Canada’s online legal magazine.

Legal Sources Part One: Law Reform Materials

My legal research career has taken me to several different settings in different cities or jurisdictions, and one thing I have found interesting is that there has always been a stronger emphasis on some tools in each of my workplaces. For this reason, I decided to write a series of columns that will address particular research materials or sources of law or legal information that, for one reason or another, I found myself using more in some settings than in others and that generally might be otherwise overlooked as excellent resources. This month, the column addresses law reform bodies and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Privacy Expectations of Unionized Employees in the Workplace

After doing online writing for about a year and a half now, one of my most read pieces is Employee Privacy in Canada. I also get plenty of legal inquiries by e-mail on it, and of course have to respond that I cannot provide legal advice.

It’s also a topic of interest to in-house counsel, who increasingly have to respond to managers about the checks and monitors they are allowed to use for their staff.

Perhaps then it’s no surprise that the subject was also prominently featured at the OBA 2009 Institute of Continuing Legal Education on Feb. 3, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Science, Pseudoscience, and the Law

Following up on Simon’s vaccines post from earlier this week comes the encouraging news that on Thursday (happy 200, Charles Darwin) the U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued decisions in three vaccine-related test cases rejecting any causal link between vaccines and autism.

Yet, much like with the Pennsylvania victory in the battle over teaching evolution, I can only manage a half-hearted cheer at this latest triumph of science over superstition and ignorance. That it is even necessary to take this to trial – to say nothing of the refusal of so many to accept the correctness of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Designing Websites for Lawyers and the Public

I expect that the needs of lawyers are somewhat different from the general public when it comes to the websites of public bodies, particularly those of regulators and tribunals. What got me thinking about it was a solicitation to provide feedback on the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner’s website as they embark on a refresh or redesign.

I assume that when most public bodies are thinking about their websites, they look at how to make it useful for the general public. Which is obviously important, but I know that I’m a heavy user of a number of government websites . . . [more]

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

The Future of Computing?

A peer recently brought this image to my attention and it immediately caught my attention and spoke to me. The image is from an article entitled, “What will a World of Warcraft player look like in 2030?”. If, by some chance, you are not familiar with the World of Warcraft, suffice it to say that it is an internet gaming phenomena that has wasted countless hours and more than a few thousand dollars of tuition. The title of the image has been co-opted in various locations to “The future of gaming?” and I have further co-opted it here to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Legal Information & Technology eJournal

Legal Information & Technology is a new ‘eJournal’ [update: actually a digest service] on SSRN‘s Legal Scholarship Network.

You can preview the first issue collection of references with their summaries here:

Here is a description on the scope:

This eJournal includes working papers, forthcoming articles, and recently published articles in all areas of legal information scholarship. Topics include (but are not limited to): 1) the impact of legal information on domestic, comparative, and international legal systems; 2) the treatment of legal information authorities and precedents (e.g., citation studies); 3) the examination of rules, practices, and commentary limiting

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

1234567890 Day Is Today!

This dispatch arrives from WIRED:

Unix weenies everywhere will be partying like it’s 1234567890 this Friday.

If you needed confirmation that geeky web 2.0 social events have permeated every useful dimension of your existence, here it is. I see that Toronto is not organized yet (also check here), but Vancouver is.

I wonder if anyone will be able to tell us exactly when 0987654321 passed us by, and why we were not informed… . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ermineskin Nation Loses SCC Appeal

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals of the Ermineskin Nation et al. against the Federal Court of Appeal ruling that denied the plaintiffs’ claim that the federal government had a fiduciary role under Treaty Number 6 such that the oil and gas revenues resulting from extraction under the plaintiffs’ land should have been invested for their benefit. At stake were some two billion dollars. Justice Rothstein wrote the judgment of the 7 member court: Ermineskin Indian Band and Nation v. Canada, 2009 SCC 9 . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

For a brief while, a long time ago, I played silly mid-off — which was probably the most foolish of all of the “silly-this” and “silly-that” things I’ve done. It’s a fielding position in cricket, and I’ve got a picture here to show you what the “silly” part is all about. My theory at the time was that I’d be so close to the batsman that there’d be no time at all to think about whether or not I wanted to apply my bare hands to a very hard and very swift ball: it’d simply be a case of rapid . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Anyone who has been shy about launching a blog because of a worry about the tech side of things need worry no more. Posterous makes starting and maintaining a blog as easy as… well, as easy as email. (We have all mastered that, no?) All you need to do — and I mean “all” — is email anything (photo, video, MP3 file, other file) to and there you are: you’re blogging. Talk about “greasing the skids of prolixity,” this is crazy easy.

The text of your email becomes the text of your post, photos are cropped and posted for . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Doug Cornelius’ New Blog: Compliance Building

Congratulations to Doug Cornelius who has started the new blog Compliance Building. You may remember last October we mentioned he had moved from his real estate practice and knowledge management law firm work to take on the role of Chief Compliance Office for Beacon Capital Partners, LLC, a real estate private equity firm. On the “About” page, he explains the new blog: “I focus on compliance issues applicable to real estate private equity firms.”

I love the dual meaning of the blog title! Very clever, even if it does stray from his “spaces” blog name theme. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Dependence on Technology

I DO have a dependence on coffee. I DO NOT have a dependence on technology…or do I? This question requires some serious philosophical introspection on my part, which I will not make you suffer through. I hope that the more interesting aspect is why I write about this today.

It is the anniversary of Abe Lincoln’s birthday, and as the Smithsonian points out, he had an interest in technology. The US News agrees that Lincoln was a technology leader. Lincoln was even a communications technology leader with his use of the telegraph. A reasonable person may theorize that his . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Technology