Canada’s online legal magazine.

Non-Print Guides to Legal Research

I believe that the oldest use of media other than print to teach legal research was a videotape with voice-over by Stephen Borins back in the academic year, 1970-1971 in which he ran through a legal research problem which touched on Priestman v. Colangelo and the liability of police officers. It stressed the reliability of the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest and touched briefly on Butterworths Ontario Digest and the Canadian Abridgement.

The tape required a technician from York’s AV division to run it, and was very much talking head with some close-ups of book pages. It might be in a dusty . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

This week in biotech focused on cost effectiveness, as everyone from Ontario to Florida and from VCs to pharma companies continue to look for ways to squeeze the most out of every dollar.

In Florida, a report assessing the state’s progress in attracting high value life science jobs showed that in the first six years of its efforts, legislators have spent about $1.4 million for each of the 1,100 jobs created. In the year we’ve been tracking similar data, this is the highest per-job spending we’ve seen.

The Florida report recommended more spending to assist with early-stage capital, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Mind the Gap

This past week, the Government of British Columbia announced that Information and Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis would be leaving that post to take on the role of Deputy Attorney General of the province. The transition will be effective February 1, 2010 though his resignation as Commissioner [PDF] was effective immediately.

David was appointed Commissioner in 1999 and he has overseen a dramatic transformation in privacy laws affecting British Columbians. The Personal Information Protection Act came into being during his tenure and his report on the effect of the USA Patriot Act on the privacy of Canadians is known around the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

E-Learning Changing the Face of Law

Richard Susskind of the Times Online has a piece this week on how the College of Law‘s Legal Practice Course is delivered with video, slides, and audio – which can all be paused and started at a student’s leisure in their own home.

He also mentions the online initiatives at the BPP Law School and the University of Strathclyde. The latter actually has students role-playing as solicitors dealing with a real problem in a virtual law firm.

Susskind closes saying,

Sceptics protest. They say that a law lecture should be a communal event at which students are professionally

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information

Slaw Retweets 10-24/01/10

Here’s a selection from the last week or so of tweets that I and others think might interest those who don’t use Twitter or who don’t follow the authors of these tweets.

If you are on Twitter and read or publish something that you think we should re-broadcast here, simply include the hash tag #slawca in the tweet or retweet. If you’ve published something on Slaw, there’s no need to use that hashtag on Twitter: all it does is bring to our attention things we might not otherwise have seen.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Slaw Retweets

Do the Number of Hours Billed a Year Determine Whether Someone Is a Good Lawyer?

I was a presenter to the CBA BC Branch Work Life Balance Section meeting on January 21, 2010, entitled “The Lawyer Management Challenge: Attracting and Keeping Great Talent.”

The content of my presentation was largely based on my earlier post on Slaw on “How Virtual Law Firms Attract and Retain Great Legal Talent.”

The key three slides of my presentation set out a side by side comparison of the schedule and compensation of an associate working for a traditional law firm versus a contract lawyer working for Heritage Law:

A Day in the Life

View more documents from Nicole Garton-Jones

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

Ivan Rand: First Rate Mind, Third Rate Temperament

From Volume III, Issue II of Amicus Curiae, Western Law’s Student Paper

Canada was a different place before Trudeaumania swept the nation, and the man we know as Ivan Rand, founding Dean of this law school and former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, was a product of his times. It would be easy to dismiss Dean Rand as an intolerant bigot, but as William Kaplan explained to an audience at Western Law on Nov. 11, [2009,] Rand was complicated character.

“Canadian judicial biography has been, with a few exceptions, mostly uncritical and largely celebratory, written by . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Security Insecurity

A recent entry in the ongoing conversation about air travel security is this German TV show that demonstrates an utterly ineffectual body scanner. Some of the comments here and here provide useful links and partial translations of the proceedings (though some others tend to get ranty and off-colour).

One in particular caught my eye at the first link, posted by paul on January 22, 2010 9:03 AM:

It seems we’re back to the classic sensitivity/specificity tradeoff. If an operator passes every scan that look potentially dangerous to the body-search people, you find stuff, but you don’t have the capacity to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

“. . . along came a spider and sat down beside her. . .” Which might give anyone pause, not only arachnophobes. These arthropods, which have two legs up on insects, don’t fuss me much — I was taught as a child never to harm a spider — something about bad luck — and so those that do cosy up to me usually get taken outside with some care. Even so, I can’t imagine doing what seventy people in Madagascar did not too long ago.

The intrepid Madagascarians (?) collected golden orb spiders (click to see – arachnophobe warning) . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen

For many years now my firm, Adler Bytensky Prutschi, has enjoyed the opportunity to host a student placement for Osgoode Hall Law School’s Criminal Intensive Program (CIP). This week, for the first time in the history of our involvement with the program, we were informed that “due to low enrolment in the course this year” a student would not be assigned to us.

While I am only hypothesizing, I fear that this storied program’s current enrolment woes are tied directly to the continuing erosion of our legal aid system. Barely a decade ago when I was a student in . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Mirror, Mirror

What is it about lawyers and librarians that we spend so much time thinking, talking and trying to change the way our professions are perceived? A search through the literature of both disciplines reveals what amounts to an obsession. I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised, given that “client-focused” is a key characteristic of both groups. We worry about how we are perceived because otherwise we run the risk of losing business. If we don’t articulate our value, we’re expendable. 

SLAWyer Jordan Furlong has taken on the task of articulating the value of the legal profession in his Law 21 . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information