Canada’s online legal magazine.

Report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review

Scottish authorities released the Report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review on September 30. This was a far-reaching review designed to modernize the Scottish system of civil justice. The extensive Report is available in two PDF files; as well, there is a synopsis [PDF] available. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

Doomsday is coming. No, not Domesday of Book fame: that was 923 years ago, and has rather too much to do with law to be the subject of a fillip. I’m talking about February 28 or 29, depending, which is the day Rudy Limeback calls Doomsday for the purposes of his algorithm.

Now, I’m someone who had to use a calculator to figure out how many years ago 1028 was, so when I come upon something that begins “alg…” visions of my old math teacher, Amil H. J. Rintelman (I kid you not), appear before me and I quail. But . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Unmet Legal Needs in Civil Disputes



The US Legal Services Corporation has released Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans. From the press release:

“Many of these Americans in need of legal assistance are the most vulnerable among us-they are trying to escape from domestic violence, trying to avert foreclosure and homelessness, trying to qualify for disability benefits, trying to recover from natural disasters. Legal aid saves lives and makes communities stronger,” LSC President Barnett said.

Better than Canada, where 100% of civil actions are denied legal aid. Appendix A has a nice summary . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

eDiscovery in a Box?

It is difficult to shut our individual “professional world” out from technology as it continues to play an ever increasing role in helping us manage our day to day activities and accomplish tasks that need to be done. This will range from the obvious of your cellular phone to Blackberry to the Delonghi for your morning expresso. If your coffee is too strong one morning, you can adjust for tomorrow, but we are not afforded that luxury when processing ESI. The reality is, technology continues to evolve, manufacturers / developers are listening to market needs and in many cases developing . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Legal Informatics Resources

Thanks to a tweet by Stephane Cottin (@cottinstef), I’ve found a catalogue of resources on legal informatics — “legal information systems. . . a research area within the disciplines of information science and computer science.” Legal Information Systems & Legal Informatics Resources by Robert Richards contains a hoard of links and references to material that is mostly beyond my ability to understand. But for those of you trained in information science, this should be a useful resource.

Despite my relative ignorance, I’ve found that some of what Richards offers is stimulating and informative even for me. For example, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Law Librarian Podcast: Social Media and Law Libraries

Today’s episode of the Law Librarian podcast will be recorded at 3 pm ET or 12 noon PT on Blogtalkradio. Our topic today will be social media and law libraries. Join us live (listen via the website –headphones recommended at the office) and call in with questions, or listen to the recording later. I will be participating in this episode. Richard Leiter hosts with his new co-host Marcia Dority Baker.

Incidentally, I was away during the last recording on September 3rd but have had a listen. The focus of the episode–“What’s Real in the Real World?”–was on resources used . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Right to Know Week Wrapup

Today, October 2, 2009, is the last day of Right to Know Week in Canada.

Right to Know Week was originally started in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2002 as a result of a meeting of Access to Information Commissioners from around the world. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the necessity of access to information in democratic societies. This is the fourth year that it has been formally recognized in Canada and it has started to pick up momentum. The Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada set up a website at to detail the many events that were . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Pocket Parts or Web Updates

Today, we received an email update that said:

Dear e-note subscriber:

Please be advised that s. 255 of the Criminal Code was amended by 2008, c. 6 and c. 18, as well as by a coordinating amendment (S.C. 2008, c. 18, s. 45.2), which was omitted in error. The coordinating amendment affects subsecs. (3.1) and (3.3).

The Criminal Code is amended by 2009, c. 22, ss. 1 to 19; to come into force by order of the Governor in Council. As well, the Approved Breath Analysis Instruments Order (s. 254 of the Code) has been amended by SOR/2009-205, s. 1,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading

More on Social Media and the Courts

We have recently learned of the Alberta order for service of process by Facebook.

An English court has now ordered service of a injunction via Twitter — where the Twitter user was anonymous, impersonating a blogger (it’s a complicated world out there!):

I suppose there could be interesting questions if the Twitter user was not in the jurisdiction of the court, depending on (among other things) whether the rules of practice permit service out of the jurisdiction without prior leave of the court.

The complainant thought it was more efficient to get an ex parte injunction and serve it . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Lists From Twitter: Nests of Tweeps

Twitter is developing a way of making a shareable list of Twitter users, so that people can form, recommend, or adopt groups of users. (See the story on ReadWriteWeb.)

Currenlty, TweepML offers a way of doing this sharable list making. (The name is a take on OPML, which stands for Outline Processor Markup Language, an invention of Dave Winer, and used principally for making an XML list of RSS feeds. Tweeps are people — “peeps” — who use Twitter.) The idea of such a list is that it makes it technically easier for you to follow groups of people. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing

U.K. Supreme Court… and Blog

Today’s the day the new United Kingdom Supreme Court, the replacement for the House of Lords, begins operation. (What’s with the brown? Ugh.) And, because this is the age it is, the new institution’s familiar, the blog, is born along with it.

The UKSCblog (I’m not liking uk-suk as the way to say the new court) is designed frankly as a “mirror” of the American SCOTUS blog.

I’ve taken a quick look and like what I see — with the exception that, curiously, the URL remains fixed as whether you’re on the “home,” “about,” “archive” or, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet