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Archive for December, 2011

Language Rights Issues Returning to the Supreme Court?

According to yesterday’s news (see here for an article from the National Post), the government of New Brunswick will be asking the Supreme Court of Canada to look into the status of its language laws as it appeals the decision of its appellate court upholding the decision of a provincial judge who excluded breath-sample evidence of a suspected impaired driver pursuant to s. 24(2) of the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms because his language rights had been violated (see R. v. Losier, 2011 NBCA 102 (CanLII)). Indeed, in that case, a police officer only offered the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Review of Irwin Law iPad App

I had an opportunity to download the new Irwin Law iPad app recently along with a copy of Ted Tjaden’s Legal Research and Writing text. We have a copy of this excellent title in our firm library in print or course, but for testing purposes, I thought it would be a good choice for an eBook.

First I want to congratulate Jeff Miller and his team at Irwin Law. They made an excellent choice of partners in Nubook. The Irwin Law app was easy to find in the Apple App Store, the download process was simple. It was also . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

An Extra Pair of Hands – Virtual Assistants for Busy Professionals

The days run by so swiftly it seems like the world is spinning faster and time has compressed. Everyone I speak to feels this same rush as summer disappears into winter in the blink of an eye. So much to do and so little time to do it, has become a theme of our collective days. One way I tackled the challenge was to literally employ an extra set of hands. I hired a virtual assistant, Mary-Lou, and that decision changed my life for the better.

What’s a virtual assistant?

A virtual assistant is an administrative professional and business owner . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of November 14 – 21.

1. Ontario Korean Businessmen’s Assoc. v. Seung Jin Oh 2011 ONSC 6991

[1] A dispute exists amongst the members of the Ontario Korean Businessmen’s Association (the “Association”) as to which group of members is entitled to govern the Association.

(Second week in a row at #1. Unclear what’s driving this.)

2. Combined Air Mechanical Services Inc. v. Flesch 2011 ONCA 764

[5] In the months following the amendments to Rule 20, it has become a matter of some controversy and uncertainty

. . . [more]
Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Digitization of All OLRC Reports!

Thanks to the great initiative of Louis Mirando, Osgoode Hall Law School’s Chief Librarian, anyone can now access any or all of the Ontario Law Reform Commission’s final reports on-line. (That link takes you to the report on the proposed adoption of the Uniform Wills Act, 1968.) You can also find some consultation papers, collections of papers and other related documents. They are on the Internet Library Archive, but will likely be “housed” on Osgoode’s site, with a link from the Law Commission of Ontario. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Mapping the Cloudscape

For all the talk about cloud computing and the security and ethics implications thereof, for many the concept remains a nebulous one. Earlier this month Bessemer Venture Partners, a leading venture capital firm, helped make the concept of cloud computing much more concrete by creating and publishing the Bessemer Cloudscape, a “visual to track the leading companies in this revolution.”

Bessemer has invested heavily in cloud computing, and is in an excellent position to map the cloudscape. The firm sees cloud computing not only as one of the most important technology transitions to have ever occurred, but also as . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Internet Defamation – Worse Than Other Media?

We read from time to time that Internet defamation is worse than that in other media because of its global reach and persistence over time. Thus the Ontario Court of Appeal in Barrick v Lopehandia 2004 CanLII 12938 issued an injunction against further defamation, in part because of the Internet’s character as “potentially a medium of virtually limitless international defamation” (the Court quoted Matthew Collins, The Law of Defamation and the Internet.) The court (by majority) also increased fivefold the damages awarded at trial, for similar reasons.

Recently the British Columbia Supreme Court granted ex parte injunctions against publication . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Rashomon Like Views of the Thomson-Reuters Merger – and Why Bloomberg Is Gaining

The English media came back this weekend to re-examine the health of Thomson-Reuters and reached wildly different conclusions. The BBC talks of Thomson moving to establish hegemony over business data, whereas the Guardian focuses on the weaknesses of post-merger integration and the long-term challenge that Bloomberg presents.

The doyenne of the DC law library community, Jean O’Grady has a fascinating piece suggesting that Thomson may well acquire Wolters-Kluwer

Her analysis is:

Factors Favoring Such a Merger

1. Thomson Reuters Leadership Changes.Exane BNP suggests that TR appears to be “in restructuring

and crisis mode” since they failed to achieve top

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Copyright Infringement Claims in Small Claims Court

Can a copyright owner enforce his rights in small claims court? The answer varies depending on which side of the 49th parallel you are on. In Canada, yes! In the U.S., no. Perhaps this is about to change. The U.S. Copyright Office is accepting submissions from the public until 16 January 2012 on remedies for copyright infringement suits in small claims courts. U.S. Congress has asked the Copyright Office to investigate and seek comment on how small copyright claims have been managed in the past and to outline recommendations for changes and alternatives to current procedures.

This is not the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Judicial Mediation Policy Day

In my 26 September post here I touched on the issues raised by judicial mediation.

On 9 December the OBA presented a full day program on the topic.

Four panels covered the interprovincial landscape and experience, the Ontario experience, the private mediation landscape and perspectives, and finally the client’s perspective. Two breakout sessions considered the pros and cons, and the essential elements of good judicial mediation.

Of particular interest are the developments in Judicial Dispute Resolution in Alberta.

The Alberta new rules of court which came into force in Alberta on 1 November 2010 make JDR (or another form of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Twitter Introduces New Interface

Just when we were getting used to Twitter’s new interface, along comes an even newer one. Twitter is introducing a new interface that has a consistent layout across the mobile and Internet applications. The new version is gradually being rolled out; I have seen it on the iPhone but not yet on the Internet. The iPad version is still being developed.

More information is given at

According to Kevin O’Keefe on his Real Lawyers Have Blogs blog, this redesigned Twitter will be better for lawyers. He maintains the layout is easier to use, and it is more professional . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

The English Riots: The Autopsy Is Well Underway

In my last column  on 19 August 2011, I commented on the riots that took place in English cities. Soon after the riots, Prime Minister David Cameron, stated his conviction that the riots were the result of a broken society and gangs, which he quickly moved to declare war on. Since then, government, academics and the voluntary and community sectors have been performing an autopsy on the riots and this post outlines with regard to young people’s involvement, some preliminary findings; asks what we can learn from the past and overseas, and what investigations are currently underway.

Ministry of Justice . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues