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Archive for ‘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

Metadata as Record

Tip of the hat to my friend and partner Stan Freedman, the Supreme Court of Arizona en banc this week held that if a public entity maintains a public record in an electronic format, then the electronic version, including any embedded metadata, is subject to disclosure under our public records laws.

The case involved an employment discrimination action by a Phoenix policeman David Lake who suspected that there had been some backdating or manipulation of his employee file. He moved to see access to the metadata.

As the Phoenix paper reported:

A suspicious Lake requested the metadata from the . . . [more]

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

UK Law Reports Get Their Own YouTube Channel

The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR) in the United Kingdom, the people who bring us the authoritative and official Law Reports, have their very own YouTube video channel.

Videos include interviews with the Law Report editors, a history of the ICLR, a video on the process of how a case goes from trial to official report, and a brief introduction to case law research using both online databases and hard copy reference works.

And check out their wonderfully produced video A Tale of Two Citations:

“This short featurette featuring two barristers. One of them serenely competent

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

Supreme Court Judgment on Fiduciary Obligation

The Supreme Court has just released its judgment in the case of Galambos v. Perez, 2009 SCC 48 (CanLII). The opinion of the court was written by Cromwell J., his second[1. His first was R. v. Godin, 2009 SCC 26 (CanLII)], I believe, since his installation on the court, and concurred in by all eight other members of the court.

This judgment might be of special interest to the bar as it deals with relations between a bookkeeper for a small firm and the bankrupt firm. Essentially, the bookkeeper and de facto office manager loaned large sums . . . [more]

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

Retro Case Builds – Does Anyone Really Need Them?

The debate in legal publishing circles continues with regard to retro case law builds. Does anyone really need them? If so, which ones and why? Do any of retro builds in the planning or development stages have any real value to the legal researcher?

Unreported court cases that pre-date 1970. Boxes and boxes of older full text court cases that were not reported in print law report series still haunt some court houses and some legal publishers. What should be done with them? Tens of thousands of these cases exist in hardcopy and rest heavy on the consciences of those . . . [more]

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

Substitutional Service via Facebook in Alberta

Ah, the unreported judgment…or in this case Order. Sometimes, interesting tidbits come out of discussions that flow to my ears via conversations from our lunchroom.

The walls of the Harvey A. Bodner Q.C. Lounge, named after one of my favourite former bosses, recently absorbed a conversation regarding a Masters order that an student-at-law heard about in passing from a professor regarding an order for substitutional service via Facebook.

The rumour made its way to me and thanks to the great memory of many individuals, including Professor Billingsley who supplied me with an action number, and our students who never complain . . . [more]

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

Canada’s Military Courts

I was recently introduced to one of Canada’s Military Judges, learning that there are only four such judicial officers, which made me realize how little I know not simply about military law but also about the very structure of the military justice system. I suspect that many, if not most, of our readers are equally unaware of this structure, so I thought I’d provide a few links for the curious to follow.

For an overview, look at the Military Law and Military Justice pages of the Judge Advocate General’s website. As well, there is a clear and well written overview . . . [more]

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