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Why Is Privilege So Important Anyway?

The concept of solicitor-client privilege goes back at least 400 years in the common law, and is one of the most well established concepts of privilege in our legal system.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was recently caught listening and recording conversations with Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub and his lawyer since the Egyptian refugee and terrorism suspect was released on bail over a year and a half ago.

When challenged by Justice Carolyn Layden-Stevenson, CSIS lawyer Jim Mathieson agreed that any such recordings would stop, and records would be erased.

But other defence lawyers have now raised some very serious . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

“Recession” “Depression” “Unemployment” “Meltdown” “Crisis”………

These are some of the words being bandied about these days. It’s not all that promising. Or is it?

With the global economies struggling, these are undoubtedly challenging times. But with every crisis, there always seems to be some opportunities that present themselves. For the legal services sector, that opportunity comes in the form of the legal process outsourcing industry (“LPO”). What began as an idea in the United States a number of years ago has now become a robust industry. The legal process outsourcing industry started out with only a few vendors in the United States. The industry in . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

Privacy and Internet Log Files

In the past two weeks, the New York Times reported that Microsoft has made a minor concession with European privacy authorities about how long it retains its log files. A committee of European privacy regulators had asked that these logs be kept for only six months. Microsoft’s response? Eighteen months.Yahoo used to keep them for thirteen months and just announced it will cut retention to 90 days. Google keeps them for nine.

The privacy implictions of these innocuous log files have been underestimated, particularly when you think about the fulsome picture of your private life that companies like Google may . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


It can’t be called Lexography, as it’s too close to lexicography, and Lexology has been taken, at least for commercial purposes. Please not Rechtographical Analysis. So what do people call the study of law that is not the practice of law? Legal Studies, perhaps, but it is a tepid choice. I think people mostly resort to specialties, such as legal history, legal theory, the philosophy of law, and the ‘law ands’: law and sociology, law and film, law and economics…

The study of law from non-legal or non-black-letter perspectives can usefully be divided into those that treat data derived from . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

BCE Decision Released

The Supreme Court of Canada this morning released its reasons for judgment in BCE Inc. v. 1976 Debentureholders, 2008 SCC 69. Oddly, this doesn’t yet appear to have received much coverage in the news sites. Perhaps we’re all eager to get home early and shovel our driveways?

Having not yet finished digesting the decision, I can’t say much. There’s a wealth of interesting and essential material here: a restatement of the directors’ fiduciary duty to the corporation, and the extent to which consideration of other stakeholders’ interests may enter into that duty; the “business judgment” rule; the obligation . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

A snow day across much of the country today, a day at any event for taking it easy as the holidays approach. So nothing of any moment in the fillip today. In fact today it’s a Friday Flip.

Flip is a game devised to show some of the things that can be done with Adobe Air. But for us, today, it’s simply a game. You can play it online, or you can download it to run on your desktop, if you have Air installed. The idea is simply to cause tiles to flip so that three of a kind lie . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Seasons Greetings 2008

♫ Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way…♫

Words and music by James Lord Pierpont.

At this time of the year I would like to wish each and everyone the Best of the Holiday Season and a Happy New Year. This upcoming year will be a challenging one and as such I hope for Peace, Hope and Happiness for all.

As has become my tradition, at this time as my gift to you I offer a few minutes of reflection. I hope this slide show and music . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous and Usage Statistics

CALI – the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction has been mentioned a few times here at Slaw * *. I was reminded about CALI recently by a post of the top ten fall semester 2008 lessons at the Law Librarian Blog.

The CALI site has an interesting first page – a list shows the frequently used material for the day, and week by the student subgroup- 1L, 2/3L and there is a link to more zeitgeist1 at the bottom of the page. One of the zeitgeist is the All Time Lesson Runs Since 2008-08-01. The following list, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Uncertain What to Get That Special Someone for Christmas? Try WSLR!

The Call List-Serv is offering the Western Samoa Law Reports, 1930-1949 and 1970-1979 (2 volumes) free for the cost of shipment. Some Samoan cases are available online, though the Index is also on PacificLii.

Samoan law is described in PacificLii.

I’ve not found any reference to any Canadian court having considered a Western Samoan case. But it does seem sad that the inexorable rise of web-based caselaw has put this obscure bit of antipodean jurisprudence in the recycling hopper. Unless someone wants to claim it from the BC Courthouse Library. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Reading

New LegalWeb2.0 Column & Survey

An item I blogged about yesterday over at Stem, I am about to start a new role in 2009 as a column editor for the ABA LPM’s Law Practice magazine. The column will be called LegalWEB2.0, and is set to begin in the Jan/Feb issue. Here’s a small screen capture from the inaugural column:

Connected to this new role, I am hoping you’ll help one of our first columnists Doug Cornelius by taking a new survey on law firms that block social media websites via their proxy servers or firewall. If your firm blocks these sites, or even . . . [more]

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

Dot Tel

There’s a new addition to the roster of domain name suffixes coming: .tel And it’s unique among extensions in at least a couple of ways. First, its distribution is in wholly private and commercial hands — you’ll pay to play — and second, it won’t locate a place on the web. Evidently, dot tel will lead to a collection of your resources located right on the domain name server, and what it serves up will depend on how you come to it and where you come from. The idea is to make the DNS emit information that is responsive to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Access to Justice Network Guide to Prorogation

The Access to Justice Network, a public legal information network funded by the Alberta Law Foundation, recently posted material about the federal political crisis relating to prorogation that shook Parliament, the pundits and the people earlier this month.

Other recent material on the topic includes:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law