Canada’s online legal magazine.

Slaw’s 5th Anniversary~!

♬Oh dreams Sea of wonder
Sea of dreams
夢は 素直に笑うために 描くもの
Sailing free on a sea of dreams
you and me
Sailing free on a sea of dreams…♬

Music by: John Kavanaugh; lyrics written and recorded by: MISIA for Tokyo DisneySea’s 5th Anniversary.

SLAW is looking forward to its future in this video from Canadian Lawyer intern Bryan Smith who was on hand to cover SLAW’s 5th Anniversary celebratory event at the Toronto offices of Heenan Blaikie LLP on Thursday May 13, 2010. Simon Fodden and Simon Chester are interviewed on this video and they provide some insights on . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Going Out on Your Own

On June 8th, I am giving a two hour seminar via CLE-TV on “Going Out on Your Own” with Trevor Todd and Michael Anderson. The CLE BC program lawyer who created this course is Meredith Woods.

The intended audience is lawyers interested in setting up a practice or who have recently set up a practice.

The course will provide Law Society of BC CPD 1.5 credit hours and will cover topics of professional responsibility and ethics, client care and relations and practice management.

In preparation for this course, Michael Anderson provided an interesting article on developing your own personal . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

A Tale of Two Conferences: CALL 2010 and LSUC Solo & Small Firm

I am in the midst of attending 5 conferences in 3 weeks, for the legal, library, publishing and business industries. The conferences are for varied audiences, and yet I am seeing some good synergies between the discussions.

I therefore found David Whelan’s blog post “A Perspective on Professional Education” to be of interest. In it he compares the Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference–held last week in Windsor in conjunction with the Michigan Association of Law Libraries–to the 5th Annual Solo and Small Firm Conference put on by the Law Society of Upper Canada on Friday. As one . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

A True History of Atlantis

Consider this a post somehow related to the knuckle-dragging Weltanschauung  that produces conduct such as the federal troglodytes’ cancellation of the long-standing grant to the Gay Pride parade organization.

Once upon a time – or in current jargon “back in the day” – much of the social interaction portions of the Internet were a wilder place. “Flame wars” (aka “flames”) in the open-to-all-comers portions of USENET were legendary. All one needed was an ISP, a dialup modem, and suitable OLR (Off Line Reader) software.

There were some more moderated, usually more civilized, paid membership only, places . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

CALLing Out

I think I’ve finally recovered from the CALL-MichALL conference in Windsor. Congratulations to Annette Demers and her team for putting on such a thought-provoking and inspiring event. I have pages of scrawly, incoherent notes to guide my thinking for another year (assuming I can make any of it out). I thought I’d share some of my favourite learning, in hopes of provoking discussion in the SLAW community. In no particular order, some of my favourite tid-bits from Windsor:

  • tables on wheels make your library a more collaborative space
  • Embed the content in the workflow, (not the librarian in the work
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Do Political Donations Still Make Sense for Law Firms?

Earlier this month, British Columbia residents witnessed political awkwardness at a level unusual even by West Coast standards when a special prosecutor cleared B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed of wrongdoing in a criminal investigation. Mr. Heed was re-appointed to cabinet later that day, only to re-resign the next morning after the special prosecutor stepped down as a result of his law firm’s $1,000 contribution to the Heed campaign shortly before the last provincial election.

The special prosecutor has stated that he was aware of his law firm’s donation early on. However, he did not consider it an apparent or perceived . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Content, Containers, and Change

This past March, I was fortunate to get some face time with one of the senior directors for Thomson Reuters’ new Print and Advanced Media division to talk about business. Among the many topics to be discussed was that particularly irksome one, the future of print. When we kicked off our conversation, the director acknowledged that she had had some feelings of trepidation when she signed on to help run a division that seemingly—excuse the pun—has a limited shelf life.

I understood where she was coming from, particularly since I’d just seen Thomson Reuters’ 2009 financial report released the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

A New Vote on Abortion?

Between the government’s withdrawal of funding for NGOs that provide maternal health programs overseas, and a proclaimed emphasis on maternal health at the upcoming G8, some in Canada are wondering if we’re heading to a new vote on abortion.

Liberal MP Paul Szabo of Mississauga South said,

Is (a vote) inevitable? I would say yes.

If such a vote was held today, what would the outcome be? . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

New Format, New Columns

Welcome to the newly refurbished Slaw. We’ve freshened up the design — after three years. We’ve added some new functionality, particularly when it comes to choosing how you subscribe to Slaw. Just take a look at the column to your right to learn about all of this.

And we’ve added a new left column for, well, our new Columns. Starting today, we’re bringing you a fresh column every day, written by experts on the topics — Legal Publishing, the Practice of Law, Legal Information, Outsourcing, Legal Marketing, Justice Issues, Legal Technology, and e-Discovery.

All of this more means “a bit . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

The Friday Fillip

“Slow is the new fast.”


When it comes to cooking, slow is newly fashionable, it’s true. But when it comes to computer speeds, not so much. And so far as travel is concerned… it’s problematic.

Everyone knows that jet travel nowadays is an increasingly gruesome experience, certainly if you fly steerage as most of us do. And even if you’re a first or business class flier, the dreary ordeal of checking in, checking baggage, and being checked in one or more security lineups, is enough to take the edge off any interest in, let alone excitement at, going somewhere . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Hanging in India

The surviving terrorist from the Mumbai event has been sentenced to hang. The story is online at the Guardian. India currently has 52 people on “death row,” awaiting execution of their sentences. I hadn’t realized that India has not carried out a sentence of capital punishment since 2004, and prior to that not for nine years.

China, with a roughly similar number of citizens, but where the data on capital punishment are secret, is estimated to kill somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people a year through the legal process.

One of the reasons cited for the infrequency of hangings . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law