Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Legal Information’

Of Copyright, Copyleft and the Unique Creative Commons Needs of PLEI

Unlocking Intellectual Property

Last May, Vancouver Foundation, Canada’s largest community foundation, announced it would develop and adopt an open licensing policy. This is a big deal for an organization that spends over $50 million yearly on its grantees and programs. The right policy could amplify the impact of the Foundation’s spending, and create knock-on benefits shared by other groups working for good causes. On the flip side, a flawed one could dilute the incentives (real or perceived) for grantees expected to share success, credit and perhaps even intellectual property with unknown others.

Meanwhile, Clicklaw Wikibooks, a project I . . . [more]

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

Access to Private Standards Incorporated Into Law

From time to time governments make law by referring to non-governmental rules. These are often technical matters on which standards are developed by outside experts. For example, a regulation might require manufacturers to comply with a safety standard of the Canadian General Standards Board or the International Standards Organization.

When this happens, should the government have to ensure that the outside standards be accessible to those affected by them? Many standards bodies finance their operation at least in part through the sale of their standards. In other words, access to the text of the standards is not free. Is that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation, ulc_ecomm_list

Statutes of Limitations & Mrs. Trump

Politico published a story today on Mrs. Trump’s immigration history: “Gaps in Melania Trump’s Immigration Story Raise Questions.” The issue stems from Mrs. Trump’s status if/when she worked in the US during 1995 & 1996. It seems that she may have been working without authorization, a violation of immigration law (in Canada and the US), which would constitute “visa fraud” (in Canada, “misrepresentation”) and lead to an investigation. I am guessing that Mr. Trump is consulting his lawyers to see if Mrs. Trump’s US citizenship is at risk. It may be.

In her own words, Mrs. Trump described how she . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

Best Guide to Canadian Legal Research Sustained

I was delighted to see the announcement that Catherine Best’s fantastic work at legalresearch.org will continue on under an excellent editorial board after her retirement. Catherine generously donated the site to CanLII and the site has been renamed The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide.

What a fabulous legacy.

The Best Guide is one of those resources that act as a starting point for fresh legal researchers, a reminder for the occasional researcher, and a review for the experienced. It is a frequently referred to resource in student training programs, including the Edmonton Law Libraries Association HeadStart program, which, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Influence of Quebec Case Law in the ROC: The Situation and Stakes of the Translation of Judgments

Last fall, Leader of the Bar and former Chief Justice of Quebec, Mtre Michel Robert, gave a lecture on the language of judgments. His remarks were reported in the February 2016 edition of the Journal du Barreau. Upset about the lack of visibility of Quebec case law outside this province, Mtre Robert claimed that the reputations of the Quebec Court of Appeal and Superior Court suffer disastrously because their judgments are not translated.

I think these remarks deserve a closer look, one that takes into account the joint effort of the Quebec judiciary and SOQUIJ to promote Quebec case . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Law Library of Congress Report on Miranda Warning Equivalents Around the World

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. published a report a little while ago about Miranda Warning Equivalents in more than 100 countries around the world, including Canada.

In the United States, so-called Miranda rights are named after the US Supreme Court decision of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966) that determined that a person detained by law enforcement and interrogated must be made aware of the right to remain silent, the right to consult with an attorney and have the attorney present during questioning, and the right to have an attorney appointed if they can’t afford one. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

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

LégisQuébec Official Legislative Website Now Free

LégisQuébec, the website that contains official versions of Quebec laws and regulations, this week went totally free.

The site which offers access to current and former versions of Québec statutes and regulations used to require a subscription for many of its more advanced features.

The revised site has documents in HTML, PDF or EPUB formats.

The material includes the consolidated statutes and regulations for Quebec, historic versions of legislation and regulations, the Table of Amendments to Statutes and the Table of Amendments to Regulations. Information on what period is covered by the historical versions is available in the FAQ . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation

Amendments to the Customer Service Standard Under the AODA Effective July 1

On June 6, 2016, the Ontario government announced that changes to the Customer Service Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) will come into force on July 1, 2016, and apply to all organizations providing goods, services or facilities in the province. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Unlimited Copying Versus Legal Publishing

In John Willinsky’s, Scholarly Publishing Has Its Napster Moment, it’s clear that unlimited “napster”-like copying was a challenge to academic publishing, and notably to some of the large academic publishing houses that dominate legal publishing.

The situations are similar, and worldwide legal publishing seems just as concentrated, as noted by Gary Rodrigues. It’s not, however, clear if the risks are the same in the legal-publishing world, or if they apply to (law-)books.

The Common Bits

Legal publishing starts out very similarly to academic publishing, with an author who is paid for the work he does, but not for . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

A New Legal Citation Guide for Canada on the Horizon / Vers Un Nouveau Guide Canadien De Citation Juridique

(La version française suite)

A New Legal Citation Guide for Canada on the Horizon

A group of interested individuals has come together to address the challenge of uniform legal citation in Canada.

There is currently no standard legal citation guide in Canada that has been uniformly accepted by all legal sectors and institutions. In addition to existing published citation guides, various courts, law schools, law journals and publishers have developed and are using their own guides to meet their particular needs.

The Canadian public has a right to an accessible standard of legal citation that will facilitate, not hinder their . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Firm Guest Blogger, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Disaggregation of Legal Information

Disaggregate verb. used without object. Meaning: to separate into component parts. Synonyms: ventilate, distill, itemize, breakdown, subdivide.

An April 25 press release from ICLR (The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales) reported:

[ICLR] has started the process of disaggregating its law reports from the online services operated by LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Subscribers to these services based elsewhere in the world will not be affected. The process of removing ICLR content from these providers will take effect on 1 January 2017. Thereafter, the ICLR – the publisher of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing