The presentations from the Research Assistants Summer Session on May 9 have now been posted on the Research Guides page. (Scroll down to Presentations). The presentations cover primary resources, secondary resources and Zotero, Evernote and the art of managing time and resources for research.
While the summer has started for the Osgoode community (no doubt assisted by the warm weather serving as an antidote to the long, long winter), for those of you who are working as RAs over the summer or doing other foreign legal research, we have a new resource that is well worth the time to take a look at.
The Foreign Law Guide started as a hard copy resource (didn’t they all?), but has since morphed into a digital-only format. This is a good opportunity to point out that it deals with foreign law (i.e. the laws of foreign states) rather than international law (the laws between states). It is updated daily, and it serves as an overview of foreign law by jurisdiction. The formatting is very consistent, with a legal framework followed by an alphabetical run-down of various subject areas. If there’s anything remotely esoteric in terms of foreign law coverage, this is a fantastic place to start.
Exams are nearly over and summer is nearly here (notwithstanding spring’s rather reluctant arrival), so no doubt everyone’s mind is turning to their summer reading. The Guardian newspaper has very thoughtfully compiled a reading list for you, and we have a number of the books in our collection, including a DVD in one case. Your summer reading list is ready for pick-up!
Of the top six nominations, we have (in the order set out in The Guardian):
- Glanville Williams, Learning the Law,
- Helena Kennedy, Eve Was Framed
- Charles Dickens, Bleak House, book; eBook; DVD
- Of the other nominations, we have:
- Richard Susskind, The End of Lawyers
- Geoffrey Robertson, The Justice Game
- Madsen Pirie, How to Win Every Argument: The Use and Abuse of Logic, (at Scott library)
- James Holland, Learning Legal Rules
- John Kelly, A Short History of Western Legal Theory
- Paul Dershowitz, The Best Defense
Other books in the top six recommendations for you to hunt down (try your public library):
- Tom Bingam, The Rule of Law
- Nicholas McBride, Letters to a Law Student
- Catherine Barnard et al, What About Law?
- Gary Slapper, How Law Works
- Clare Dyer and Marcel Berlins, The Law Machine
- Lon Fuller, The Case of the Spelun[c]ean Explorers
- Mark Giminez, The Colour of Law
Of course, we have plenty more DVDs and law-related fiction in our fiction corner in the northwest corner of the main floor of the library, in the midst of the study rooms.
Don’t thank me, thank Dan Pinnington’s Slaw blog of April 8, 2013.
Everybody knows the old schoolyard chant of “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”. However, lately there seems to have been a spate of high-profile cases of (alleged) defamation and libel, with varying degrees of success. While the idea of defending one’s honour typically conjures up visions of duels (including the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and American Vice President Aaron Burr), given that shooting people – whether it is in defence of honour or not – is typically frowned upon in modern society, recourse is now more typically found in the courts.
Two particularly high profile cases have been making the rounds recently. The first involved Toronto Mayor Rob Ford who, during the course of his successful campaign for the mayoralty, made disparaging comments about the contract awarded to the Boardwalk Pub, which operates at Woodbine Beach. Ford suggested that there had been corruption involved, an allegation that the owner of the pub took exception to. In response, he filed a $6 million libel suit against the Mayor (which was one of only three major legal battles Ford fought in a short period of time). Ultimately, Ford was successful. The full text of the court’s decision can be found here.
The other high profile case (and perhaps I am betraying a touch of librarian bias here) is the case of the Edward Mellen Press and McMaster University and its Associate University Librarian, Dale Askey. In a nutshell, the case revolves around the Mellen Press suing Askey and McMaster for libel due to a less-than-favourable assessment of Mellen’s offerings as a part of a blog post that he had written when at Kansas State University. The Mellen Press has been very assiduous in protecting its reputation, and this is in keeping with its policy. For those who are interested in reading up on the ongoing story, there is an excellent blog which is offering updates as they arise. Not surprisingly, given the serious implications of such claims, there has been a great deal of scrutiny and interest in the case, so it is well worth keeping tabs on.
Given the enormous breadth of issues that can arise in the course of a defamation action (such as – but certainly not limited to – libel, slander, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and so on), it is not surprising that we have a tremendous amount of material pertaining to the subject, including the sinister-sounding (if antiquated) concept of “seditious libel“.
Oh, and a history of duelling in Canada. But just in case you ever feel so inclined to challenge somebody to a duel or take up said challenge, you should make sure to check s. 71 of the Criminal Code first.
Additional note (April 6): I forgot to mention another classic and enjoyable read that deals with libel, and is available in our fiction collection – QB VII by Leon Uris. Indeed, as the bibliographic note indicates, this was one of the books that was donated to form the core of our fiction collection, and with good reason.
It’s safe to say that we’ve all seen many, many movies and television shows that represent the well-worn tropes of the courtroom drama (or comedy) – dramatic tension, the quest for the truth, the judge furiously banging his or her gavel, celebrations over the delivery of justice, and so on. They’ve become so ingrained into the culture of popular depictions of courtroom action that they’re almost taken for granted. That they’re hackneyed, predictable, and overdone is almost beside the point – it’s what is expected. Which is why the Bloomberg Law montage of these tropes is so illuminating, as they highlight their fundamental silliness. Click on this link to check it out!
[Thanks to Joe Hodnicki at the Law Librarian Blog for highlighting this one!]
Call it kismet, but we have received a new book for our Special Collections that seems extremely appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Titled The Law In Postcards & Ephemera 1890-1962, it is, as the name would suggest, a collection of law-related postcards and ephemera that ranges from the racy to amusing to just plain cute. While many are very much products of their time (read: politically incorrect), they are all fascinating windows into the evolution (or not) of the perception of the legal profession in popular culture.
This is an image taken from the book from the “Law and Holidays” chapters. Perhaps the time is ripe to start a line of heritage legal postcards!
Happy Valentine’s from all of us at the Osgoode Law Library!
Your friendly neighbourhood library is happy to announce additional Westlaw Litigator training next week. Think you know Litigator? Come and brush up. Don’t know litigator? Come to have your mind blown. Details below:
The Library is pleased to offer an additional Westlaw Litigator training session.
Westlaw Litigator is a unique collection of more than 100,000 court documents from leading Canadian civil litigation actions, including motions, pleadings, and facta.
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 23
Time : 1 -2 p.m.
Location: Room 2009
To register, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you sign up and can’t make it, please let us know so we can make the spot available to your colleagues.
See you there!