Archive for August, 2006|Monthly archive page

eGanges, can it live up to the hype?

After reading “Handheld intelligence for contemporary free trade” by Gray, Gray and Treanor, I can’t decide whether I have just read a promotional pamphlet or an academic paper.  Regardless, the creators of eGanges endeavor to demonstrate that their creation/product is a well conceptualized crack at an expert system for the legal profession, and they do a pretty good job.  At this stage of my investigation of eGanges, my comments aim not to criticize the conceptualization of the project.  I simply haven’t had enough experience with expert systems to make an informed critique.  I will take a shot at that later (hopefully).  However, I do have 2 crucial points in terms of their business strategy.  First, while PDA users buy PDAs for their functionality, they also buy them for their “glitz.”  When I downloaded the eGanges applet I found myself less than enthused by the look of the product.  That being said, I did enjoy the trip down memory lane.  Oh Colleco Vision.  If the creators of eGanges want this product to sell, they will have to do something to make it “prettier.”  Second, I have my doubts as to who will buy the product.  It seems to me that busy lawyers will be too busy to use the product to create their own “treatise.”  Time is money and from the looks of some of the examples in the paper, significant time and effort is needed to map the concepts effectively and put them into the program.  If the concepts aren’t well thought out, they have a chance to as harmful as they are helpful.  The aforementioned said, if the aim is to use the product to map possible new scenarios, then it may be helpful.  I guess time will tell.

Stay tuned for more on eGanges…

Until then.    

Everything you need to know about legal search engines

My sentiments on building legal search engines, and why people have chosen to do so in various ways, echo my thoughts on such things as engineering.  I’m very happy that there are roads and bridges, as well as people that know how to build roads and bridges; however, I think I can survive my life without knowing how to build a road or a bridge.  That being said, having had a perhaps the worst legal research and writing instructor in recorded history (others will back me up on this), I did appreciate a solid overview of the various leading (free) legal search engines out there.  Perhaps now I won’t have to take Basket Weaving 101 to get access to the Uni Library’s portal to Westlaw during my article.   More to come…