Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for July, 2012

Holiday Gifts

Summer is here, golf courses are packed, people are at the summer cottage and your marketing department is likely already looking into this holiday gifts. Seems crazy but it’s true. This year the first contact I had from a supplier regarding holiday gifts was just after Victoria Day in May.

Each year marketing departments try to come up with new and unique yet a generic enough gift that will make the masses happy. For smaller firms and sole practitioners this can be somewhat easier as they have the ability to purchase individual gifts and can do it later in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

You Might Like … to Be Diverted by Space, Etymology, Pompei, Birding, Seamus Romney, Mayonnaise, and More

This is a post in a series appearing each Friday, setting out some articles, videos, podcasts and the like that contributors at Slaw are enjoying and that you might find interesting. The articles tend to be longer than blog posts and shorter than books, just right for that stolen half hour on the weekend. It’s also likely that most of them won’t be about law — just right for etc.

Please let us have your recommendations for what we and our readers might like.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: You might like...

VALL Honours Susan Daly, Law Librarian

If you like a good law librarian biography (and really, who doesn’t?), check out page 12 of the Summer edition of the VALL Review. Longtime colleague Susan Daly is profiled in a flattering and well deserved piece by VALL honoured member, Anne Beresford.

Susan is the latest VALL lifetime member to be announced, and I’m very pleased to see the Association make this recognition. Here are two of the great quotes included from her colleagues:

“Susan was an excellent and proficient legal researcher and probably the best for many years, she was never acknowledged as that and perhaps should

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

Launch of Australasian Colonial Legal History Library

AustLII, the Australasian Legal Information Institute, has launched the Australasian Colonial Legal History Library, a free online collection of databases containing legal information from the colonial period of Australia and New Zealand.

A recent article explaining the project, Digitising and searching Australasian colonial legal history, has been published on the Social Science Research Network:

“The paper explains the construction, content and features of the first version of the Library, which as of July 2012 contains 12 databases including one case law database from each of the seven colonies (including New Zealand), some of which are ‘recovered’ cases

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet

The Lost Art of Pricing for Legal Services

As readers are aware, I have been very vocal about the scourge of the billable hour.

Recently a lawyer asked me, if I don’t bill by the hour, then how do I charge for my services? It then struck me that the real reason lawyers bill by the hour is because they don’t know how else to charge for legal services. To a person in any other line of business this would be a bizarre question.

But for lawyers, the art of pricing for legal services has been lost to time.

There are now fewer and fewer lawyers who realize . . . [more]

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

Google’s Handwrite

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, / Searches.
(With apologies to Omar Khayyám)

Google’s just made a new feature available for searching on mobile or tablet platforms. “Handwrite” allows you to write your search terms with your finger on any portion of the screen. You have to enable the function by going to “settings” at the bottom of your Google search page, where you’ll find the option. You can then turn it on or off from the basic search page, as you wish.

I’ve tried it on my iPhone and find that the writing recognition function is quite . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Canadian Forum on Court Technology – Coming to Montreal in October 2012

The Canadian Centre for Court Technology and the Association of Canadian Court Administrators are pleased to announce an extension of the Early Bird Registration deadline for the Canadian Forum on Court Technology (“Forum 2012”), which is being held October 24 – 25, 2012 in Montréal, Québec.

The theme for Forum 2012, “Revitalizing Courts with Enhanced Technology and Thought-Provoking Reforms: The Modernization Challenge”, is designed to challenge attendees with leading edge sessions, including Enhancing Access to Justice Using Technology and Going Beyond Technology: Revisiting Fundamental Assumptions About Traditional Litigation. Another highlight of Forum 2012 will be the Canada Showcase – . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Technology

Notes From #AALL12

I had the opportunity to attend the 105th Annual Meeting and Conference of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL12) this week. AALL12 was my first conference experience with AALL and it was well worth the trip. The programming was informative, the networking opportunities stellar, and the exhibitor contact fruitful.


Although the AALL is, obviously, an American organization, the content of most sessions and poster presentations addresses matters of broad concern to law libraries without geographic restriction. Several of those on US legal subjects and resources are of substantive edification and are the subjects of some of the stories . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of July 16 – 23.

1a. Miguna v. Toronto Police Services Board 2008 ONCA 799 [This opinion refers to an earlier opinion in the matter; as a result, there are two related cases essentially tied for first place.]

[1] For the second time in three years Miguna Miguna’s statement of claim has come to this Court entirely – or, in this case, almost entirely – struck down. In the action he claims damages against the prosecution and police defendants for conduct arising out of his arrest, trial

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

British Columbia Privacy Commissioner Calling for Changes to Employee Criminal Record Checks

On July 25, 2012, British Columbia's Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham published an investigation report recommending changes to the B.C. government's use of criminal record checks to assess current and future employees.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

WIPO Broadcast Treaty Resurrected

WIPO appears to have resurrected negotiations over its broadcast treaty, which would grant broadcasters a new property right in content they transmit. This treaty has been contentious in the past for obligating signatories to provide a completely unnecessary, redundant and at the same time over-expansive right to guaranteeing broadcasters over the broadcasting of content. This may seriously impact on individuals, particularly as it will be applied to online retransmission:

Granting broadcasters and cablecasters exclusive rights to authorize retransmissions of broadcasts over the Internet will harm competition and innovation by allowing broadcasters and cablecasters to control the types of devices

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

Premium Ratings and Policy Exclusions

Have you applied for insurance and been told there will be a contractual exclusion or increased premium?

It’s more common than you might think.

When a broker provides you with a life, disability or health insurance proposal, the price and contractual benefits assume that you are eligible as quoted.

Insurers will not make you an offer of insurance unless the odds of making a profit are in their favour and most people will receive an insurance offer exactly as quoted. However, there are times when an insurance applicant represents a financial risk that exceeds the insurer’s assumptions due to a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law