Happy New Law Term!

“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”

– Tancredi in The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa

As is tradition in the legal profession, the opening of Law Term is marked with black tie dinners and religious ceremonies. The Honourable T E F Bathurst AC, Chief Justice of New South Wales, delivered an insightful speech titled “The place of lawyers in politics” at the Opening of Law Term dinner.

For the profession, marking the opening of a new Law Term gives it time to reflect on the year that has passed and meditate upon the one ahead.

In his speech, the Chief Justice said (at [7]):

As the beneficiaries of a legal education, lawyers belong to a privileged class who can navigate the complexities of legislative drafting and understand the concrete implications of policy decisions, with the obligation to use this knowledge to the advantage of society.

With the passing of each year the pressures and pace of the administration and practice of law increase. The introduction of new technologies over the past 25 years has dramatically changed the way in which a practitioner goes about using legal knowledge to fulfil their obligation to society.

While it has always been the case that lawyers must know the law as it applies to a particular matter and be aware of any changes that may affect their client’s position, in the economic pressures of the digital age it is expected that one is able to (almost) instantaneously ascertain the relevant current law.

The words spoken by Tancredi in The Leopard are particularly relevant to the administration and practice of the law in the digital age. Digital disruption in the law (namely the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning) will continue to be a ubiquitous presence in day to day practice.

The role that technology, when used for the greater good, can play in promoting the rule of law cannot be underestimated. Tools such as JADE Professional and electronic portals such as those for the Victorian Reports and New South Wales Law Reports harness the power of technology not only to allow the courts and the profession at large to continue to use their knowledge to the advantage of society, but also to make the law more accessible and relevant to the ordinary citizen.

Join the revolution. Subscribe to, or renew your subscription to, JADE Professional in the month of February and receive 13 months for the price of 12, together with a copy of “Whiteley on Trial” by Gabriella Coslovich.

This gripping book by arts journalist Gabriella Coslovich has more twists and turns than an episode of Poirot … Whiteley on Trial is a gripping art-world thriller set in this heady milieu, meticulously told and intriguing for all sorts of reasons. The case and the book have certainly shaken up the art world.” —PHIL BROWN, COURIER MAIL

Victorian Reports – Going from strength to strength

New functionality

Our developers have been busy further refining the functionality of the Victorian Reports portal (www.victorianreports.com.au) to make it easier for VR subscribers to work with content from within JADE.

VR subscribers can jump straight to the authorised report of a decision with one click. Without a subscription, users are able to view the catchwords of the decision and an excerpt of the headnote and make a once-off purchase a copy of the authorised report in digital format or subscribe to the Victorian Reports online or in print, or both!

Launch of inaugural Summer CPD Series presented by Little William Bourke

We launched our Little William Bourke inaugural Summer CPD Series – a great event chaired by the editor of Victorian Reports, Mr Peter Willis SC with an esteemed panel comprising of Mr Charles Gunst QC; Mr David Levin QC; Mr David Klempfer; and Ms Katie Stynes. The event was kindly hosted by VicBar and held at Owen Dixon Chambers in the Neil McPhee Room. The session involved an informative lunchtime discussion of cases reported in Victorian Reports as they relate to solicitors’ duties and overarching obligations owed to clients by those members of the Bar involved in the reported cases.

Alerts – Cases to be Reported

In 2018, we will introduce alerts to notify VR subscribers of cases selected to be reported in forthcoming volumes of the Reports to assist practitioners identifying those cases which impact on the application of the law in advance of publication of the authorised report.

We continue to publish the Victorian Reports in print and online, offering democratic access to all with flexible pricing models. Little William Bourke, the sister organisation of JADE and publisher of the Victorian Reports, believes that practitioners and the public alike should have affordable access not only to the decisions published by the Court, but also the informative insights of practitioners who dedicate their time to reporting decisions of legal and practical significance to the development of Victorian and Australian law.

JADE World (the world of law)

JADE World is our amazing blog and tweet aggregation service linked to the JADE legal research platform.

The JADE team is delighted to launch the second beta release of: JADE.WORLD. We have collected blogs and tweets from selected websites and integrated them with content found in JADE.

If you are looking for up-to-the-minute commentary, or to be alerted to recent legal developments, JADE WORLD is your perfect companion to JADE. Jade World is organised by citations, topics and current awareness. All linked to JADE for your research convenience.

JADE World Coverage

We already feature more than 16,000 articles (blogs and tweets), by 502 authors, within 40 leading blogs and countless more tweets. This material references more than 9,200 cases and 1,250 references to statutory materials, with almost 3,000 at the section level.

JADE World examples

Enjoy!

Copying Case Citations in JADE

You know the drill: you have found the winning citation and all you need to do is to get it into your submissions. That’s the bit that takes the longest time; typing checking and typing agin. There is now a much easier way, using JADE® technology.

Following many user requests, the JADE legal research platform team has just implemented a fast way to copy and past citations from the case you are viewing to make your research that much faster and more accurate. This is an additional method to our amazing JADE Marks.

Copying a citation using copy and paste, JADE style

We are going to copy the citation to Butcher v Lachlan Elder Realty Pty Ltd [2004] HCA 60; 218 CLR 592 (02 December 2004). Heres how:

On the right hand side of the case page you will note the top box.

Screenshot 2017-03-11 15.47.10

Let’s zoom in:

Screenshot 2017-03-11 15.39.53

You will see the [copy] text next to the citations.

Screenshot 2017-03-11 15.50.01

The Citation dialogue box

Clicking on that gives you, a dialogue box in the centre of the page:

Screenshot 2017-03-11 15.40.55

Selecting the buttons at the bottom, and toggling them, gives you various options:

  • Formatted. Turns on formatting of the case name into italics.
  • Date. Includes the decision date in parenthesis.
  • Bench. Includes the name of member(s) of the Court giving the decision.
  • Invert. Reverses the Medium Neutral Citation and the Authorised report (where there is an Medium Neutral Citation).
  • All Reports. Provides a listing of all of the known reports for that decision, not just the most authoritative citation.
  • Link. provides text which contains a link to the decision in JADE.

Here’s an example of the Formatted and Date Button:

Screenshot 2017-03-11 15.41.44

Here’s an example of the all reports button in use:

Screenshot 2017-03-11 15.41.18

Simply click on copy to copy that selected text to your clipboard, and next paste it into your document.

 

Conversational legal research

Introducing JADE Chat-and-Know™

Over the past year, our legal research boffins have been working to make your legal research faster, better, and more enjoyable. We could think of few better ways than mobilising our massive database of legal knowledge and making it available at your (voice) command.

With JADE professional’s emerging Chat-and-Know™ technology, we are taking the next big step towards a conversational model for legal research. Starting today, we are inviting our existing JADE professional users to sign up to our limited beta. To join, please speak with your JADE professional consultant. If you have not already signed up to JADE professional, please ask about joining this beta after you sign up.

Conversational legal research is nothing new

Remember the good old days, back before the arrival of AustLII in the mid-1990s, when we would ask our colleagues for assistance, and discuss our most pressing legal questions with them. And that process would elicit a range of legal possibilities that boolean searching simply could not capture.

The coherence of law was manifest in those discussions, as was the imprecision of the answers we would receive, often requiring many hours of further library research. The collegiality of the legal profession was cemented by this common quest for legal knowledge.

We need to campaign for the value of ‘less is more’

Since the rise of online legal research, the art of conversational legal research has been undervalued: it seems that vast quantities of irrelevant results churned out through imperfect and primitive electronic legal research tools have gained undeserved ascendancy.

In this age of research excess, we have forgotten that simplicity and clarity is often more valuable than the presentation of every decision in which a discretion is exercised. We need to remember that ‘less is more’, for our clients, in court, and because people want us to tell them the time and not build them a clock.

Conversational legal research is about reclaiming and reimagining how legal research might be in the post-screen age. By using only your voice, you will be able to undertake legal research and get answers to some of the most difficult questions. Strike up a conversation about the rule of law. Discover answers to questions through a simple conversation. Cross-examine, Jasmine, our JadeBot.

Conversational examples

With Jasmine, you will be able to have conversations. We will publish some examples in our next post.

A photo by Matt Benson. unsplash.com/photos/MKLRMeKctI4

Year in Review 2016

Faster pussycat. Easier, Faster, Better

In our 2015 JADE Review, we explained the JADE credo: easier, faster.

We have spent 2016, continuing our quest to make JADE the best legal research platform for legal professionals. Our team has grown, with more dedicated JADE team members.

We delivered regular and special training events in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, London, Melbourne, Oxfordshire, Perth, San Francisco, and Sydney.

The whole BarNet team sends greetings, and wishes you, our dear reader, happy holidays.

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Key improvements we made to JADE in 2016

JADE Platform enhancements

Here are just a few of the amazing improvements we made during 2016 to the JADE Research Platform (for the improvements made in 2015, see our 2015 review):

  • Ease of inclusion and citation
    • Intelligent URLS. We updated all of our URLs to a format which allows you to cite to JADE at the paragraph or section level. This makes it easy to cut and paste JADE content into your opinions or blogs and have JADE tell you about updates. You can use any citation scheme as well, no need to know the internal JADE references. More about this in a separate post.
    • Copy and paste with ease. We are making it easier to incorporate JADE content into your work. Writing submissions and need to grab the correct citation, it’s easy with JADE. More about this in a separate post.
    • Customised annotations. With new features, JADE helps you to find the law and remember it. With recent changes, we also make it easier for you to duplicate your annotations and share them with colleagues.
  • Improved JADE professional features. After all, our JADE professional users support the development of JADE, so you deserve regular updates. Here a just a few of the exciting improvements we made to JADE professional:
    • Document upload. We improved document upload. With the work we have undertaken on citations our amazing upload tool now detects more citation errors (such as where the case name and citation don’t match, or where the page cited does not come within the relevant citation. More about this in a separate post.
    • Legislation histories. We extended our very popular and time saving visual history features from Commonwealth legislation to New South Wales, Queensland, and Victorian legislation. We are in the process of adding South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory. We are continuing to seek access to Western Australian statutory material.
    • Victorian Reports are live and linked into JADE. Links to the authorised Victorian Reports version of the decision since [1957] VR to date. We are in the process of adding in content from 1863 onwards, but, of course, working backwards. This is linked to the Victorian Reports Pay Per View portal, which makes using the Victorian Reports easier than ever.
    • Tracking legislative and regulatory changes. You can set up an alert to track changes in legislation, including any compilations. For example, when a new compilation of an Act has been released.
  • We implemented the second part of our extensive litigation histories project for most intermediate appellate courts and the High Court of Australia, which includes (as with the first part):
    • (in the case of the High Court) references to written submissions, special leave hearings, and transcript.
    • (in the case of all courts) tracing as many decisions as we can find, including earlier interlocutory hearings; and
    • letting you know (as best we can) that a decision you are reading has received subsequent appellate consideration, including from the FCCA and AATA, or in the case of some intermediate appellate courts and the High Court of Australia, when a decision is pending, and, in the case of the High Court, when special leave has been granted or refused.

We have many more improvements in the pipeline for early 2017. If you have suggestions for improvements, please let us know.

More content in the JADE Content Ecosystem

We put even more content into the JADE system. Here’s a brief snapshot:

  • Including links to all authorised report and leading specialised report series. This means that:
    • you can search by reference to reported citations, without needing to know the Medium Neutral Citation. Even better, if you subscribe to these reports, you can see at a glance if a decision has been reported and use JADE to reliably locate the authorised report citation. We added additional report series coverage in 2016.
    • we now include the following additional report series citations, and we have been progressively backfilling them to the entire series where possible, even if there is no corresponding Medium Neutral Citation):
      • All current Australian Authorised reports series, ACTR, NSWLR, NTR, QdR, SASR, TasR, VR, and WAR;
      • Administrative Law Decisions (ALD);
      • Butterworths Property Reports (BPR);
      • Local Government and Environmental Reports of Australia (LGERA);
      • Australian Criminal Reports (ACR, ACrimR, A Crim R);
      • Banking and Finance Reports of Australia (BFRA);
      • Australian Tax Cases (ATC);
      • Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR);
      • Family Law Reports (Fam LR); and
      • Intellectual Property Reports (IPR).
      • Historial report series: NSWR, SR(NSW), VLR, etc.
      • State Reports (Western Australia) (SR (WA))
      • Strata Title Reports (New South Wales) (STR (NSW))
      • All England Reports (All ER)
  • Even more Court and Tribunal content. During 2016, driven by requests from our users, we added many additional courts and tribunals to the JADE Corpus, including:
    • Queensland Land Court (QLC)
    • Queensland Land Court – Appeals Cases (QLAC)
    • Queensland Children’s Court (QChC)
    • Magistrates’ Court of Queensland – Children’s Court (QChCM)
    • Northern Territory Local Court (NTLC)
    • Family Court of Western Australia (FCWA)
    • Family Court of Western Australia – Magistrates (FCWAM).

New reading and reporting formats

  • We made new formats for our JADE professional users, including:
    • Further enhancement to our professional layout: under the Print and Export tab there is now a Professional Layout option for cases post 2013 which puts the unreported decision in a familiar law report format.
    • The Collation of full-text decisions into a single PDF, if you upload full-text decisions.

JADE World launched

We added more content to our side project, JADE World which was launched in 2015. JADE World aggregates selected leading blogs and tweets referring to cases or statutes and integrates them with content found in JADE as an additional tool for maintaining current awareness.

Thank you for your support

The support we’ve received and continue to receive from all the JADE Professional subscriptions is overwhelming. Thanks to you we’re in a good position to surpass JADE 2015 in the new year. Be ready for the new JADE features in 2017.

See you in January.

Victorian Reports 2.0

It’s been a big few months. We have launched the Victorian Reports site through our wholly owned subsidiary, Little William Bourke. Links to the Victorian Reports are fully integrated with JADE.

The Victorian Reports (also once known (until from 1957 as the Victorian Law Reports) is available at: https://victorianreports.com.au. You can subscribe online.

Our Phrase in Context legal research tool, Zora, is still under development. We are about to launch that.