Canada’s online legal magazine.

Robot Law

Bizarro robot cartoon

Lawyers have not been thinking about robots as long as cartoonists, science fiction writers (Isaac Asimov’s Robot series being perhaps the best known) or engineers (Geoff Simons, Are Computers Alive? Evolution and New Forms of Life 1983 – but see P. Sw irski, “A case of wishful thinking”). A political scientist anticipated some legal issues in the early 1980s (S.N. Lehman-Wilzig,”Frankenstein Unbound: Towards a legal definition of artificial intelligence”) notably about potential criminal liability that future technology would threaten.

However, we have been catching up in the past ten or fifteen years. This column . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Ottawa Citizen Feature on Drug Treatment Courts

The Ottawa Citizen recently ran a series on the capital’s crack cocaine problem.

An article that ran on Saturday, June 19, 2010 as part of the series examined the city’s Drug Treatment Court that works to divert small-time drug offenders away from jail and into addiction treatment programs:

Offenders in Drug Treatment Court are always facing jail for the petty theft that feeds their habit. After a rigorous assessment, they are accepted into the program and begin treatment with Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services. First they are required to plead guilty to any charges they face.

Addicts in the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Bookmarklet for Google’s Real-Time Search

I mentioned in the previous post on the earthquake how useful it was to be able to get automatically updating reports more or less as soon as they were posted, thanks to Google’s real-time search results. You’ll likely know that all you need to do, once your Google search results are returned, is click “latest” in the menu to the left, to get time-ordered results that are dynamically refreshed, i.e. with no need to reload the page in the browser.

Even easier is to use the bookmarklet created by Marshall Kirkpatrick, the lead writer at You can find . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Are Younger Lawyers Willing to Work as Hard as Partners?

One of the most common complaints I hear from partners – especially those in the boomer generation – is that younger associates today are not willing to work as hard as partners. This leaves many partners frustrated at not getting the support they need and working even longer hours to ensure that the client’s work is completed on time.

When I talk to younger lawyers about this, they are equally frustrated by what they see as unreasonable demands from senior lawyers and a lack of acknowledgement about how hard they are working. So what is contributing to this generation gap? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Hot News, Hot Legal Topic

First year property law profs everywhere are surely revising their casebooks as a result of Barclays Capital et al. v., a case decided in March by the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, particularly now that Google and Twitter have filed amicus briefs in the on-going matter. The nub of the story, which is nicely expounded in a series of Ars Technica Law and Disorder columns (1, 2, 3), is that The Fly, in the business of promulgating market information and rumours, would as a matter of routine obtain and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Social Media Risks

I’m on a panel tonight at the Ivey Business School talking about trends and opportunities in social media. I’ll be talking about legal and privacy issues.

Some of the risks that come with social media arise from its newness. There seems to be two opposing (and apparently inconsistent) factors at play whenever anything new arises. 

First, when something new comes along, people often don’t put it in the proper context, and forget all the old rules. For example, people might make a comment on a blog or facebook that reveals something confidential, even though that same person would never have . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Injunction Sought Against Sound Cannons

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) are in court today seeking an injunction against the police from using LRADs (Long Range Acoustic Devices), also known as sound cannons, against G8/G20 protesters in Toronto.

The police claim that they will be used for broadcasting messages, but they are also capable of emitting loud noises for crowd dispersal.

A press release from the CLC can be found here, and the factum by Paul J. J. Cavalluzzo and Michael D. Wright of Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish is available here through the CCLA.

The factum . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Evolution of Bilingual Judgments in New Brunswick

Maritime Law Book is proud to have been part of the development of the only provincial bilingual law reporter in Canada. Namely, the New Brunswick Reports (2d).

Here is how that development took place. 

New Brunswick has a population of approx. 750,000. And approx. 35% of New Brunswickers speak French as a first language.

In 1969 New Brunswick enacted its first Official Languages Act, making it Canada’s first and only officially bilingual province.

In 1969 the province’s statutes, regulations, by-laws, etc., were in English only. In the courts, pleadings and trials, both civil and criminal, were in English only; in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing