Canada’s online legal magazine.

Changed ‘Time Served’ Rule Now in Force

The annoyingly named Truth in Sentencing Act (S.C. 2009, c.29) came into force on Monday, February 22.

Given third reading in October of last year, the statute amends Criminal Code provisions concerning judicial freedom to take into consideration, when sentencing, time already spent in custody. (As always, the Library of Parliament summary and backgrounder is thorough.) The “common but not automatic” practice of the courts was to count pre-sentencing incarceration as double time. Now, the new rules require that courts may only count on a one-for-one basis, unless “the circumstances justify” granting the prisoner 1 1/2 days for . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ted Video: Four Ways to Fix a Broken Legal System

The annual Ted conference always has thought provoking presentations. One of the presentations this year was entitled “Four ways to fix a broken legal system“. Its worth taking the 19 minutes to watch.

The basic proposition of the presenter, Philip K. Howard, is that the legal system has become so complex that it instills fear to act. People become so self-conscious of their judgments that it skews behaviour towards failure. 

We should not just dismiss this as being unique to the American legal system. The Canadian system may not be as extreme in this regard – but . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Blog by Articling Student

Remember what it was like? Articling, that is. If not — perhaps you wiped that difficult period of your life out of your memory, or perhaps you’re just getting old like me — you might like to revisit the period of indenture through the eyes of Lisa Hutch. Ms Hutch graduated from the University of Saskatchewan Faculty of Law and is now in articling rotation. And blogging it.

She kind of went off line along about November of last year, but has recently re-emerged and looks to be back in the blogging biz again. Might be fun.

(As an . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology: Internet

Equine Law

Here’s a niche for the eager young lawyer: equine law (or might we say “equiny” — emphasis on the ‘whinny’ ). Makes sense, of course. There’s “a law” of pretty much anything of value in our culture. Horses, though their general use preceded the death of the buggy whip by a bit, are still with us, or some of us, that is, and are bought, sold, trained, treated, and, sadly, mistreated, all events that can have legal ramifications.

I happened across Equine Law and Horsemanship Safety, A resource for horsemen, lawyers and law students, a site at the University . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Millennials’ Use of Technology: Accenture Global Report

Accenture’s new report “Jumping the boundaries of corporate IT: Accenture global research on Millennials’ use of technology” looks at how Millennials across the world use IT. For this report, Accenture surveyed over 5,000 employees and students, ages 14-27, in 13 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Interesting findings include:

  • Millennials in the Americas and Asia-Pacific have very positive perceptions of technology, whereas most of them in Europe think that technology takes up too much time.
  • Chinese Millennials spend the most time using real-time communication tools for both work and personal use.
  • Millennials want to choose what technologies
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Google Search Results From People in Your Social Circle

Simon Fodden mentioned Google social search back in October, but this was the first time I had seen results from people in my social circle be included. I was searching for “listserv alternatives” and was surprised to see my friend Jim Milles at University at Buffalo appear to give me some advice from one of his blogs, Out of the Jungle:

At first I thought it was coincidence, but then when I look closer it says he is included because we are “connected via Gmail.” (Sorry, Jim, if I blew the privacy on that connection!). So, while Simon was . . . [more]

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

2010 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide

Hat tip to my friends Sharon Nelson and John Simek of Sensei who today published the 2010 edition of their annual legal technology guide. It is discussed in the latest ABA podcast.

The blurb says

This annual guide is the only one of its kind written to help solo and small firm lawyers find the best technology for their dollar. You’ll find the most current information and recommendations on computers, servers, networking equipment, legal software, printers, security products, smart phones, and anything else a law office might need. It’s written in clear, easily understandable language to make implementation easier

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Parliamentary Library Tops HuffPost’s New List of Gorgeous Libraries

Long-standing Slaw readers may remember our salaciously titled post on beautiful libraries. The Huffington Post picked up on the idea in January and today the Parliamentary Library is topping the poll of the second batch.

Times are changing for libraries everywhere. But even as many libraries build their digital collections and amp up their technological offerings, we thought we’d take a step back and show our appreciation for the beauty of many of these vast collections of books. Below are some of the most amazingly beautiful libraries from around the world.

Slaw readers can vote – and suggest what’s missing: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Social Media Policy – Where Are the Boundaries?

The latest episode of the new video podcast Social Mediators by Thornley Fallis PR professionals Joseph Thornley, Terry Fallis and Dave Fleet raises some good questions about employee policies, especially around social media. In it, they talk about whether employees should take care in what they say on their personal lives (notably online) and whether they are always representatives of their companies. Also see the full Pro PR blog post Social Mediators 2: Are you always one of us?

The first video referenced in this episode is available here.

Also related: Comprehensive Database of Organizational Social Media Policies (Michel-Adrien . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Tomorrow’s Textbooks – Coming Sooner

Simon has mentioned the challenges of writing for the screen, and the prospects for tomorrow’s texts.

An announcement from Macmillan describes an ambitious model for moving popular student texts to a web platform with the ability to have dynamic linking and enriched content. Textbooks will no longer be flat. The new service is called Dynamicbooks.

So far, the texts chosen appear to be in the hard sciences, where presumably knowledge is more stable than it is in the human sciences, and is universal. No sign of anything similar on the legal front, where markets are much more fragmented . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Technology

Data Preservation Order Applied to Unallocated Space

In the first of a two-part comment on’s Law Technology News, Leonard Deutchman discusses the recent case of TR Investors LLC v. Genger No. 3994-VCS, Delaware Court of Chancery (Dec. 9, 2009) [PDF]. Somewhat oversimplifying matters, the relevant facts were that during the course of litigation between Genger and TR Investors (the Trump Group), there was a stipulated status quo order that provided, in part:

. . . the plaintiffs and the defendants, and their respective officers, directors, agents, [etc.] . . . are hereby restrained and enjoined from, directly or indirectly . . . tampering with, destroying

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology