Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for July, 2008

My First Slaw Post – SCC on Blogging

I’d like to thank Slaw for inviting me to be a regular contributor.

Ironically, this first post is a reference to my latest weekly London Free Press article that was inspired by a post on Slaw entitled “SCC Recognizes Blogging“.

While I can’t reproduce the article here for contractual/copyright reasons, you can read it on my blog, on Canoe, or on the Free Press site.

The article starts off with “A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision concerning a libel suit against a radio host referred to the changing attitudes surrounding public comment and defamation . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

These Are the Daves!

For those of you that thought having two Simon’s here at Slaw was confusing, get ready for take-off! This week Slaw is ecstatic to welcome three new weekly contributors – David Bilinsky, David Canton, and David Fraser. If you’ve followed Canadian law blogs over the past couple years, none of who will need much of an introduction. But, we’ll do it anyway…

David Bilinsky is the Practice Management Advisor and staff lawyer for the Law Society of British Columbia. His impressive CV includes such items as being Chair of the Editorial Board for Law Practice Magazine, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Thirst for Knowledge…

Out-Googling Google.

by David J. Bilinsky

July 29, 2008.

♫ I tried my best to let you know
That I’m not trying to test you
It’s just so hard to let you go
When I have nothing against you…♫

Words and music by Midtown

It was just a matter of time. It isn’t that I have anything against you, Google, indeed I have learned so much from you, but in time, all things must end. Alas, I have found another.

Cuil (pronounced cool) is the new well, Cool search engine in town. And she is big – very big . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Hague Justice Portal

What with the arrest of Radovan Karadžić, world attention will likely return for a moment at least to the Hague, and to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in particular. One way to stay in touch with developments at the ICTY and, indeed, all international justice doings at the Hague, is to frequent the Hague Justic Portal. Available in Dutch, French and English, the portal is the creation of The Hague Academic Coalition, a consortium of various institutes in the Hague. . . . [more]

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

The Friday Fillip

Summer got in the way of the last few Fridays, but I’m back with something completely irrelevant, as ususal. This week it’s numbers. Numbers that make no sense to anyone with the exception of two people in the world. So why would we want to pay attention to something so…cryptic?

Because it’s all about secrets, the sort that spies have. And about numbers stations that are still today used to broadcast shortwave messages to those spies.

All over the world unlicensed broadcasts occur at various points on the shortwave band, most at rigorously regular times, some at apparently random times, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Zotero on LLRX

beSpacific reports that LLRX has posted a positive description of Zotero. The review does not mention that there is only a draft version of a citation style for the Blue Book, and nothing in the works to make Zotero work with our own inimitable Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation.

I think Zotero is the product of the near-to-mid future, and I expect legal writers will move to it as soon as there is a style for them to use, because most of us are fed up with the vagaries of Endnote and related products (lack of networkablility . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Technology

The Virtual Chase – Soon to Be No More

Genie Tyburski gave us the disappointing news yesterday that she is bringing her site, The Virtual Chase, to a close over the coming months. I will miss her regular updates, hints, tips, and posts of other useful information. She has been maintaining the site and its update, TVC Alert, hosted by her firm Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll in Philadelphia for 12 years. I think congratulations to Genie are in order both for her excellent work with The Virtual Chase and for her new role, as of yesterday, as library manager at Ballard Spahr. However, note that Genie hints . . . [more]

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

The Value of Halsbury’s Laws

Or rather the value of access to Halsbury’s Laws. That’s the issue that the English courts must decide in a breach of contract claim involving a Reed-Elsevier legal author and the Anglo-Dutch legal publishing conglomerate.

English silk, David Phillips is suing the English division of the publisher, trading as LexisNexis Butterworths, for £316,730 including interest and costs.

Legal publishers aren’t used to being sued.

The claim alleges that LexisNexis breached a deal with Phillips’ father a High Court judge who edited the Income Tax volume of Halsbury’s in the 1970s. I suspect that his Lordship didn’t think it . . . [more]

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

Jordan’s Provocation

We encourage you to take a look at our friend Jordan Furlong’s provocation to his legal publishing colleagues:

Time out. Stop doing what we’ve always been doing. Put aside the deadlines and schedules for a moment. Put down the pen, those of us still using one. Push back from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and close our eyes. Make a mental list of all of our longstanding assumptions about this industry — what we produce, how we sell it, who buys it. Now, throw all these assumptions out, because it’s just about time for us to reinvent

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Make Sites Easier to Read on Mobile Screens

I’ve just discovered that Google offers a way of stripping style sheets (and images, if you like) from any website, with the effect that you’re left with simply the text and fundamental html formatting. The advantage is that this can make reading the text of sites much easier on the small screens of various mobile devices.

The Google URL is, which offers you an ultra simple screen:

I’m glad to say that Slaw works well when fed through this device. The following link will take you to Slaw with all style and images removed:

If you’re able . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

IT Law Conference

The Twelfth Annual Canadian IT Law Association Conference, October 27–28, is being held in Halifax this year and offers two days of heavy-duty talks on issues such as “Structuring Multi-Jurisdictional IT Contracts” and “Extraterritorial Application of Laws: The Borderless Internet.” The full program is available in PDF from the sponsoring IT.CAN site. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law


Shifd is a nice little program that just might prove handy for some folks. Created by two guys from the New York Times R&D department in a 22-hour hack at a London contest, the app lets you file snippets of data that interest you and retrieve them from any computer or your cell phone. (The feature involving mobile phones is currently only for the U.S. but they’re working on Canada, we’re told.) There’s also a desktop version running on Adobe Air that syncs your notes with the Times server.

You’re invited to file data in one of three modes: notes, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology