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Archive for July, 2012

Canadian Judicial Council Launches Sleek New Website

The Canadian Judicial Council has launched a sleek new website. Over the years, the Council has put more and more information online. For some time, there have been links to previous inquiry committee decisions, annual reports and news releases. There is a publications section which is a treasure-trove of information including an interesting Reference Guide for Judges Appointed to Commissions of Inquiry. I’m not sure if the site is just more user-friendly and I discovered hidden information or the CJC has actually posted new material. Either way, one can now find a sample of complaints (anonymized) . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Reading, Technology

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of July 1 – 8.

1. Fry v. Chief Electoral Officer 2012 ONSC 3866

[1] The applicants are in breach of the Canada Elections Act[1] by reason of their failure to comply with the requirement that they pay their leadership expenses by December 31, 2011 pursuant to the order of Kane, J., dated January 28, 2010, and seek an order permitting an extension of time to pay their respective expenses. The respondent opposes their application.

2. Clements v. Clements 2012 SCC 32

[1] The parties to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Google Chrome Comes to iPhone, iPad

I’ve spent the last week trying out Google Chrome on my iPhone and iPad, and I have a simple recommendation for anyone who hasn’t tried it yet: install it now. You’ll love it.

Google Chrome provides several significant benefits over the built-in Safari browser:

  • Google Account Sync. Logging into your Google Account automatically syncs your bookmarks, browser history
  • The OmniBar. The Omnibar (the unified address / search bar) is my favorite features of Google Chrome’s desktop web browser. On my mobile experiences, I frequently frustrated myself by typing search terms into the Safari address bar. No more: Google Chrome
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Another Apps Article?

Since I seem to be the only tech author who hasn’t yet shared his list of “must-have” SmartPhone apps for the lawyer on the go, I thought maybe I’d go ahead and give you mine. Of course, you’ve seen these plenty of times so I’ll try to focus on the ones that might be a little less obvious. You’ve been told a million times about QuickOffice, Evernote and Instagram (and if not, you might want to check those out too).

The apps I’m going to talk about are for Android, but unless I note otherwise there is also a version . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Return of Legal Apprenticeships

Following the report of the LSUC task force on articling, there has been a lot of discussion in Ontario about how entry to the legal profession will look in the future.

This is a hot topic in the UK too, but for a different reason.

Deregulation brought about by the UK Legal Services Act is reshaping entry to the legal profession there. More school leavers are now opting to enter the profession via the apprenticship route rather than through law degrees. School leavers can join firms as litigation executives and train to become lawyers on-the-job via the Chartered Institute of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Legal Business Development: 8 Ways to Infuse Passion Into Your Firm Culture!

Passion… We tend to think that you either have it or not. But for a firm? Yes it can be cultivated with some intent. Fast Company ran an article by Paul Alofs8 Rules For Creating A Passionate Work Culture. Alofs’ rules are written for companies, however could have great impact on law firms as well.

1. Hire the right people. Hire for passion and commitment first, experience second and credentials third.

I know this seems counter intuitive for lawyers who are building a firm. Credentials are usually first, right? Well, what if you tried Alofs’ rule, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

IALL 2012 in Toronto – Register Now!

Has everyone recovered from the CALL/ACBD 2012 conference yet? Toronto is gearing up now for another major law librarian conference — the International Association of Law Libraries. This will be the 31st annual conference which takes place in a different country each year (2011 was in Malaysia).

The theme of the conference is Canada: The Cultural Mosaic and International Law. Topics reflect Canada’s unique perspectives on international and domestic issues. Speakers at the sessions include top Canadian legal academics, scholars, legal practitioners and law librarians. A preliminary programme is available from the website – .


The . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

The Clements Commandments (1): Causation in Negligence for Canadian Law

I believe that what I’ve written below is a good enough summary, for now, of what practitioners in Canada’s common law jurisdictions need to know about the effect of  Clements v Clements, 2012 SCC 32 on the manner in which causation is to be proved in negligence actions. (For those who don’t know, Quebec is a civil law jurisdiction; all others are common law.)

These propositions are written for the Canadian lawyer whose knowledge of the relevant Canadian law is such that a Superior Court (or equivalent) judge would consider that lawyer competent to prosecute or defend an “ordinary” personal . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Regulator Proximity in TMJ Class Action Motion

This week the Ontario Court of Appeal released the decision in Taylor v. Canada (Attorney General), 2012 ONCA 479, in a special case motion assessing the sufficiency of fresh pleadings. The conflicting law related to the alleged negligence of Health Canada in applying the Food and Drugs Act by allowing unsafe temporomandibular joint (TMJ) implants.

Justice David Doherty framed the case by opening as follows:

[1] Government regulation impacts on most facets of modern life, particularly matters of public health and safety. If a government regulator exercises its powers in a negligent way, people can be hurt and suffer

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

JPG = 1000 Words

We came across this recently in the 1959 Canadian Law List: The Law Library of the Future!

Let’s compare the concerns of 1959 with 2012: Economy (the new tech costs less), Space saving (we all have better uses for space), Convenience (a.k.a. ease of access, dare I say on your desktop?), No binding costs or problems (a thing of the past), No bookshelves (see space). Does this sound familiar?

I do note that this new technology wasn’t cheap. Using the Bank of Canada inflation calculator: The SCRs that cost $118 in 1959 would cost $941.69 in 2012; this represents . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Office Technology

The Friday Fillip: Curious Stability

I usually try for a light, not to say fluffy, topic and tone for these fillips. But today the topic, at least, will be rather more sombre; I’ll keep the tone as light as the subject will allow. Two subjects, really — and two I know very little about: statistics and murder. I’m appealing for help in understanding the former, or at least what I think is an odd feature.

A sad item in yesterday’s Globe and Mail informed us of a deadly shooting in Toronto. What struck me, and not for the first time, was the curious stability in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Never Too Late to Unpack

Life is good. I have two great kids, I have been married to the man of my dreams for almost twenty years and I have a lot of happiness and laughter in my life. Life wasn’t always so peachy and I often feel that I have lived two completely different lives.

I was the black sheep in my family, but not because I was causing trouble or getting into things I shouldn’t have. When I was growing up, I woke up and went to bed to the smell of beer. I use to hide anything valuable and worried that things . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law