably broken.

I won't repeat the snipets of what was said here. Suffice it to say that thiis is one of those times when you just want to say to someone that before they write something, THINK!! Then, after that, THINK!!! AGAIN!!! When you are done writing and just about to post, THINK!! AGAIN!! one last time.

Like Lancaster House, I agree that the dangers of blogging are minimal, as long as you are responsible with what you are writing. In this day and age, with so much information being available, anyone and anything can be found, even things we don't want to find out. If you are writing a blog, don't say anything bad about anyone. Keep it to yourself. We'd all be much happier if we were careful.

A good lesson for anyone to remember. Read the article from lancaster house here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quickcite statute citator

If anyone has not had the chance to view the new Quickcite statute citator on Quicklaw, now might be a good time to do so.

This new database is an improvement over what you had to do beforehand in Quicklaw, with all those quotations marks and other symbols you needed to have. Now, all you need to do is pick the jurisdiction, enter the name of the act, and (this is the best part), enter the section on a clearly marked seperate line, so no more annoying quotation marks or other symbols to put in.

The other thing is that when you get the results, they are accurate to what you want. What I mean by this is that, before, when you inputed your search string on Quicklaw, you had to hope that all your hits were accurate. For example, if you were trying to find the Labour Relations Act, section 5 for Ontario, your search string would get you what you wanted, but you might also get hits with either "Labour Relations Act", or ones with just the number 5. Thus it was highly inaccurate. It appears that they have corrected this problem.

There are a couple of drawbacks. So far, it only goes back to 1992 (2005 for Quebec). Also, it doesn't give as many hits as there are in Westlaw for the same thing. In Quicklaw, I tried the labour relations act, section 5 for Ontario, and only got 2 hits. Contrast that with Westlaw, and I ended up getting 51 hits, all accurate to section 5.

Quickcite still has some work to do, but it is better than it was. Let's hope it keeps going!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Finally! Someone actually said the things we've all been waiting for!

The title here says it all. An interesting post on law librarians blog, stating that some law firms will not hire law school graduates until the various schools improve their legal research program. I said something close to that last year in my article, "Law Students and legal research: What's the problem?"

Amazing how most law schools still haven't gotten the message, but then again, until more law firms insist on improvements to the legal research program, nothing much will change.

To read the posting in law librarians blog, click here