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Archive for May, 2012

UC Hastings and a “Crisis” in Legal Education

The National Law Journal reported that the UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco will reduce the size of its student body by 20% over the next three years. Hastings is ranked 44th in the US News and World Report rankings of US law schools.

At a time when new law schools are opening in Canada, and some schools have increased their enrollment, the reason for the reduction in the class size as stated by Hastings’ Dean is very interesting and timely given the New York Times declaration last November that “legal education is in crisis“, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of April 23 – 30.

1. Price v. Turnbull’s Grove Inc. 2007 ONCA 408

[1] The main question in this appeal concerns the legal effect of a rent increase purportedly imposed by a landlord in respect of a residential tenancy without written notice to the tenant. At issue is the interplay between ss. 127(1), 127(4) and 141 of the Tenant Protection Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c. 24 (the “Act”).

2. Tucows.Com Co. v. Lojas Renner S.A.
2011 ONCA 548

[1] Tucows.com Co. (“Tucows”) and Lojas Renner

. . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Bloomberg Law: The Wheel Turns

Tectonic plates are shifting in the world of legal information. The sale of the Bureau of National Affairs to Bloomberg surprised me. I worked with BNA a bit back in the pre-Internet days. I was a great fan of U.S. Law Week, a research tool that I felt was much undervalued. I even made a promotional video for them when they began to transition from offering solely a print product into adding a digital platform. Being employee-owned and devoted to high quality editorial content, BNA was easy to like. When Bloomberg came on the scene I saw the shades of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Quebec vs. Ottawa

The Quebec provincial government has filed today a reference motion with the Quebec Court of Appeal regarding the legality of Bill C-7 (see article here).

Bill C-7, or in its full title, an Act respecting the selection of senators and amending the Constitution Act, 1867 in respect of senate term limits, seeks, as it name suggests, to modify the way the country selects senators and how long they can sit for. The federal government would select its senators from a list of nominees proposed by the provinces, following an election in each of those provinces. Senators named after . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

LTSA Business Plan

♫ All the details in the fabric? ♫ 

Lyrics and music by Jason Mraz and Dan Wilson, recorded by Jason Mraz.

The Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA) has now published its 2012-2015 Business Plan.

Along with its strategic objective of completing its multi-year modernization activities in 2012 , the LTSA has two major new objectives:

The Integrated Customer Portal (ICP) and Consolidated Parcel Fabric (CPF).

The LTSA is working on a new web portal hosting the LTSA’s existing Electronic Services and an authoritative electronic map representation of all private and provincial Crown land parcels . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Kim Nayyer Rejoins Slaw

Slaw is mighty pleased to announce that Kim Nayyer will be rejoining us as a regular blogger.

Kim is currently a law librarian at the University of Victoria, where she focuses on collection development, instruction, and digital community engagement. She is also a non-practicing member of the Bars of Alberta (1994) and Ontario (2004), and while a research lawyer at a small Edmonton firm in the mid-90s, she managed the library and helped build a knowledge management system. Kim was also a research lawyer in large firms in Calgary and Toronto and at the courts, in which settings she worked . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

University of Toronto Law May Change Grading System

The Toronto Star recently reported that the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto may change its grading system in an attempt to reduce the stress that law students feel, specially during exam time (“Yoga, foot massage and dogs: This is law school?” by Louise Brown):

[T]he University of Toronto’s law school could become the first in Canada to scrap the often nerve-wracking letter grades of A, B, C, D and F for the kinder, gentler ratings of Honours, Pass and Fail.

I’ve got three thoughts about this, as reported.

First, the writer was wrong to scoff . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Veterans Win at Federal Court in Pension Clawback

The Federal Court released their decision in the veteran class action of Manuge v. Canada today, finding that the offset of disability benefits was a breach of Article 24(a)(iv) of the Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) Policy.

An overview of the case can be found in the December 2011 issue of The Lawyers Weekly, and McInnes Cooper, counsel for the plaintiffs have a list of key documents here. You can also see the class action website, which include a YouTube video. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

How Law Firms #Fail at Social Media

It’s no longer new or innovative for law firms to use Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn as elements of their public web presence. Social media tools have become sufficiently standard that we can probably declare 2012 the year firms finally “buy in.” 

While early-adopter firms continue to fine-tune their offerings, what I’m really noticing these days is the critical mass of firms now playing catch-up. Lawyers who used to ask, “What’s the firm across the street doing?” are now wondering “Why aren’t we doing that?” Social media buttons are sprouting all over law firm websites, all over the web. The tipping . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

LexisNexis and Overdrive

Legal eBook lending is closer than you think. There was an announcement last week from the US arm of LexisNexis about their new partnership with Overdrive. Information Today has a good overview of what this means for the industry.

The LexisNexis Digital Library offers access to LexisNexis’ growing collection of more than 1,100 ebooks through OverDrive. That means, like my public library, a subscribing law library is able to acquire Lexis ebook titles, and “lend” each of them to a patron at a time. The library sets its own checkout and renewal terms. When a patron “returns” the title, then

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing