Canada’s online legal magazine.

65 Years of Change in What the Supreme Court Cites

John Morden and I have been discussing the extent to which Canadian courts look at cases from other courts, and I referred him to the excellent work of Professor Peter McCormick on the Supreme Court of Canada in a series of articles and a book Supreme at Last. . . . [more]

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

Standing Out From the Crowd

Most law firms are telling the same story, according to this article, which makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish one from the other.

Developing a unique, identifiable and distinct voice is not easy, but it begins and ends with your ability to conceive and communicate a credible story that resonates at some level with your audience. Unless you can do that, you’ll never be heard above the din of the crowd.

So why can’t most law firms do this?

No reason at all. But when it comes to law firms, there is a negative assumption that

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

Selecting Cases for Print Case Law Reporters

There has been much discussion on SLAW on the state of print case law reporters in the age of online judgments (click here for some of these posts).

For other research I am conducting, I obtained a photocopy of an article by Paul Perell (now a judge) from 1991 in the Legal Research Update quarterly newsletter (circa 1986 to 1996, RIP) called “Selecting Cases for the Ontario Reports.” In that article, (the now Mr. Justice) Perell lists out the six criteria for case selection as suggested by a Butterworths editor in England:

A case will be reported if:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

New RCMP Commitment to Enforcement of Background Check Policies Squeezing Canadian Employers

Late last year the Royal Canadian Mounted Police issued a directive to the agencies that facilitate national criminal background checks that has caused significant concern to employers. This lengthy post describes this important development.

Background on CPIC and background checks

The Canadian Police Information Centre or “CPIC” is a national database administered by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It contains a range of information useful to law enforcement, including records about hybrid and indictable offences. CPIC is maintained primarily for law enforcement purposes, and is both populated and queried by “CPIC agencies” (local police forces and other government agencies) who . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

practicePRO’s Top Claims Prevention Downloads of 2009

practicePRO’s claims prevention and law practice management resources continue to grow in popularity with lawyers. In 2009 almost 150,000 copies of our articles, checklists and precedents were downloaded.

We’ve compiled the list of the forty most popular downloads for 2009. Many of them are consistently popular year to year, such as Peg Duncan’s e-discovery reading list, limitation periods charts, retainer precedents and various technology articles. There were a few interesting developments though:

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

Social Networking Success for Organizations

A recent InformationWeek article explores 7 key questions organizations must ask themselves about investing in social networking in 2010. The important questions include:

  • Is it necessary to have a corporate policy around social networking? Yes. It must be short, simple, and clear.
  • Which way works best? Definitely get involved with the 4 dominant social networking players: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Maintain a four-pronged public networking strategy. Its also recommended that companies build a dual social media strategy that incorporates homegrown online communities with an involvement with the key public social networks.
  • Where’s the ROI? Don’t think of social networking
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Detecting on-Line Copying…

.♫ Copycat, copycat, copycat
copy copy copy everyone else….♫

Lyrics by Dolores O’Riordan and music by Noel Hogan and Dolores O’Riordan, recorded by The Cranberries.

Anyone who places content on the web should be concerned with detecting the unauthorized copying of their content. Certainly anyone with a blog would not want others taking their original content without their permission. This actually happened to my own blog just recently: www.thoughtfullaw.com. In my case it was simply someone who was unaware of the rules around copyright.

But there was a case in Victoria British Columbia where a law firm . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Uk Internet Registrars Get Authority to Block Sites for Alleged Criminal Activity

According to a piece on Out-Law.Com, Nominet, the UK domain administrator, is allowing domain registrars for dot.uk domains to shut down web sites if there are credible allegations of criminal activity on those sites.

This is not supposed to happen with allegations of civil wrongs, such as copyright infringement (though if infringement is an offence under the Copyright Act, does that count as criminal?).

Registrars are cautioned not to lock someone out of their domain on the allegation of a commercial or personal rival . . .

Apparently this policy has been developed in association with the police. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

The LCO and E-Learning

Omar Ha-Redeye’s post about e-learning earlier this week prompts me to disclose a possible Law Commission of Ontario e-learning course, in conjunction with Ontario law schools. The LCO is in the process of renewal and one on-going issue is the relationship with the Ontario law schools, especially those schools other than Osgoode (which provides funding – including funding from York University – and inkind contributions to the LCO). Obviously, one manifestation of the relationship is in contracting researchers from the law faculties, in the appropriate case, (improvements in which are also under consideration), but another suggestion, from Western Law’s Dean, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The 3 Facebook Settings Every User Should Check Now

The current #1 on the New York Times most popular articles list is an item that appeared in the Technology section on the weekend: The 3 Facebook Settings Every User Should Check Now.

In terms of complexity, the Facebook privacy settings lie somewhere between the calculations behind a space shuttle launch and figuring out what the Toronto Maple Leafs need to do to win a Stanley Cup. These things are simply beyond most of us mere mortals. I think it is safe to say that most Facebook users do not appreciate all the nuances of Facebook privacy settings, especially when . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology