Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for August, 2011

Catholics and Other Christian Groups Will Weigh in on Freedom of Expression

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission’s appeal of the Whatcott freedom of expression case to the Supreme Court of Canada is scheduled to be heard in October 2011.
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Less Madness, More Method

It is almost trite to say that you don’t computerise a mess, it simply makes it happen faster. The problem is the legal system, particularly litigation; and it is something we are stuck with, though changes are afoot. 

A leading Australian judge has recently sounded the death knell for the traditional system for litigating civil disputes and urged the legal profession to abandon it.

“There is no point in tinkering with the present system and its problems. It is time for a fresh start.”

US-based e-discovery guru, Ralph Losey has long advocated that the system is broken, and that most . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Investigating and Forgetting on the Web: Issues in the Internet and Employment and Labour Law

These are notes are from a panel presentation organized by the ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law at the American Bar Association 2011 conference in Toronto on Sunday, August 7, 2011. Panelists included Douglas E. Dexter, Farella Braun & Martell LLP, San Francisco; Roy L. Heenan, Heenan Blaikie LLP, Montreal; Mauricio Paez, Jones Day, New York; and Lauren Schwartzreich, Outten & Golden LLP, New York. The moderator was Cynthia E. Nance, Professor of Law, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are my . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

PIPEDA and Cloud Computing

♬ An’ now I’m flyin’ through the air.
On a cloud, on a cloud.
On a cloud, lookin’ down…♬

Lyrics and Music by Cody Canada, recorded by Cross Canadian Ragweed.

Further to Simon Fodden’s post on August 16, 2011 entitled: “Privacy Commissioner Releases PIPEDA Guide for Lawyers“, I thought that a relevant passage in that report dealing with safeguarding personal information and in particular, with reference to mobile devices and cloud computing, would deserve its own post. The section in question on Safeguarding Personal Information is as follows (relevant paragraphs bolded for emphasis):

Safeguarding personal information


. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Hon. Allan Lutfy of the Federal Court to Retire

The Federal Court of Canada announced yesterday that the Chief Justice, the Honourable Allan Lutfy, will be resigning effective Sept. 30, 2011.

Prior to his appointment to the Federal Court, he acted as counsel for the McDonald Commission, the Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (State of Competition in the Canadian Petroleum Industry) and the Dubin Commission. He was also counsel for the Security Intelligence Review Committee and the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery

He was appointed to the Federal Court Trial Division in 1996, and became the Chief Justice on July 2, 2003. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Surveillance Society Requires Debate

There has been a lot written lately about the disturbing trend towards becoming a surveillance society. And the equally disturbing trend for governments to try to interfere with various kinds of communications to squash activity. Mathew Ingram has a good article about that on gigaom.

There is a great hue and cry about this when it occurs in countries that we feel suppress their people – but we are also seeing the trend in North America and Britain – such as the recent British riots and San Fransico’s Bart transit system shutdown of cell service. 

And yet at the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canadian Law Journals on Commercial Databases

For the last few months, I have been tracking new issues of Canadian law journals for Bora Laskin Law Library’s Recent Law Journals Tables of Contents service (July issue here) . This was as part of a bigger project, that will hopefully see the light of day someday. One of my collaborators on that project Andrea Davidson (a lawyer who is currently a masters student at the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Information and Media Studies) thought it was worth noting that a number of the journals we were looking at were not available on either Lexis . . . [more]

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

Going From a 2 to a 4

I’m watching a sailboat from my deck.

It’s a sunny day and there’s some wind, just a perfect day for sailing. As a picture, it looks idyllic. Call it a 10 on the idyllic-scenes rating scale. 

It’s Metaphor Time

I used to race sailboats, an amateur pastime at which I became reasonably adept. I can see that the person helming the sailboat isn’t very skilled. His (or her) sails are poorly trimmed, and he’s steering neither a straight nor terribly effective course. He rolled up his sails 30 seconds after I took the picture and turned to what sailors call . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Homage À Paul-André Crépeau – a Giant of Law Reform

The papers recently carried the news of the death of Paul-André Crépeau, C.C., O.Q., c.r., LL.D., D.h.c., m.s.r.c., who I would argue was the most influential law reformer in Canadian legal history.

From the initial invitation in 1965 from Jean Lesage’s Justice Minister Claude Wagner to take over the Office de Révision du code civil, originally set up during the Duplessis years with Thibaudeau Rinfret and André Nadeau, Crépeau’s vision and his life work was la révision du Code civil, and under his leadership the Office focused on the daunting task of updating the general provisions of a century-old . . . [more]

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

Privacy Commissioner Releases PIPEDA Guide for Lawyers

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner announced the release of “PIPEDA and Your Practice — A Privacy Handbook for Lawyers” (also available in a PDF version) at the Canadian Bar Association Canadian Legal Conference and Expo 2011. As the handbook says:

In some cases, the requirements of PIPEDA mirror lawyers’ existing professional requirements. In other cases, navigating the requirements of PIPEDA in a legal practice can add further complexity. Lawyers must not only consider their own privacy obligations but also the different obligations that each of their clients may face. Privacy obligations applicable to clients can sometimes restrict what lawyers

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Orders-in-Council No Longer Tweeting

I am sorry to report that @ordersincouncil, a twitter stream with 318 followers and 25 listings seems to have gone silent. No ceremony, no fanfare, no last word, no announcement. The account sits, with a lovely background, the descriptive tagline “Monitoring updates to Privy Council Office listings of cabinet orders,” and a last tweet from May 2011.

I was among those who found tweets of federal Orders in Council extremely useful. I was happy to weed through tweets on government appointments and interesting tidbits like tax remission orders among the regulations and proclamation announcements that were of true interest . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation

McLuhan and the Practice of Law

Have a look at Jason Wilson’s latest rethinc.k post, “The Document Life: Why “lawyer” is moving from a profession to a metaphor.” In actual fact, the post, after a brief intro by (legal publisher and Slaw columnist) Wilson, is a reproduction of an article written in 2008 by Ross Reeves for the Virginia Bar Association News: “Marshall McLuhan in the Modern Law Office: Has Technology Changed the Way We Think?”

McLuhan, the hometown boy and media messenger, is back in the world’s good graces again, after a number of years in the wilderness. And, of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice