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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

When and How Can Lawyers Criticize Judges?

A lawyer’s ability to complain to a judge about the judge’s behaviour in court is about to be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Canada. The SCC will hear the appeal in Doré v Bernard. Gilles Doré was penalized by the Barreau du Québec for his letter to the judge of a case in which Mr. Doré had been counsel. Though the letter was marked private, the judge sent it to his Chief Justice, who sent it to the Barreau. More details are in this story in the Montreal Gazette. The text of the letter leads off the . . . [more]

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

R v. Chaytor and Parliamentary Privilege

At a meeting of lawyers yesterday, I heard one senior member refer to the decision of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in R v. Chaytor [2010] EWCA Crim 1910 as one of the best judgments he had read in a great many years. Intrigued, I took a look, and now I want to pass on to you the suggestion that you, too, read the judgment.

As the title of this post says, the case concerns a defence of parliamentary privilege. Criminal charges of fraud were laid against three members of the U.K. Parliament and one member of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Freedom of Religion Not Fully Applicable to Civil Servants

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal recently released its decision as to whether marriage commissioners—as civil servants—can opt out of performing same-sex marriages. Why is this an issue? In 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a landmark decision confirming the legal validity of same-sex marriage. Parliament then enacted legislation redefining marriage to include such unions. This led some marriage commissioners in Saskatchewan to refuse to solemnize same-sex marriages on the basis that they could not provide services in this regard without acting in violation of their personal religious beliefs.

The Saskatchewan government found this unacceptable. Since many religions do not . . . [more]

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

Turning British and American – Updates to My LRW Site

Although I have the benefit of a number of internal online research guides where I work, I occasionally find myself resorting to my free legal research and writing site.

However, in so doing, I realized my site inadvertently emphasized Canadian law to the exclusion of most other foreign law. As such, I have updated the case law, legislation and government pages to include links to more British, American (and other common law) sites. I hope this will be more useful for researchers and I welcome suggestions for improving the site.

I have also added the 3 law-related movies . . . [more]

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

Thomson West Appeals Professors Damage Award

Louis reported earlier this month on the story of a US federal jury which awarded $2.5-million in punitive damages and $90,000 in actual damages to each of two law professors who said that Thomson West had put their names on an annual supplement to a leading Pennsylvania practitioners’ text, even though they had refused to update the supplement when their pay was unilaterally halved.

Surprise to no-one – Thomson West will be back in court next month seeking an injunction to restrain what they say is prejudicial publicity – and we suspect, saying that the punitives are excessive.

We . . . [more]

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

Estates Litigation, a Staged Law Library and the SFO

Okay a seasonal quiz question – in which work of art do a law library and a complex question of estate litigation feature prominently?

Okay – a big hint. It’s opera. . . . [more]

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

Just Plain Wrong

Clements (Litigation Guardian of) v. Clements, 2010 BCCA 581 – right result, bad reasons.

A sub-text to the case is the manner in which the panel used a hot-off-the press article in a law review to explain and justify its analysis and conclusion, introducing and setting up the manner in which it intended to use the article this way:

[54] The question of when it will be appropriate to resort to the material-contribution test discussed in Resurfice Corp. has been the subject of some appellate consideration and considerable academic writing. In my view, the answer to this question

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

Justice Judge Lays Down the Law on Twitter

And now a post from snowbound London.

During the bail hearing of Julian Assange, the presiding magistrate, District Judge Howard Riddle, gave permission for journalists in attendance to use live blogging technology in reporting proceedings. In doing so, in the interests of practicality, he waltzed past provisions in the Contempt of Court Act 1981, which prohibited the use of recording media in court. It spurred a debate in England about the appropriate limits.

This spurred the senior judge in England – the wonderfully named Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Judge – to issue formal guidance to the . . . [more]

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

Federal Court Awards PIPEDA Damages

A self-represented Applicant won an award of $5,000 from the Federal Court today in Nammo v. Transunion of Canada Inc. for violations of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the first time that damages have ever been awarded under this statute.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada (PCC) made a finding on January 22, 2010 that the Applicant’s complaint, made on April 8, 2008, was well founded, but resolved. The hearing request was then made under s. 14 of the Act,

Hearing by Court

14. (1) A complainant may, after receiving the Commissioner’s report, apply to the

. . . [more]
Posted in: 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