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LCO Release of Consultation Paper in Disabilities Project

Last Friday, July 3rd, the Law Commission of Ontario released our first consultation paper in our project to develop a coherent approach to the law as it affects persons with disabilities. You can also see a video that turns the tables on able-bodied people (or, in recognition of the reality that many people develop serious physical or mental challenges as they age or for other reasons, “not yet disabled people”). . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Codex Sinaticus

The British Library, together with partners, has put on line the Codex Sinaticus, the earliest known surviving version of the Christian Bible, including the Old Testament, dating to somewhere in the middle of the fourth century. The website enables you to peruse certain pages of the document with varying magnification and, in some cases, with different kinds of lighting. The image you see here is a portion of Leviticus — Chapter 21, Verse 5 — chosen more or less randomly from among the many regulations and statutes found in the Septuagint.

  . . . [more]

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

Daily Coverage of CRTC Hearings

Further to the Slaw post yesterday, daily coverage is being posted both on the CBC News website, and on Michael Geist’s blog. From Monday:

Net neutrality doesn’t exist, CRTC told (, July 6, 2009)

CRTC Net Neutrality Hearings Open Amid ISPs’ Conflicting Claims (Michael Geist blog, July 6, 2009)

CRTC Network Management Hearings, Day One: Sandvine, Juniper, Consumer Groups (Michael Geist blog, July 6, 2009) . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

A July Pot Pourri

These news items likely aren’t worthwhile putting as separate posts, so this is a silly season round-up of odd notes from the legal media.

We’re Staying in Dayton

Despite what we speculated last year about the outsourcing of jobs from Dayton, Lexis told the local paper last week that it has no plans to move and that 3,000 jobs in town are safe.

Amazing ROI in Legal Publishing

Want to quadruple your money in 55 months? Sounds like a Madoff line.

Well, in 2004, a London fund put £750,000 of fund money into a Lexis spin-off, a MBO . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Technology

Remembering Heather McArthur

Saturday’s Globe brought the sad news of the death of Heather McArthur, who Slaw readers may have encountered through her career in the Ontario Bar Association and in continuing legal education.

Heather had a strong interest in the use of technology to deliver CLE and was an early and enthusiastic backer of annual legal technology onferences in Toronto.

At the Ontario Bar Association, she had been, at various times, Director of Continuing Legal Education, Director of Technology, and Acting Executive Director.

She was warm, enthusiastic and committed. Our sympathy to her husband Paul Truster, who also has long been involved . . . [more]

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

A Century of British Newspapers Online

The British Library has made two million pages from forty-nine mostly regional 19th century newspapers available online. There’s a search function that does an adequate job of locating your terms within the scanned-in pages, though because of the quality of much of the type and the imaging, it’s less than perfect. (I did the, for me, obvious search on my last name, which is sufficiently uncommon to make the inquiry worthwhile: wound up with a great number of hits on the word “sudden” because the “s” was often a long ‘s’ — the one that looks like an ‘f’ — . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

CRTC Hearings Examine Canada’s Internet Service Providers

Starting today, the CRTC is holding meetings in Gatineau, Quebec, to examine how Internet service providers, notably Bell and Rogers, manage and manipulate traffic on the Internet and whether this is in accordance with the Telecommunications Act. Their current “traffic shaping” practices include throttling, deep packet inspection, and putting download limits or extra charges on high bandwidth users.

There are a number of arguments against their current practice:

  • smaller ISPs who buy bandwidth from Bell and resell it should be allowed to decide how to manage their own traffic, that the current practice is anti-competitive
  • ISPs should not
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

The Willing Suspension of Disbelief

There have been very amusing discussions of the improbability of things that happen in the movies actually happening—the ability of the hero or heroine to find a parking space exactly where he or she needs one, being a common one. In fact, I think that some were recently published on Slaw.

I am now seeing movies and television programmes in which software works flawlessly—the most recent programme that I saw was a (fictional) English TV series on MI-5 in which the good guys defeated a nefarious plot to take down the British Internet by first copying information in the Russian . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Security of Judicial Information

On electronic discovery issues we tend to focus on the early stages – identification and preservation. But what happens at the end of the process? After all, the purpose of electronic discovery is to help the parties settle their case and ultimately prepare for trial. When cases do get to that stage, and the parties have gathered, reviewed and produced their “ESI”, can they be sure that the court will handle the evidence in a way that keeps it secure?

Because not all governments and court administrators have developed appropriate systems for e-trials, some judges have taken it upon themselves . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Kudos to Burnet, Duckworth: Put the Boots to Hunger

As Calgarians head into the Stampede, today’s Globe and Mail notes that the partners at Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer have decided to make a donation to their local food bank rather than hold their annual Stampede party. Here’s the relevant bit:

Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP decided to forgo its usual glitzy party with more than 2,000 guests after it learned that the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank had recently seen a 50-per-cent jump in demand, but a decrease in donations and volunteers.

“The partners got together and decided, you know, it may be more appropriate this year instead of putting

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

More Federal Expenditures From Public Accounts Volume III

Since Steve pointed the way, Slaw readers might well be interested to see from the Public Accounts volume III that Justice Canada appears to be a Lexis shop rather than a Westlaw-ECarswell.

Page 71 of the Accounts provide details of where “Canada’s largest law firm” – as Justice Canada is often described – spends its legal information dollars:

Lexisnexis Canada Inc Kingston Ont $1,146,011
Quicklaw Inc Kingston Ont $200,484
Carswell Toronto Ont $409,583

The DPP expenditures are similarly skewed.

Lexisnexis Canada Inc Kingston Ont 324,940
Quicklaw Inc Kingston Ont 102,476

Of course the really large cheques are cut elsewhere: CGI . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous