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Archive for February, 2012

A Judicial Finger Wag

Here is what Justice Corbett of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice had to say recently in Sri Guru Nanak Sikh Centre Brampton v. Dhadda,

[1] It is not open to anyone involved in the plaintiff to dispense with the law because they think they are wise and know what is best. “Tradition” is not a basis for ignoring the law.

[4] The plaintiff has a long sad history of conflict. And this just has to stop. It is an embarrassment: the plaintiff is an important religious, social and cultural institution. The conflicts have been riotous, often petty,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Marta Lange/CQ Press Award

A little while ago I blogged about legal bibliographies and highlighted some of the work that John Eaton at the University of Manitoba has done in this area. It is very nice to see that John’s work has been recognised as he is the 2012 recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries Marta Lange/CQ Press Award. This award recognises librarians who have made a significant contribution to bibliography and information service in law or political science. The press release from the American Library Association announcing the award can be found here.

Congratulations John! . . . [more]

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

The Quest for a New Law Firm Website

As Connie mentioned, our firm launched a new website last week. In this post, I’ll share a few thoughts about the process of creating a new law firm website.

Lawyers tend to be a conservative lot, tend to set a low priority on things that don’t bring short term gain, and tend to want to be in control. That combination doesn’t lend itself well to creating a new website that may be somewhat different. It can lead to analysis paralysis, or a conservative approach that leads to either no new site at all, or one that tries to satisfy . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of February 1 – 7.

1. Reece v. Rumney et al 2012 ONSC 780

[1] This is a motion by the Plaintiff for an Order setting aside the verdict of the jury delivered on December 8, 2011 on the basis that there was no evidence to support the jury’s findings and for an Order that:

(a) the action be retried with another jury; or

(b) a verdict be delivered by the trial judge (the plaintiff acknowledged at the motion that this likely was not a realistic solution).

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

3G Access When Travelling Abroad With an iPad

Having recently travelled to the UK and the US with my 3G/WiFi iPad 1 as my sole communication device, I thought I would pass on a few thoughts on travelling with an iPad.

1) Roaming Charges Using your Canadian 3G SimCard Outside of Canada: Since I tend to be stingy (not a good quality), I have never tested using my Canadian 3G access while abroad. However, comments from others suggest it can be very expensive.

2) WiFi not as Common as One Might Think: Depending on your hotel chain of choice, I find that free WiFi is not . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Thoughts on the LegalTech 2012 Conference (And Some iPad Apps for Lawyers)

The LegalTech 2012 Conference last week was a bit overwhelming for me as a first-time attendee.

As a knowledge management (KM) lawyer / law librarian, my continuing legal education opportunities tend to focus more on conferences related to KM or law libraries, such as the upcoming annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries / L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit held in Toronto in May.

However, I think it was worthwhile attending LegalTech, although I might not need to attend every year. The main difference for me was the large number of technology vendors exhibiting or presenting their . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Factual Causation: Here We Go … Again?

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the appeal in Clements (Litigation Guardian of) v. Clements, 2011 BCCA 581, reversing 2009 BCSC 112; leave to appeal granted 2011 CanLII 36004 (SCC) on February 17, 2012. The Supreme Court’s summary of the issues in the appeal suggests that that all the Court was asked to do is clarify the meaning of the Resurfice material contribution test for proof of the causation requirements in causes of action in negligence and, then, determine the correct result in Clements based on that test. See

That is an accurate enough summary of . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Social Media Ecosystem

Social Media – networking and sharing of breaking news, gossip, pictures, videos, music, and just about everything else – has become a part of daily life for many people. Social media sites house this information about you, your firm, your clients and their businesses. Even if you don’t actively participate in social media, the information can be vital in fact gathering and monitoring. Let’s look at some of the available tools to make that happen.

Social Media Search

For researching what people are doing, saying, and revealing about themselves, searching social media sites is imperative. Blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Technology Strategy and Direction

I spent last week at LegalTech in New York. It was a huge, thought provoking, intimidating, useful, connected, and intriguing experience. I was sent to the conference to investigate software in some specific market segments for my firm, and it was very useful for making connections with vendors and surveying the landscape of available products. There were very few librarians in the crowd.

The LegalTech experience could lead someone to believe that the most important technology function in our industry is eDiscovery. Predictive coding was another theme that bubbled to the surface multiple times along with cloud computing solutions.

Contrast . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

2008 Costs of Crime Report Published

Early this year, the Department of Justice released, seemingly for the first time, a report titled “Costs of Crime in Canada, 2008” by Ting Zhang [PDF version]. Given the impending omnibus bill on crime and the likely large increase in the costs to the provinces from their associated responsibility for corrections, this report might be of some interest.

It consists, essentially, of a series of “appendices” that set out cost tables for, respectively, the criminal justice system, the victims of crime, third parties, and finally intangible costs (pain and suffering, value of loss of life) associated . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Missing Link?

For many members of the general public seeking to understand the law, Wikipedia is the first and perhaps only stop. Others may go further and eventually come across equally accessible but considerably more reliable sources – online or otherwise. In any event, there is often a gulf between where the general public goes to understand the law and where the understanding is available.

Based on observations of a little experiment in contextual-linking, small efforts can go a long way toward bridging that gulf.

Contextual-linking is different from promotional or advisory linking such as is found on the “links” page of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Assange’s Appeal to the UK Supreme Court

Julian Assange’s extradition appeal was heard at the UK’s highest court on 1 and 2 February. Assange is trying to avoid being sent to Sweden to face allegations relating to sexual encounters there in 2010. The key issue is whether a public prosecutor is a valid judicial authority.

Two things about this appeal illustrate the flexibility of what is wrongly thought to be a crusty, fossilized world. Both barristers in this extremely high profile case are women. And the proceedings were broadcast live from the court room. Here is an extract from the hearing.

And Simon Chester’s post today reports . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice