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Archive for February, 2012

Are Legal Clinics the Answer? Part 1

Before I embark on a brief exploration of whether clinical legal education can provide a solution to two difficulties facing the legal profession in Canada today, I must first make a disclosure. I am a big proponent of clinical legal education and as the incoming director of an excellent clinical program at the University of Victoria I have witnessed first hand the numerous benefits that this manner of education can have to students, the profession and the community as a whole. This experience allows me to approach this discussion not only from the perspective of a lawyer and consultant who . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

CanLII Releases Report on Strategic Priorities

CanLII President Colin Lachance has just now released his plan for that organization’s next three years. “Strategic Priorities 2012 to 2014” is available in a variety of formats: HTML, PDF, and large print PDF. Versions in French are also available, of course.

The report elaborates on four strategic priorities for CanLII:

  1. Secure permanent role as foremost source of free law in canada.
  2. Continually enrich content to meet the needs of public and professional users.
  3. Deliver easy to use professional grade tools and a compelling site experience.
  4. Continuously promote and defend free access to law

As readers will . . . [more]

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

Systemic Discrimination in Law Firms: Perception or Reality? My Point of View

According to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Section 15 (1)):

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Of course, and unfortunately, this is not always the case in practice. Many people continue to deny others equal treatment, intentionally and not. Law Times offers a recent example of alleged systemic discrimination; the case Law Society of Upper Canada v. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law

Environmental Assessment, Public Participation and Sustainability: Foreigners Keep Out?

[And by Meredith James]

According to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver,

Anyone looking at the record of approvals for certain major projects across Canada cannot help but come to the conclusion that many of these projects have been delayed too long. In many cases, these projects would create thousands upon thousands of jobs for Canadians…Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this … Their goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. 

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

A Shameless Plug for CALLACBD 2012

Those of you on CALL-L will already know this, but the website for the annual conference was launched yesterday. It’s hard to imagine, but we’re already less than 90 days away from the start of the conference!

The Conference Planning Committee and the many volunteers for the subcommittees have been busy, but now the energy is really building! The program is set, social venues booked and we’ve submitted our request for decent weather.With the kind of weather we’ve been having in Toronto this winter, I have no idea what to expect in May.

Special thanks has to go out to . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Legal Issues in Offshore Outsourcing Contracts

Recent research published by industry analyst Gartner shows that the business process outsourcing sector will expand by 5 per cent in 2012, with multinational companies leading the charge. Business process outsourcing is seen by many companies as a means of reducing costs. Companies have been engaging in outsourcing (both information technology and business process services) for many years. Use of foreign-based third party service providers is also not new. While many of the issues are not unique to offshore outsourcing engagements, offshoring highlights the importance of some of the challenges.

Companies have been outsourcing various types of business processes to . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

If This, Then That: Simple Media Programming

I have a tendency to want to keep my gravy out of my peas — control issues, I know. This makes me work to keep my social media in silos as much as possible, fearing, I suppose, the further loss of privacy if Facebook gossips to Twitter about me and vice versa. The devil — or the deity, if you prefer — is in the intersections, the linkages, the relationships.

This desire for some crafted anonymity or at least a tad of privacy is a forlorn hope, I realize, if I’m online and tweeting, blogging, “plus”-ing and the like, whether . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

Privacy Commissioner Explains Problems With Proposed Lawful Access Law

With Parliament back in session, we are seeing more attention on the proposed “lawful access” legislation. There is good reason for that. Many of us believe the proposed legislation is an affront to privacy, and gives law enforcement overly intrusive rights without court supervision that will in practice be no more than expensive, invasive, privacy offensive security theatre.

In this CBC interview, Ann Cavoukian, the Ontario Privacy Commissioner, does an excellent job of explaining the issue. Well worth investing 7 minutes to watch.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

2012-02-01 Developing a Library Collection Development Policy – Journals Part 1

This is the second in a series of columns about developing a library collection development policy. In my last column, I addressed some of the issues surrounding monographs. In this column, I’d like to consider journals, how they’re used in legal research today both in practice and in law schools, and their place in a contemporary law library collection.

Journals vs Serials

I’ve purposely used the specific term “journals” rather than the broader term “serials”. Serials are any publication that is issued either periodically (daily, weekly, monthly, etc) or serially in successive discrete parts, the publication of which is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of January 24 – 31.

1. Jones v. Tsige 2012 ONCA 32

[1] Does Ontario law recognize a right to bring a civil action for damages for the invasion of personal privacy?

2. Pottruff v. Don Berry Holdings Inc. 2012 ONSC 311

[1] The defendant brings this motion to have two documents, and any copies in the possession of the plaintiff, returned to it. As well it seeks a declaration that the documents cannot be referred to in this litigation because of solicitor and client privilege.

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