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Legal Elements of Causes of Action

Tip of the Day: While preparing a paper on “Effective Litigation Knowledge Management” for the November 17-18, 2008 Canadian Law & Technology Forum in Toronto, I reminded myself of an extremely useful chart for any drafter of litigation pleadings, being Appendix A from Summary Judgments and Dispositions Before Trial (LexisNexis Butterworths) by Robert van Kessel. This chart sets out the legal elements for thirty-seven causes of action (ranging from abuse of process to unjust enrichment) and fifteen defences (including duress and novation). Citations to supporting case law are provided. UPDATE: The author let me know (23 October 2008) . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

New Products Due to LexisNexis / ThomsonReuters (Carswell) Competition

The competition between LexisNexis Quicklaw and WestlaweCARSWELL in Canada can only benefit users. In a number of areas, the companies are responding to the other by announcing new or improved products (e.g., the introduction by LexisNexis of Halsbury’s Laws of Canada appears to have Carswell reinvigorating the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest).

Another area where this has happened is in online Words and Phrases services. Although Quicklaw was first to the mark with an online service, WestlaweCARSWELL has recently added an online equivalent of its print (blue-colored) multi-volume Words and Phrases services (and I think I like it better).

Likewise, since . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Retiring an Old Friend

It was with mixed feelings we have “retired” our All England Law Reports – Canadian Annotations to the Consolidated Tables and Index looseleaf but it just wasn’t being used.

It was a great product that provided a list of U.K. cases reported in the All England Law Reports showing which Canadian court decisions had considered those U.K. decisions. Its strength was quality of entries. However, its time has likely come given the ease by which one can search on the name of the U.K. case (e.g., jarvis /4 swan) in a Canadian full-text judgments database to get a more exhaustive . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Word Processors Won’t Help in Court

That’s the title of my latest London Free Press article. I thought Slaw readers might find the article interesting. Since my arrangement with the newspaper does not allow me to republish it for a period of time anywhere but on my own blog, you can read it on my blog, or on the Free Press site, or on the Canoe technology news page (although this weeks article is not yet there at the time I write this.)

The gist of the article is that a UK judge was very critical of the drafter of an agreement, accusing him/her . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Michael Sauers on Creative Commons

I am currently at the Internet Librarian 2008 conference in Monterey, CA. Under the category of “I wish you were here” is the presentation by Michael Sauers, Technology Innovation Librarian from the Nebraska Library Commission. I caught the tail end of his presentation and unfortunately didn’t take notes, but here are his Lessig-esque slides. Michael knows a lot about Creative Commons through practical use as well as trial-and-error.

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Substantive Law

Iacobucci Report Released

The Canadian government has released the massive (544 pages) final report of the Internal Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin [PDF] chaired by The Honourable Frank Iacobucci, q.c. Commissioner. There is a secret report, as well as this public version, containing material subject to national security confidentiality.

It is worth, I believe, quoting at some length from Justice Iacobucci’s opening “Commissioner’s Statement”:

[R]espect for rights and freedoms is a constraint on a democracy that ter-rorists do not share. Indeed by their very actions they repudiate these rights and freedoms.

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

Keeping Found Things Found: Our Challenge in the Age of the Information Tsunami

A colleague, John Gillies at Cassels Brock, introduced me to the book “Keeping Found Things Found” earlier in the year. This book should be a key reference for Information Technology (IT) and Information Management (IM) professionals. The book’s subtitle says it all “the study and practice of information management”. Information Management and Knowledge Management are often used as interchangeable terms. However, to do this implies information and knowledge are equivalent. Not! I quote from John Seely Brown who makes the distinction – we say to people “I sent you the information, did you get it?” But we . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Copyright and the Campaign

Copyright didn’t play a large part in the recent Canadian election (despite Michael Geist’s admirable efforts), and it hasn’t played much of a role south of the border either. However, it did make a brief appearance last week.

It turns out some of John McCain’s campaign videos, which had been uploaded to this year’s hottest campaigning tool, Youtube, contained copyrighted material (in particular, the infamous clip of Barack Obama describing – fill in the blank – as “lipstick on a pig”). In accordance with their obligations under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Youtube removed the ads after when the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

NDAs: One Tight, One Loose

Ideas are certainly a coin of the internet business realm, if not the only specie, and so it’s natural that makers and marketers want to claim and protect them. Since there’s no copyright in ideas, corporations are careful to require strict non-disclosure agreements from those whom they employ or with whom they do a certain business, relying on secrecy (and prompt NDA enforcement) to protect a notion until it can be matured to a patentable or copyright-able form. Apple, for instance, imposed a NDA obligation on anyone who wanted access to that company’s iPhone operating system data in order to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News

Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News

Vol. 12, No. 6, October 19, 2008
ISSN 1489-954X


1. Studies, Legislation and Conventions:
WIPO Study on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries
Creative Commons Launches Study of “Noncommercial” Use
Bill C-61 Dies With Canadian Election Call

2. Legal Cases:
Harry Potter Lexicon Breached Copyright
Peer-to-Peer Magazine Site Settles Dispute

3. Of Interest:
Hollywood Demands Royalties From Irish Playschools
U.S. Music Groups Agree on Royalties for Online Streaming
Copyright Law is a Balancing Act
OCLC Pilots Copyright Registry

4. Seminars and Publications:
Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

JD Supra – Sharing Documents With RSS and Widgets

Steve Matthews frequently teaches us about using RSS feeds and how to repurpose them for different uses. I like this example: last week JD Supra announced all documents are now available for redistribution using RSS feeds and widgets. If you are a member of JD Supra, you can re-purpose your own documents using these tools. Whether you are a member or not, you can also pull specific types of documents (hot documents, law practice articles, legal alerts and newsletters) or specific subjects (currently commercial, environment and energy, and technology law) onto your blog, website, or intranet page.

For an . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Publication Bans in the Era of Online Information

The website of the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario includes an interesting discussion of publication bans in Ontario, but really misses the point when it comes to the distribution of court judgments and publication bans in the era of online distribution and access to legal information.

Publication bans are described on the website as “an exception to the constitutional right of the media to publish information about court cases”. The website goes on to say that publication bans may be necessary in certain cases “to protect the fairness and integrity of the case, the privacy or safety of . . . [more]

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