30 – Amazing Legal Resource!

Michael CarabashI am upset with myself for not coming across sooner. What a great legal resource!

In a nutshell, is an entertaining and comprehensive legal dictionary website. Started by Victoria, B.C. lawyer Lloyd Duhaime, as a bulletin board in Ottawa (1993-1994), has grown into a very popular go-to place to find out about legal terms, Canadian legal history, legal Latin terms, crazy laws, and more. The website has been hailed as (among other things):

  • “One of the best legal dictionaries on the Web”: (2008);
  • “…a great resource for improving your general understanding of Canadian law”: (2009); and
  • “a dictionary translating legalese into plain English”: Monday Magazine (1999).

On a more personal nature, Lloyd is an avid lawyer, writer, NHL- nut, jogger, goalie, and self-proclaimed renegade. He keeps electric guitars in his office and wants to give the legal system ‘back to the people’ through simplification, transparency, accountability, and access.

He’s also a social entrepreneur. Apart from, in 1987, Lloyd started a company that faxed legal precedents to lawyers across Canada. He duplicated judge’s decisions (from law reports), removed footnotes and summaries (what he considered to be copyrighted materials), and sent the rest. He was ultimately threatened with copyright infringement from legal publishers and had to shut down the business. He argued, however, that judges own their own copyright, not legal publishers. Source: “Accessing Justice: Many People Go to Court and Come Away Poor and Frustrated” (September1999), Monday Magazine, p. 8.

Today, many judicial decisions are free for the public to access, courtesy of

Lloyd is a big proponent of access to justice through the technology. He has written countless guides and primers on Canadian law (e.g. how to write a contract, Affidavits: the How To Guide, and much more!). He’s also a fun and entertaining writer. I particularly like (and I think many other people do too!) the section in his website called “Law Fun“, where you’ll find Crazy Laws – American Style and Dumb, Crazy or Stupid Laws Around the World.

There’s just way too much to write about Lloyd and I would highly recommend the website and encourage you all to check it out (p.s. it’s regularly updated!).

I smell another profile report coming up… 🙂

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{ 1 comment }

Lloyd Duhaime September 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Michael: I know it’s kinda sick when the object of a flattering blog is the first or only commentor (or is that commentee?).

But … where were you when I had to face my first partner’s meeting? Where were you when Madam Justice Bertha Wilson leaned over and asked me a question in Court on that soggy November day in 1985? Thanks for the very kind comments. I do love what we do: using the Internet to draw the law and the people nearer.

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