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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Ontario Divisional Court Judgments

A note from Maritime Law Book points out that cases from the Ontario Divisional Court from 1984 to the present are available free on MLB’s Ontario Appeal Cases database and that CanLII offers Div. Ct. (Ont.) cases from 2002 to the present only. . . . [more]

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

Goa CM Kamat Goes Online – Indian Lawyers to Follow

Courtesy of the Goa Blog (although it’s also in today’s Hindu (Chennai edition):

Country’s first e-law library inaugurated

Panaji (PTI): Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat inaugurated the country’s first e-law library here aimed at facilitating legal practitioners. . . . [more]

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

SCC Turns Thumbs Down on ABCP Appeal

DISMISSED WITHOUT COSTS / REJETÉES SANS DÉPENS

Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. et al. v. Metcalfe & Mansfield Alternative Investments II Corp. and Other Trustees of Asset Backed Commercial Paper Conduits Listed in Schedule “A” to this application et al. (Ont.) (Civil) (By Leave) (32765)

(The motion to expedite the applications for leave to appeal brought by the Respondents on August 27, 2008, is granted. The applications for leave to appeal and other relief sought from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Number C48969 (M36489), 2008 ONCA 587, dated August 18, 2008, are dismissed without costs.

Coram: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

De Wolf v. Bell ExpressVu and the Law of Unintended Consequences

The recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court in De Wolf v. Bell ExpressVu has been hailed, at least by the plaintiff, as a win for the consumer. Myself, I admit to some doubts: the reasoning of the decision suggests that any victory is Pyrrhic at best.

For those who haven’t read the decision, the plaintiff challenged Bell ExpressVu’s practice of charging an “administration fee” of $25 on delinquent accounts, on the basis of the Criminal Code prohibition of “interest” exceeding 60%. Bell argued – and, in fact, the court agreed – that the fee was a fair estimate of . . . [more]

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

Cell Phones, Location and Privacy

Two stories on cell phones, with a question or two:

1. An article from London Review of Books (“Short Cuts” by Daniel Soar) on how cell phone location records and use records can categorize the users — for marketing, for finding terrorists (or people who may be terrorists …), etc.

Is there a cure for this, besides just using land lines? Or is it a problem, rather than an opportunity?

2. A judicial decision in US district court [opinion of Magistrate Judge | order on appeal] saying that the state needs reasonable and probable grounds before . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

For Comparative Legal Research, American Law Appears No Longer Dominant

That’s the implication of a piece in today’s NYT as part of its American exceptionalism series, entitled Supreme Court’s Global Influence Is Waning .

It has been surprising (in the twenty-five plus years) since the Charter was introduced, how little our courts regard the details of the US jurisprudence in their decisions.

I’m currently reading Toobin’s The Nine – and it also looks as if the US court is so ideologically riven that no court would look there for coherent principle.

The NYT piece doesn’t cite much research, though the following references are of interest:

From 1990 through 2002,

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

Happy Birthday Canlii

Our friends at Canlii are celebrating eight years. Yes August 29, 2000 it all started.

Now CanLII publishes over 140 databases, gets nearly 25,000 visits per day, 2,500 new cases are added every week and 11 statutory databases are updated monthly.

The announcement has links so you can look back at what it used to look like.

Long may it thrive. . . . [more]

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

Cognition for Legal

The race is on to make (and sell to users) the first truly good search engine that deals well with concepts, such that a search for “dog bites man” would include results without the word “dog” or “bites” but that include “Pomeranian” and “attacks,” to give a very simple example. Natural language processing — or NLP — is not easy for machines to learn, of course. Not only must they have a decent thesaurus, but as well they should be able to parse a document and derive some sense of context so that the results of a “dog bites man . . . [more]

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

Are Good Litigators Born?

I’ve always been leery of proponents of a biological basis for intelligence [or running].

I have conceded that genetics play some role on an individual basis, but need to be activated by the environment. Measures of intelligence are far too culturally specific, and ignore many other forms of intelligence. And I wholly reject, for largely scientific reasons, attempts to correlate genetic intelligence with racial or ethnic groups.

The same holds true for great lawyers.

Some of us are born to a long line of lawyers, or have parents that are judges or legal academics. We grew up . . . [more]

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

Sorting Appellate Judgments by Judge

Maybe you too have experienced this frustration. You want to know how many judgments a particular appellate court judge has written. So you turn to your favourite case law search tool and type in the judge’s name, perhaps using the special field designated for that purpose. Unfortunately, the results of your search include all of the cases where that judge was on the panel – not just those cases where the judge actually wrote a judgment. I know there are some articles that gather this kind of statistical data for certain courts at various times, but I was wondering if . . . [more]

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

De-Publishing Decisions

What do Slavians/Slawyers think about the US practice of courts deciding that their decisions will not be published, or to ‘de-publish’ decisions that have already been published? I came across a citation for a case like that, where the higher court decided, apparently, that the lower court’s decision should be de-published. The effect is that it is not to be cited as authority and is removed from official court reports.

The case is People v Wu, 235 Cal.App 3d 614, 286 Cal Rptr 69 (1991), (California Court of Appeal); order of depublication by California Supreme Court Jan 23,1992. The case . . . [more]

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

What Do We Want From Our Judges? to Be the “CCH of Legal Publishing”?

Michael Kirby, Mr. Justice Kirby of the High Court is known to love the limelight and he doubtless was tickled when the latest issue of Australian Business described him as the Rock star of the bench.

In a wide ranging account drawn from a speech to university students he talked about the organization of judgments:

“I know the real reason you love me,” Justice Kirby said.

“Headings. Headings. Sub-headings. Sub-sub-headings. Indent dot points. That’s the real reason.”

Kirby had some other helpful hints for those who find his judgments time-consuming. “You don’t communicate ideas if you write High Court . . . [more]

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