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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Authentication of Electronic Records – Some Recent Developments

Canadian and American courts (and others) have been making pronouncements about the reliability of electronic documents for various purposes, not all of them equally persuasive, and the Canadian ones more sceptical than the American courts — perhaps only because of the facts before them.

Comments welcome on any of these cases: were they rightly decided? Do they suggest gaps in legislation? . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Dictionaries in Our Court

Last week Simon linked to the piece in the New York Times which described the remarkable trend in the USSC towards resorting to dictionaries to determine legal meaning.

The US doctrinal literature has quite a history in a trilogy of articles by Judge Samuel A. Thumma & Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier, The Lexicon Has Become a Fortress: The United States Supreme Court’s Use of Dictionaries, 47 Buff. L. Rev. 227 (1999); Appendix A, Appendix B, The Lexicon Remains a Fortress: An Update, 5 Green Bag 51 (2001), and Scaling the Lexicon Fortress: The United States Supreme . . . [more]

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

You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream…

…For Ice Cream or more properly “Iced” Cream, (this is one of those words that we have slang-ed much like Web Log to Blog). As we approach the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer, on Tuesday of next week, it’s time to celebrate our (all-too-brief) summer, notwithstanding that many of us have not experienced much summer-like weather yet. Nonetheless, I have already experienced more than one ice cream headache aka. brain freeze, cold stimulus headache or more accurately sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (say that 3 times fast). It is generally agreed that the feeling of someone driving an ice pick into . . . [more]

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

Managing Multi-Jurisdictional Class Proceedings – Proposals for Reform

Most Canadian jurisdictions (except PEI and the Territories) have Class Actions statutes and our courts are increasingly having to deal with the complex issues that class litigation presents. One of the most difficult issues is the co-ordination of litigation that involves class members in multiple jurisdictions. Because our federal courts (with a statutory jurisdiction) have not the sort of diversity jurisdiction that facilitates the consolidation of multi-state proceedings) our courts must fashion solutions within the structure of provincial superior court primacy over civil litigation.

The defects of the current system have been described as follows:

Overlapping, multijurisdictional class actions

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

Lex and Lex – Using Dictionaries in Judgments

A New York Times article from Monday has been prompting some comment on the blogs and blawgs. In “Justices Turning More Frequently to Dictionary, and Not Just for Big Words,” Adam Liptak wrote about the considerable frequency with which U.S. Supreme Court Justices refer to dictionary definitions in their opinions, much to the concern — not to say derision — of linguists and lexicologists. This should come as only a mild surprise to lawyers, perhaps, who are used to the various and contestable ways meaning in statutes is determined and justified by judges.

As the linguists point out, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

An Employer’s Right to Free Speech

As many of you know, the right to freedom of expression is firmly entrenched in both our charters and human rights acts.

The Québec Labour Code contains a sections which have been held in the past to legitimately restrict an employer’s right to full and freely express his or her opion. This is particularly the case with regard to sections 12 and 13 of the Code by which an employer is prohibited from interfering in the activities of a union and/or intimidating employees regarding their union activity. Recently, some commissioners from the Québec Commission des Relations du Travail has taken . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Reporting of Critical Injury or Fatality of a Non-Worker: The Blue Mountain Case

A guest drowns in the hotel pool. Does the hotel need to report the fatality to the Ontario Ministry of Labour under subsection 51(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act? According to a decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), the answer is “yes”.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Disgruntled Former Worker Who Hijacked Network Must Pay City $1,485,791

In April 2010, Terry Childs, a former IT employee with the City of San Francisco was sentenced to four years in prison for blocking access to the city’s network (which he designed) and refusing to turn over the passwords. It took Childs...
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Toronto Civil Court Lists Available

Forgive me, please if this is a tad parochial, but yesterday the Toronto Civil Court Lists were made available on the Internet

The Toronto Lawyers Association announced that working with Regional Senior Justice Ed Then, and his Court staff they have finally secured for the benefit of the profession internet access to the Toronto Civil Court lists.

They should be available here. They undertake to post the next day’s list by 5 pm each day (the lists are subject to change).

Currently they have Trials, Pre-Trial & Case Conferences, Motions and Masters’ Motions available. Soon they hope . . . [more]

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

Crimes of (Unconscious) Passion

Today’s release from the Supreme Court of Canada, R. v. J.A., 2011 SCC 28 is a real head-scratcher. The facts are both titillating and fascinating.

J.A. and his long time partner, K.D. were a sexually explorative adult couple. On several prior occasions they had experimented with the delicate art of erotic asphyxiation — in which one partner chokes the breath out of the other to heighten the sexual pleasure associated with a lack of oxygen to the brain. Now, during my recent trip to Ecuador’s Cotopaxi Glacier 5000 metres above sea level I don’t recall any sexual stirrings as my . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Charter of the French Language

I attended a training last week on the Charter of the French Language (“Charter”), also known as Bill 101, a provincial law that has provoked a lot of reactions in the past from both ends of the spectrum.

This legislation was first adopted in 1977 under the Parti québécois’ first mandate. However, it is incorrect to think that the issue of language only became important at this point in Quebec’s modern history. Bill 63 or An Act to promote the French language in Quebec, passed in 1969 and Bill 22 or the Official Language Act, passed in 1974, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Reverberations for Real Estate Agents

What is the duty of a real estate agent to verify the information provided by the vendor of the property to prospective purchasers?

In this space I frequently moan about the danger of mediation stemming the flow of judicial precedent, but here is a nice legal question answered by the Court of Appeal for Ontario this month.

The property was a residential home with significant structural and plumbing problems.

The agent, who acted for both the purchaser and the vendor, became the meat in the sandwich.

The purchaser sued the agent for failing to advise the purchaser to obtain professional . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions