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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Government Access to Stored Communications – Warshak and Gomboc Compared

Yesterday’s United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit finding that e-mail held by a service provider cannot be accessed without a warrant has already been much discussed. For good American commentary, see blog posts by Professors Paul Ohm and Orin Kerr and the Electronic Frontier Federation’s news release. This is a short note to identify the links with our recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Gomboc.

The American decision, United States v. Warshak, is very much about the societal value of confidential e-mail communications. The Court recognizes such value and grants it . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

On the Art of Judging

And a bit of substantive law, too, for those with too much time on their hands this very cold (in Toronto) December day.

Different courts in different jurisdictions sometimes arrive at different answers to the same question. Sometimes, though, they arrive at the same answer by different routes. Those interested in the art of judging, even in the development of the area of jurisprudence involved, may sometimes find it useful to compare the cases. (I’ll mention them eventually.) . . . [more]

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

Is Information on a Computer Screen Printed?

A court in Illinois has recently held that showing a credit card number on a computer screen did not constitute printing that number: Kelleher v. Eaglerider, Inc., 2010 WL 4684037 (N.D.Ill., Nov. 10 2010). Internet Cases has the story.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 [PDF] (FACTA) says that a merchant must not print out a receipt with more than the last five digits of a credit card number. Someone who did a transaction saw his full number on the screen, and sued for damages for breach of the statute. He lost.

In my view, I’m . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Crookes v. Newton Live Tweets From SCC

Argument is taking place right now at the SCC regarding online defamation in hyperlinks. The Montreal Gazette has a nice overview of the matter to date

Live tweeting can be followed by searching for #Crookes on Twitter.

Who would have guessed a couple of years ago that someone could sit in the gallery at the SCC and let the world know what questions the court is asking. Here is a sample thanks to tweets by cippic:

#Crookes Q: Does defamation only arise once a hyperlinker has been given notice of the defamation? A: No.

Q: Knowledge converts something that

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

Stop That Bus! Er… at That Bus!

The Washington Post carried a story on Tuesday about a Virginia man who was acquitted of a charge of failing to stop for a school bus that was unloading passengers. His lawyer made an argument, accepted by the court upon appeal, that the relevant section of the statute had been misdrafted, ever since it was changed in 1970, and was missing a critical “at,” rendering it meaningless.

Here’s the section in question:

    A person is guilty of reckless driving who fails to stop, when approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or

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

Donna Jodhan Succeeds in Accessibility Challenge to Federal Websites

Today Justice Michael Kelen of the Federal Court handed down a significant decision in DONNA JODHAN v. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA. Ms Jodhan sought a declaration under section 18.1 of the Federal Courts Act that the standards implemented by the federal government for providing visually impaired Canadians with access to government information and services on the Internet, and the way in which those standards are implemented, denied her equal access to government information and services, and thereby violated her rights under section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. . . . [more]

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

Ezra Levant Ordered to Remove Blog Posts (Vigna v. Levant)

The Superior Court of Justice applied Grant v. Torstar in Vigna v. Levant, released on Thursday, where Giacamo Vigna, a lawyer for the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, sued Ezra Levant for allegedly defamatory postings on his blog.

Dan Michaluk said that Grant v. Torstar was the top information and privacy case for 2009, and Matthew Nied had already described how this could affect bloggers.


The facts are set out by the court as follows, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Are Common Law Couples Victim of Discrimination?

This year, Quebec’s highest court had to decide if common-law couples residing in Quebec were victims of discrimination based on section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Quebec’s Civil Code does not afford common-law partners access to alimony, the sharing of family property and the protection of the family residence, among other rights that married or civil union couples enjoy (see sections 585, 401–430, 432, 433, 448–484 of the Code).

The Quebec Civil Code, which governs relations between private persons, treats common-law spouses as two independent individuals, regardless of the length of their union. It . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Sound of Silence

Six Canadian provinces have legislative recognition of Remembrance Day, though only two mention Two Minutes Silence, Ontario and Alberta. Nova Scotia for example says:

Every employer carrying on or engaged in an industry to which Section 3 does not apply shall, subject to Section 8, relieve the employees in the industry from duty, and suspend the operations of the industry, for a period of three minutes, at one minute before eleven oclock in the forenoon.

This post is about silence, and the legal protection of silence.

You have the right to silence. And in Quebec, a judge cannot refuse . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Social Media Use in the Workplace – Slagging Your Boss

Today’s New York Times is reporting on a Federal labor relations board decision last week to proceed with a complaint against a Connecticut ambulance service, American Medical Response, that canned an emergency medical technician for breaching a company policy that bars employees from depicting the company “in any way” on Facebook or other social media sites in which they post pictures of themselves.

This is the first case in which the US board has stepped in to argue that employees’ criticisms of their companies or bosses on a social networking site will be a protected activity and that employers would . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Office Technology