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Archive for December, 2009

Law Enforcement Access to Geolocation Information From Telephone Companies

Here’s a recent statistic from an American study:

“Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers’ (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers.”

More on the blog of a PhD candidate in informatics, Slight Paranoia.

We have had some debate in Canada about law enforcement’s right to collect from ISPs (without a warrant) the name and address of people behind IP addresses. Cases have gone both . . . [more]

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

A Canadian Judge Did Say This

I came across this opening paragraph in a judgment of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Kripps v. Touche Ross & Co, 1991 CanLII 2261.

On December 4, 1990 this appeal was heard by three judges of this court. Judgment was reserved. In the course of drafting reasons for judgment it was discovered that two judgments of this court relied on by the appellant had been the subject of adverse comment in the judgment of the House of Lords in Rush & Tompkins Ltd. v. Greater London Council and another, [1988] 3 All E.R. 737. It

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Interviewing the Chief

Since one doesn’t often get a chance to hear Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin being interviewed candidly and directly, here is a link to a video of last night’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin entitled Setting the bar high: Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin on her role as Canada’s top judge.

Among other minor indiscretions, she appears to like the Ottawa Senators: toujours rouge.

We’ve come a long way since Felsky’s, “The Berger Affair and the Independence of the Judiciary” (1984), 42. U.T. Fac. L. Rev. 118, which showed Chief Justice Laskin so anxious to protect the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Hard Cases, Maybe Good Law

Some substantive law both because of what happened and because it may give some people cause to think about the consequences of our past action on our environment.

If the decision stands – I expect the plaintiffs will try to get leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada given the amount involved: more than $1.7 million plus interest plus legal fees – it’s proof that the courts aren’t the answer to all problems.

I’ve set out all that’s needed to understand what the problem was, and the end result.

Berendsen v. Ontario, 2009 ONCA 845

[1] In . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law

The Obsolescence Audit

Just 20 short years ago, if you wanted to buy a book, you had to go to a bookstore. If you wanted music, you had to visit a record store, and if you wanted to read the news, you had to buy a newspaper. Then debuted in 1994, Google was incorporated in 1998 and Napster emerged in 1999. Soon enough, people stopped buying newspapers because news articles were accessible online at no charge, stopped buying records because they could get music from each other freely, and stopped walking into bookstores because they could buy books with one mouse click . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Microsoft SharePoint in Law Firms

Many North American law firms have developed their intranet portals using Microsoft SharePoint 2007 software (soon to be released in a new 2010 version).

There have been numerous posts on SLAW discussing SharePoint; in addition, Microsoft has an industry page for law firms that provides some useful links to case studies.

There are several reasons why many law firms are using SharePoint:

Content aggregator/organizer: SharePoint can be used to create a true intranet portal, being the interface – via a web browser – between the user an a variety of data sources such as your document,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology

Canadian Courts Tell Those Tempted by Spoliation Claims to “Deal With It”

In late October, Master Ronna Brott of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued a highly pointed decision that encapsulates Canadian courts’ unwillingness to entertain spoliation disputes before trial and, to some extent, to tolerate the increasingly common problem of lost records and things.

In Cerkownyk v. Ontario Place, Master Brott denied a request for production of a personal computer that a plaintiff in a personal injury claim said she had thrown out because it had broken down after litigation commenced. In dismissing the motion, Master Brott admonished the defendant for proceeding with its production request despite the plaintiff’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Next Generation Connectivity: Berkman on How Countries Measure Up

Harvard’s Berkman Center has released the draft of a report, “Next Generation Connectivity: A review of broadband Internet transitions and policy from around the world” [PDF], which examines the position of the United States in relation to various other countries with respect to salient aspects of broadband connectivity. The report takes into consideration a country’s regulatory scheme and the economic model used to provide broadband services, in addition to the more usual measures by which countries are ranked.

The report has a lot to say about Canada, none of it very flattering. (The table of contents doesn’t adequately . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

After Free Olympic Tickets, What Next?

The treatment of First Nation Chiefs as “heads of state” at the Olympics will have real significance if this status is accorded First Nations beyond the Olympics. Apparently, it results from an agreement signed prior to the Vancouver bid for the Games to which all political actors who would be involved in the Games were parties, including the First Nations Chiefs on whose traditional territories the Games will take place. Protocol usually follows political status, but is this a case when protocol might lead to a more firmly grounded recognition of the First Nations as sovereign nations? The media story . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

2009 ABA Blawg List Posted

It’s awards season – we’ve already seen the GG’s and the Giller announced. The list for Canada Reads is coming out today, and the ABA Journal has released its third list of the top 100 law blogs.

Congratulations to Jordan Furlong. Law 21 was nominated (again), with the following commentary:

Jordan Furlong has a knack for looking at trees and seeing a forest. He doesn’t blog legal news as it breaks, but looks for trends and provides skeptical analyses of what all of the yay-sayers are spouting about the present and future of the practice of law.

You can find . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous