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Archive for May, 2010

Conference on Criminal and Civil Liability for War Crimes, Genocide and Torture

The Canadian Centre for International Justice is hosting a conference next month focusing on international criminal law in Ottawa and Toronto, with further locations at a future date.

The website describes the program:

Over two days, participants will receive a comprehensive overview of legal processes through which individuals can be held criminally and civilly accountable in Canada and abroad for war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and torture. Lawyers, journalists, students, civil servants, NGO representatives and other professionals with an interest in international justice, human rights, international law, criminal law or torts are encouraged to attend.

Details below. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Conference on Google Book Project and Canada

The Centre for Innovation Law and Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law is holding a one-day conference tomorrow, May 28, on “The Google Book Search Project and Canada: Cross-Border Legal Perspectives.” Registration begins at 8 a.m. at Bennett Lecture Hall, Flavelle House, 78 Queen’s Park, Toronto. If you are unable to attend in person, you can join the conference via a live webcast. The event is free of charge but conference organizers ask that you register on line.

The conference program is available via the link to the conference above. . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Admissibility of E-Mail Apologies in R. v. S.G.T.

The Supreme Court of Canada released R. v. S.G.T. today, a criminal law case where the accused in a sexual assault of a minor had sent an e-mail to the mother of the alleged victim. Although the mother had contacted the police at one time, she had failed to follow through. It was only when the accused independently reported the complaints to a high-school counselor that the charges were laid.

The case centered on credibility, and whereas the Crown claimed the e-mail was in response to the charges, the accused claimed that it was in connection with an unrelated event. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Microsites for Law Firm Mergers

Many of you will likely have picked up the news yesterday of the cross-Atlantic merger between Sonnenschein and UK-based Denton Wilde Sapte. One element of the media push I found interesting was the use of a dedicated website, or microsite, to explain things.

It’s not so much the content of the website that I found effective, but rather that the firms chose not bury the information on their respective websites. They could have each created dedicated internal pages on their websites; or, they could have taken the new combined firm domain name and started their transition process. Indecently, the domain . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

Irwin Law’s Canadian Online Legal Dictionary

Its online. Its free. Its Canadian. With so many good points in its favour without even talking about it, why am I posting? One of the things we try to do at Slaw is let people know what is out there in the information market. Some of us got a chance to see the quiet launch of this new tool at the CALL/ACBD/MichALL conference earlier this month in Windsor. For those who missed it, Irwin Law says:

We are very pleased to announce the launch of the Canadian Online Legal Dictionary, a dictionary of legal words and phrases. This

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

The Usefulness of the MFC Clause in Outsourcing Contracts

In outsourcing agreements, customers usually request the so-called most favoured customer (MFC) clause from their service providers. The MFC clause is a promise from the service provider to treat the customer not less favourably than its customers. The clause can take various forms but invariably it requires the service provider who offers lower charges to any other customers for the same or substantially similar services to reduce the charge of the customers. Some customers like the clause because it provides them with comfort that the charges under its outsourcing agreement will be competitive during the term of the contract. This . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

“Is the Proposed Canadian Securities Act Within the Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada?”

Today’s a day that Phil Anisman must have wondered whether he would see. Back in 1979, he published Proposals for a securities market law for Canada.

A national Securities Bill unveiled, a Canadian Securities Regulatory Authority established and the scheme instantly referred to the Supreme Court of Canada.

As the preamble says:

  1. capital markets affect the well-being and prosperity of all Canadians;
  2. capital markets are increasingly national and international in scope;
  3. capital markets are rapidly evolving and include increasingly complex financial products and methods of distribution and trading;
  4. it is important for Canada to have competitive capital markets and
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Overview of Proposed PIPEDA Amendments

On Tuesday, May 25, the Minister of Industry introduced in Parliament Bill C29, also known as an Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

Bill C-29 is the long-awaited government response to the five year mandatory review of PIPEDA and contains a number of very significant amendments that, if passed, will alter the landscape of privacy law compliance in Canada. At a very high level, it provides mandatory breach notification for security breaches related to personal information, attempts to clarify the confusing “lawful authority” provisions in Section 7 and also facilitates the disclosure of customer . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Speaking Out

At the end of September, four members of the Ontario Government Libraries Council (OGLC) presented a workshop at Showcase Ontario, the Ontario government’s enormous technology and information conference. The session was about how to use non-traditional media such as blogs and Twitter for current awareness, and included two practical case studies from the Office of the Fire Marshal and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Registrations for the session topped 400. Since then, various members of the panel have been asked to make presentations to other audiences, to contribute content to articles reporting on social media use in government, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

New Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia Publication

The Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia (LIANS) has begun publishing a bimonthly electronic newsletter, LIANSwers. The May edition is available in PDF. The publication will include:

substantive issues as well as members’ insurance updates and risk and practice management advice . . . also . . . tips on technology, office management, health and wellness, as well as information on conferences and upcoming events

Of course, much or most of the content will be of specific interest to our Nova Scotia readers, but it never hurts for those practicing elsewhere to check for good advice outside their jurisdictions. . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Provincial, Territorial and State Lawyer Licensing Databases

I have had calls from lawyers in the midst of handling apparent fraud attempts who were wanting to verify whether the lawyers named as the drafter of the collaborative family law agreements presented to them by the fraudsters were in fact real lawyers. There were names and signatures in the agreements – but nothing else. No firm names, telephone numbers, addresses etc. Red flag!! Searches of the internet failed to turn up anything.

So where can you go to attempt to establish if you are dealing with a real lawyer that is in good standing?

A newly updated LLRX article, . . . [more]

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

FISA – New Anti-Spam Bill Introduced

The Canadian government introduced two important new bills yesterday. Bill C-29 amends PIPEDA – I’ll leave commentary on that to David Fraser.

Bill C-28 is the “Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act” or FISA. It is essentially the same as the “Electronic Commerce Protection Act” that was proposed previously. Here is Industry Canada’s news release, and the bill itself.

It targets the sending of what we would typically call spam, or unwanted commercial email, as well as spyware and phishing.

From the news release:

The proposed FISA is intended to deter the most damaging and deceptive forms of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology