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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Is It OK to Use Deceit to Get Facebook Users’ Info?

The Philadelphia Bar Association has issued an advisory opinion (PDF) concluding that it is unethical for a lawyer to have a third party “friend” somoene on Facebook for the purposes of getting information about that Facebook user.

Facebook lets users fine tune their privacy settings, allowing a user to lock down all their info so it is only visible by friends or subsets of friends. I’m personally of the view that if a user has locked down their privacy settings, they are explicitly expressing an expectation of privacy in the material that is posted. But if someone voluntarily friends someone . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

Link Rot in Court Decisions

There is an article available through SSRN that discusses link rot in court decisions by Tina Ching (Reference Librarian, Seattle Univ. Law Library) in The Next Generation of Legal Citations: A Survey of Internet Citations in the Opinions of the Washington Supreme Court and Washington Appellate Courts, 1999-2005 [SSRN], 9 J. App. Prac. & Process 387 (2007).

As more legal research is conducted online, it is reasonable to conclude that there will be a corresponding increase in citations to the Internet by judges in their opinions. With the widespread public use of the Internet to access information along with the

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

“Knowingly” in the U.S. Supreme Court

Fans of adverbs — and of statutory interpretation — might be interested in the case of Flores-Figueroa v. United States, a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court released this Monday. The court had to decide the correct interpretation of a statutory provision, 18 U.S.C. sec. 1028A(a)(1), which states that:

Whoever … knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person shall … be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 2 years.

Particularly, the issue was whether the defendant had to know that the means of identification belonged to another person. Earlier this . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Nominations Open for 10th Annual Justicia Journalism Awards

Nominations are open for the 10th annual Justicia Awards for Excellence in Journalism.

The Awards, which are sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association and the Department of Justice Canada, celebrate outstanding journalism that fosters public awareness and understanding of the Canadian justice system.

Awards are given for French or English stories in two categories: print and broadcast media. They will be presented at a special ceremony in Ottawa in November 2009.

Winners receive a bronze statuette that is based on the Justicia statue that stands outside the Supreme Court building in Ottawa.

The deadline for nominations is June 12, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Follow O’Brien Trial on Twitter

Yesterday the judge in the Mayor Larry O’Brien trial, Associate Chief Justice Douglas Cunningham, ruled that reporters may report live from the courtroom via their electronic devices. This is, I believe, the first time that such live blogging has been permitted in a Canadian trial. The ruling was made on a motion by the Ottawa Citizen. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the same journal is live tweeting the procedings.

Glen McGregor, a reporter for the Citizen, is tweeting the trial at and already has a number of tweets up from a brief first day. If you could use some . . . [more]

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

Law Times Fetes Borovoy With a Video

I haven’t seen any videos in the conventional legal press in Canada. So congratulations to Law Times for letting us see some of the highlights of last week’s Borovoy roast. Alan Borovoy is a legend in Canadian public advocacy. You can read about his life in a Toronto Star profile, here and here.

Forty years is an incredible contribution. Forty-one actually.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

I spent a good chunk of this past week at BioFinance in Toronto, where I spoke about public market strategies for cleantech and blogged about the keynote address by Scott Gottlieb, an ex-FDA official now at the American Enterprise Institute, who talked about follow-on biologics, comparative effectiveness, and the regulatory environment at the FDA.

In the real world, Swine Flu continued to spread but turned out not to be as virulent as we first thought, at least for now. We also learned that the party is over for medical imaging in the U.S. and for . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

CBA Calls for Repatriation of Omar Khadr (Again)

Following the April 24th Federal Court of Canada decision, the Canadian Bar Association have again urged the Prime Minister to repatriate Omar Khadr. This time, they have addressed the plea to the U.S. President as well. From the CBA’s April 24th press release:

The CBA, which earlier this year called for Mr. Khadr’s repatriation following President Obama’s order to close Guantanamo Bay, is urging the two governments to immediately expedite the return of Mr. Khadr to face judicial process here.

From the CBA’s letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama (PDF):

We work to promote

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Alberta’s Ministry of Spirit Proposes Religion Exemption

The government of Alberta (Ministry of Culture and Community Spirit) proposes to amend that province’s Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act by requiring school boards to inform parents when the curriculum deals with religion, sexuality or sexual orientation. The provision in question reads as follows:

11.1(1) A board as defined in the School Act shall provide notice to a parent or guardian of a student where courses of study, educational programs or instructional materials, or instruction or exercises, prescribed under that Act include subject-matter that deals explicitly with religion, sexuality or sexual orientation.
Bill 44 [PDF]

Essentially, a parent may . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Lessig’s Remix Available Under CC License

Professor Larry Lessig’s recent book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy, has been released under a Creative Commons license and is available as a free download from Bloomsbury Academic. You can, as well, purchase a hardback version and an e-book version.

The book is divided into the following chapters (a more detailed TOC is available on the book’s website):

Chapter 1: The Cultures of our Past
Chapter 2: Cultures of our Future
Chapter 3: RO [Read-only], Extended
Chapter 4: RW [Read/Write], Revived
Chapter 5: Cultures Compared
Chapter 6: Two Economies: Commercial and Sharing . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Substantive Law

Macleans on Law Societies

Macleans is law-baiting again. This time the object of their attention is the country’s law societies, or at least some of them, and the theme is the same old “who will guard the guards themselves?”. The title of the piece by Kate Lunau — “Law societies under fire” — gives the impression that all across the country benchers, or their local equivalents, are hunkered down in bunkers, whereas the body of the article gives us nothing new, nothing that hasn’t been mooted many times before respecting self-governing professions.

Essentially the article points out that in England and Wales, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law