Canada’s online legal magazine.

Don’t Go Ahead and Jump

…with all due apologies to Van Halen. What would a Winter Olympics in Canada be without ski jumping controversy? In Calgary in 1988 the world watched as Eddie Edwards flew like an eagle. In response to that the IOC instituted minimum requirements for competitors to take part in Olympics and placed more severe restrictions on competitors qualifying for Olympic competition. In 2010, the ski jumping controversy for Vancouver is the IOC’s refusal to allow women’s ski jumping as an event in the Olympics. In a sense the restrictions that came out of the Calgary Olympiad of 1988 indirectly led . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

The Splendid Legacy of Miss Emma Hamlyn

Readers of Slaw may have come across the small volumes that have been published annually for over sixty years – the Hamlyn Lectures. They resulted from an application for directions before Mr. Justice Wynn-Parry of a Trust resulting from the Last Will and Testament of Miss Emma Hamlyn. They’re delightfully accessible general talks on various aspects of English and comparative law.

And the older volumes of the series are now available from the University of Exeter Law School website. CUP is publishing the current volumes.

Miss Hamlyn bequeathed the residue of her estate to her executors as . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous, Reading

iPhone Already Revealing Security Risks

If you check out Steve Matthews‘ great post today, Web Law Predictions for 2010, there is one that is already starting to stand out:

I’ll go out on a limb, and predict that 2010 will be the year a law firm somewhere will declare smart phones to be a security risk, jamming transmission internally or banning usage from inside the firm.

The ABA Journal recently noted concerns raised by Sharon Nelson and John Simek of Sensei Enterprises about the use of iPhones by lawyers. The major issue is that handheld device takes screenshots of documents in order to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Web Law Predictions for 2010

At the end of each year, I try to find some time to consider growing trends and how each might play out the following year. I’m just beginning that process now, and honestly, I’m not even close to a complete list. For those items I do have, however, I thought it might be interesting to present them in the form of predictions. And then with any luck, others here at Slaw might consider adding an item or two of their own!

So here we go:

More Social in our Enterprise Software: We know some of these features are in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

SCC Judges Demonstrate (Not)

A number of people in Quebec were annoyed that the Supreme Court of Canada struck down a provincial law that prohibited people from getting their kids into English-stream public education by sending them first to an English-language private school. The form of protest was unusual – dressing up as SCC judges and demonstrating in the metro.

If the judges do ride the underground in real life, one suspects they leave their red gowns with ermine flashing at the courthouse. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The More Things Change / Plus Ça Change

[Warning: The following missive contains attempts at humour. Reader discretion is advised.]

In the early part of the last century, one could find judges railing about “scholastic theories” of this and that. What this and that was doesn’t matter. “Scholastic” was not used as a compliment. In the mid part and last part of the century, the denigration of choice became “abstract metaphysical theories”.

The SCC has now introduced a new species of metaphysics applicable to, at least, insurance policy interpretation, and eventually , we should assume, contract interpretation generally …. DRUM ROLL PLEASE:

“law office metaphysics”.

 See Co‑operators . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law

LAWPRO Magazine Also Covers Slaw

Although Dan Pinnington recently mentioned the current issue of LawPRO Magazine, he didn’t point out that we got some coverage in it too.

The section on blogs, found on page 4, gives special mention to Slaw,

Blogs also offer readers the opportunity to respond and comment, thus starting an online discussion. (Of course, this has its risks:
Readers’ comments must be monitored to ensure that offensive or defamatory material is not published on your blog.) …
Some notable Canadian law blogs include slaw (, “a Canadian co-operative weblog about any and all things legal”
and Law 21: Dispatches

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

BC Authorizes Multi-Disciplinary Partnerships…

♫ He roller-coaster he got early warning
He got muddy water he one mojo filter
He say “One and one and one is three”
Got to be good-looking ’cause he’s so hard to see
Come together right now over me …♫

Lyrics and music by: Lennon/McCartney.

On Friday Dec. 11, 2009 the Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia passed amendments to the Rules of the Law Society that will allow Multi-Disciplinary partnerships in British Columbia effective July 1, 2010.

These changes, limited as they are, are momentous. For the first time in BC, a partnership, a LLP, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Friday Fillip

What’s in a name? Apart from letters, I mean.

For me it’s sometimes annoyance and occasionally some delight. I’m talking about people’s names, of course. There are too many nouns for named things to be a useful category to talk about. And people come by the most interesting names, often with help from their parents, a feature things lack for the most part.

I’m not the only one who finds names interesting. Just today in the Globe, Judith Timson took time out from roasting Tiger Woods to stumble over the name of Mrs. Woods’ lawyer: Sorrell Trope. She . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Judge Rules on Grammar, Syntax

A story that’s been making the rounds this week (LawyeristLegal Blog WatchABAJournal@davidtsfraser) deserves to be passed along one more step: U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel got fed up with the way lawyers wrote the proposed orders submitted to him, so he sent a memo to the whole bankruptcy bar setting out his rules for doing it right. They’re a mix of regs on proper form and injunctions about some stuff that should have been learned in grade school.

For instance, in addition to a request that documents be submitted in PDF electronically, . . . [more]

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

Part III: Facebook Privacy Poked & Pwnd

Following my Part I and Part II blog entries on Facebook’s recent privacy updates, the latest news is that the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Complaint with the FTC yesterday over these changes. EPIC is non-profit research center based in Washington, D.C.

The Complaint alleges that Facebook’s changes disclose personal information to the public that was previously restricted, as well as personal information to third parties that was not previously available. EPIC holds that such changes violate user expectations, diminish user privacy and contradict Facebook’s own representations. It has asked the FTC to investigate Facebook, and seek appropriate . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Google Roundup

Google is always releasing new features or apps. Here’s a rundown of some released recently that may have relevance for lawyers…

Google Groups joins Google Apps… Permalink Similar

Google Labs is collaborating with the New York Times and the Washington Post to present certain featured news stories in a web-sophisticated way. Essentially, stories chosen by the news sources — no searching for items that you select — are presented on a page in which you’ll find a summary at the top, a timeline of events immediately below, and excerpts from reports as the story has developed over . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet