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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Same-Sex Marriage Trial Re-Enactment

As everyone will doubtless know, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against permitting the District Court for the Northern District of California to broadcast on YouTube the challenge to California’s Proposition 8, as had been originally planned. That doesn’t mean that the screen’s gone blank, though. Cunningly, is filming a re-enactment using transcripts from the actual trial (transcripts you can download so you can sing along!).

The site currently offers you Episode 1 in 3 Chapters, essentially giving the opening statements of the various parties. As well there are a couple of summaries to bring . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

When Will Ontario Courts Assume Jurisdiction Over Out-of-Province Defendants?

A 5-member panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal released a significant, 150-paragraph reasoned decision this morning involving conflicts of laws and when Ontario should take jurisdiction over out-of-province defendants – see:

Van Breda v. Village Resorts Limited, 2010 ONCA 84

At issue were claims for personal injury damages occasioned as a result of accidents suffered by Canadian tourists at resorts in Cuba and whether the plaintiffs could sue in Ontario.

In paragraph 109 (pasted below) the Court has “re-formulated” their own test in Muscutt from 2002.

[109] To summarize the preceding discussion, in my view, the Muscutt

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Canada C. Khadr Decision

Canada (Premier ministre) c. Khadr, 2010 CSC 3, (29 janvier 2010)
Le pourvoi etait accueilli en partie.

K a droit à une réparation en vertu du par. 24(1) de la Charte. La réparation demandée par K — une ordonnance intimant au Canada de demander son rapatriement — est suffisamment liée à la violation de la Charte survenue en 2003 et 2004 parce que les incidences de cette violation persistent jusqu’à présent et pourraient influer sur son procès lorsqu’il sera finalement tenu. Bien que le gouvernement doive disposer d’une certaine marge de manœuvre lorsqu’il décide de quelle manière il doit . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

A Golden Age for Judicial Biography

On the afternoon of Friday January 29, the University of Texas at Austin will host a conference on judicial biography, as a tribute to Roy Mersky, who was the subject of an earlier Slaw post.

At 2 PM Texas time the discussion will turn to International Jurists, featuring Philip Ayers on Chief Justice Owen Dixon of Australia’s High Court, Philip Girard on Chief Justice Bora Laskin of Canada, and Pnina LaHav on Shimon Agranat of Israel.

We seem to be in golden age of judicial biography. Any recommendations from the readership? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Reading, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Future of WestLaw – a First Glimpse (Plus Update 1)

Yesterday, two members of Slaw were given an in-depth look at the most profound re-engineering of a legal research system since the migration to the Web. In Thomson Reuters’ impressive Eagan facility we had a briefing on the new Westlaw – to be launched at New York LegalTech next Monday under the name WestlawNext.

WestlawNext is the culmination of five years of research and development and a massive amount of customer research into how legal research is actually carried out. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

2009 Track Record of Supreme Court of Canada Justices

The most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly provides a snapshot of the quantative output of the justices of the Supreme Court of Canada in 2009:

“Looking at the opinions the individual judges wrote last year (as distinct from judgments they simply signed on to without comment) Chief Justice McLachlin and Justice Charron were the most solid majoritarians in the sense that they did the least concurring and dissenting, both wrote a total of nine majority or unanimous opinions, and Justice Charron wrote more unanimous judgments than anyone else — five.”

“Justice Charron and Justice Morris Fish spoke most

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

65 Years of Change in What the Supreme Court Cites

John Morden and I have been discussing the extent to which Canadian courts look at cases from other courts, and I referred him to the excellent work of Professor Peter McCormick on the Supreme Court of Canada in a series of articles and a book Supreme at Last. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Selecting Cases for Print Case Law Reporters

There has been much discussion on SLAW on the state of print case law reporters in the age of online judgments (click here for some of these posts).

For other research I am conducting, I obtained a photocopy of an article by Paul Perell (now a judge) from 1991 in the Legal Research Update quarterly newsletter (circa 1986 to 1996, RIP) called “Selecting Cases for the Ontario Reports.” In that article, (the now Mr. Justice) Perell lists out the six criteria for case selection as suggested by a Butterworths editor in England:

A case will be reported if:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Guidelines for Canadian Court Web Sites

When Dominic Jaar became the CEO of the Canadian Centre for Court Technology, he immediately set out to constitute several “IntellAction” working groups. One of these groups had the mandate to promote the modernization of court web sites in Canada by way of producing guidelines on topic.

Dominic knew this was an area of strong interest to me, so he asked me to lead the group. We built the membership last September to include fair representation from the judiciary, lawyers in private and public sector practice, the Courts Administration Service, a few other areas and a journalist to represent . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Lawyer Type (4): Ragged Is Right

In legal documents it’s the job of print to deliver the message smoothly and then get out of the way as fast as possible. Lots of things go into making this possible, as any book or magazine publisher will tell you, including the choice of typeface, point size, space between lines (leading) and colour of paper. Yet, when it comes to the preparation of legal documents the profession seems to be willfully ignorant about what makes for persuasive print, favouring remnants of the typewriter age combined with bad aspects of word processing technology.

I want to focus now on only . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions