Canada’s online legal magazine.

Cyberbullying in the News

This is a short note with some links related to cyberbullying, starting with one to the June 27th New York Times feature article, Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray. Reporter Jan Hoffman details how American school administrators are dealing with the pressure to intervene in cyberbullying cases despite challenging questions about the scope of their power to deal with “off campus” student conduct.

The pressure for intervention is understandable because the prospect of taking on a cyberbully through the courts can be daunting. Whether this cost should be mitigated by protective orders is the issue in a Nova . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Fair [And Educationally Sound] Dealing
in Canada’s Proposed Revisions to the Copyright Act

On June 2nd, 2010, the Canadian federal government introduced a new copyright bill intended to “modernize Canadian Copyright law,” as Tony Clement, Minister of Industry put it in the press release. I want to join the healthy welter of blogging around this latest attempt to “modernize” our act. Now before you read any further, let me say that the one to read in these matters is Michael Geist, especially as he is all over the most draconian aspect of this new bill, namely how the digital lock provisions trump all other rights.

For my part, I want . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Happy Law Students and Happier Lawyers?!?

♫ Baby no need for false pretenses
Baby just shock me to my senses
Everything that you do feels right…♫

Lyrics and Music by Ryan Tedder, recorded by Jennifer Lopez “Do it Well”.

In an article entitled: How Law Schools Can Produce Happier Students and Satisfied Lawyers, posted by the ABA Journal on Jun 22, 2010 and written by Debra Cassens Weiss, it is stated that:

Law schools need to do more than teach the legal basics—they also have a moral obligation to produce healthy and satisfied lawyers, a recent law grad asserts in an opinion column.

While many . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Collaborative Family Law Agreement Fraud Evolving and Becoming Even More Convincing

The following is the text of a Fraud Alert sent by LAWPRO to Ontario lawyers on June 29, 2010. Due to the response we received from our previous alert on June 17 we felt it was important to make lawyers aware of new details we’ve learned about this scam.

Last week’s fraud warning e-blast on the collaborative family law agreement fraud prompted dozens of calls and emails to LAWPRO. At least 30 Ontario lawyers indicated they had been recently targeted or were in the middle of dealing with a matter involving this exact fraud. These calls and emails have helped . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet

Possibilities of Barcodes

At the OLITA workshop Digital Odyssey 2010 – Going Mobile, Sally Wilson from Ryerson University Library and Archives gave a great overview of QR codes and some innovative ways in which they can be used in libraries to provide timely services and information. Some innovative examples include:

  • Using QR codes in the catalogue’s bibliographic records. Students can have the record information sent to their mobile devices.
  • Add QR codes to current periodicals on the shelves. The QR codes will tell students what the other holdings are in the catalogue.
  • Add them to the library staff’s business cards. They will
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Cellphone Tracking

The good thing is that your cellphone lets others know where you are. The bad thing is that your cellphone lets others know where you are — whether you want it to or not.

Every few seconds your cellphone checks in with either a relay tower or a GPS system, which is how it’s able to perform the wonders of geolocation on Google Maps or Yelp or whatever apps you use to tell you where you are and what’s available around you. Of course, all this checking in leaves electronic records with those who provide or manage the connections, records . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

The State of Digitization of United Nations Documents

Almost two decades have passed since the United Nations began digitizing its documents. The UN started the Official Document System (ODS) as a pilot project in 1992, and officially launched it in 1993. Since then, there has been an explosion of UN documents and publications available in electronic format from a variety of sources, for free and via subscription. I recently checked the current status of UN documentation online, and here’s what I found. And what I expected to find, and didn’t. And some worrisome developments.

Discovery Tools

UNBISnet, the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library bibliographic information system, indexes e-versions . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Canadian biotech funding came from diverse sources this week.

Even deals that looked traditional, such as Aquinox’s $25 million raise, included corporate venture capital funds (in this case J&J and Pfizer). These pharma-backed venture funds continue to play a big role in supplementing traditional VCs’ coffers.

In B.C., the government put money towards research on personalized medicine and medical isotopes, while the Ontario government’s OETF isn’t attracting qualified investors as quickly as some would like.

Other government agencies disbursed some funds as well, with Alberta’s Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation joining FONDACTION, Innovati0n PEI, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Toronto’s G20 Protests – Legal Process for Detainees

As discussed in other Slaw posts this weekend, it has been a difficult weekend in Toronto with peaceful protests associated with the G20 meeting being marred by criminal violence. The mainstream media has covered the more violent aspects as well as the human angle of people being held for four and a half hours in the rain on the streets last night, both aspects of which have been shocking to many of us living in the city. We also saw interviews on TV with people as they were being released from a temporary detention centre.

However, one thing we saw . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Quiet Canadians

I read the quote more than a month ago and I still can’t quite get it out of my head. It appeared in a brief item by Julius Melnitzer at the Legal Post blog, and I’ll take the liberty of reproducing it in full here (emphasis, as they say, added):

Pfizer, whose general counsel has created the Pfizer Legal Alliance to manage its external counsel relationships, has brought the concept to Canada, and is seeking bids from Canadian firms. The pharmaceutical giant has limited its US representation to 19 firms, which may indicate that it is looking for only

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

Online Exhibition of Legal Dictionaries

And now for something long ago and far away. “Somethings,” I should say: the Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas has an online exhibition of old legal dictionaries that will leave you itching to look something up — again and again. The exhibit features 30 of the some 100 old (before 1800) and rare dictionaries in their collection, stemming from the common law, Roman law, and civil law systems.


[click image to enlarge]

Vocabularius, for example, a small excerpt from which is pictured here, was first published in 1475 and last published early in the 17th century. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

When Cities Are Laid to Waste

For anyone who knows and loves the City of Toronto, the G20 conference has been a disaster. But not all disasters are inevitable.

Kenneth Grant Crawford stated Canadian Municipal Government in 1954,

It would be difficult to overemphasize the importance of the local government in the everyday life of the citizens, more especially for those who live in urban centres. That is not to say that one level of government is necessarily more important than another, for all perform functions which are essential to complete the probramme of governmental service demanded in a modern society. Yet few fully appreciate the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law