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The Apology Act, 2009: Sorry Is No Longer the Hardest Word to Say

While we have been receiving great feedback on the various articles on social media in the latest issue of LawPRO Magazine, the surprise front-runner for most popular article in this issue has had over 300 downloads in the first four days – Yvonne Diedrick’s article on the Apology Act, 2009. Perhaps not a real surprise as many Ontario lawyers I have talked to are not familiar with this new legislation.

The Apology Act came into force in Ontario on April 23, 2009. It allows the communication of expressions of sorrow or regret without worrying that the comments can . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Unimportance of Law

Is law important?

Clearly the print media don’t think so. Look at the way in which they carve up our world — and you’ll look in vain for a category or a main topic-head, let alone a section, for law or for its fuzzy cousin, justice.

The home page menus for the big newspapers offer you a collection of stories on politics, the economy, sports, style, arts, science, cars, weather, and sometimes education and health. But never law. To look at how six highly respected English language newspapers (the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the New York Times, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology

Halifax Explosion

December 6 marked several unpleasant anniversaries; in this part of the country it was the 92nd anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. To mark the date the Dalhousie University Archives have mounted an interesting display containing the official report by Alexander MacMechan entitled the Halifax Disaster.

While the Halifax Explosion is well known what is not as well known is that every Christmas since 1971 Nova Scotia sends Boston a large Christmas tree, which is erected in the Boston Common, as a as symbol of gratitude for the assistance Boston provided Halifax in the aftermath of the explosion in 1917. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

2010 – the Year of the Tablet / E-Book?

2010 will see some interesting and useful developments in the tablet / e-book reader space. The concept of a thin, light, portable device with a decent screen size (i.e. a letter sized piece of paper) and long battery life to read things on – such as newspapers, magazines, books, the web – is quite compelling.

There are a few products on the market already – such as the Kindle. In my view the tipping point to widespread adoption will be colour screens that can render glossy magazine resolution, the ability to get web content via wifi rather than just over . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Custom Google Search of Canadian Law Firms

When I closed an old Google account over the weekend, it appears that I inadvertently deleted the Custom Google Search of Canadian law firms that I had created (and that I understand is used a fair bit by researchers).

I have created a new Custom Google Search of Canadian Law Firms, now at a new URL of:

Click here to see a sample search result on the phrase “fiduciary duties.”

The new site is free of ads and has more Canadian law firms included (now there are 51 or the larger law firms from across the country). I also . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

Ain’t Nobody’s Business – a List About Privacy and Popular Music

If Tiger Woods isn’t yet inspired to write his own tune about celebrity and privacy, he may at least want to kick back to the blues standard Ain’t Nobody’s Business. Or if that’s not enough to give Tiger some comfort in these trying times, he could also put on some Michael Jackson or Pink Floyd.

This post is about music with a link to privacy. I’ve compiled a list of ten songs and albums that offer some comment on privacy – from the standard lament for loss of privacy by celebrity pop stars, to deeper comments on privacy in . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

International Copyright Meetings


The nineteenth session will take place in Geneva from December 14 to 18, 2009. The Committee is currently discussing special provisions for education, libraries and persons with disabilities, as well as the protection of audiovisual performances and broadcasting organizations. Meeting documents are at: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

White House Product Placement

You couldn’t buy this kind of advertisement — at least, I hope you couldn’t. Check out the pic on the front page of the newly revamped U.S. Open Government Initiative | The White House. Just in case they change it, and the earnest young man at the keyboard is no longer there when you go to look, I’ve put a screenshot below.

Apple is becoming so mainstream I may have to switch to Linux to keep my smug sense of computer specialness.

Oh, and while you’re on the White House site, look around. It’s a little different from what . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology

Online Bibliographic Source for Conflict Resolution Research

I am currently taking a three day Advanced Civil Mediation course, taught by Gordon Sloan and hosted by CLEBC.

Reviewing the course materials led me to this wonderful online resource: Conflict Resolution in Peacebuilding: A Selected Bibliography, edited by Catherine Morris of Victoria, BC.

This searchable bibliography with more than thirty topic areas is intended as a starting place for research on conflict resolution or dispute processing. It is regularly updated and includes references to books, articles, definitions of alternative dispute resolution, links to support for trainers and links to other research resources including book reviews and annotations. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Google Goes Real Time… Really

Today Google has released its real-time search function. It will index much of the internet’s real-time content — such as tweets on Twitter or postings on Facebook or entries on blogs that have pubsubhubbub enabled RSS — and offer up these results for searchers in a dynamic fashion. So, for example, a search for [copenhagen climate summit] yields at fourth position on my screen an item titled “latest results for copenhagen climate summit” that displays dynamically the very latest updates on that topic from Twitter et al. The image below will give you a better sense, perhaps; click on . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Nominations Open for the 2009 CLawbies

It’s that time of year again! The 2009 Canadian Law Blog Awards (CLawBies) is now open for nominations. Categories will resemble last year’s when the nominations were first opened up to the adoring Canadian law blog audience. From the blog:

How to Nominate in 2009:

Between now and Monday December 28th, publicly nominate a Canadian authored legal blog using ANY of the following methods:

  1. Tweet your endorsement on along with the hashtag text: #clawbies2009. We’ll be monitoring!
  2. Email your favourite blog, along with a sample post or two, or any other notable highlights to Steve Matthews at
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

Crime Traveller – Gearing Up for the Games

Another (hopefully) welcome diversion for all those toiling in the legal field. Head over to Precedent Magazine to read my latest story. Gearing up for the Games covers my efforts to design the perfect Vancouver 2010 get-away for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games without re-mortgaging my home. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous