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Canada’s New Copyright Bill Revealed Tomorrow

Late-breaking news:

OTTAWA, June 11, 2008 — The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, and Minister for La Francophonie, will deliver brief statements and answer media inquiries shortly after the tabling of a bill to amend the Copyright Act. Members of the media will also be able to attend a technical briefing and lock-up prior to the tabling of the bill to amend the Copyright Act.

Date: Thursday, June 12, 2008

Industry Canada News

It looks as if the media lockup will be over by . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Government of Canada Officially Apologizes for Indian Residential Schools Fiasco

Prime Minister Stephen Harper presented a formal apology today on behalf of the Canadian government for the damage done to generations of aboriginal Canadians who went through Indian residential schools.

The apology was read to a packed House of Commons in which many aboriginal leaders had been invited to sit. The apology ceremony was broadcast live on TV, radio, and the Internet.

From the 19th century until very recently, in total, about 150,000 aboriginal, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities and forced to attend remote boarding schools run by Christian congregations under government contract. Countless children were . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Supreme Court Advocacy Institute Helps Lawyers Prepare for Their Big Day in Court

The Globe and Mail features an article in yesterday’s paper about the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, an organization that puts together mock sessions to help lawyers who are about to appear in front of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Institute organized mock court hearings for 20 percent of all the cases heard last year by Canada’s highest court, according to the newspaper. Some of Canada’s top litigators volunteer their time to act as judges:

“Like musicologists discussing a classical composition, the ‘judges’ then take apart a lawyer’s arguments and suggest where they may fall flat, distract the judges

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law

Curious

Strange days in Canadian legal publishing.

We wonder what to make of reports that there’s been a major executive blood-letting at one of the big three legal publishers.

Perhaps its mere coincidence that a CEO, an Exective VP and the VPs of Customer Service, sales and marketing all appear to have left within a matter of weeks.

Perhaps its all business as usual and this is natural staff progression. Perhaps the profits aren’t flowing in from the Canadian market.
Perhap the company is imploding.

We’re just asking. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Lingro

This is pretty cool: give Lingro a URL and it hotlinks every word on that page to a dictionary, and it offers you the ability to translate the word you’re looking up into one of a number of other languages. As you can see below, I gave it the current home page on Slaw, clicked on “superior” and asked for a French translation. This would be really helpful I imagine if you were reading a text in a language with which you weren’t very familiar and needed to get the definition for a lot of words.

There’s review of Lingro . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Bernardo Interview Tape to Be Available to All Media

Today Ontario Superior Court Justice David McCombs made his final ruling allowing all media–television and internet alike–access to a tape of an interview with Paul Bernardo.

The video, running 31 minutes, shows Bernardo being questioned in a Kingston, Ontario jail on June 7, 2007 about the murder of Elizabeth Bain. Bernardo was not originally considered a suspect in her death, but some lawyers believe he should have been. Robert Baltovich was convicted of Bain’s murder in 1992.

The tape was meant to be evidence in Baltovich’s court case this past April, but was never played. According to the CBC website: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Tarlton Collection: Law in Pop Culture

The wonderful Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas in Austin is developing a collection dedicated to the portrayal of law in popular culture, the goal of which “is to provide as broad a picture as possible of the image of the lawyer in the United States and British Commonwealth.” There is material from print, TV and movies, with only cartoons missing — an important aspect, I should have thought, but one that may be difficult because of copyright.

The collection circulates to those with a Tarlton library card, of course, but for the rest of us there are . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Law Firm Beta Tests iPhone 2.0


At the WWDC keynote address by Apple earlier today, an updated version of the iPhone was released. Steve Jobs is informally calling it “iPhone 2.0″, and a video of customers who beta tested the mobile phone is included in the usual slick keynote video.

This time around, U.S.-based firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP beta tested the phone for two months. One of the features of the updated iPhone is the new integration with Microsoft Exchange so that firms and other PC-centric organizations can have push email, scheduling and contacts from Microsoft Outlook.

Will the iPhone overtake the upcoming Blackberry . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology

Slaw — by the Thousands

I’m proud and a little surprised to be able to say that yesterday I posted my 1000th entry on Slaw. It’s almost three years since I started blogging here — our anniversary is July 8, so stay tuned for the celebration — and the time has whizzed by. And curiously, as I reached the millennial mark, we as a group were also reaching a pair of important milestones (should say “kilostones” I guess): there have been 3003 posts to Slaw since its inception, and 4010 comments made on those posts.

And while we’re counting by the thousands, let me report . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

New Student Law Blog – With a Summer Twist

Summer students at Cassels Brock in Toronto are breaking new ground by writing a blog this summer. What a fantastic idea. It shows the everyday life of summer law students on Bay Street for those who have not yet embarked on law school. It is also a great way for summer students not at this particular firm to compare notes.

According to a news release from Cassels Brock:

“This is the first student-run blog devoted to capturing the Cassels Brock summer experience,” noted Leigh-Ann McGowan, Practice Support Lawyer, Cassels Brock. “The blog was named, developed and is maintained by the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Life Is Just a Fantasy

On June 2, 2008 (one week ago) the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of Major League Baseball Advanced Media v. C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc (2007) 505 F.3d 818. ((8th Cir.(Mo.) Oct 16, 2007)), the Fantasy Sports case. To backtrack a bit; for those who are unfamiliar, Fantasy Sports (or rotisserie and many other names), is the pursuit where players “select” teams of players from real sports teams and compete against other fantasy sports players based upon the statistics compiled by the players they have selected, Wikipedia Definition here.

Fantasy sports have evolved over the . . . [more]

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