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Archive for May, 2011

Charter of the French Language

I attended a training last week on the Charter of the French Language (“Charter”), also known as Bill 101, a provincial law that has provoked a lot of reactions in the past from both ends of the spectrum.

This legislation was first adopted in 1977 under the Parti québécois’ first mandate. However, it is incorrect to think that the issue of language only became important at this point in Quebec’s modern history. Bill 63 or An Act to promote the French language in Quebec, passed in 1969 and Bill 22 or the Official Language Act, passed in 1974, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Maritime Law Book, Javascript, HTML Forms and the Post Method

Maritime Law Book has been re-designing its website. As of the date of writing, I hadn’t seen an announcement. It was just something I happened to notice on May 3, 2011.

The change I’m going to talk about isn’t the most obvious one to a casual observer, but it is a very welcome one. The change I particularly want to notice is that people can now create links like this one to cases reported by Maritime Law Book:\\+MLB

The best way to cite a case is to provide a hyperlink. Because of that, the people who report cases on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Reverberations for Real Estate Agents

What is the duty of a real estate agent to verify the information provided by the vendor of the property to prospective purchasers?

In this space I frequently moan about the danger of mediation stemming the flow of judicial precedent, but here is a nice legal question answered by the Court of Appeal for Ontario this month.

The property was a residential home with significant structural and plumbing problems.

The agent, who acted for both the purchaser and the vendor, became the meat in the sandwich.

The purchaser sued the agent for failing to advise the purchaser to obtain professional . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Help Slave Lake Library

Quite a few of us who write for and read Slaw appreciate the important role that libraries play in our society. I feel comfortable, then, in inviting you to donate to the fund for the Slave Lake Library, which was utterly destroyed by the recent forest fire that devastated much of the area. The burning of a library is always a sad thing, but this was perhaps more poignant than most because the library was newly built as of 2010.

According to a communication from Louise Hamel, Manager of the Ontario Judges’ Library, money donations can be made via the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law Tech Camp Toronto

An unconference is a participatory style gathering where attendees contribute as much to the content of the event, or more, as the organizers. They’re frequently used in the technology and computer industries (i.e. “geeks”) to foster innovation, creativity and collaboration.

Unconferences though are relatively scarce in the legal community, probably due to an aversion of many to unstructured environments subject to constant change and revision. But this is also exactly what makes Law Tech Camp so fascinating.

A number of Toronto-area legal bloggers have decided to spontaneously launch a Bar-Camp style unconference on June 18, 2011 at the University of . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology

Access Copyright Tariff Challenge

Currently Universities and Colleges across Canada are spending hundreds of man-and-woman hours pulling together a list of copy machines, computers, scanners, etc., at the whim of Access Canada Copyright (got the name wrong throughout this post, initially), the agency created, and then named in high irony, to restrict the educational use of materials, to pursue an obsolete model of protecting the interests of creators, and to funnel the resulting funds into pockets unknown. At least, that’s what you might think their mandate was if you judged by their actions. For their self-image, see their About Us page.

Backed . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Solo Perspectives at SFI

I’d like to introduce a new website geared toward solo practitioners. Small Firm Innovation is still in soft-launch mode, and you’ll notice a few gaps as you navigate through the website; but early indications are that this website will capture some interesting solo perspectives. And as you’ll see below, a little CanCon to boot.

But first the disclaimers. Fellow Slaw-contributor Jack Newton and his community sherpa Gwynne Monahan at Clio are the guiding forces behind the website. In our Stem roles, colleague Jordan Furlong and myself will also be contributing, as will a host of other recognizable names.

Now . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

The Friday Fillip: Big Ideas, Small Screen

On Slaw we’ve pointed you to TED videos from time to time, and quite rightly: TED is a cornucopia of stimulating ideas. But here in Ontario we’ve got an online collection of thought-provoking videos that are equally worth your time. TVO offers up fifty or so excerpts from the last couple of years of its programming under the title of Big Ideas. Herewith a more or less random selection of these videos, just to give you an idea of what’s in store, if you’re shopping:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Preserving the Service Provider’s Inheritance

As service provider’s counsel, I watched it happen many times. After the Service Provider worked diligently to prepare a response to a Customer RFP and was down-selected based on the Service Provider’s proposed solution, the scope of services was reduced. The reasons varied. Sometimes they were financial: the Customer was not able to afford particular aspects of the solution or the benefits arising from parts of the solution no longer justified the expense. In other cases the reasons were operational or delivery-based: the Customer lacked the necessary infrastructure to implement components of the solution or it would have taken the . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

New Blog on Distance Family Mediation

Following up on Dave Bilinsky’s post earlier this month, the BC distance family mediation project at Mediate BC has launched a new blog.

Located at, Susanna Jani’s goal is to provide more insights surrounding the project, and (of interest to me) reflections on how different technologies can support the families and mediators when they aren’t in the same room. As the project moves forward, regardless of whether one’s interests are in the area of mediation or technology, the insights provided should prove interesting to Slaw readers. . . . [more]

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

More Barbarity

While the punishment appears for the moment to have been postponed, there is another horrible, barbarous story out of Iran. This time it’s not the stoning of a woman but the deliberate blinding of a man. He is alleged to have blinded a woman by throwing acid in her face when she spurned his advances. A Iranian court has now decided to order that he be blinded in return.

While there was a (justified) international outcry over the threat that a woman would be stoned, there has been none—at least that I’m aware of—over this latest barbarity. The man should, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Manitoba Introduces Canada’s First Adult Abuse Registry

On May 11, 2011, Manitoba proposed Canada’s first adult abuse registry as well as tough new offences and penalties to better protect adults with intellectual disabilities. The registry would make the names of those who abuse or neglect vulnerable adults under any Act available to employers for screening potential employees or volunteers. Similar registries already exist in the United States.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation