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Archive for December, 2011

The Last Day, the Last Hour: The Currie Libel Trial – Osgoode Society Best Seller

At the most recent Osgoode Society book launch, Roy McMurtry encouraged those present to review the full array of back list titles published by the Society that were on display. Included among them was an earlier book by Robert J. Sharpe – The Last Day, The Last Hour: The Currie Libel Trial. Originally published by The Carswell Company Limited in 1988, it was subsequently republished in paperback for the Osgoode Society by the University of Toronto Press.

I recently stumbled across an early review of the Osgoode Society best seller that appeared in the July/August 1989 issue of CLIC’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading

Upcoming PIPEDA Amendments

Several amendments are proposed to PIPEDA, (Bill C-12) the federal private sector privacy legislation. It is sitting now at first reading stage, and we are not yet sure how long it will be before it is passed.

This post summarizes an IT.Can teleconference on the subject presented today by David Fraser of McInnes Cooper and Lisa Lifshitz of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.

The definition of personal information has been changed slightly. It is now simply defined as: “information about an identifiable individual”. Along with that comes a new definition of “business contact information”, which expands the “business card” exception that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory at Harvard Law School

When John Palfrey was appointed vice-dean of library and information services at Harvard Law School a couple of years ago, one of the first things he did was create the Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory. Under the direction of Kim Dulin and David Weinberger (also of Berkman Center fame), HLIL explores the ways in which software can “hack libraries…in the good sense of discovering and delivering more capability and value.” Specifically, as they say on the FAQ page,

1. We think in public.
2. We build software that demonstrates how libraries can bring yet more value to scholars and researchers.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Whether You “like” It or Not…

Lexum has recently conducted an analysis of the underlying technology behind Facebook Like, Twitter Tweet and other “social” buttons. The analysis revealed that, if used in the way prescribed by Facebook, Google, Twitter et al., these buttons create some significant privacy issues for Webmasters and their users.

Before we get to the privacy issues however, it is appropriate to explain how these buttons work. Adding a Facebook Like, Twitter Tweet, Google +1, LinkedIn Share or any other sharing button to one’s Web site is a relatively easy affair. The companies that distribute them have dedicated pages . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Copyright at the SCC

As says, this is “Copyright Week at the Supreme Court of Canada“:

The Supreme Court of Canada provides copies of the factums for the parties and interveners on its website. They also will be live broadcasting the oral arguments. The following table contains links to the factums and live webcast links for each proceeding.


Case Likely Schedule Webcast Factums 33921 – online games Tuesday AM webcast factums 33922 – communication to the public Tuesday AM webcast factums 33800 – previewing music Tuesday PM webcast factums 33888 – Access Copyright Wednesday AM webcast factums; additional factums
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Slaw Makes ABA Blawg 100 – Vote for Us

We’re proud to say that Slaw has been selected as one of the 5th Annual ABA Journal Blawg 100. The kind words describing Slaw run as follows:

“Slaw is to law what Slate is to popular culture,” law blogger Robert Ambrogi writes. “It is an online magazine with a diverse array of writers and perspectives covering a wide array of legal topics. It is always interesting, always smart and always insightful. It represents the best of what a legal blog—strike that—any blog can aspire to be.”

To be nominated is a real honour. But there’s another stage to things: . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Christmas Ruined in Québec… Then Saved!

The Globe & Mail recently reported on the decision of a senior manager at a Service Canada to ban all forms of visual holiday cheer from all outlets across Québec. While Québec has become an increasingly secular society, this manager’s decision prompted a public (and Twitter!) outcry and was quickly reversed.

In short order, the Government was accused of ruining Christmas:

“Why do the Conservatives want to steal the magic of Christmas from employees of Service Canada?” said NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice.

In an effort save Christmas for all Québeckers (and Canadians) and return the “magic”, Minister Diane Finley issued . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of November 28 – December 5.

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.

2. Ornstein v. Starr 2011 ONSC 4220

Seven Words of Discovery
1. Q. Please state your full name for the record
A. Joseph Auby Starr.
2. Q. And you are a doctor
A. I am.
3. Q. And do you have

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

Women on the Bench

The Globe and Mail reported recently (November 12, 2011) that only 30% of judges appointed by the Conservative government since 2006 have been women. (So far in 2011 just under 20% of appointments have been women.) This is a significant decrease from the last year of the Liberal government when 40% of their judicial appointments were women. A spokesperson for the Justice Department stated that the number of appointments reflects the number of female applicants.

In the past, it has been argued that the number of female federally appointed judges (32% in total) has been similar to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

AG on Blogging, New Media and Contempt

The Attorney General for England and Wales, Dominic Grieve gave a very interesting speech on December 1 entitled ‘Contempt – A Balancing Act: balancing the freedom of the press with the fair administration of justice’ to journalism students where he commented on his approach to contempt of court.

‘Citizen journalists’ should not think they are immune to the law of contempt, that there is a certain belief that so long as something is published in cyberspace there is no need to respect the laws of contempt or libel. While he accepts the danger posed to the administration of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet

Ontario Auditor General’s Report on Auto Insurance Regulation

Ontario’s Auditor General tabled 2011 Annual Report in the Legislative Assembly today. Features of the report included:

  • Auto Insurance Regulatory Oversight
  • Electricity Sector—Regulatory Oversight
  • Electricity Sector—Renewable Energy Initiatives
  • Electricity Sector—Stranded Debt
  • Forest Management Program
  • Funding Alternatives for Family and Specialist Physicians
  • LCBO New Product Procurement
  • Legal Aid Ontario & Office of the Children’s Lawyer
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • Private Career Colleges
  • Student Success Initiatives
  • Supportive Services for People with Disabilities

Of particular interest to the litigation bar in Ontario was the Auto Insurance Regulatory Oversight, reviewing the operation of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the auto regime . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Find Something Nice for Your Special Lawyer With These Great Gift Guides

I suspect a few of you will be wondering the malls over the next few weeks looking for a gift for the special lawyer in your life. To save you from buying yet another bad tie (it’s the thought that counts!), here are four great online gift guides that should help you find a gift that will be welcomed and used by your favourite someone.

My good friend Reid Trautz just released his 7th Annual Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers. Reid works on this all year and he always has some interesting suggestions. This morning, AttorneyAtWork released a slightly . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous