Canada’s online legal magazine.

Canada Needs a CTO

Canada should have a Chief Technology Officer, similar to what Obama is doing in the US. While using modern tools to deliver government services is important, the role I am suggesting for a CTO is a bit different.

It would deal with how technology inter-relates with legislation and policy.

The general idea behind a Canadian CTO would be to have someone experienced and well-versed in science and technology issues, who understands current tools and trends in technology, where those trends may be headed, and how they may affect citizens and businesses.

Understanding that would lead to better legislation and policies . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario Bans Smoking in Cars When Children Present

Section 9.2(1) of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, S.O. 1994, c. 10, came into force today. The section bans smoking in cars when there is a child less than 16 years old in the car:

9.2(1) No person shall smoke tobacco or have lighted tobacco in a motor vehicle while another person who is less than 16 years old is present in the vehicle.

Given that cigarette smoking has close to zero social utility when compared against the known and suspected health risks of cigarette smoking, I say this is a good move (one presumes it may also reduce . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

People of the New Nation: Obama ’09 Inauguration Wordle

Many people are distracted today, and I thought this might be a bit of a “Tuesday Fillip”. This word cloud shows the use of terms in Barack Obama’s Inauguration speech today. The more often a word or phrase, the larger it will appear.

Source: Barack Obama Inauguration 2009 Wordle
Licensed under Creative Commons by

Link courtesy of L.J. Montserrat. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology

Presidential Sites

The new U.S. President’s web page is up at There’s an animated square menu in the upper left corner that rotates through four features; and down below there are excerpts from the new blog, which you can access directly at (feed at Good to see that slick as the work of President Obama’s IT people is (and it is), they too can fluff it: the blog post Read the Inaugural Address promised but didn’t deliver the text of his speech. Doubtless it’ll be coming along with the also promised video. As you might have expected, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous


A new effort on the web, (“The Definitive Portal of Legal Information on the Internet”), is aimed at filtering the flow of blawg posts to bring you only those of quality. How does this happen? Though the effort of members, apparently. You join OverFlowLegal and:

OFL members who demonstrate an ability to identify, post, rate, categorize and comment on quality content will be invited to become Associate Editors of OFL. Associate Editors who demonstrate an ability to manage other member’s posted content may be invited to become full time staff as Editors of OFL.

As you’ll see if you . . . [more]

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

The LCO: A Toe in the Water of Interactive Communication

So I was thinking about what to write about: with the posts on the Martin Luther King Jr. collection made open to the public (by the way, when did he become MLK? something else I missed, obviously), the Inauguration today and hearing Oscar Peterson’s Hymn to Freedom (to be played at the Inauguration), it was tempting to add my musings to the millions of words written and spoken about how these are all interconnected, why it took someone with Obama’s background rather than the descendant of slaves to get things this far, or about the significance of transitions in democratic . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Juris Classeur – Major Encyclopedia of Quebec and Canadian Law Launched by Lexis Nexis

LexisNexis has just published the first two volumes of a major encyclopedia of Quebec and Canadian law in French – the Juris Classeur Quebec. Modeled on the celebrated series of encyclopedias that have for 100 years set the standard for legal publishing in France, this “made in Quebec” version of the classic French encyclopedia is expected to quickly establish itself as an essential and authoritative element of the practice of law in Canada.

The Juris Classeur is in fact a series of five separate multi-volume encyclopedias known as “collections”, each one dealing with one of the grand subjects of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

Taking Lexisweb Out for a Spin

Spurred by Doug Cornelius’s post on the Lexisweb beta, I decided to give the new kid a try.

I created a couple of scenarios and compared results in Lexisweb (LW) against CanLII (CL) and Google (G). Of course, I expected a certain variability in the results. CanLII has a deliberately limited scope, and Google extremely large. I expected LW to come in somewhere in the middle, as according to the user’s guide, there is deliberate selection of sources to be indexed. I’m guessing that otherwise, the process is automated, making Lexisweb roughly like MOSS or other enterprise search products.

The . . . [more]

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

The George W. Bush Presidential Library – Coming Soon

As everyone gears up for Barack Obama’s inauguration tomorrow, other work is being done behind the scenes for George W. Bush’s step into the history books. That includes the creation of a George W. Bush Presidential Library. According to Wikipedia, construction could cost between $200 and $500 million, and it will be located at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. The George W. Bush Presidential Library will be part of the larger George W. Bush Presidential Center, which will also house a museum, policy institute and foundation.

According to the

The presidential center building is being

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Interprofessional Health Law Conference at UofT

The medical and law students at UofT collaborated recently to hold the First Annual Interprofessional Health Law Conference.

The health sector is already a significant portion of the governmental budget, comprises a major element of today’s economy, and is relatively recession proof. Legal issues in this growing area will inevitably be part of the portfolio for the lawyer of tomorrow.

The keynote speakers for the event were Dr. Sarita Verma, Deputy Dean of Graduate Postgraduate education at UofT Medicine, and Elyse Sunshine of the Health Law group at Gardiner Roberts.

Dr. Verta explained the role that various stakeholders . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Slaw RSS Reader Update

Here’s the week’s update on what’s been happening in the comments and on the website, for those who follow us by RSS.

The winner in the comments sweepstakes was Connie Crosby’s LinkedIn Becoming More Powerful for Legal Industry Use, with 8 comments.

Ted Tjaden was a close runner up with the unlikely Jactitation of Marriage – The Unnecessary Legal Phrase of the Day, which garnered 6 comments, if you can believe it.

On the website itself we’ve put The Cromwell Pages back in the box: the links are gone from the front page but you can still read . . . [more]

Posted in: Slaw RSS Site News

Annotated Civil Code

LexUM has released a digital, annotated version of the Quebec Civil Code. With this release the Code for the first time obtains a hyperlinked table of contents, which even the version on the LexUM supported CanLII lacks. But the new LexUM version offers much more: each section is seeded with caselaw annotations extracted from CanLII and may be further annotated by viewers; there’s an “[add]” button at the bottom of the screen that in good AJAX fashion opens out a form to receive the relevant data about a case. As well there’s an “[annotate]” button allowing the viewer to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing