Canada’s online legal magazine.

Risks of File Sharing Breach Marine One

Over two years ago, Simon Chester noted,

75 percent of all traffic on the Internet is due to file sharing, with 59 percent of that file sharing attributed to people swapping video files. Music tracks account for 33 percent of the file-sharing traffic. E-mail, it turns out, accounts for just 9 percent of the total traffic.

Well it turns out that all that file sharing activity is not without risk.

Tiversa, a Pennsylvania-based company that monitors peer-to-peer file sharing, revealed this week that they found a transfer of military information from a defense contractor in Bethesda, Md., to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology

Jeremy Grushcow

I’m pleased to report that Jeremy Grushcow has joined Slaw as a regular contributor. Jeremy is a Foreign Legal Consultant (Illinois, New York) practising corporate law at Ogilvy Renault LLP in Toronto. He has a particular focus on life science and technology companies, and brings to bear a doctorate in molecular genetics and cell biology and a law degree from the University of Chicago. Jeremy already blogs at his Cross-Border Biotech Blog, together with Dani Peters and Beni Rovinski, and will provide us with regular updates on developments in his fields of interest.

Please welcome Jeremy Grushcow to Slaw. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Doing the Library Thing

Last summer, I was asked by a client at a small administrative tribunal to help with an interesting project. Over the organization’s 20-year history, it had accumulated a number of “issues files”, which document the evolution of its thinking on a range of questions and problems which had arisen over time. The collection was a valuable store of corporate knowledge and history, but it was difficult to know where to look for a particular piece of information or to know what questions might be answered by using these files. Could we recommend a way of cataloguing the contents of these . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Friday Fillip

I seem to think I go on a lot about food on the Friday Fillip — but that’s not the case, I discover. Maybe I’m simply always on about food in my head. At any rate, the fillip today is about a blog about food. The Internet Food Association is a relatively new cooperative blog that’s hit the big time lately. What caught my eye was the exchange on IFA about Alice Waters’ OpEd in the NYTimes about school lunches, something that interested me even before Jamie Oliver took on Brit-crap at English schools.

But I stayed for the casual, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

LawTop Updated

Thanks to a number of helpful suggestions from Slawyers, I’ve made some changes to LawTop — the Canadian law-related news aggregator I blogged about on Tuesday.

Most important, I’ve added another layer of manipulation, using Yahoo! Pipes to filter for Canadian content. Canadian news sources report on law-related stories from around the globe, but my true aim was to keep the focus as much as possible on Canadian events or stories directly related to Canada. This isn’t simply possible, given the lack of a sophisticated context identifier (Google’s “location” filter in the advanced news search isn’t really useful in this . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Supreme Court of Canada Statistics 1998-2008

The Supreme Court of Canada recently published a special edition of its Bulletin of Proceedings called Statistics 1998 to 2008.

The statistics are broken down into 5 categories:

  • Cases Filed: the number of complete applications for leave to appeal and notices of appeal as of right filed by litigants with the Court’s Registry each year
  • Applications for Leave Submitted: number of leave applications submitted to panels of the Court for decision, the number of leave applications granted and the percentage granted of the total submitted
  • Appeals Heard: number of appeals heard each year and the number of hearing days
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions


The CanLII user group tour came to Calgary last night. It was a great opportunity for us westerners to see what is coming down the pike from the innovators at LexUM. Simon live blogged from the TO meeting and of course CanLII is often discussed here at Slaw, but I want to revisit one part of the new services currently in beta – CanLEX.

CanLEX is a a website which hosts some open APIs (application programming interface) that give tools for, among other things, automating links to the CanLII Reflex citator within a users documents. . . . [more]

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

Changes at CISTI Announced

The National Research Council’s national science library, the Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) is relied upon by many researchers worldwide for its resources and services. The notice below of upcoming changes went out to a number of listservs today; since I couldn’t see it posted to CISTI’s own website, I am sharing it here since others may find it of interest. Also of note, the CISTI website has changed to comply with new Common Look and Feel guidelines from Canada’s Treasury Board Secretariat (see the notice). . . . [more]

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

SCC Grants Leave in Important International Arbitration Case

The Supreme Court of Canada announced this morning that it has granted leave to appeal the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in Yugraneft v. Rexx Management. This decision has been the subject of considerable discussion among arbitration practitioners: as was discussed several months ago on Slaw, the case raises a number of difficult questions about how international arbitration and Canada’s treaty obligations in that respect interact with local procedural law – specifically limitation of actions – when seeking to enforce the award, and more generally whether foreign judgments and arbitral awards should continue to be treated, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Calling All Innovative Lawyers! Now’s Your Chance to Get the Recognition You Deserve

Necessity breeds invention. From Procter & Gamble to IBM to Federal Express, from nylon to photocopiers to the electron microscope — some of the world’s most well-known companies and products were born in past recessions and depressions. The current economic crisis will be no exception — when times are tough, forward-thinking people will find ways to do things better. That applies especially to the practice of law.

Is your law practice or firm one of the profession’s leading lights of innovation? Have you or someone within your firm with vision and courage led a groundbreaking effort to practice law differently? . . . [more]

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

Where’s the Beef (From)?

Way back in the early 80s Wendy’s hamburger chain ran a TV commercial that featured three old ladies exploring a competitor’s “really big bun” and the relative absence of meat; one of the women had a deep, harsh voice and used it repeatedly to bark out: “Where’s the beef?” Now, in this day of supersizing, the question isn’t so much about the size of the patty as its provenance. That goes for just about all forms of food, our concern fuelled by dangerous additives, e coli, listerosis, and the lack of control over suppliers distributed across the globe.

As of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Law Society of Upper Canada Guidelines on Powers of Attorney in Real Estate Transactions

Working with the Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate, the Law Society of Upper Canada has prepared guidelines to help lawyers avoid becoming the tool or dupe of unscrupulous persons when dealing with real estate transactions involving powers of attorney. These guidelines are available here.

With the prevalence of real estate fraud, it is important that real estate lawyers implement practices and procedures in their firms to recognize and fight fraud. In recent years, powers of attorney have been used in real estate transactions to perpetrate fraud. Forged powers of attorney have been used to fraudulently mortgage properties . . . [more]

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