Subject Index Headings: it's the Law
The phone rings. It's a lawyer who says a journalist told him his firm should be listed in sources. We send him a literature kit.
He calls back, says the book looks great, he'd like to list, but has some questions. About the Subject Index. The legal headings in particular. What does this heading mean? Why haven't you got this and that and the other heading in?
How come this firm is listed under this heading but not under that one? What use is this other heading?
Two hours and eight pages of notes later I ask whether I could have the staff benefit from his criticisms. The meeting takes place and the sources Subject Index Advisory Board is born.
The lawyer is Paul Jacobs, Q.C. of Elkind, Lipton & Jacobs [see rage L-83]. And he becomes the first member of the new board. He will assess law-related headings as they relate to the listed organizations and as they relate to any other factors [accuracy, legality, contemporaneity, etc.] as he and sources agree are relevant, and recommend additions, changes and deletions to the headings and as to the organizations to be found under the headings.
We appreciate Paul's taking time out of his busy practice to wrestle with the subtle editorial judgments indexing demands. The Subject Index is a responsive and alive thing created from discussions between our editors and each listed organization. Paul works with Ulli Diemer of AIterLinks.Ulli, also editor of the Connexions directory, is a seasoned indexer. We're proud of what the Subject Index has become. But appreciate that its scope has reached the stage - as with a dictionary - that advice from experts in various fields can further improve this key tool of the directory
Paul has much else to do, in law and media. He's counsel to the Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario, the Chiropractic Alliance of Ontario and franchisors and franchisees in the daily auto rental business. He's a consultant to the Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario and practises as general counsel in a wide range of litigation matters before all courts and tribunals in Ontario.
He also acts as a facilitator, mediator and arbitrator in a variety of business and legal disputes and as an advocate at mediations and arbitrations at the Ontario Insurance Commission. He is an arbitrator for the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan.
Called to the Bar of Ontario in 1970, Paul writes for numerous trade publications on the subjects of litigation, alternative dispute resolution and commercial business disputes.
He participated in the Harvard Negotiation Project. The Project led to a popular book, Getting to Yes, which I consider the best book on negotiating ever written. He lectures to business, trade and professional groups and is an approved arbitrator, mediator and advocate in the Canadian Bar Association / Ontario Directory of Alternative Dispute Resolution Professionals.
Suggestions, especially from outside Ontario, of qualified people interested in making indexing recommendations in the fields of business, computers, education, employment, finance, health ... the gamut of identifiable clusters ... are welcomed.
Interesting subject, subjects.
Published in Sources Newsletter, Summer 1994