Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for January, 2012

Slaw Site News – 2012-01-19

Site news for those who read Slaw only via RSS or email

1. Comment Watch:

In the last week there were 80 comments (possibly a record on Slaw). You might be particularly interested in these:

  • the 30 comments on the post by Simon Fodden, “Same-Sex Divorce and Conflict of Laws,” that thoroughly canvassed the topic.
  • the 17 comments on Connie Crosby’s post, “Should There Be Parttime Law School in Canada?” that form a pretty exhaustive list of the part-time law programs that are in fact available
  • the very lengthy and detailed comment by John Wood on the older post, “Electronic
. . . [more]
Posted in: Slaw RSS Site News

Apple’s New iBooks Author

Apple may have done it yet again.

The iBooks system launched today puts a powerful but easy-to-use authoring system into the hands of anyone who wants it, presaging the publication of dynamic ebooks by the millions—texts that will, of course, range in quality from the wretched to the superb—and, I should add, from the free to the expensive. Apple, being Apple, has tied this software in pretty tightly to its own iPad: books made by iBooks Author are made to be viewed on an iPad and may only be sold on Apple’s iTunes Store. (There is also an ability to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Office Technology

Why Is Commercial Arbitration So Expensive?

Commercial arbitrators often hear litigators and business people complain that arbitration has become just as expensive as litigation.

“Why arbitrate when it costs so much? Plus we have to pay the arbitrator; in court, at least we don’t pay for the judge.”

It’s a valid question. But I think the more important question is: what can arbitrators and counsel do to make arbitration more cost effective?

The arbitrator needs to take control of the process. This is harder than it sounds. Arbitration exists because the parties have agreed to arbitrate rather than litigate. So the parties control the process and . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Tort of Invasion of Privacy in Ontario


Historically actions around privacy stemmed from concepts of trespass in the common law, and were only recognized as cearly actionable where stipulated by statute. An Ontario Court of Appeal decision today, Jones v. Tsige, changed that by recognizing the tort of invasion of privacy.

The action arose between two employees in a bank who did not know or work with each other. The plaintiff had a common law relationship with the former husband of the defendant, and the defendant acknowledged looking at the plaintiff’s bank information without just cause or reason on multiple occasions.

The plaintiff claimed $70,000 . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Legal Literature and Librarianship

The start of the winter term means a happy return to the University of Toronto Faculty of Information where I am again part of the team that teaches the perennially oversubscribed Legal Literature and Librarianship class. This year I am co-teaching with two of my colleagues Susan Barker and John Bolan and we will once again feature a guest lecture from Ted Tjaden who taught this course from 1998-2004. (Ted has blogged about his impressions of the class here , here and here).

It might strike some of my non-librarian colleagues odd or quaint that such a course continues . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Security of Information Act (And the Clarity of Legislative Information)

Given the recent news about the arrest of Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Paul Delisle, Slaw readers may want to visit the Security of Information Act (SOIA) under which he has been charged, according to reports. Government officials and the RCMP have refused to identify the section of the legislation involved, however.

I say “visit” the Act in part because it is a nearly indigestible tangle, a true failure, perhaps, of the draftsperson’s art. This lack of clarity, which could be seen as a sympathetic reflection of the espionage world I suppose, has been the subject of judicial criticism. Readers may recall . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Law Reform Commission Reports

I have updated the Reference Tools page of my legal research and writing website with a new section on Law Reform Commission Reports, a topic that – in retrospect – was likely insufficiently treated in my book.

I believe it may currently be the most complete, online collection of links and other resources for researching law reform commission reports. Included, of course, are links to the BC Law Institute Law Reform Database as well as links to individual law reform commission reports websites.

For the older, online Ontario Law Reform Commission Reports, I linked to the listings from . . . [more]

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

Stop SOPA – PIPA Protest

Here are some of the sites that are going dark today, or changing their home pages in protest over the proposed US legislation. For more information on why this legislation is so bad, check out these sites, or search for “SOPA” on Slaw or, or just Google it.


Boing Boing



This is Google’s US site. Google’s Canadian homepage does not seem to be affected.

Michael Geist

  . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Amazon Again

Canadian patent CA 2246933 was issued on January 17, 2012 for the Amazon 1-Click claim. Aaron Edgar and Grant W. C. Tisdall, in "’s Canadian ‘one-click’ Patent on the Threshold of Issuance" (, January, 2012), have written:

On December 23, 2011, barely a month after the Court’s ruling, the Commissioner himself approved Amazon’s application and a Notice of Allowance was sent out. On December 28, 2011, Amazon’s patent agents submitted the required issue fee and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) then promptly processed the fee as paid. Given the recent speed at which CIPO processed allowance of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of January 10 – 17.

1. Zefferino v. Meloche Monnex Insurance 2012 ONSC 154

[1] . . . The claim is based on the alleged negligence of the defendant insurance broker in failing to properly offer optional income replacement benefit coverage to the plaintiff as part of a policy of automobile insurance.

2. Williams v. Toronto (City) 2012 ONSC 102

[1] This is a motion by the defendant the City of Toronto (the “City”) for an order under subrule 56.01 (1)(a) for security for costs against

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

Wikipedia Protest Blackout

On January 18, 2012 you will not be able to read anything from the English version of Wikipedia.
Building on Jack’s post yesterday, there is indeed a BIG fuss about SOPA. As Jack mentioned, Reddit and Boing Boing are also going dark in protest.

Wikipedia explains their blackout here, but I found this expert particularly interesting:

My hope is that when Wikipedia shuts down on January 18, people will understand that we’re doing it for our readers. We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet