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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

SCC’s New Guidance for Lawyers on Withdrawal From Representation

The Supreme Court of Canada this morning told the Canadian legal profession of its obligations to continue to provide services when the money runs out, when it handed down its decision in the Cunningham case.

Jennie Cunningham was a lawyer working for the Yukon Legal Aid Services Society. Her client had been charged with three sexual assault offences against a six-year-old girl. Legal Aid found out that the accused was working but had not reported his income. So they dropped him from coverage. The client couldn’t pay. So Cunningham asked the Territorial Court in charge of the criminal proceedings . . . [more]

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

The SCC and Technological Change

Last week, David Cheifetz collected the salient paragraphs of the SCC’s decision on R. v. Morelli (2010 SCC 8) in a post here on Slaw, but only limited discussion followed. The dissent, though, has some interesting observations that deserve highlighting, such as this one from paragraph 144:

In light of the inevitability of technological change, it is important not to needlessly handcuff the courts to a concept of possession that is limited to certain technologies or to current-day computer practices. Control has been the defining feature of possession, not the possibility of finding data files on a hard drive. To

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

Third Circuit Student Speech Cases Illustrate Struggle to Characterize Communication Through Social Media

I promise not to get in the habit of cross-linking to my own blog, but it’s worth adding something to the Slaw record on the February 4th student speech decisions of the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, even by way of cross-link. Layshock v. Hermitage School District and J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District deal with sanctions imposed by school boards for “misuse” of social media in strikingly similar circumstances, but the Court reached the opposite conclusion in each case. As I argue here, the conflicting awards illustrate a dialogue about whether to recognize the unique impact . . . [more]

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

Should Judges Check Facts Online?

Internet Law News today reports that a judge who went online to check some facts about a case before him did not invalidate his decision: U.S. v. Bari, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, No. 09-1074.

The court held that judges may note facts “not subject to reasonable dispute” that can be learned from accurate sources. The judge may “confirm his [or her] intuition”.

Does this sound right to you? How would you apply those two criteria (re dispute and re accurate sources)?

OTOH how do you prevent a judge from doing this? Is it realistic or . . . [more]

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

European Court of Justice Rules in Google v LVMH

Luxury good maker Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), who produces Moet & Chandon champagne and Dior perfume, claimed that Google’s advertising polices violated their trademark. The practice in question was the use of key words related to brand names by counterfeiters, who would then link to online stores.

Based on reported coverage of the case, the European Court of Justice made several main findings in a decision released this morning:

  1. Google has not infringed copyright simply for allowing companies to purchase trade mark key words
  2. Google cannot be liable for advertising requests if it removes them when informed that
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The SCC on Searches of Personal Computers and Web Use

Some substantive law on issues involving criminal law and web access using the current means of access: a computer. 

R. v. Morelli, 2010 SCC 8

Fish J ( McLachlin C.J. and Binnie, Abella JJ concurring) 

[1] This case concerns the right of everyone in Canada, including the appellant, to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure. And it relates, more particularly, to the search and seizure of personal computers.

[2] It is difficult to imagine a search more intrusive, extensive, or invasive of one’s privacy than the search and seizure of a personal computer. 

[3] First, police officers enter

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

A Breach of Surfing Etiquette, a Lawsuit and the Ride

On January 19th the Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia awarded $750 to an aggrieved surfer whose new surfboard was dinged by another surfer who breached the “paddle behind” rule of surfing etiquette.

The rule of surfing that the defendant was proven to violate is a pretty indisputable rule of surfing etiquette. The surfer paddling out should not interfere with the surfer riding the wave. This usually means that the surfer paddling out takes a path that leads into the breaking part of the wave, moderately discomforting but a warranted self-sacrifice to allow the rider to enjoy an uninterrupted ride. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Spanish Ruling on Non-Commercial File Sharing

A Spanish judge, Raul N. García Orejudo, has ruled that linking to copyrighted material is not illegal in SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores) vs. Jesus Guerra over the link site

Stan Schroeder of Mashable summarizes the proceedings:

First, he denied SGAE’s request to shut down Guerra’s site in June, saying that “P2P networks, as a mere transmission of data between Internet users, do not violate, in principle, any right protected by Intellectual Property Law.”

Now, he decided that “offering an index of links and/or linking to copyright material is not the same as distribution.” His decision

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

Supreme Court of Canada: Stats for 1999-2009 and Best Decisions of 2009

Two Supreme Court stories from me this week:

1) The Supreme Court of Canada has released a special edition of its Bulletin of Proceedings that provides a statistical overview of its activities for the period 1999-2009.

It provides information on leave applications submitted, appeals heard, judgments, and time lapses (time between the filing of a complete application for leave to appeal and the Court’s decision on whether leave should be granted; time between decision to grant leave and the hearing; time between the hearing of an appeal and the judgment).

2)The Court, the Osgoode Hall Law School . . . [more]

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

Wonderful Display of Visual Advocacy by Master Short

A few weeks back I noted a yet-to-be-published case by Ontario Master Donald Short on proportionality called Moosa v. Hill Property Management. It’s now been published here, along with this bit of visual advocacy:

I’ve heard Eugene Meehan talk about charts in his written advocacy presentation, but haven’t been exposed to much else on visual advocacy. I like this example because it communicates so much meaning so quickly and, moreover, because it’s accessible to those who are not artistically inclined. Does this offend your typesetter’s eye Simon? Other examples anyone? Links? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Same-Sex Marriage Trial Re-Enactment

As everyone will doubtless know, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against permitting the District Court for the Northern District of California to broadcast on YouTube the challenge to California’s Proposition 8, as had been originally planned. That doesn’t mean that the screen’s gone blank, though. Cunningly, is filming a re-enactment using transcripts from the actual trial (transcripts you can download so you can sing along!).

The site currently offers you Episode 1 in 3 Chapters, essentially giving the opening statements of the various parties. As well there are a couple of summaries to bring . . . [more]

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