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Archive for January, 2009

Update Re Law-Related E-Books

I have earlier posted (here and here) on the increasing availability of Canadian legal treatises being available online (by subscription).

Here is a brief update: Colleague Katherine Thompson at my firm has compiled an internal list – with hypertext links – of all the Canadian e-books we have access to at our firm from LexisNexis Quicklaw, WestlaweCARSWELL, Carswell’s e-reference library, CCH Online and Canada Law Book.

We also included a few “historical” titles from HeinOnline for fun, such as Black’s Law Dictionary (2d ed., 1910) and Broom’s Selection of Legal Maxims, Classified and Illustrated (8th ed., 1882). . . . [more]

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

My 2009 Tech/law Predictions

I don’t want to make a habit of just reposting my weekly Free Press column to Slaw, but thought Slaw readers might be interested in this one. A year from now we can decide where these predictions stand on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being a total failure to grasp reality, and 10 being worthy of Nostradamus.

My arrangement with the newspaper does not allow me to reproduce it here this soon after publication, but you can read it on my blog, in the Canoe technology section, or on the Free Press web site. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Nothing to Yahoo About…

♬ I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind♬

Words and Music by Eric Woolfson, recorded by the Alan Parsons Project.

Recently my attention was drawn to a little-known feature that uses both inside and outside the Yahoo network. This feature is known as “web beacons” ( A web beacon, according to Wikipedia, is a “web bug“. Wikipedia states: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology


Nimonik is a Canadian outfit that offers to keep companies up to date on federal and provincial environmental regulations, as well as municipal bylaws for Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The website provides updates on legislation and relevant rulings concerning a wide variety of industrial activities — e.g. air emissions, contaminated sites, emergency situations, fuel transfers, hazardous material management. Members of the site may comment on the material and have those comments restricted to their company’s account. There is the ability as well to integrate a corporate environmental management system register with Nimonik and have it kept up to date in . . . [more]

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

ALRI’s Comprehensive Law Reform Project

As we know, law reform can take many forms. The LCO has already undertaken very different kinds of projects. Its division of pensions on marital breakdown project was a relatively straightforward statutory amendment exercise. It could have been more extensive and comprehensive, but we decided, for several reasons, to do a “quick and dirty” job on this issue. We have also begun major, multidisciplinary projects that are ambitious in scope; our older adults project, designed to develop a coherent approach to the law as it affects older adults is an example and it expected to take about three years to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Copyright E-Letter

Vol. 13, No. 1, January 5, 2009 of Copyright, New Media Law & E-Commerce News is now available. It includes content on:

Music Industry Set to Abandon Mass Piracy Lawsuits

Harry Potter Lexicon Decision Analyzed

Judge Rules Facts Are Not Copyright-Protected

Hasbro Drops Lawsuit Against Makers of Scrabulous

Canadian Copyright Board Increases Tax on Blank Compact Disks

Advice for Obama’s New Chief Technology Officer

Popeye the Sailor Man Now Copyright-Free in E.U.

Stanford Intellectual Property Litigation Clearinghouse

Certificate in Copyright Management for Librarians

Online Copyright Courses

Book: Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians


This e-letter, from 1996 to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Destroying Data

I’d like to update my thinking on the following question:

What is the responsible way to get rid of electronic information that one does not want, or that one has a legal duty to get rid of (like irrelevant personal information)?

Some of the alternatives:

  • delete the information from one’s drive. (unlikely to be satisfactory, since ‘undelete’ programs are readily available)
  • reformat the drive
  • apply a specialized ‘wiping’ program (one or more times)
  • destroy the drive physically
  • encrypt the data on the drive then destroy the keys

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner takes the view that the best way properly . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Canada’s Border Service Reads Lawyer’s Mail

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak, of Lang Michener LLP, writes for the Trade Lawyers Blog that a courier package addressed to her as counsel at her law firm was opened by Canada Border Services Agency. The package was sent by Dr. Henry T. King of the Canada-United States Law Institute. CBSA had marked the package “EXAMINED / RELEASED – CUSTOMS – TORONTO – DOUANES, EXAMINÉ / LIBERÉ”. As she points out in her post, this invasion of privacy has ramifications for solicitor-client communications.

Is it simply naïve to believe that cross-border communications are in fact private and that the various national security . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

New Client ID Rules Teleseminar

Back in November Dave Bilinsky reported on new Client ID and Verification Rules coming into force across the country.  B.C., Manitoba and Ontario‘s just came into force on December 31st.

The Law Society of Upper Canada is holding a teleseminar on January 13, 2009 to explain how these new requirements will affect legal practices and what you should be doing to confirm your client’s identity upon being retained to provide legal services.

Here is the lineup of speakers (subject to change):

  • Karen Bell, Karen Bell LLB
  • Caterina Galati, The Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Ian M.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law

Charon Reviews Blawgs

Some of our gang — and the gang itself — have been kindly noticed in the #193 Blawg Review, penned by the delightfully quirky (but oh-so-percipient) Charon QC. Coming close on the heels of his exploration of blawgs and lust is his praise for much that is Canadian:

Another *lust* in my life is knowing what is going on – hence the Pageflakes project (Later). Canadian blogger Jordan Furlong’s blog is a treasure chest of gems. Regeneration, a recent post talks about regeneration and hope…

Another Canadian blog to satisfy lust for knowledge across the pond

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The “Right” to a Quality Legal Education

Most of our readers would be aware of the ongoing strike at York University led by CUPE 3903. York administrators have also indicated serious financial difficulties.

What people may not have realized is that the strike also affects law students at Osgoode Hall.

A second-year Osgoode student, Thomas Wisdom, shares the challenges some of his peers are facing,

First- and second-year students with summer jobs: A lot of people are ecstatic about the fact that they will be gainfully employed at law firms in the summer months… [but] they face the frustration of renegotiation start dates with

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Substantive Law, Technology

If You Feed Them, They Will Come

“Will there be food?” is the usual response to any invitation to attend a library event. Attendance always seems to be higher if it is promoted as having refreshments. My column this time is devoted to the various ways in which libraries gain attention by literally dangling cookies in front of their audiences.

I remember putting together a library open house some years ago. I deliberately chose Valentine’s Day as the day of the event, which I called the Library Love-In (yes, I know). The invitation went out via e-mail, with the subject line: “Chocolate”. Attendance was remarkably good, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information