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Archive for February, 2009

The Friday Fillip

I seem to think I go on a lot about food on the Friday Fillip — but that’s not the case, I discover. Maybe I’m simply always on about food in my head. At any rate, the fillip today is about a blog about food. The Internet Food Association is a relatively new cooperative blog that’s hit the big time lately. What caught my eye was the exchange on IFA about Alice Waters’ OpEd in the NYTimes about school lunches, something that interested me even before Jamie Oliver took on Brit-crap at English schools.

But I stayed for the casual, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

LawTop Updated

Thanks to a number of helpful suggestions from Slawyers, I’ve made some changes to LawTop — the Canadian law-related news aggregator I blogged about on Tuesday.

Most important, I’ve added another layer of manipulation, using Yahoo! Pipes to filter for Canadian content. Canadian news sources report on law-related stories from around the globe, but my true aim was to keep the focus as much as possible on Canadian events or stories directly related to Canada. This isn’t simply possible, given the lack of a sophisticated context identifier (Google’s “location” filter in the advanced news search isn’t really useful in this . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Supreme Court of Canada Statistics 1998-2008

The Supreme Court of Canada recently published a special edition of its Bulletin of Proceedings called Statistics 1998 to 2008.

The statistics are broken down into 5 categories:

  • Cases Filed: the number of complete applications for leave to appeal and notices of appeal as of right filed by litigants with the Court’s Registry each year
  • Applications for Leave Submitted: number of leave applications submitted to panels of the Court for decision, the number of leave applications granted and the percentage granted of the total submitted
  • Appeals Heard: number of appeals heard each year and the number of hearing days
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions


The CanLII user group tour came to Calgary last night. It was a great opportunity for us westerners to see what is coming down the pike from the innovators at LexUM. Simon live blogged from the TO meeting and of course CanLII is often discussed here at Slaw, but I want to revisit one part of the new services currently in beta – CanLEX.

CanLEX is a a website which hosts some open APIs (application programming interface) that give tools for, among other things, automating links to the CanLII Reflex citator within a users documents. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Changes at CISTI Announced

The National Research Council’s national science library, the Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) is relied upon by many researchers worldwide for its resources and services. The notice below of upcoming changes went out to a number of listservs today; since I couldn’t see it posted to CISTI’s own website, I am sharing it here since others may find it of interest. Also of note, the CISTI website has changed to comply with new Common Look and Feel guidelines from Canada’s Treasury Board Secretariat (see the notice). . . . [more]

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

SCC Grants Leave in Important International Arbitration Case

The Supreme Court of Canada announced this morning that it has granted leave to appeal the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in Yugraneft v. Rexx Management. This decision has been the subject of considerable discussion among arbitration practitioners: as was discussed several months ago on Slaw, the case raises a number of difficult questions about how international arbitration and Canada’s treaty obligations in that respect interact with local procedural law – specifically limitation of actions – when seeking to enforce the award, and more generally whether foreign judgments and arbitral awards should continue to be treated, . . . [more]

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

Calling All Innovative Lawyers! Now’s Your Chance to Get the Recognition You Deserve

Necessity breeds invention. From Procter & Gamble to IBM to Federal Express, from nylon to photocopiers to the electron microscope — some of the world’s most well-known companies and products were born in past recessions and depressions. The current economic crisis will be no exception — when times are tough, forward-thinking people will find ways to do things better. That applies especially to the practice of law.

Is your law practice or firm one of the profession’s leading lights of innovation? Have you or someone within your firm with vision and courage led a groundbreaking effort to practice law differently? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Where’s the Beef (From)?

Way back in the early 80s Wendy’s hamburger chain ran a TV commercial that featured three old ladies exploring a competitor’s “really big bun” and the relative absence of meat; one of the women had a deep, harsh voice and used it repeatedly to bark out: “Where’s the beef?” Now, in this day of supersizing, the question isn’t so much about the size of the patty as its provenance. That goes for just about all forms of food, our concern fuelled by dangerous additives, e coli, listerosis, and the lack of control over suppliers distributed across the globe.

As of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Law Society of Upper Canada Guidelines on Powers of Attorney in Real Estate Transactions

Working with the Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate, the Law Society of Upper Canada has prepared guidelines to help lawyers avoid becoming the tool or dupe of unscrupulous persons when dealing with real estate transactions involving powers of attorney. These guidelines are available here.

With the prevalence of real estate fraud, it is important that real estate lawyers implement practices and procedures in their firms to recognize and fight fraud. In recent years, powers of attorney have been used in real estate transactions to perpetrate fraud. Forged powers of attorney have been used to fraudulently mortgage properties . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

CRTC Net Neutrality Comments

Connie wrote a couple of days ago about the submission deadline for the upcoming CRTC network neutrality / network management / traffic shaping hearings. Since then, some submissions have been made public that illustrate how important this hearing will be, and how it will affect Canadian consumers and content providers.

The federal Privacy Commissioner has filed an well written submission that discusses the privacy aspects. The Commissioner’s blog post on the topic starts with:

What would you think if you wrote a letter and it could be opened up by a postal or a courier service before it reaches its . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

An Inspiring Look at Web 2.0

♫ is it possible
to be so confused
at this point
and its rational that its logical
there is no point in denying
give yourself a chance, you might like it

we must make connections
we must make connections
we must make connections
we must make connections… ♫

Lyrics and Music by Criteria (Steve Pedersen, Aaron Druery, A.J. Mogis, Mike Sweeney).

Web 2.0 is defined by Wikipedia as follows:

“The term “Web 2.0″ refers to a perceived second generation of web development and design, that aim to facilitate communication, secure information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Using Law Reform Materials for Research: An Agency’s Perspective

Kim Nayyer’s column on the use of law reform agency materials for legal research has prompted me to talk about how the Law Commission of Ontario thinks about this very issue. Use of law reform commission materials by others can be a major source of a commission’s reputation. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous