Canada’s online legal magazine.

Law Firms, Law Graduates and Training – Who Is Responsible, and Who Is to Blame?

Law firm librarians are often critical of the lack of research skills demonstrated by the annual crop of new graduates when they start working in law firms. The issue has been a bone of contention for many years, and can create a divide between academic and firm librarians. I think the issue is not one of training, but of understanding that the purpose of a university education and that of a law firm placement are fundamentally different, and legal research needs and experiences have little in common from one environment to the other.

I was back in my home town . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Implications of Failed R&R Act for 1st Nations in B.C.

The proposed New Reconciliation and Recognition Act by the British Columbia government failed in 2009, largely due to the withdrawal of support by 1st Nations leaders. Vic Burstall, a retired lawyer in Victoria, outlines the developments today in the Times Colonist.

According to the province, the legislation was intended to:

  • increase partnerships and bring certainty to the land base in B.C.;
  • establish a flexible framework to avoid the costly and lengthy litigation that has too often characterized relations with First Nations in the past;
  • ensure constitutional or common law on rights and title remain unchanged;
  • not affect Crown-granted
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Baby Barista Bails From Times

Tim Kevan, author of BabyBarista, the fictitious and amusing “worm’s eye view of the English bar,” has withdrawn the column from The Times where it ran for years, because of that paper’s decision to put its content behind a paywall. (See the piece on Slaw from last month.). BabyBarista is now a free-standing — and still free — blog.

The new main page sports a raft of cartoon illustrations by Alex Williams and potted biographies of the main players in BabyB’s life at the law, characters such as OldRuin, TheCreep, OldSmoothie, UpTights, and JudgeFetish.

[hat tip Charon QC] . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

I remember reading a few years back that a geek was someone who would record his daily mood in for years on end. If so, Nicholas Felton is geek extraordinaire. He’s a well-known designer who, to quote him himself, “spends much of his time thinking about data, charts and our daily routines.” He doesn’t just think about them, though. Each year he releases a work of art based on his own past twelve-month. These personal annual reports “collate countless measurements into a rich assortment of graphs and maps reflecting the year’s activities.”

Sounds icky, I know. But fear . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Are Technophobes Negligent?

Is a technophobe litigator who fails to take advantage of courtroom technology negligent? Can a litigator’s failure to use courtroom technology amount to negligent breach of duty when the case fails?

Why not?

We expect professionals to be aware of, and use, the most modern of methods. We most certainly demand this of doctors.

Imagine an old heart surgeon refusing to use current technology, preferring to launch into open heart surgery the way it was done in the ‘old days’. The doctor might rationalize it this way, “well it was good enough to operate on hearts without modern technology in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Lawyers Sue Thomson Over Pleadings Database

Yesterday, May 25, 2010 Sack Goldblatt launched a class proceeding against Thomson Reuters Corporation and Thomson Reuters Canada Limited on behalf of a class of Canadian lawyers and law firms. The Statement of Claim claims that Thomson Reuters breaches copyright by making available original lawyer created legal documents for fee or subscription without permission from, or compensation to, the authors of the documents.

The representative plaintiff is Lorne Waldman, a leading immigration and refugee lawyer, whose work for Maher Arar has allegedly been copied by Thomson Reuters through its “Litigator” service. Litigator is a fee and subscription-based database for lawyer-created . . . [more]

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

Conference on Criminal and Civil Liability for War Crimes, Genocide and Torture

The Canadian Centre for International Justice is hosting a conference next month focusing on international criminal law in Ottawa and Toronto, with further locations at a future date.

The website describes the program:

Over two days, participants will receive a comprehensive overview of legal processes through which individuals can be held criminally and civilly accountable in Canada and abroad for war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and torture. Lawyers, journalists, students, civil servants, NGO representatives and other professionals with an interest in international justice, human rights, international law, criminal law or torts are encouraged to attend.

Details below. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Conference on Google Book Project and Canada

The Centre for Innovation Law and Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law is holding a one-day conference tomorrow, May 28, on “The Google Book Search Project and Canada: Cross-Border Legal Perspectives.” Registration begins at 8 a.m. at Bennett Lecture Hall, Flavelle House, 78 Queen’s Park, Toronto. If you are unable to attend in person, you can join the conference via a live webcast. The event is free of charge but conference organizers ask that you register on line.

The conference program is available via the link to the conference above. . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Admissibility of E-Mail Apologies in R. v. S.G.T.

The Supreme Court of Canada released R. v. S.G.T. today, a criminal law case where the accused in a sexual assault of a minor had sent an e-mail to the mother of the alleged victim. Although the mother had contacted the police at one time, she had failed to follow through. It was only when the accused independently reported the complaints to a high-school counselor that the charges were laid.

The case centered on credibility, and whereas the Crown claimed the e-mail was in response to the charges, the accused claimed that it was in connection with an unrelated event. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions