Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for August, 2008

What Do We Want From Our Judges? to Be the “CCH of Legal Publishing”?

Michael Kirby, Mr. Justice Kirby of the High Court is known to love the limelight and he doubtless was tickled when the latest issue of Australian Business described him as the Rock star of the bench.

In a wide ranging account drawn from a speech to university students he talked about the organization of judgments:

“I know the real reason you love me,” Justice Kirby said.

“Headings. Headings. Sub-headings. Sub-sub-headings. Indent dot points. That’s the real reason.”

Kirby had some other helpful hints for those who find his judgments time-consuming. “You don’t communicate ideas if you write High Court . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Welcome Omar Ha-Redeye

I first met our new Slaw contributor Omar Ha-Redeye just over a year ago at a meeting of PR professionals when he was doing PR work in the healthcare industry. I was not previously familiar with him, but he stood out to me as one of the most approachable, charismatic people in the room. We immediately hit it off, as I am sure he hits it off with most people. He quietly told me he had applied for law school and was waiting to hear if he had been accepted. I am not at all surprised that he was! Not . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

McLachlin Rebuffs Critics

When Dr. Henry Morgentaler was presented the Order of Canada some people raised eyebrows, but few were in a fury.

Church officials expressed disappointment with the appointment, and the Federal government deliberately distanced themselves. Dimitri Soudas, a government spokesperson, said,

The Conservative Government is not involved in either deliberations or decisions with respect to which individuals are appointed to the Order of Canada…

Rideau Hall makes these appointments based on the recommendations of the Advisory Council for the Order which is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Nobody expected the controversy to result in . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

New Legal Corner at the Privacy Commissioner

I don’t mean to steal this issue from privacy guru David T. S. Fraser, but here’s a development that people might be interested in.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada launched a new Legal Corner page on their website this week.

Resources on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and Privacy Act are collected on the page.

Although we intend for this Corner to be particularly useful for members of the legal community and law students, we hope that individuals, organizations and government institutions will also benefit from accessing relevant laws, jurisprudence, findings, interpretations,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Lawyers: Get Viral Already

One of my profs during the first-year of university told me there are 4 types of lawyers:

  1. Finders are those who find the work, better known today as rainmakers
  2. Grinders are those who grind out the client work, and are really efficient and doing research memos
  3. Binders are those who bring the members of a firm together by (for example) inviting a small group to lunch or recognizing achievements of the firm’s lawyers
  4. Minders are those who perform administrative tasks, and coordinate the efforts of the finders, grinders, and binders to be sure that the firm will run as
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

The Walrus on Legal Care for All

[S]omewhere between 40 and 70 percent of trials now feature overmatched laymen bumbling through labyrinthine court procedures without the help of a lawyer.

The Walrus has an article by Alex Hutchinson, “The People’s Court, A case for universal legal care,” that looks at some of the changes that have happened to legal aid over the last decade and a few of the changes to civil procedure expected in British Columbia. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Posner on Heller

Richard A. Posner, the outspoken justice on the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals and University of Chicago law professor, has written a short piece for The New Republic, entitled “In Defence of Looseness,” in which he takes the U.S. Supreme Court to task for its decision in District of Columbia v. Heller [PDF], the case involving the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution dealing with arms and militias. As always, Posner is enjoyable to read because his mind is good and he expresses his arguments well. If you’re interested in constitutional or statutory interpretation, you’ll . . . [more]

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

The Friday Fillip

Sometimes — or more often — it’s hard to let go of that gravitas thing that stops you from floating off into complete and perfect silliness. But it’s a Friday in August, clients are all on holiday, and no one’s looking: it’s time for something completely different. And really quite silly.

Who better to bring you this than Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, Vampire Slayer? Now he’s back and he’s bad! Hell, he’s Dr. Horrible. Thanks to the TV writers’ strike, Whedon was prompted to write a three part movie series for the internet. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

U.S. Court Will Reconsider Arar Case

The Center for Constitutional Rights has been litigating since 2004 in an attempt to “hold accountable the high level [U.S.] administration officials responsible for sending Maher Arar to be tortured and interrogated in Syria for a year.”

[T]he first ruling, in February 2006, dismissed the case on the grounds that allowing it to proceed would harm national security and foreign relations. CCR appealed the decision, arguing before a three-judge panel in November 2007, but the Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 decision in June 2008 along similar lines

Now the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a rare order . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Access to Court Records in Ontario

Is there anyone else out there who is tearing their hair out over Ontario’s antediluvian system of providing access to court records?

In the Federal Courts, the Supreme Court of Canada, and (to some extent) the Manitoba courts, one can obtain free, web-based access to case and docket entry information. In British Columbia and Quebec one can also obtain such information via the web, though it is not free.

Meanwhile, in Ontario, we are making do with pencil and paper. No, I’m not joking. For actions commenced after April 25, 2008, so I’m told, searches – by . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Knowledge Transfer in a Multigenerational Workplace

The Conference Board of Canada’s new report “Bridging the Gaps: How to Transfer Knowledge in Today’s Multigenerational Workplace (July 2008)” is full of ideas on how to transfer and retain knowledge between the generations in corporate settings. After providing an overview of the concept of knowledge transfer (knowledge transfer life cycle, types of knowledge, etc), the report goes on to describe how to select an effective knowledge transfer method and discusses 15 specific methods. Methods discussed include blogs, wikis, instant messaging, mentoring, and storytelling. For each method, the report examines its benefits, common business applications, good practices, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Georgia Sues Russia at the ICJ

Georgia has instituted proceedings [PDF] against Russia at the International Court of Justice. The action claims violations by Russia of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), alleging, among other things, that Russia:

has practiced, sponsored and supported racial discrimination through attacks against, and mass-expulsion of, ethnic Georgians, as well as other ethnic groups, in the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of the Republic of Georgia.

Georgia is relying on article 22 of CERD to give the ICJ jurisdiction in this matter:

Any dispute between two or more States Parties with respect

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law