Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for June, 2016

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from seventy recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. David Whelan  2. IPilogue 3. Legal Sourcery  4. Slater Vecchio Connected  5. Entertainment & Media Law Signal

David Whelan
Closing a Law Library

The Justice minister in the Northwest Territories has announced they are closing, through defunding, the courthouse law library. Not surprisingly, that has caused negative reactions from . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Access to Justice in Criminal Law

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees everyone the right to retain and instruct counsel on arrest or detention. What do we mean by that? Specifically, do we mean it? Do we mean it for people other than the relatively affluent few?

Canadian governments claim that we do. The vision of Legal Aid Alberta states that it aims for “An Alberta where everyone can access justice and achieve fair and lasting resolutions to their legal issues.” Legal Aid Ontario’s website says that it “provides legal assistance for low-income people”.

Justice Ian Nordheimer isn’t buying it. In a stinging judgment issued . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Why Brexit May Never Happen, Despite the Referendum

The most significant development in law this past week was the Brexit referendum.

Although technically not legally binding, the political repercussions of trying to do anything but follow the narrow vote means that the U.K. will be attempting to leave the E.U.

The real question is when, and how.

Although the legal implications are vast and uncertain, the Wall Street Journal proclaims that it could be a “boon” for lawyers. Leave it to lawyers to turn the largest demerger in history into business like advice on tax, “antitrust, immigration, intellectual property, trade agreements, employment and other areas of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) Coupable d’agressions sexuelles commises à l’endroit de sa conjointe, l’accusé, qui a rejeté la faute de son comportement sur les préceptes enseignés par la secte dont il faisait partie — tout comme la victime — au moment des faits, devra purger huit ans de pénitencier.

Intitulé : R. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Cutting Through the Mysteries of Journal and Article Pricing

I’m delighted to be able to offer a guest blog from Rebecca Kennison. Rebecca is the principal of K|N Consultants and has worked extensively in scholarly publishing. What follows is a remarkably acute analysis of Elsevier’s journal pricing practices that she recently contributed to the Open Scholarship Initiative listserv. (This version has been slightly edited to provide additional clarification.) Rebecca is responding to a post by an Elsevier representative, and yet what she has written struck me as speaking to all of us interested in how the major corporate publishers are handling the shift to open access.

Rebecca is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

International Identity Management

It used to be that on the Internet, nobody knew you were a dog … or a trading partner, or a rogue. In this era of Big Data, geolocation, and light bulbs that call home, it may seem that those days are behind us.

But it’s one thing to know who somebody is in order to send them a personally targeted advertisement. It’s another to know with enough certainty to engage in large-value transactions, or to confer on them some public benefit, like a welfare payment or a student loan.

Therefore the management of identity online remains an . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Three Business IP Scams to Watch For

It’s summer vacation season, and worth a reminder about some common business IP scams to watch out for. Staff covering for vacations and unfamiliar with these may be more vulnerable to them. While there are lots of scams out there, these three are the ones I get asked about most by clients.

The trademark registration scam. Scammers monitor the trademark application process, and send an invoice to the trademark applicant that looks like it is part of the trademark application process. If you read it very carefully it says it isn’t an invoice, and it is a pitch for a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

No Votes in Justice — Plea Bargaining and Wrongful Convictions

At the expense of justice, governments improve the cost-efficiency of the criminal justice system but thereby weaken the safeguards against wrongful convictions. Doing so makes more money available to be spent on more politically profitable areas because there are no votes to be gained by improving the criminal justice system. This is a summary of part of a published article that develops this theme: that poor resources given the criminal justice system, increases the probability of wrongful convictions in these ways:

  1. Prosecutors’ method of plea bargaining changes so as to produce more guilty pleas which increases the probability of wrongful
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

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. Groia v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 471

[101] But it is a far different thing to argue, as Mr. Groia does, that a trial judge’s authority to supervise and control the progress of the trial and the conduct of its participants constrains the Law Society’s exercise of its statutory jurisdiction to regulate a lawyer’s in-court conduct in . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Sound Prediction Update – Federal Court Continues to Disagree on Fundamental Disclosure Aspect of Test

Utility is a basic requirement set out in the Patent Act, yet Canadian courts over the past year have continued to approach this concept from very different points of view. The “disclosure” requirement for sound prediction has been both wholly adopted and rejected by the Federal Court. The pro-disclosure side requires that the sound line of reasoning and factual basis be in the patent, whatever the nature of the invention.[1] The anti-disclosure side only requires any explanation in the patent where the invention is directed at a new use[2]. Otherwise the sound prediction may be satisfied . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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 research and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

Use Deep Links
Susannah Tredwell

Deep links are links that take you directly to content within a website or database, rather than to the website’s home page. The advantage of deep links is that they allow you to send users directly to content of interest, rather than having to navigate through the menu system. An example of a deep link is which takes you . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Loom Analytics Launches Today

[Necessary disclosure: My company Stem Legal has been working with Loom Analytics for several months now during their beta period. It’s a relationship I’m proud to showcase, but also one we are compensated for.]

Today is an exciting day for Loom Analytics. One of the country’s most interesting legal tech startups has officially closed its beta phase and has opened up registration to legal consumers. Less than 18 months after the Loom team first started working on the idea of a Canadian legal analytics tool, the company (whom you may recall from a Slaw Vendor Quiz earlier this year) . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet