Shaunna Mireau on Canadian Legal Research

Tips on Canadian legal research from the Library at Field LLP.
Postings are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the firm.

March 24, 2015

Celebrating achievment

I have been a very quiet blogger lately with a reasonably good excuse.  Since the beginning of August, 2014, I have been working to achieve certification in Lean Six Sigma. As of last Sunday, the formal part of my education in this discipline is now complete.
Why is Six Sigma certification so important to me? That is a question I have been asking myself - most often when working on a statistics question.

The answer is that it is important to me to perform at a high level. I want to advise my colleagues on the best way forward for their process improvement initiatives.  I want to work with teams who get to that high functioning sweet spot of maximum  output.  When I suggest a path, I want my colleagues to trust that I am not sending them on the pot-hole filled, meandering,  gravel side road, but ahead of the line of vehicles on that freshly paved, multi-lane, freeway that has great merge lanes, off ramps, and rest stops.

For me, achieving a Master Certificate in Six Sigma is the road map and the compass and the GPS.  The tool box of tested methodology to find the best way forward. 

It was also a lot of fun!


December 18, 2014

Getting Feedback

Between blogging at, posting legal research tips at, and taking courses towards Lean Six Sigma certification, this poor blog has not had much attention in 2014.  Christmas is the traditional time for guilt trips. Rather than focusing on the negative feelings from leaving this site without nourishment, I decided to give a compliment to the Attorney At Work site.

An excellent Daily Dispatch post by Mary Lokensgard on December 18, 2014 titled How to Ask for Feedback is one example of why I think highly of Attorney at Work.  I also appreciate their focus on one really good idea every day.

I agree with Mary that feedback is a dialog.  It is an innovation tool.

To put feedback into a legal research perspective - wouldn't you like to KNOW if what you provided was too little, too much, or just right? Isn't it better for your requester to know when you had too little time, too much time, or the predicted amount of time to complete the task?

I see feedback as a key driver for expectation management.

Thanks Attorney at Work for the excellent intel in 2014.

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July 10, 2014

New "small" for small claims

The Alberta Provincial Court Civil Division monetary limit has been raised to $50,000 with this regulation amendment. Effective August 1, 2014 a small claim is not so small.


June 18, 2014

Survey: Alberta Law Libraries

Attention: Law librarians

The Law Society of Alberta is seeking input from the legal community on our future involvement in funding of Alberta Law Libraries. The consultation will solicit input from practicing lawyers, the judiciary, law librarians and other stakeholders on library usage patterns, emerging trends in use of online resources, and how the libraries support professional competency.

Please take five minutes to complete the following survey by Friday, June 27th. Your feedback is appreciated and will be used to inform future decisions regarding the governance and funding of the Alberta Law Libraries.

My perspective: As a law firm librarian, I rely on the expertise of the staff at Alberta Law Libraries, the currency and breadth of their collection, and their presence in Courthouses where my lawyer team members have immediate access to resources.  

There is no way that a law firm, even large firms, can maintain a 'just in case' collection.  Institutions like Alberta Law Libraries are an extremely important industry partner to law firms with in house library staff, just as they are to small and solo practitioners, self-represented litigants and the judiciary.

I hope that stakeholders will take the time to answer this survey.  

If you think that you only use your law firm collection, remember the times that your law firm library staff have "zipped over to the courthouse library" or "called the courthouse library" to retrieve an essential piece of the legal research puzzle. Perhaps you remember attending a Head Start event. Maybe you popped in to the Alberta Law Libraries to use on of the research tools that they license for your benefit. Perhaps you selected a research guide on their website. Maybe you follow their blog.

As for me, I will be hanging out at the Edmonton site of Alberta Law Libraries for the next two days as we partner, through the Edmonton Law Libraries Association, to offer the Head Start legal research training program to 48 articling students and use the essential expertise of ALL librarians and the collections and services they offer as a resource. 

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June 12, 2014

Alberta Queen's Printer Stakeholder Survey

Josette McEachern and I were among a group who participated in a stakeholder session this week about the Alberta Queen's Printer products and services.  To assist with results based budgeting, the QP is looking for feedback about how they deliver services, official products and legislative material.

I was given leave to share an online survey to further assist them in their important work.
In addition to the questions that we asked in the session, we also encourage you participate in our online questionnaire ─ a set of mostly different questions other than what we already asked you ─ so that we may be further informed about your experience with and expectations of Alberta Queen’s Printer.  The survey will take 5 – 15 minutes in length (depends on the length of your answers).  The survey will be open until Friday June 27th at 4:30 pm.
Of course, you are always welcome to contact us by email or phone 780-427-4952 (AB Toll Free 310-0000) with your questions, suggestions or comments.
I encourage all Albertans and anyone who uses Alberta Legislation to participate.

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