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Archive for November, 2010

Aboriginal Admissions to Law School

The Program of Legal Studies for Native People (PLSNP) was founded in 1973 to encourage Canadian law schools to admit Aboriginal law students to law school, and to encourage Aboriginal students to study law. As far as anyone could tell, at that time you could count the number of Aboriginal lawyers and Aboriginal law students in the country on your fingers. After nearly 40 years, has the need for the PLSNP disappeared?

I’d say there are at least two answers to that question. First, I’d say that it is impossible to know, because no one keeps track of the actual . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Stepping Stone in E-Book Lending?

It’s difficult to tell how much of a step forward this is, but the next edition off Amazon’s Kindle is set to have a lending function built into it:

“The online retailer announced the upcoming feature in a discussion forum for the Kindle on its website Friday, saying that later in the year it will start letting Kindle users and people who use its free Kindle apps loan books to others for a two-week period. During the loan, the book’s owner will not be able to read the book, Amazon said.”

This improvement could be seen in a couple different . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Math Prof Goes to Court

Once again the courts are being asked to intervene in university affairs. Gábor Lukács, a faculty member in the University of Manitoba Department of Mathematics, is upset with the way the Dean of Graduate Studies handled the matter of a recent PhD candidate. It seems the candidate twice failed his comprehensive examinations and only then declared a disability based on anxiety disorder. The dean ultimately allowed the candidate to proceed without having passed his comps; and, moreover, seems to have forgiven a failure by the candidate to rack up enough graduate school credits to meet the faculty’s requirements.

According . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Update on Anti-Hate Provisions of Human Rights Legislation

On October 28, 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada granted the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission leave to appeal the decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in the Whatcott case. In this appeal, the commission will be asking the Court for guidance on where the line should be drawn between extreme speech and the right of citizens to express their beliefs freely. You can read more on the case and topic in previous Slaw posts here and here.

A date for the hearing hasn’t yet been set.

In the meantime, the Saskatchewan government say they plan to introduce amendments . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Twitter for Foreign, Comparative, and International Law (FCIL) Work

Twitter is a major source for breaking international legal news. It is often the first place where you can find links to recent court cases, new legislation, and international documents. Many blogs have Twitterfeeds so you’re immediately alerted to new posts. Twitter can inform you about legal developments worldwide and upcoming conferences. You can use Twitter to find out about new books, and new law library acquisitions. You can also track news from foreign sources and in foreign languages. Twitter is not only a great source for law, library, and technology news, it also gives you a way to network . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Workplace Law as Information Law, Part II – the “Virtualization” of Workplace Harms

This is the second of three posts on how information and privacy issues are shaping the future of employment law. Last week, I posted on the impending clash between information governance and personal use of corporate IT systems. This post is about internet use and the “virtualization” of workplace harms. Next week, I’ll post on labour stability, departing employees and information-related harms. Please comment.

Some days I yearn for a case about something tangible – a theft of tools, a punch thrown at a supervisor or a marijuana cigarette smoked on lunch hour. These kinds of matters seem like . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Plethora of Pending IT Legislation

Those who practice in the IT area have a lot of potential new law to digest. The Federal government has several bills in various stages that will affect many businesses and organizations, and all of us as consumers. These bills have been mentioned on Slaw, but I thought it was worthwhile listing them all in one place. 

Bill C-28 Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act.

This bill brings in several anti-spam measures. While this is welcome by most people, the language has the possibility to affect how typical businesses communicate. Things that we may not consider to be spam . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

New Titles From the Canadian Legal Publishers

A number of new titles have caught my eye as useful additions or updates to Canadian legal literature.

In no particular order:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading: Recommended

Passing the Class

One of the most common mistakes that law firms make when they upgrade technology is that they don’t do their homework or pay the smartest kid in class to do it for them. We saw in one of my previous columns that it’s critical to understand the problem you’re solving, and it’s just as critical to make sure you understand how the technology you’re moving to is going to solve that problem.

The Map is Not the Territory

Part of the problem firms have in evaluating how well a particular bit of technology is going to solve their problem is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology


If you want to get a glimpse of one possible future for small to medium-sized law firms, you might take a look at the website for Britain’s QualitySolicitors. Launched this Spring, QualitySolicitors is a marketing alliance in which existing law firms become rebranded with the common logos, advertising, and approaches to potential clients. The alliance purports to identify the “best” high street firm or firms in a given area (i.e. firms for clients from the general population).

This is seen by some as a pre-emptive strike against the coming of “Tesco law practices” when the new Legal Services Act . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice