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Archive for August, 2009

And the Gold Medal Goes To

Karl-Heinz Schreiber, who I believe must have set some sort of record for the most appearances of any individual in reported Canadian caselaw. My count is 44 decisions.

Leaving aside the current story, the legal merits and the political background, which are in the hands of the Oliphant Inquiry and in the presciently accurate work of my friendStevie Cameron. The sheer quantity of court appearances and decisions is impressive. Two appearances in the Supreme Court of Canada, and on the extradition issues, as the judge noted, five applications for judicial review, four of which were dismissed, the . . . [more]

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

The Future of Legal Research Circa 1986

Anne Foster Worlock’s comment reminded me of how far we have come in the technology of legal research.

And we had furious debates in the Eighties comparing this to the Walt. There would be a dedicated terminal for legal research in each library. And we had to remember commands like . . . [more]

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

The Full Stop in Legal Citation – Has Its Time Finally Come?

Canadian law report citations are riddled with “full stops”, more commonly referred to as “periods”, all of which are completely unnecessary. Needless to say, there are crusaders amongst us who would do away with them altogether, sooner rather than later.

I will admit to having been the unwitting source of a number of the offending citations. In the development of Carswell’s series of topical law reports, an official citation was required for each of them. By tradition, it is the publisher who determines what the citation shall be and how it is to be styled. That task fell to me. . . . [more]

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

The Law Librarian Podcast Rides Again!

I have talked in the past about The Law Librarian podcast on Blogtalk Radio, created by Richard Leiter and Brian Striman. They are starting the show back up again with the aim to make it a little more consistent, at least once a month to start.

The next episode will be recorded live this Friday, August 7th at 2:00 pm CT. The discussion will be a recap of the American Association of Law Libraries conference held in Washington, D.C. last week. I’m pleased to be invited in as a guest participant for this month’s show. Rumour has it if things . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information

Civic Holiday Today

Slaw will be quieter than usual today: it’s the August civic holiday here in most of Canada, which, as befits our particular federation, goes by various names across the land —

Alberta (Heritage Day)
British Columbia (British Columbia Day)
Manitoba (Civic Holiday)
New Brunswick (New Brunswick Day)
Northwest Territories (Civic Holiday)
Nova Scotia (Natal Day)
Nunavut (Civic Holiday)
Ontario (John Galt Day + Simcoe Day + others)
Prince Edward Island (Natal Day)
Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan Day)

[source: Wikipedia]

— or is not celebrated at all, as in Newfoundland & Labrador, Quebec, and Yukon. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Lawyer Type (3): Of Squigglies, Pilcrows, and Gaspers

One of the reasons I might like to practice in the United States is that I’d get to use the squiggly in my documents. Otherwise known as the section symbol or mark, § is one of my favourite typographical elements, having an elegance and symmetry that please me in a way that the mere “s.” we Canadians use to denote a section of a statute simply cannot. It is, literally, twice (as good as) our section character, being two esses, one above the other. Feel free to sprinkle your comments in Slaw with this lovely mark: easy to do: simply . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

All Good Things. . .

“Eighty percent of the poor in the United States are unable to afford a lawyer or find pro bono help for their civil legal problems, according to the American Bar Association.” That sentence, from an American Lawyer article last month, is not only embarrassing. It’s also an omen.

The article in question, titled “Unmet Needs,” was part of a special series on pro bono in the United States, including the top 100 pro bono-friendly law firms and a powerful critique of big-firm pro bono by Deborah Rhode. The latter piece highlighted how pro bono at too many . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Controversy Continues, Even After Strike Resolution

Toronto City Council voted 21-17 this week to endorse a new contract with the 30,000 city workers who have been on strike for 39 days.

And although the garbage is being picked up, a political stink is being raised about how the situation was handled. The strikers themselves suggested throughout the strike that the public should be blaming the political leadership, with some claiming he has alienated his key supporters in the labour movement.

But the biggest emerging controversy out of the new agreement is that workers on strike actually gained sick days while on the picket line.

Although Councillor . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

End of an Era in Kingston

We’ve blogged in the past about Hugh Lawford and the vision and tenacity that built the Queen’s Law School treaty data processing project into the foundation for one of Canada’s two commercial legal databases.

It’s an accident, of course, that QL was based in Kingston – in the same way that Dayton and Eagan were in the American systems. But that’s where the ideas were.

Kingston was of course where Hugh taught contracts, in between being Lester Pearson’s right hand man in Ottawa.

Today, the Kingston Whig-Standard reported that the remaining QL office in Kingston is to close. Rationalization . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous