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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Catching Up With the Law Librarian Podcast

It’s been a little while since I wrote about The Law Librarian podcast created by Richard Leiter and available over at BlogTalkRadio and iTunes. I am one of several regular panelists; panelists now take turns participating in the shows depending on the topics. Richard has also expanded the schedule from once a month to once a month plus frequent updates, which will hopefully mean a new show every couple of weeks.

In case you missed them, the last two shows are:

Google Scholar Legal Opinions and Journals: A Conversation with Anurag Acharya (Dec. 4/09)
– Anurag Acharya is a . . . [more]

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

ONSC Implements the Neutral Citation for Case Law

Louise Hamel, manager of the Judges’ Library for Ontario Courts, just announced to Canadian legal publishers that beginning January 2, 2010, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice will assign a neutral citation to their decisions, except for the Small Claims Court.

The Neutral Citation Standard for Case Law was developed in 1998 by the Canadian Citation Committee, an informal group that brought together various specialists in legal information from the judiciary, academia and the publishing industry, including slawers Martin Felsky and Daniel Poulin. The standard was approved in 1999 by the Canadian Judicial Council and has since then been . . . [more]

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

Judge Rules on Grammar, Syntax

A story that’s been making the rounds this week (LawyeristLegal Blog WatchABAJournal@davidtsfraser) deserves to be passed along one more step: U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel got fed up with the way lawyers wrote the proposed orders submitted to him, so he sent a memo to the whole bankruptcy bar setting out his rules for doing it right. They’re a mix of regs on proper form and injunctions about some stuff that should have been learned in grade school.

For instance, in addition to a request that documents be submitted in PDF electronically, . . . [more]

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

Lucasfilm Loses to Stormtrooper in U.K.

The Court of Appeal for England and Wales has ruled against Lucasfilm in its breach of copyright suit against Andrew Ainsworth, the British designer who produced the Stormtrooper costume for the Star Wars films. (Lucasfilm Limited et al. v. Andrew Ainsworth [2009] EWCA Civ 1328)

Ainsworth had been selling a few Stormtrooper helmets both in the U.S. and in Britain. Lucasfilm claimed that the models for the helmet were copyright works as “sculptures” within the meaning of s.4 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. After a long review of the legislative history and the caselaw, . . . [more]

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

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

The Cross-Border Biotech Blog had a very blawg-y week this week with three posts on legal issues affecting the biotech world, thanks in part to my lovely and talented legal writer/spouse/editor/CMO Audrey Fried-Grushcow.

I kicked things off with a post on three need-to-know Canadian patent decisions that impact pharma, biotech and generics companies, pulling together three Ogilvy Renault bulletins into one executive-summary-level overview of key recent developments.

Audrey picked up the legal theme with a post noting oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court for a case under the False Claims Act (FCA) in which amici curiae PhRMA and . . . [more]

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

Hot TOCs in CanLII

I don’t know how long this has been going on, but some courts are sending judgments to CanLII with hyperlinked tables of contents. Plain old text TOCs are nothing new, of course: long — long, long. . . — judgments pretty much demand them. But courts seem to have discovered that, because they create and submit their judgments to CanLII in MS Word format, it’s fairly easy to construct a hyperlinked table of contents.

A search for [table of contents] turns up recent “hot” TOCs from Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, and Ontario.

This is, of course, . . . [more]

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

Ontario Court of Appeal Will Email Judgments

A notice to the profession on the Ontario Court of Appeal website reads:

Electronic Delivery of Copies of Reasons for Judgment

On January 1, 2010 the court will modernize its procedure for delivery of copies of its reasons for judgment to counsel and litigants.

Rather than requiring litigants or counsel to attend at the registry office of the court to obtain a paper copy of the decision, the court will send a PDF copy of the signed judgment by e-mail to those counsel and litigants who have provided an e-mail address. Copies will continue to be available for those parties

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

The Internet and Exploitation

“The Internet is an open door to knowledge, entertainment, communication – and exploitation.”

This quote is in R. v. Legare, 2009 SCC 56, Justice Fish writing for the unanimous majority (at para 1) (emphasis in original).

While I have no wish to write about the facts in this particular matter, it is interesting that a decision about exploitation should be published by the SCC in December.

Unfortunately, the holiday season is often rife with frauds. A grandson in jail scam was recently reported and McAfee has posted an article in their newsroom titled the 12 Scams of Christmas . . . [more]

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

The Obstructionist Self-Represented Accused: the Challenge of Control

Of the many challenges facing trial judges, one of the greatest is conducting proceedings with a self-represented accused. Invariably the self-represented accused comes to court with only a rudimentary knowledge of the trial process, often influenced by misleading depictions from television shows and the movies. He or she is unfamiliar with the substantive law, is confused by procedural requirements, and has difficulty grasping concepts such as relevance.

The burgeoning number of self-represented accused in the criminal courts may be explained by cut-backs to legal aid funding across the country, the cost of legal services, mental health problems that make it . . . [more]

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


Notwithstanding the fine weather that many parts of the country are experiencing as November moves towards December, late November in Canada is usually a dark time for those of us with the golf bug. Into that dark, a little bit of legal light shines with the knowledge that a Happy Gilmore shot has been judicially defined.

In 2008 NSSC 280 para. 7, the Happy Gilmore shot has been defined as, “…running from five to ten feet behind the ball and hitting it on the run.” In finding that the Happy Gilmore shot breached the standard of care owed to other . . . [more]

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

Liquor Law Challenged

Ian Blue, a partner at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, has issued a challenge to the constitutionality of legislation that forbids importation of liquor into a province unless it is sold to the local liquor board or commission. The legislation is, curiously, federal, as we noted in a post last September.

Section 3(1) of the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA), passed in 1928, forbids the interprovincial movement of alcohol (and, presumably, other “intoxicating liquors”) except as part of a transaction involving a provincial agency. Yet, Blue argues, this provision is at odds with s.121 of the Constitution Act, . . . [more]

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

Google Embarks on Legal Publishing

An announcement early today from Google Distinguished Engineer Anurag Acharya that Google Scholar now features major cases, as well as an ability to search in legal periodicals for case citations.

I thought initially it was just American, but searching on the following names brought interesting results:

Donoghue v. Stevenson 2380 hits
R. Drybones 849 hits
Delgamuukw 956 hits
Mabo v. Queensland 2770 hits

Google hat-tips “several pioneers, who have worked on making it possible for an average citizen to educate herself about the laws of the land: Tom Bruce (Cornell LII), Jerry Dupont (LLMC), Graham Greenleaf and Andrew Mowbray (AustLII), . . . [more]

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