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Yahoo Pipes Tutorial for Feed Mixing

Yahoo Pipes is a tool that we’ve covered a few times here on Slaw. And having fielded a few questions myself on its use for RSS feed mixing, I thought it might be nice to demonstrate how simple the process is with a tutorial.

What you’ll find below is pretty granular in detail, with way too many screen captures. But if you like the KISS principle (a.k.a. Keep It Simple for Steve), a little hand-holding never hurts. So… go over to Yahoo Pipes, create an account, click on the big blue Create A Pipe, and let’s get . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

False News From Parallel Universes: Truman Loses Election – and the BCE Bondholders Win[??]

One of the unfortunate things about the web is that glitches happen.

Remember the picture of Truman holding a paper announcing the election of President Dewey?

The National Post let out an alternative story which was still on its website an hour after the decision.

Since it will doubtless be taken down, here is the story of what would have happened in a parallel universe, where the SCC had sat nine judges on Tuesday.

Supreme Court rules in favour of BCE bondholders

Sean Silcoff, Financial Post Published: Friday, June 20, 2008

Reuters File

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

BCE Decision Day

The Court has spoken, and it has said that BCE won.

This is all that is said:

The appeals from the judgments of the Court of Appeal of Quebec (Montréal), Numbers 500-09-018525-089 and 500-09-018527-085, dated May 21, 2008, heard on June 17, 2008, are allowed with costs throughout. The decision of
the Court of Appeal is set aside and the trial judge’s approval of the plan of arrangement is affirmed.

The cross-appeals from the judgments of the Court of Appeal of Quebec (Montréal), Numbers 500-09-018524-082 and 500-09-018526-087, dated May 21, 2008, heard on June 17, 2008, are dismissed with

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

Partial Restoration of Court Challenges Program

The Canadian government announced this week that it is restoring parts of the Court Challenges Program abolished in 2006.

The Program provided funding to minority, women’s and other disadvantaged groups to launch “test court cases” challenging laws that may violate equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The government is only reestablishing the official languages minority component of the program, under the name Program to Support Linguistic Rights.

However, funding has not been restored for Charter challenges by other groups such as ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians or people with disabilities.

The new program will . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Northwestern Two-Year Law Degree

Northwestern University now offers incoming students a two-year law degree, the first so-called “elite” faculty of law to do so. Students start in the summer they are admitted and then take the next four semesters, carrying a somewhat heavier course load. It’s not clear whether the hurry-up plan will cost students more. At the moment, students in the snail’s-pace plan pay the astonishing sum of $42,672 per year.

Inside Higher Ed has the story, and details of the program and the law school’s other curriculum reforms are available on the law school website. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

The Friday Fillip

“One thing leads to another” again, starting with Hypertextopia, an online writing environment built by Jeremy Ashkenas. The idea is one of a number that have tried to capitalize on the ability of html and the web to allow a network of non-linear linkages. Essentially, you construct a “story” using text or pictures and link either to major elements as your story advances or to “shards” of one sort or another that strike off in parenthetical directions — all of which is better explained, unsurprisingly, in the short movie provided on the site.

Take a wander through the Grand . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Following the adventures which took place in the Halifax region that started a week ago today (on Friday the 13th), I became interested in the legalities of a mandatory evacuation order. Emergencies in Canada are covered by the Emergencies Act, R.S.C. 1985, c.22 4th Supp. Provincial acts apply as well, in Nova Scotia the Emergency Management Act, S.N.S. 1990, c.8. Each act, delegates power to the R.C.M.P. or police as the case might be, to implement the measures specified under the act, including evacuation orders. What I’m not clear on, is that neither act I’ve looked at, Federal or N.S. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Empowerment Reports

The Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor has released its second report in as many weeks. Volume 1, “Making the Law Work for Everyone” [PDF], the Commission’s main report, was released on June 3, and is also available in French, Spanish and Arabic. Volume 2, “Working Group Reports” [PDF] was released recently.

The Commission is a cooperative venture by prominent politicians and lawyers from dozens of countries around the world — Canada is a charter member — and is “hosted” by the United Nations Development Programme. Lloyd Axworthy, a former Minister of Foreign . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Kyoto and Justiciability

Chris Paliare was on his feet today, arguing for Friends of the Earth in a Federal Court judicial review to to force the Canadian government to follow the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, passed by Parliament a year ago. The case is a global first in seeking enforcement of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty ratified by 180 countries, including Canada.

The Notice of Application from September 2007 is here. Press releases are here and here.

Justice lawyers argued
that the Kyoto act is one of a few “unusual” statutes that Parliament never intended the courts . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Deciding Cases on Authorities Not Cited by the Parties

Today’s Wisconsin Law Journal raises a neat issue: whether it’s appropriate for judges to conduct their own research and decide cases on authorities not cited by the parties. I know this is an issue that we’ve blogged on before and because of Semelhago v. Paramadevan Professor Swan feels strongly about the appropriateness of it..

The Wisconsin case (decided by the Court of Appeals) settled that it wasn’t improper for a circuit court to do independent research, since a competent judge has a duty to ensure the correct law is being applied.

The case is Camacho v. Trimble Irrevocable Trust . . . [more]

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