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Archive for May, 2014

The Jaylene Redhead Inquest Report

Twenty-month old Jaylene Redhead was killed by her mother on June 29, 2009 while both were resident in a second-stage housing facility in Winnipeg. Jaylene had been apprehended from her mother’s care at birth by Awasis Agency of Northern Manitoba but had been returned to her mother’s care at the Native Women’s Transition Centre in the months before her death.

The Inquest Report of Judge Lawrence Allen into her death, released May 23, reveals the awful details of this child’s short life. The inquest was called in 2011 under the provisions of Manitoba’s Fatality Inquiries Act to:

  • inquire into the
. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Stage-Struck! Do Our Legal Research Habits Limit the Evolution of Legal Information Products?

In the early 1980s, I lived for several years in Germany, pursuing post-graduate studies in the history of printing at the University of Cologne, thanks to a generous scholarship from the German government. I made many friends there, and we still telephone and visit regularly; and through these friends I made many acquaintances across Germany. Among them were several interesting and amusing individuals in East Berlin, whom we made a point of visiting whenever we could, despite the indignities of having to pass through the Wall. We’d bring them gifts from the West, especially things that were unavailable and sometimes . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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 this last week:

1. Morland-Jones v. Taerk, 2014 ONSC 3061

[21] The antics have only gotten worse since then. Ms. Morland-Jones has shouted at the Taerks from her front yard, and Ms. Taerk has given Ms. Morland-Jones “the finger” from her front driveway. The Defendants have apparently called the police on the Plaintiffs numerous times in recent years; the Plaintiffs have responded by retaining a . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

A Rose by Another Name Might Smell Sweeter

Last week I shared my new title with Slaw. Today, I was excited to be in a room of passionate people attending the Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference where the session title was “Should We Still Be called Librarians?” The debate and various points of view were thought provoking.

As a panelist for this session, I was delighted to share “sage on the stage” duties with Allan Fineblit, CEO, Law Society of Manitoba, Ron Greasley, Senior Brand Strategist at Deschenes Regnier, Melanie Hodges Neufeld, Director of Legal Resources, Law Society of Saskatchewan, and Sonia Poulin, Director of Alberta Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Women and the Imposter Syndrome

The Atlantic Magazine has another blockbuster cover story in their May edition investigating the confidence gap between men and women.

Following on the heels of Sheryl Sandberg’s bestseller “Lean In”, the article examines the internal belief (held more frequently by women than men) that someday, someone will discover that despite being a senior law firm partner, they have been fooling everyone and are not competent to do the job. It is remarkable how frequently the aptly named “imposter syndrome” not only holds women back from taking on more senior roles but continues to haunt them once they attain senior status. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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.


Make Your LinkedIn Presence Look More Professional With a Vanity URL
Dan Pinnington

When you create a profile on LinkedIn, the default URL LinkedIn creates for your profile page will end with a jumble of letters and numbers. Yuck!
You can make your profile look more professional and have a profile URL that is easier to remember and share by claiming your own LinkedIn vanity URL. . . .

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Forget the Future, Let’s Bring the Present Into Legal Education

I’m writing this post from (at the moment) sunny Winnipeg where I am attending the Canadian Association of Law Libraries annual conference. But I’m not going to talk about that today. Instead, what I want to focus on is Simon Canick‘s* recent article, “Infusing Technology Skills into the Law School Curriculum.” [1] I’ve been mentioning this article to many of my CALL colleagues and I think you can imagine why the title caught my attention.

When you look at the average law or university student you might find it odd that a question about technology skills . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Statements on University of Saskatchewan Libraries Deliberations

Thanks to Associate Professor of Law at the University of Saskatchewan Michael Plaxton for his discussion here on earlier today. He alluded to some other discussion, so I thought it would be helpful to pull together some of those pieces for everyone.

Below is the letter from Annette Demers on behalf of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD) and John Papadopoulos and Jeanne Maddix on behalf of the Canadian Council of Academic Law Library Directors which was also endorsed by Robert Thomas on behalf of the Saskatchewan Library Association. This was published on the CALL/ACBD website:


. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Supervision of Employees: The Buck Stops With You

Delegation involves getting the job done through others. A governing tenet in every firm should be to push work down to the lowest capable level. You are wasting your time and the client’smoney if you or others at your firmare consistently doingtasks that lawyers with a lower hourly rate or staff can complete. Lawyers typically fail to delegate for any number of reasons, none
of which stand up to scrutiny.

  • They don’t want to give up control of the matter or client: This is a bad behaviour often driven by a compensation system that rewards bad behaviours.
  • They think they
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Leave the U of S Law Library Alone

The University of Saskatchewan College of Law’s library, we have recently learned, is to be “reconfigured”. We have no idea, at the moment, what this re-configuration will entail. We can be reasonably confident that no one intends to burn down the library. But it seems over-optimistic to call it “safe” either.

Here is what we (sort of) know. There is talk of moving some (many? most?) of the books either to the Murray Library or to off-campus storage facilities. Materials moved to those facilities would be available within 48 hours. Much of the space in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

The Fundamental Importance of High Quality Advocacy

The UK Court of Appeal last week overturned a decision staying a complex financial fraud prosecution on the ground that no suitably qualified lawyer was willing to be retained to defend the case at the reduced compensation rates being offered by the State.

The UK Ministry of Justice had previously announced its intention to cut by 30% the rate of remuneration to counsel in such cases. None of the respondents were able to find counsel to instruct.

The judge of first instance concluded, “to allow the State an adjournment to put right its failure to provide the necessary resources to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

#Cbafutureschat Recap: How to Become a Legal Innovator

Think outside the box.

Think of ways to use current tools creatively.

Think big.

Think niche.

Think of ways to blow up the current paradigm.

Think of ways to make the current paradigm work better.

… Essentially, opinions about how to transition into a future-ready legal profession are like vital organs – everyone alive has at least one that works for them, but there isn’t one that works for everybody.

Since the CBA Legal Futures Initiative was launched, many ideas about the challenges facing the profession have been postulated – their causes, their effects, and appropriate responses to them. One . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology