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Archive for May, 2012

‘Gay-Straight Alliances’ in Schools Part of Anti-Bullying Bill

On May 3, 2012, Ontario’s Bill 13, the Accepting Schools Act, 2011 (which I discussed in a previous Slaw blog post), passed second reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. During committee hearings, the government heard loud and clear that it is important that students who want to establish student-led, single-issue groups, like gay-straight alliances in their schools should be supported and allowed to do so. The government also heard that students should be allowed to call these groups specifically “Gay-Straight Alliances” or other similar names. Hence, the committee made several amendments to Bill 13 . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of May 22 – 30.

1. R. v. Pelech 2012 ABCA 134

[1] This appeal addresses the proposal that a trial judge needs to have in contemplation the rule in Hodge’s case, when considering evidence of impaired driving.

2. Cinar Corp. v. Robinson 2012 SCC 25

[1] The respondents, Claude Robinson and Les Productions Nilem Inc., are asking this Court to order the applicants to provide security in the amount of $3,250,000 for the amounts they would have to pay should their appeals to this Court

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

Eulogy for Dewey

As we all give a moment of silence for the sad, preventable destruction of Dewey LeBoeuf it may be time for firms to recall the words of Sylvester Bowen of Bowen, Fong & Chandri:

 When we hire lawyers, we hire those who believe in what we believe.

 We don’t hire lawyers who are technically good and need a job.

 We don’t hire lawyers who are driven by money.

 We hire lawyers who are motivated by our principles of change and innovation.

 We don’t want lawyers who are seduced by the reliability of hours and profits per partner because that . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Mandatory Change in an Outsourcing Relationship

Although it is now customary for outsourcing agreements to include extensive change management provisions, not all of them include “Mandatory Change” or “Directive” provisions. These are provisions that entitle a Customer to require its Service Provider to start work on a particular change on a priority basis and without compliance with the often extensive provisions that have been inserted into the outsourcing agreement specifically to ensure that the Service Provider does not start work on a change until there is a written agreement around all of the terms and conditions. The need for Mandatory Change provisions can arise, for example, . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

The Use, Misuse and Non-Use of Twitter

It is no secret that the hottest item in the news these days in the province of Quebec has been the student protests over tuition hikes and Bill 78. Among the plethora of articles and opinions, one recently caught my eye: provincial politicians have not been utilizing Twitter to its fullest extent and to their advantage during time.

It is clear that Twitter has played a huge role these last few weeks, as public protests have been organized more spontaneously, with the Montreal police and public transportation system keeping the population abreast of developments as affected by the protests. Twitter . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Days of Action for Federal Libraries and Archives

Earlier this month I posted a bit on that week’s news of funding cuts to the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the National Archival Development Program (NADP). This week brings further developments on that issue.

On Monday this week, Canadian archivists led the Archivists’ On to Ottawa Trek Day of Action:

On April 30, 2012, the National Archival Development Program (NADP) was eliminated. Surplus notices were sent to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to ultimately reduce its staff by 20%. Libraries and archives in the Transport, Immigration, and Public Works departments were unilaterally shut down.

On May 28,

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

Do Privacy Laws Need More Teeth?

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, appeared yesterday before the House of Commons access to information, privacy and ethics committee. 

The Commissioner would like PIPEDA to include stronger penalties for privacy violations as an incentive to comply. PIPEDA currently has no financial sanctions. If a violator does not conform to a decision of the Commissioner, the recourse is for the Commissioner to take it to the Federal court, which has powers to order compliance and grant damages.

In part this seems to be driven by “…the apparent disregard that some of these social media companies have shown for Canadian privacy laws.”  . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

UK Cookie Law Now in Effect

As of four days ago, websites wishing to set cookies for UK viewers are required first to obtain permission to do so. I talked about the largely neglected 2009 EU directive to this effect a year ago on Slaw, when the UK, needing to move on the matter, gave businesses a year’s grace to grapple with the law. Now that grace period is over.

The terms of the directive are spelled out here, in an excerpt from my post of a year ago:

The cookie law is paragraph 66 of Directive 2009/136/EC [PDF] and essentially mandates that computer users:


. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Aging Gracefully

Recently while sitting in a packed courtroom in Newmarket agonizingly waiting for my brief ‘speak-to’ matter to be called, I began to question one of our statutory traditions and the grace towards our elders that it mandates.

Don’t get me wrong. Since I was a child it has been ingrained upon me to honour and respect my seniors. I’ve crossed my share of streets hand-in-hand with little old ladies and vacated countless seats on sardine-stuffed subway cars but something about watching counsel be called in order of their year of call smacks of anachronism and inefficiency.

Although not applied in . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Anti-Google Search Engine

The vast majority of web searches continue to be conducted through Google, estimated at about 66.4% of all searches in early 2012. Google is understandably concerned about losing its market dominance. In December 2011, Microsoft’s upstart search engine Bing surpassed Yahoo and become the second most used search engine worldwide.

The only way Google can retain its lead is by continuing to provide the most relevant information to users, so it constantly rewrites its code, as with the new Penguin update that I mentioned here. Although Wikpedia has over 365 million readers and is ranked one of the top . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Marketing

Ouch – Legal Publishers Left With Unpaid Debts as Dewey & LeBoeuf Files

Among the top dozen creditors of Dewey & LeBoeuf which filed for bankruptcy yesterday were some familiar names:

Thomson Reuters $2.363 M

Lexis Nexis $1.413 M

Wolters Kluwer $653 K

I find the relative scale of the debts interesting, as well as the fact that the three publishers must have been prepared to continue to extend credit long after the newspapers were spreading word of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s troubles far and wide.

We’ve had scant experience of law firm insolvencies so I don’t know what has traditionally happened to the library when a firm closes its doors. Or in today’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Technology in Practice: Coming to 3 Canadian Cities in June

Coming up in June, Commonwealth Legal is assembling a three city Canadian legal tech conference tour; landing in: Toronto (13th), Calgary (21st) and Vancouver (27th).

Session topics covered include:

  • Litigation Management on a Global Scale
  • 360° Review Management
  • Technology Assisted Document Review
  • Cloud Computing for the Legal Profession
  • Social Media: The New ESI Frontier
  • Data Reduction and Culling Techniques
  • Shifting Technology Paradigms

Visit their website — — for full session details, speakers, and conference pricing. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology