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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Nadon Cannot Sit, Supreme Court Rules

In a six to one jointly written decision (Moldaver, J. in dissent), the Supreme Court of Canada has answered the questions In the Matter of a Reference by the Governor in Council concerning sections 5 and 6 of the Supreme Court Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-26, as set out in Order in Council P.C. 2013-1105 dated October 22, 2013 2014 SCC 21 as follows:

1. Can a person who was, at any time, an advocate of at least 10 years standing at the Barreau du Québec be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada as a member of the Supreme . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Electronic Evidence Case – Criminal Law and Social Media

The New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench recently admitted into a criminal case screenshots of a Facebook conversation that took place the day after an alleged sexual assault between the complainant and the accused. R v Nde Soh, 2014 NBQB 20

The court held – properly, in my view – that the screenshots were electronic documents within the meaning of ss. 31.1ff of the Canada Evidence Act, which reflect the Uniform Electronic Evidence Act. It found that the documents were properly authenticated. It decided that the computer system was sufficiently reliable in the absence of any evidence from . . . [more]

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

Disclosure of Social Media Information in Civil Litigation

So much of our lives today are available online: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, text messages.

At the same time, I wonder whether our requests for documents in civil litigation have kept with the times. E-mail requests now are routine. But requests for social media information seem (to me at least) to be comparatively rare.

The issue recently arose in an Ontario Superior Court decision called Garacci v. Ross, 2013 ONSC 5627. The defendant sought to require the plaintiff to produce 1,100 photographs from her Facebook account. The defendant argued the pictures were relevant to the plaintiff’s claim that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Investigate, Investigate, Investigate

From Microsoft, it was about great developers (see here for a really geeky reference). For employment lawyers, it’s about great investigations. Employment lawyers often harp on the need to do proper investigations into workplace incidents even when “everyone knows” what happened. Even where the person likely did do something improper that would justify termination, the failure to investigate properly and give the employee the chance to tell their side of the story can be fatal to a wrongful dismissal suit.

The recent Ontario case of Ludchen v. Stelcrete Industries Ltd., 2013 ONSC 7495, is a great example of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Collection and Dissemination of Unauthorized Information

Yesterday we concluded the Third Annual UCLA Cyber Crime Moot Court Competition in Los Angeles. This year the moot problem dealt with access of a public website through a scraper program to collect e-mail addresses for the purposes of illustrating security vulnerabilities.

The first issue in the case was roughly modelled after United States v. Auernheimer, 2012 WL 5389142 (D.N.J. 2012), which is expected to appear before the Third Circuit in the near future. In this case, a data breach at AT&T resulted in the theft of personal information of approximately 120,000 AT&T customers through the use of a . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Protection Standards on the Horizon for Cryptocurrency Exchanges as First Class Action Filed

Last month saw the collapse of a foundational member of the Bitcoin community, Mt. Gox. A class action lawsuit, that will likely be one of many, has been filed in Illinois against former the bitcoin exchange industry leader, its parent companies, and Mark Karpeles, Mt. Gox’s sole director (Gregory Greene v Mt. Gox Incet al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 14-01437). The exchange has filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and, subsequent to the institution of class action proceedings, in the United States as well.

Although the bankruptcy filing temporarily suspends the class action, . . . [more]

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

Blank Day

A couple of weeks ago Monday (the third Monday in February to be exact) as I toiled away at my desk here in Nova Scotia it occurred to me that my electronic distractions were uncharacteristically quiet that day. My twitter feed was silent, and my inbox was actually manageable. I did not spare this much thought until later in the day when it dawned on me that in most of the of country it was a statutory holiday, be it Family Day or Islander Day or Louis Riel Day. My bitterness at being one of the few jurisdictions that required . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Massachusetts’ Peeping Tom Statute Decision

You may have read yesterday that the Massachusetts Supreme Court decided that a man who covertly took photographs and videos up the skirt of a woman sitting opposite him on a trolley did not violate the local peeping tom law. The court felt it was unable to subsume the accused’s behaviour under the particular, and admittedly awkward, wording of the statute. This is a creepy matter, a creepy subject, and I raise it here for no salacious reason but out of a sense of frustration that such behaviour “could not” be proscribed under Massachusetts law as currently written. And I . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Proposed AODA Customer Service Changes

When the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council/Standards Development Committee was formed in 2013, one of its first orders of business was to review the Customer Service Standard as required under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The AODA requires that each accessibility standard be reviewed five years after it becomes law to determine whether the standard is working as intended and to allow for adjustments to be made as required. The council has proposed several changes to the Customer Service Standard and is asking interested stakeholders for feedback. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

News From Kiev – a Law Firm Reports

One of my correspondents is a law firm with three offices across the Ukraine.

They posted this open letter this morning:

Dear friends, colleagues and partners,

Herewith we would like to draw your attention to the current political crisis between Ukraine and Russian Federation and the current situation in the Crimea. Being a Ukrainian company we are concerned a lot about the future of our State. We kindly ask you to spare 5 minutes of your time for the issue, which is incredibly important to every person in the world, and read this message to the end.

All the politicians . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law