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Who Is Shaping the Election?

♫ If you’ve got a plan
If you’ve got a master plan
Got to vote for you
Hey hey, got to vote for you
‘Cause you’re the man… ♫

Words and music by: Marvin Gaye and Kenneth Stover.

The fall election – in both Canada and the USA – is taking place at a particularly interesting time. Courtesy of blogs, the public are making their voices heard to a degree that has not been possible in the past. Access to the media was not particularly easy in the past, but by virtue of the Internet, that no longer matters . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet


Lexis has released a web search page, LexisWeb, that offers, in effect, federated searching across an unspecified number of law-related web pages from sites vetted by Lexis editorial staff.

From the user guide [PDF]:

The Lexis Web product includes important, legal-oriented Web content selected and validated by the LexisNexis editorial staff. You can trust that all content has met LexisNexis criteria for being authoritative and accurate. The current beta version combines content from thousands of Web sites and millions of Web pages, with more being added each day:

• Governmental agency information (federal, state, local)
• Informal commentary on

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Vancouver’s Community Court

Here’s a link to a Tyee piece on the opening of the Community Court in Vancouver, and here’s some other background. It is based on New York’s Midtown Community Court, which has an interesting publications page. The courts are based on the Community Justice movement, which seems to have its origins in the UK and utilizes the Action Research approach. Here is a good entry into the literature. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Sedona: “Get Ahead of the E-Discovery Curve”

The Sedona Conference Institute is offering the 1st Annual Sedona Canada Program on Getting Ahead of the e-Discovery Curve, to be held at the Boulevard Club in Toronto on October 23 – 24.

This information-packed Conference will include panels focused on (1) The Sedona Canada Principles; (2) Management of Electronic Information; (3) Cost-Shifting and Sanctions – Judicial Advice; (4) Legal Holds: The Trigger and the Process; (5) Multi-Party, Multi-Jurisdictional, Class Actions & Other Complications; and (6) Cooperation with Opposing Counsel on eDiscovery

For a complete agenda, a run-down on the faculty, and a registration form, visit the Program . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law, Technology

New Supreme Court Website

As Michel-Adrien Sheppard reported here last week, the Supreme Court of Canada has a newly refurbished website. It was in fact launched over the weekend and is now up and running.

I find the re-design an improvement: there’s a more open feel from a greater use of white and lighter colours. The old site had a tendency to feel a bit claustrophobic at times.

If you’d like to see how the site had changed over time, pay a visit to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, where there are S.C.C. pages from 1998 to the present. Sadly, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Fighting Online Child Porn

The federal, provincial and territorial justice ministers had a meeting for several days this week and in their final press release said, among other things:

Mandatory reporting of child pornography
Ministers agreed that Canada’s response to child pornography could be enhanced by federal legislation requiring any agency whose services could be used to facilitate the commission of online child pornography offences to report suspected material.

Will “any agency” include telecoms? ISPs? Search engines? What others?

Will the response to this problem be ehanced by mandatory reporting? …Are the various “agencies” contemplated here now reluctant to assist, so that legislation is . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, ulc_ecomm_list

The Writ Is Over, the Writ Is Over

Former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson once said in a letter to his first wife, Ellen Axson, two years before they got married,

The profession I chose was politics; the profession I entered was the law. I entered the one because I thought it would lead to the other. It was once the same road; and Congress is [s]till full of lawyers.

One-hundred and twenty-five years later, and across an international border, this quote still holds true. A quick search of current members of the House demonstrates that 45 of the 308 MPs have their occupation listed as “lawyer.”

Earlier . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Public Policy Forum Has Data on MPs

The Public Policy Forum has released a report, “(Not as) Male, (Not as) Educated, (Not as) Experienced & (Still) White,” [PDF] by Jonathan Dignan, analysing the makup of our 39th Parliament and comparing it to comparable data for the current U.S. House of Representatives and the British Parliament. Among the many interesting nuggets are the facts that (only?) just under 16% of MPs are lawyers; 86.5% have attended university but only 32% have university degrees; and the cost of campaigns in Canada is much less than those in the U.S. and much more than those in the U.K: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Federal Government Names Supreme Court Nominee

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has nominated Nova Scotia Court of Appeal judge Thomas Cromwell to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada.

If appointed, he will fill the seat left vacant when Michel Bastarache retired earlier this year.

Justice Cromwell has worked at the Court before. He was the executive legal officer to former Supreme Court chief justice Antonio Lamer.

And I have heard that he loves law libraries. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

Got the time? Who’s got time anymore. Time was… My best time ever.

Oh, and billable time.

Slaves to the clock and the watch (and now the cell phone), we need to know the time. So this week’s fillip is a Slaw Six, offering up half a dozen somewhat amusing ways to know when your time is coming… now… up… and gone.

  1. The broad strokes first: you’ve got to know what day it is before that fact that it’s twenty to nine can have any real impact. To help you out in that regard let’s make use of the “
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Future of Journalism

It’s probably just serendipity, but there seems to be quite a lot of recent writing on the future of journalism in a Web 2.0 world. Christie Blatchford’s August 21 Globe article was the first in a series of “whence journalism”-ish reading I’ve stumbled upon lately.

Sarah Kellogg writes in the September issue of DC Bar that the mainstream media is reducing its coverage of court proceedings, seemingly surrendering the field to non-professionals. The article, Legal Journalism at a Crossroads is thought-provoking, and I encourage you to have a look. I don’t agree with her that blawgers are less qualified to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Keeping the “Young People” Happy

An article about Avner Levin’s new study about young people and technology ran in itWorldCanada yesterday.

The article, and presumably Levin’s research, considers ways that today’s employers can keep employees happy by resisting the urge to ban instant messaging within the office. I understand the need to ensure that employees don’t feel that walking through the office doors equates to a step back in time; however, I remain unsure about the final object here. Are we simply trying to keep the employees happy as they IM with friends and utilize social networking tools at work, or is there a greater, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law, Technology