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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

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

Fore!

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

Live Tweeting Experiment of the Khadr Hearing

Although tweeting from a courtroom remains controversial, tweeting the content of a live webcast should be rather conventional, but is still a useful enterprise.

I was in the middle of a take-home midterm when I realized that the Omar Khadr hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada was on CPAC. After a few searches on Twitter, I realized that although people had posted that it was occurring, nobody in the legal community was covering the contents live (or almost live – a Senate broadcast delayed it).

I gave it a go, although the proceedings were well under . . . [more]

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

Would a Canadian Judge Say This?

In C.H. Giles & Co. Ltd. v. Morris, [1972] 1 W.L.R. 307, [1972] 1 All E.R. 960 at 971 (Ch.D., Megarry J.) said:

… In this judgment I have referred to a number of authorities not cited in argument. On the procedural point I have reached no final conclusion, and so the citation of additional authorities in that respect does not raise any particular difficulty. But it is otherwise in relation to the question of specific enforceability. On this, the only authority cited to me by either side was Fry, cited by counsel for the defendants. Wilson v West

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

Webcast of Khadr Hearing at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Canada is hearing Prime Minister of Canada, et al. v. Omar Ahmed Khadr tomorrow, November 13 — a Friday the 13th, as it happens. There is a webcast of the hearing scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. EDT.

You can read the SCC Case Information Summary to get a quick overview of the matter. The appellant’s (i.e. government’s) factum is online [PDF], as is that for Khadr [PDF].

The appeal is from a judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal: Canada (Prime Minister) v. Khadr, 2009 FCA 246 (CanLII), which in turn was an . . . [more]

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

What Is a Judgment?

Chatting with Angela this morning about judgments, and then the Ontario Reports undermines my certainty about my prior views.

One expects that such issues as what is a judgment, and what is an endorsement, would have been determined years ago, when the basic rules of precedent were laid down by common law courts.

However, this morning’s copy of the Ontario Reports has me wondering. There are 80 pages of reported judicial decisions in part 10 of volume 96 of the Ontario Reports, Third Edition.

However, four of those decisions from the Superior Court totalling 61 pages are nominally endorsements. I . . . [more]

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

Linguist Tongue-Lashes Jurist

One of the things I enjoy about reading the Language Log, a cooperative blog by academic linguists, is the ease with which some of the authors slip into high dudgeon. (I suppose I might be like that, too, if my subject were language, in which everyone is an expert.) The latest target of Geoff Pullum’s indignation is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, who, it turns out, doesn’t know his active from his passive, when it comes to voice.

The offending passage occurred in the judge’s dissent in Jones v. United States 526 U.S. 227 (1999) where Kennedy is interpreting a . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Form of Order in Applications to Prove a Lost Will Under Ontario Rule 75.02

Cross-posted on The AvoidAClaim blog (www.avoidaclaim.com)

As part of a brief endorsement dated November 3, 2009 in RE: IN THE ESTATE OF Evelyn O’Reilly, et. al., Justice D. M. Brown of the Superior Court Of Justice–Ontario provided some useful direction on the form and content of an order in applications to prove a lost will under Ontario Rule 75.02. Ontario lawyers handling this issue on estate matters will find Brown J.’s comments helpful. . . . [more]

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

Study on Impact of Intervenors at Supreme Court of Canada

University of Toronto law professors Ben Alarie and Andrew Green have posted a draft of a new paper to the Social Science Research Network.

The paper is entitled Interventions at the Supreme Court of Canada: Accuracy, Affiliation, and Acceptance:

“Do interveners matter? Under Chief Justice McLachlin the Supreme Court of Canada has allowed an average of 176 interventions per calendar year and interveners have cumulatively made submissions in half of the cases heard by the Court. This level of activity suggests that interveners are doing something. But what is it that they are doing?”

“In the abstract, there are

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

Free Law Kerfuffle

I am amazed that the three minutes extracted from an interview that I gave in the summer of 2009 with the thought that parts of it would be used in a tribute video to be shown at the 2009 AALL Convention has caused such a kerfuffle. [Ed. note: see Berring’s Scepticism on the Future of Free Legal Information, Berring, CanLII and Kobe Beef, Berring, free legal information, and making good choices] (Glad to see that someone used one of my favorite words). The context of the remarks matters because they were meant to be light in tone. . . . [more]

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