Canada’s online legal magazine.
Carswell Start-up Guide for Sole Practitioner
LexisNexis Legal Products

Take Good Notes

Tablets are for information consumption. Voice options may be changing that a bit – for example, if you need help on where to bury a body – but it is challenging to create with a bare tablet. A keyboard will help but then you are straddling the laptop fence. There is one key productivity app that lawyers can use with little effort and no keyboard and that is the notebook. Some interesting notebook and journal apps have appeared recently that can make you feel as though you’re writing on a paper pad.

Writing on a tablet isn’t for everyone and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.

Technology

Handy Windows and Mac Keyboard Shortcuts for Deleting a Whole Word
Dan Pinnington

When it comes to deleting text we have just typed, most of us will hit the Backspace (PC) or Delete (Mac) key. This works, but deleting text one letter at a time is not the most efficient way to correct your mistakes.
Deleting an entire word instead of deleting a single letter is much faster….

Research . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Cops Impound Cell Phone of Texting Driver for 48 Hours

A recent shift in the distracted driving law has granted the police the authority to confiscate and impound cell phones of drivers who are caught texting while driving. Drivers caught texting are subject to a fine, and the police may confiscate the driver’s phone for up to 48 hours. Just long enough for that cell phone dependent driver to really feel the loss of their “companion”, but not so long as to justify going out to pick up a loaner.

The hope is that depriving the driver of their beloved cell phone will serve as a greater deterrent than any . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

Of Velocipede Factories and 128 More Great Hipster Business Ideas

Full disclosure: It still feels like summer out here in BC, and I have not been keeping up on my usual law reading. A whimsical mood has set in. While I will try to link this next bit to the practice of law… well, I can’t promise to be convincing.

I’m always very interested to see how different media, such as blogs or Wikipedia articles, find their way as authorities into reasons for judgment. Earlier this year I popped a comment up on CanLII Connects about what might be the first Canadian judgment to cite a law blog for its . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Quick Graphic Overview of the CBA Legal Futures Report

Looking for a quick entry point into the Canadian Bar Association‘s “Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada“? Or maybe you’re the type that prefers a visual approach to learning and digesting information. Either way you will surely appreciate Margaret Hagan‘s infographic recently posted at the Open Law Lab.

The Open Law Lab is “an initiative to design law: to make it more accessible, more usable, and more engaging.” And if you are interested in infographics the Open Law Lab has a wonderful collection in their Visual Law Library. You can . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

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. Entertainment & Media Law Signal  2. BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog 3. Western Canada Business Litigation Blog  4. The Court  5. Precedent

Entertainment & Media Law Signal
#Monkey-Selfie

The monkey is back! The dispute between Wikipedia and the British photographer David Slater recently reported in various news . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Should eBooks Mimic Books?

Skeuomorphism is a word that describes when a digital object incorporates elements of the equivalent physical object even though it is not necessary to do so. For example the calculator on an iPhone is mimicking a physical calculator in its use of the “C” button. One advantage of skeuomorphism is that it gives users some kind of reference point when switching from a physical to a digital object.

eBooks and e-libraries frequently employ skeuomorphism. eBooks may incorporate elements of physical books such as layout, bookmarks, and page numbers, even though the page numbers may change based on the device used . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Bush-Era Legal Memos on Warrantless Wiretapping

The legal memos from 2004, over a decade ago, outlining the power of the President to use wiretapping, have been obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The project was called Stellar Wind, and allowed the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect information, even when it was contained in the U.S., as long as one end of the communications was overseas and a party was believed to be connected to terrorism.

Jack Goldsmith, Assistant Attorney General at the time, wrote in a memo from May 2004,

…the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

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) : Le fait que le requérant avait déjà été avisé de ses droits à la suite de son arrestation pour entrave ne libérait pas les policiers de l’aviser de nouveau lorsqu’ils ont eu des soupçons de conduite avec les facultés affaiblies et lui ont donné l’ordre de fournir . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Australian Law Reform Commission Report Into Serious Invasions of Privacy

The Australian Law Reform Commission released a report earlier this week on Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era .

The report proposes a new tort remedy for invasions of privacy that are serious, committed intentionally or recklessly and that cannot be justified as being in the public interest — for example, posting sexually explicit photos of someone on the Web without their permission, a topic much in the news recently because of the massive leak of nude photos of some of Hollywood’s biggest female celebrities.

The document also recommends a range of defences to protect free speech: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

It’s the Most “something” Time of the Year

Every year at this time I head on over the Beloit College website to see just what the coming year(s) have in store for me and Beloit College produces the very striking “Mindset List”, which never fails to land a few jarring blows. The Mindset List, “provid(es) a look at the cultural touchstones and experiences that have shaped the worldview of students entering colleges and universities in the fall.” And remember even if you are not associated with academia the 1L list are the people that will be applying to work with you in the coming months.

Firstly, let’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Learning to Be an Adjudicator: The Importance of Time

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest,” Confucius

An important aspect of access to justice is the skill of adjudicators in both managing hearings and issuing decisions. How do we ensure that we have the right adjudicators to efficiently and fairly manage the hearing process as well as issue timely and fair decisions?

The appointment process is critical for selecting people with the right aptitudes and work ethic. However, the appointment process is not within the control of tribunals and . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution