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Archive for May, 2013

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For the week of May 14 – 21:

  1. R. v. Duncan 2013 ONCJ 160

    5. At heart, Mr. Duncan’s case was unremarkable. A minor alleged Highway Traffic Act offence led to a police-citizen interaction in the parking lot of Mr. Duncan’s apartment building in the wee hours of the morning. A request that Mr. Duncan produce his licence led to an alleged refusal, which led to an

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

The Curious Case of the Non-Lawyer Attorney General: White Tiger of the Legal System

Must the highest legal officer in the land be a lawyer? Surprisingly, the answer is no.

Recently, the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from a decision of the BC Supreme Court that held that the appointment of a non-lawyer Attorney General (the Honourable Shirley Bond) did not breach that province’s Legal Profession Act. In Askin v. Law Society of British Columbia, 2012 BCSC 895, Madam Justice Stromberg-Stein held that “the Legal Profession Act cannot be read in a manner which limits the Lieutenant Governor’s absolute and unfettered right to appoint members to the Executive . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Google Reader Woes Update

Back in March I lamented, along with many others, the announcement that Google Reader is being discontinued. As I wrote, I have been exploring the use of Outlook for RSS. I also said that I dislike it, and my opinion has not changed. My team uses RSS to selectively gather information from specific feeds that we then pass along to others. We have found a replacement for Google Reader and a new method for sharing that Slawyers may be interested in.

Jennifer Merchant, one of the fantastic library team members at the Field Law Libraries, was tasked with . . . [more]

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

Confusion Over Names

The confusion of the names of cases, what used to be called their “styles of cause”, is distressingly common. There is a recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal called by CanLII, Poole v. Lombard General Insurance Company of Canada, 2012 BCCA 434, called by the D.L.R., Danicek v. Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang, 356 D.L.R. (4th) 710. Not one party is common to both reports of the case. CanLII notes the “Related Decisions” as (i) Court of Appeal, Danicek v. Poole, 2012 BCCA 65 (CanLII) – 2012-02-09, and (ii) Supreme Court of British Columbia, . . . [more]

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

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.


Dan Pinnington
Save Time and Clicks by Disabling the Delete Confirmation Pop-Up

By default, the delete confirmation pop-up appears whenever you delete a file on a Windows computer. The intentions are good – prevent you from accidentally deleting a file. However, that extra click can be annoying, especially if you are deleting a lot of files.


Read a Book Review
Shaunna Mireau

Today’s Tip is a follow up

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Some Things in Legal Publishing World ARE Free…

I started off this column planning to write about free resources available from OUP. But then I started to think about the other on-line publishers, who also provide some limited content to non subscribers, and thought that this is something to be identified and shared in more detail. In a world where there is a rush to the monetization of knowledge, where we have a divide between the digital haves and have-nots , it is good to see that some of this knowledge is freely shared. For those with access to subscription resources, in law firms and universities, it’s sometimes . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Syncing Android Devices With MS Exchange/Outlook

At the “Smartphones and Tablets: What’s Right For You” session at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Solo and Small Firm Conference last week (archived webcast is available for purchase), there were a number of questions on syncing Android devices with MS Exchange/Outlook. In response my co-speaker Mike Seto prepared the following. As these questions appear quite common, I thought it would be helpful to share Mike’s answer with a wider audience.

If your calendar/email/contacts are on a Microsoft Exchange server, you can set up current Android phones to sync over the air without further software.

1. Add your exchange . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Come on In, the Water’s Fine

Is it the future if it’s already here?

The Canadian Bar Association launched its Futures initiative with a view to helping legal practitioners best position themselves to face the challenges ahead, but it also took a look at the legal service providers who have already taken the plunge.

The Futures research has shown that there is no lack of ideas about how to face the future of the legal system, but none of them present a clear, obvious option. Any of them, or any combination of them, could work. Or maybe there’s another silver bullet out there, one creative solution . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Do You Know What It Takes to Be a Firm Leader?

About five years ago I developed and began co-facilitating a special one-day workshop for brand new firm chairs and managing partners to help them prepare for taking on the enormous role of becoming their firm’s leader. This opportunity came about as a result of my having been engaged back in 2004 by a long-time client, an AmLaw 100 firm, to assist the Board in its selection of the next full-time managing partner and to then help that individual get comfortable in his new role.

What I quickly discovered was that most professionals have a naiveté about the skills and knowledge . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Senate Spending Scandal Could Result in Criminal Charges

Questions have been raised about the spending of Senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb, especially after the involvement of Nigel Wright, former Chief of Staff for the Prime Minister, were raised.

The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson is now investigating Wright, and the Office of the Senate Ethics Officer is investigating Senator Mike Duffy. But the scandal may potentially have criminal implications as well.

Former RCMP superintendent Garry Clement has indicated that charges of fraud or breach of trust may be applicable:

If you look at the allegations and you look

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Federation of Law Societies of Canada v. Canada (Attorney General), 2013 BCCA 147


Areas of Law: Constitutional Law; Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Solicitor-Client Privilege; Independence of the Bar; Money Laundering

~Independence of Bar recognised as principle of fundamental justice under Charter~

Discussion: Since 1989, Canada has brought in a series of statutes and regulations intended to combat money laundering. Beginning with the 2001 . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw byMaritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at

This week’s summaries concern:
Courts / Criminal Law / Murder / Indians, Inuit and Metis / Estates :

R. v. Buzizi (D.) 2013 SCC 27
Criminal Law – Murder – Provocation – Evidence and proof

The accused was convicted of second degree murder. He appealed.

The Quebec Court of Appeal, Bich, J.A., dissenting, dismissed his appeal. The accused  . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday