Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for December, 2008

Cornell Legal Information Institute Looking for Donations

I was just on the website of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (that’s the organization that kicked off the “open law” movement of which our own CanLII is a part). They are asking for financial donations. The notice explains:

Your support helps us help others.

There are over one million links to the LII, from hundreds of thousands of websites.

Today, many of those are sites that help people who are struggling with debt, and the people and organizations who help them: debt counselors, bankruptcy lawyers, consumer self-help sites, and countless others.

The LII stands out because we make law both

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

Privacy Commissioner to Release Guide on Social Networking at Work

According to their recent blog post, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is expected to soon release guidelines to help employers draft policies for use of social networking sites in the workplace. The Office cites a recent study by Ryerson University that identified a digital divide between young Canadians who use social networks and their employers. The blog post explains:

…researchers found that, by and large, employers currently don’t have policies, guidelines or practices in place that govern the use of social networking sites in the workplace.

However, a small number of employers are starting to. So

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Cromwell Appointed

Bypassing any and all Parliamentary process, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed Thomas Cromwell to the Supreme Court of Canada to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Mr. Justice Bastarache. (See the CBC story.)

Those interested in Mr. Justice Cromwell’s professional details may consult The Thomas Cromwell Pages on Slaw.

Although there is serious criticism of the manner of the appointment — see, for example, Professor Peter Russell’s comments as reported in the Globe and Mail — there is unanimous agreement that Justice Cromwell is a very good choice for the top court position. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

P.M. Harper Names Senate Appointments

According to the CBC, these 18 have been named to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

  • Former broadcaster Pamela Wallin
  • Olympian Nancy Greene Raine
  • CTV personality Mike Duffy
  • Former N.L. MP Fabian Manning.
  • N.S. lawyer Fred Dickson.
  • Stephen Greene, former deputy chief of staff to N.S. Premier Rodney MacDonald.
  • N.S. businessman Michael L. MacDonald.
  • Long-time New Brunswick MLA and cabinet minister Percy Mockler.
  • N.B. lawyer John D. Wallace.
  • National chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples Patrick Brazeau.
  • Former Quebec MP and teacher Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis.
  • Director of Via Rail Canada Leo Housakos.
  • Former Quebec MNA Michel Rivard.
  • Nicole
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Slaw Wins Blawggie

I have to give it to you exactly as I saw it:

Dennis “who does this guy think he is?” Kennedy has chosen Slaw as the top blawg in his annual parade of awards known as the Blawggies, and all of us here are busting with pride.

Here’s our excellent company in this honour:

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog – Evan Brown’s Internet Cases

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Bruce MacEwen’s Adam Smith, Esq.

4. Best Legal Blog Category – Canadian Law-related Blogs

5. Best Legal Blog Digest – Stark County Law Library Weblog

. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Canadian Consumer Confidence

The Conference Board of Canada has just released its Index of Consumer Confidence.

The monthly Index of Consumer Confidence is constructed from responses to four attitudinal questions posed to a random sample of Canadian households. The latest results are based on over 2,000 telephone interviews conducted in early December 2008.

According to the News release:

The Index of Consumer Confidence stumbled for the third consecutive month in December, falling 3.3 points to 67.7 (2002 = 100), the Conference Board reported today.

“On a monthly basis, the index has now dropped significantly below early 1990s levels. Only during the recession

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

U.S. Embassy in Ottawa Does Web 2.0

The U.S. Mission to Canada is pretty hip, serving up content the way you want it:

I wonder if the incoming ambassador will take it a step further and open up a Second Life presence ?

As a side note, I notice the U.S. Embassy in London also on Twitter: @usembassylondon; their Twitter updates (“tweets”) are also reposted on their website. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Christmas Classics

You know how every Christmas season the classics are shown on TV? Well that can hold for Blogs too. I throughly enjoyed preparing it a couple of years ago and intended on updating this year but the Christmas season has gotten in the way (I might be able to update it just before Christmas) but the classics are always worth repeating.

Santa in the Courts

Community Funding Corp. v. Newfoundland (Department of Government Services and Lands), 2004 NLTD 236, 243 NFLD & PEIR 255.

A very Christmasy case from NL, whereby Santa made a seasonal visit to a Bingo Hall

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Why Is Privilege So Important Anyway?

The concept of solicitor-client privilege goes back at least 400 years in the common law, and is one of the most well established concepts of privilege in our legal system.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was recently caught listening and recording conversations with Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub and his lawyer since the Egyptian refugee and terrorism suspect was released on bail over a year and a half ago.

When challenged by Justice Carolyn Layden-Stevenson, CSIS lawyer Jim Mathieson agreed that any such recordings would stop, and records would be erased.

But other defence lawyers have now raised some very serious . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

“Recession” “Depression” “Unemployment” “Meltdown” “Crisis”………

These are some of the words being bandied about these days. It’s not all that promising. Or is it?

With the global economies struggling, these are undoubtedly challenging times. But with every crisis, there always seems to be some opportunities that present themselves. For the legal services sector, that opportunity comes in the form of the legal process outsourcing industry (“LPO”). What began as an idea in the United States a number of years ago has now become a robust industry. The legal process outsourcing industry started out with only a few vendors in the United States. The industry in . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

Privacy and Internet Log Files

In the past two weeks, the New York Times reported that Microsoft has made a minor concession with European privacy authorities about how long it retains its log files. A committee of European privacy regulators had asked that these logs be kept for only six months. Microsoft’s response? Eighteen months.Yahoo used to keep them for thirteen months and just announced it will cut retention to 90 days. Google keeps them for nine.

The privacy implictions of these innocuous log files have been underestimated, particularly when you think about the fulsome picture of your private life that companies like Google may . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


It can’t be called Lexography, as it’s too close to lexicography, and Lexology has been taken, at least for commercial purposes. Please not Rechtographical Analysis. So what do people call the study of law that is not the practice of law? Legal Studies, perhaps, but it is a tepid choice. I think people mostly resort to specialties, such as legal history, legal theory, the philosophy of law, and the ‘law ands’: law and sociology, law and film, law and economics…

The study of law from non-legal or non-black-letter perspectives can usefully be divided into those that treat data derived from . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous