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Archive for April, 2007

A Legal Research Pioneer Dies

Sad news from the SCC today:the death of the Honourable Bertha Wilson, the first woman justice of Canada’s highest court. For legal researchers, she will always be remembered as the founder of the specialty of legal resaerch within major law firms, when she founded Oslers’ research department in the Sixties.

Pioneering lawyer, jurist, gardener – with a wry sense of humour. A great loss.

Sent: Mon 4/30/2007 2:50 PM
Subject: Supreme Court of Canada – News Release / Cour suprême du Canada – Communiqué de presse

OTTAWA, April 30, 2007 – The Supreme Court of Canada issued the following . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

SCOTUS Refuses to Hear Khadr

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in the case of Khadr v. Bush. Omar Khadr is the 20-year-old Canadian who, at the age of 15, was taken prisoner by the Americans in Afghanistan and accused of murder, attempted murder, spying and other charges. He now faces a hearing by a military commission after spending five years in the Guantanamo detention centre.

Three justices voted to hear the appeal, but it takes four to succeed. The three were Justices Bryer, Ginsberg and Souter. No reasons were given and the matter was disposed of in one line, according to SCOTUSblog . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Sakatchewan Plans Free Wifi

According to a Government of Saskatchewan press release from a couple of months ago (which I’ve only now found out about, thanks to Michael Geist):

Residents and visitors to the downtown business districts and post-secondary institutions of Saskatchewan’s four largest centres will soon be able to access the country’s largest wireless Internet network, free-of-charge. Premier Lorne Calvert and Minister responsible for Information Technology Andrew Thomson made the announcement today in Saskatoon.

The Saskatchewan! Connected initiative will offer users basic Internet service in Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Regina, and Moose Jaw via a wireless Wi-Fi network to be operated by the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Causes of Death

Never far removed from anything, and one of the big events in law, death can be interesting, even to Slawyers. StatsCan has released a country-wide analysis of “Mortality, Summary List of Causes,” with breakdowns for sex and geography. The most compendious view is in the Main Table: html, pdf. Here you’ll find all manner of medical and other causes of death, with the associated numbers and rates per 100,000. Accidents, suicide, assault, “legal intervention,” “operations of war and their sequelae”… all of the horsemen of the appocalypse are here and their outriders too. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


I’m starting to feel like a producer on Rocky VI with this post, but I also feel that I should follow this through to the end. Earlier this week, it was announced that the Beaverbrook foundation is indeed filing an appeal of Justice Peter Cory’s decision in the Beaverbrook Art Arbitration. The appeal is being launched under the New Brunswick Arbitration Act and will be heard by a panel of three retired judges.

Story from

Story from Saint John Telegraph-Journal.

I do not have much commentary other that to point you to Simon F’s comment from the last . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

Tyger is a great short film by a Brazillian, Guillherme Marcondes. You can watch it online at various bandwidths, or download it for viewing offline.

Tyger an interpretation of Blake’s marvelous poem of the same name:

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

[Read the rest of the poem here.]

There are no words behind the film, just sound and music. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

CALL/ACBD Conference, Ottawa May 6-9, 2007

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries/Association Canadienne des bibliotheques de droit is hosting our annual conference May 6 to 9th at the wonderful Fairmont Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa.

The theme of the conference is the clever “CAPITALizing on Change” (en français: “CAPITALiser sur le changement”). Peter de Jager, one of my favourite speakers and an expert on change, will be our kick-off speaker talking on “Managing the impact of technological change in law libraries”. I am excited about this and the rest of the program, so it is going to be a challenge as usual to decide . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Firefox Extension to Customize Google

Those of you who use Firefox might like to take a look at an “add-on,” as the extensions and plugins are now being called, that lets you customize your Google pages to some extent. CustomizeGoogle (what else would it be called?) boasts the following features:

  • Use Google Suggest (suggest words while you’re typing)
  • Add links to competitors
  • Rewrite links to point straight to the images in Google Images
  • Removes image copying restrictions in Google Book Search
  • Secure Gmail and Google Calendar, switch to https
  • Block Google Analytics cookies
  • Hide the Gmail spam counter
  • Make URL previews on sponsored links visible
  • . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    MySpace Beating Porn?

    Another interesting article from the Toronto Star:

    Social networking rivals porn on Web” (April 23rd) discusses how web traffic to social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook) is coming close to the numbers attracted to online porn sites. According to market research firm HitWise, porn’s dominance on the Internet is being challenged mainly by MySpace, the most popular website in the US. The article even hints at the influence of porn sites on the current crop of social networking sites. . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Toronto Legal KM Session

    The Ark Group is putting on KM Legal 201: Moving Beyond Technology (Determining the future of your firm’s knowledge management) on May 17 in Toronto. The list of speakers is as follows:

    – Ted Tjaden, Director, Knowledge Management, McMillan Binch Mendelson LLP
    – Joshua Fireman, Vice President Market Development & General Counsel, ii3
    – Marcia Cooper, Director of Knowledge Management, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
    – Norman Letalik, Partner, Managing Director, Professional Excellence, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
    – Elizabeth Ellis, Chief Knowledge Officer & Director of Research, Goodman and Carr LLP
    – Laurence Detiere, Partner, Director of Knowledge Management, Davies

    . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous