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Firm Taglines List

I’d like to offer Slaw readers a quick pointer to a new mini-research project we’ve released over at Stem. For the past couple weeks Emma Durand-Wood has been assembling a list of law firm taglines from firms based in Canada, US and the UK.

That list is now live. Enjoy! . . . [more]

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

The $27-Million Lawsuit for Refusing Emergency Passport

Abousufian Abdelrasik, the Canadian citizen stranded in Sudan, is suing the government for $27-million.

The Statement of Claim asks for general and special damages of $20,000,000 for false imprisonment, torture negligence, intentional infliction of mental suffering, breach of fiduciary duty, and Charter breach of ss. 6, 7, and 12. Abdelrazik is also asking for punitive and aggravate damages $4,000,000, and an additional $3,000,000 for a similar basis against Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon.

Simon Chester previously linked Zinn J’s decision on the case.

The April 3, 2009 letter denying him an emergency passport can be found here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Substitutional Service via Facebook in Alberta

Ah, the unreported judgment…or in this case Order. Sometimes, interesting tidbits come out of discussions that flow to my ears via conversations from our lunchroom.

The walls of the Harvey A. Bodner Q.C. Lounge, named after one of my favourite former bosses, recently absorbed a conversation regarding a Masters order that an student-at-law heard about in passing from a professor regarding an order for substitutional service via Facebook.

The rumour made its way to me and thanks to the great memory of many individuals, including Professor Billingsley who supplied me with an action number, and our students who never complain . . . [more]

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

European Union Website Gets Major Makeover

Europa – the European Union’s official website – has just had a makeover.

The major idea was to separate laws and other technical material from more general information.

As well, the layout has been simplified and the site has been divided into 6 main themes:

  • About the EU (history, structure, institutions)
  • Policies and Activities (policy areas, grants, tenders)
  • Your Life in the EU (work, study, consumer rights, health, rights of residence)
  • Take Part! (online debates, blogs, YouTube videos)
  • Documentation Centre
  • Media Centre

A navigation menu reflecting those 6 themes appears on all pages to make it easier to move . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Judicial Humour

While looking for something else I stumbled across a page on Judicial Humor by staff at the Marion Gould Gallagher Law Library (at the University of Washington School of Law).

This page is a nice counterpoint to Dan Michaluk’s SLAW post last month on using humour (the correct spelling!) in legal advocacy.

The page from the Marion Gould Gallagher Law Library provides lots of examples by American judges writing their decisions in verse or inserting humour into their reasons (although somewhat frustratingly they link to password-protected Westlaw versions of the decisions, but they do provide some sample passages). One . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

CBA Guidelines on Using Electronic Marketing

Today’s CBA E-News contains a link to a report described as:

The CBA’s Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee presents a new report interpreting the CBA’s Code of Professional Conduct in the context of the new media. Your presence in the e-world: Guidelines for Ethical Marketing Practices Using New Information Technologies covers everything from e-mail tag lines to blog etiquette to web-based lawyer referral services.

It is only a guideline – as provincial law society rules are what actually govern. For the most part, it encourages lawyers to use social media – but cautions that the usual rules apply.

For example. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Now’s a Good Time Get Good at Processing Electronically Stored Information

If you litigate civil claims in Ontario and do not yet have a quality means of processing electronically stored information, your time may soon run out. This post describes why, explains what processing of electronically stored information is about and links to some key resources.

I’d like to deal with terminology first, because “processing” is an ambiguous term in e-discovery. It is often used in a narrow sense, to describe the process of manipulating paper or electronic records so they can be read by litigation support software. I use it here in a broader sense, to describe the process of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law

Metatag Suits Should Now Be Dropped

Although SEO specialists have long denied that metatags matter, there have been lawsuits over them for a number of reasons, including trademark infringement, attempt to divert business, and even defamation.

Dany Sullivan of Search Engine Watch outlines some of the major American suits over metatags.

Google’s Matt Cutt publicly confirmed yesterday for the first time that their search algorithm does ignore metatags. See the video here.

Eric Goldman of Santa Clara Law says,

Although occasionally judges have gotten it right (see, e.g., Standard Process v. Banks). most courts still treat the presence of a third party trademark in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

LCO Update

I won’t be posting on Slaw for a few weeks and so will use this post to identify upcoming developments at the LCO.

We’ve got a number of consultation papers coming out in the next little while. The first one is in our family law process project; it is really a consultation paper about how we’ll do consultations in that project. On that front, it is worth noting that the Attorney General has announced initiatives in family law process possible as a result of increased legal aid funding over the next four years. Obviously, we’ll be watching these developments as . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Just in time for Fall, some branching out in biotech this week:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Proving an Email

I find it a little puzzling that when it comes to proving emails there isn’t more fuss and bother than there appears to be. Doubtless I’m missing things that Slaw readers, particularly the e-discovery folks, perhaps, will point out to me. But it strikes me that the very thing making email so wonderfully convenient is also likely to make it difficult to prove an email in a court of law. I’m referring, of course, to email’s etherial nature: the fact that an email exists both everywhere and nowhere in particular.

Unlike a printed letter, which has an actual, physical, unique . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Toronto: From 43 Bylaws to One

The City of Toronto currently operates under 43 bylaws inherited from the various municipalities that were amalgamated to make up the existing City. Work started in 2003 to rework the bylaws, and today they are working towards one proposed draft zoning bylaw. Public consultations have been taking place, with the last one coming up this Thursday in the North York Civic Centre Council Chamber. A report on the public consultation will be made at the November 4th Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting. As well, over 500 stakeholder groups have been identified. They hope for completion and adoption of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology