Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for November, 2011

Colin Lachance, Joan Rataic-Lang

We’re very pleased indeed to announce that Colin Lachance and Joan Rataic-Lang have joined our roster of columnists.

Colin Lachance is the newly appointed President and CEO of CanLII. A lawyer by training, his career before CanLII was largely focused on communications law and policy. Following a few years in the marketing and government relations ends of the telecommunications industry, Colin started part-time studies towards an LL.M. at the University of Ottawa. As he puts it, to his “surprise and delight,” grad school opened him up to very different possibilities and ultimately a career change that brought him to CanLII. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements

Ted Tjaden Featured as One to Watch

Congratulations to Ted Tjaden who is featured in the Autumn 2011 issue of University of Toronto Faculty of Information alumni magazine Informed article “Alumni to Watch.” He also graces the cover.

The article traces Ted’s career from practicing lawyer in B.C. to library student at the Faculty of Information (now known as the iSchool) at the University of Toronto, to law librarian at the Bora Laskin Law Library at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and adjunct professor for the Faculty of Information, and finally to his current position as National Director of Knowledge Management at McMillan LLP. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Third Party Litigation Funding

In Canada there are companies that provide “litigation financial services” for personal injury, class actions and many other types of claim. These “Plaintiff’s Loans” are generally up to 10% – 20% of the value of the claim. No payments of principal or interest are required until the settlement or judgment is paid. If the amount recovered is insufficient to repay the loan, some lenders hold the borrower liable for the balance. Other lenders make non-recourse loans in Canada.

The loans made by these Canadian companies are frequently to personal injury plaintiffs and in the region of $10,000 – $20,000.

In . . . [more]

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

Ruminations on the Ethics of Law Firm Information Security

Lest anyone have forgotten Rule 1.6 of the ABA Model Rules, here it is – and similar rules apply everywhere:

Rule 1.6 Confidentiality Of Information

(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).

(b) A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:

(1) to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm;

(2) to prevent the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Occupy Movement Loses Injunctions

Following my post earlier this week about the injunction obtained in New York, lawyers for the movement brought their own respective motions in B.C. and Ontario.

Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie of the B.C. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the protesters must leave the Vancouver site by tomorrow, and a similar injunction was granted in Victoria.

I attended the motion in Toronto on Friday, where the judge has reserved his decision until Monday. Justice Brown was extremely accommodating to members of the media, allowing non-disruptive recordings of the proceedings and the use of electronic equipment, including social media. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Is There Copyright in a Citation Style?

Reading some posts and tweets (p&t’s?) on standards for legislation and opinion metadata lately, I was surprised to bump into a side-issue, “side” at least in this context, on whether the US Bluebook can have copyright in its citation styles. Apparently some development of legal style at Zotero has been hindered because of objections from Bluebook. See this contribution to a discussion on the Zotero forum on September 18, 2011:

Hi, I’m the author of the “Bluebook 19th ed.” style. The style itself is incomplete, which is the cause of the “bb-periodical-subsequent” string that you’re seeing in the output.


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

A Framework for Teaching Good Legal Writing

A recent working paper by Mark K. Osbeck of the University of Michigan Law School, proposes a framework for understanding, and teaching, good legal writing.

Available via SSRN, What is “Good Legal Writing” and Why Does it Matter?, the paper provides an overview of the major reports and other documents that have called for increased attention in US law schools to practical “lawyering” skills, starting with the MacCrate Report of 1992. It then provides a conceptual framework for defining good legal writing, and a detailed discussion of its various elements:

[The paper] argues that legal readers judge a document

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Reading

Can You Top the Hyperlink?

I recently posted about hyperlink being legally defined and that got me ta thinkin’, in terms of Internet innovations has the hyperlink been topped? In many respects one could assert that the hyperlink is the Internet as we know it today. Yes, I know that the ‘Net is an interconnected web of computers etc. etc. but in terms of modern usage of the ‘Net, absent the hyperlink most would not recognize the Internet, and we would all know far more command prompts.

In doing a bit of research it seems that the term “hyperlink” has been around since the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

The Friday Fillip:

There’s a new source of stimulating sound this month: “Great radio,” says part of its tagline, and they want you to be a programmer as well as a listener.

The idea is simple crowdsourcing: If you come across an interesting audio file while you’re browsing the web, tweet the link with the tag #audiofiles and will automatically add it to their database. Not only can you feed your finds into the mix, but you can also easily create playlists for yourself when you’re on the site.

What sort of things are already there? The topmost “producer . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

You Might Like… Some Diversions on Broccoli, Cruises, Space, Wilde, Potatoes, and More

This is a post in a series that is by now regular, setting out some articles, videos, podcasts and the like that contributors at Slaw are enjoying and that you might find interesting. The articles tend to be longer than blog posts and shorter than books, just right for that stolen half hour on the weekend. It’s also likely that most of them won’t be about law — just right for etc.

Please let us have your recommendations for what we and our readers might like.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: You might like...

The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting

The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting is an interesting publisher, established in 1865 by the legal profession in Great Britain, to bring some order to the then somewhat chaotic world of law reporting. Before this time, English law reports, now known as Nominate Reports, were produced on an individual basis by barristers, with a series lasting from one or two volumes, to the working life of the author barrister. Series varied in standard, layout and structure.

The ICLR oversaw the introduction of an orderly reporting system with the creation of The Law Reports, as the series that would report judicial . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information