Canada’s online legal magazine.
CBA Futures
LexisNexis Legal Products

Supporting Open Access at the Osgoode Hall Law School

It’s Open Access Week this week, an opportunity to highlight efforts to promote, facilitate and otherwise support access to cultural, scientific and legal information. If you’re on campus at York University this Friday afternoon Osgoode Hall Law School professor Carys Craig will introduce the screening of “The Internet’s Own Boy” a presentation of the York University Libraries Scholarly Communication Initiative. If you can’t be there Friday I encourage you to watch this wonderful telling of Aaron Swartz’s life story which is also openly available on the Internet Archive.  . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

14th Century Legislation, as Amended.

A distinguished Ontario litigator I know has made it a personal rule never to cite a case that was reported before the year he was called to the bar.

The British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond might want to enquire whether any of the lawyers he likes to retain harbour any such sentiments. Last week Mr Hammond appeared to entertain the thought of laying charges of treason against Britons who go to fight in Syria and Iraq.

The law of treason dates back to an English statute of 1351.

Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators in the gun powder plot were convicted . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from sixty recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Slater Vecchio Connected 2. AvoidAClaim Blog 3. The Court 4. DroitDu.net 5. À bon droit

Slater Vecchio Connected
Are Fines for Distracted Driving in BC too Low?

Immediate communication has become the norm and many feel obligated to respond to texts and e-mails while driving. Attorney General Suzanne Anton . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Risk Management Revisited

In November of 2011, I wrote a column on the value of risk management for law firms and put forward the proposition that “[d]espite th[e] considerable grounding in working with risk and counseling clients on methods to minimize and avoid risk, seemingly very few law firms in Canada actually engage in any sort of structured or coordinated risk management activities for their own organizations.” I was recently contacted by a reporter for a legal industry publication to discuss risk management for law firms and thus had the opportunity to reflect on my original statement. When asked a question regarding the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

No Agreement on Legal Aid Funding

Justice ministers from across Canada met in Alberta this week to discuss funding for legal aid, but no agreement was reached.

According to provincial justice ministers, legal aid used to be shared equally with the federal government. However, since 2003 there has been no new funding from the federal government, meaning any shortfall is left to the province. What that means is that in some provinces like Alberta, federal contributions to legal aid have dropped to 16 per cent.

Andrew Swan, Manitoba Justice Minister, said,

I don’t understand how a government in Ottawa that claims to be in support

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Les erreurs de la juge de première instance se rapportent directement à l’évaluation des conditions d’ouverture de la légitime défense et ont privé l’accusé de ce moyen de défense; il y a lieu d’ordonner la tenue d’un nouveau procès.

Intitulé : Dyckow c. R., 2014 QCCA 1812 . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at cases.slaw.ca.

This week’s summaries concern:
Constitutional Law/ Courts / Practice/ Aliens / Civil Rights / Criminal Law

Vilardell v. Dunham 2014 SCC 59
Constitutional Law – Courts – Practice
Summary: During the trial of a family action, the plaintiff asked to be relieved from paying the hearing fees imposed by the Crown. The British Columbia Supreme Court, in a . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Virtual Insanity

Something from the recent Throne Speech here in Nova Scotia struck me as quite odd. Specifically, a local news story quoted that the Premier “promised in the throne speech to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places.”

Nova Scotia would not be the first jurisdiction to take this step and it would join a long list of jurisdictions which have enacted such legislation or by-laws. I am not an advocate of e-cigarettes nor did I understand much about them prior to doing some research for this post, but my understanding of some of the logic behind this intended ban . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

The Friday Fillip: How Time Flies

Too fast, too slow, too big, too small, too quiet — most of what there is lies beyond our senses, which is intriguing, if also more than a little humbling. So ever since Galileo spotted the moons of Jupiter and van Leeuwenhoek watched his animalcules wriggle around, the rest of us have been fascinated by this invisible world made present for us by clever scientists and engineers.

Photography has played a huge role in gratifying our appetite for the imperceptible. There’s the obvious but now taken-for-granted ability to see aspects of the otherwise lost, invisible past, of course. And shots . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Your Fall Website Tune-Up

As I write, the first winter storms have descended upon Calgary, while out here on the left coast both Mother Nature and the provincial government still refuse to acknowledge the stubborn truth that fall is here and it’s high time for skies to turn soggy and kids – especially my kids – to be back in school. But facts are facts, and the traditional busy season is now upon us. That means it’s also time for your marketing vehicle’s fall tune-up.

I know, I know; you’ve been dreaming of ditching your existing model for one of those new-fangled TESLAs that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

In Celebration of Government Information Day, Meet a Few GovDoc Librarians

Today, the University of Ottawa is organizing Government Information Day to examine the many challenges of organizing, digitizing and preserving often finicky government documents.

We all use them every day: rules and regulations, Hansards, parliamentary committee reports, government agency documents, court records, official stats, public sector scientific and technical reports, etc.

Anyone who has ever had to track down an old order-in-council or find a controversial pollution report by government scientists will appreciate how hard it can be.

For the past little while, the CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research