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Archive for September, 2012

Karin Galldin & Leslie Robertson

Slaw is pleased indeed to tell you that Karin Galldin and Leslie Robertson are joining us as regular bloggers. They’ll be writing together, so each of their entries will be in their joint names.

Karin and Leslie are partners in a feminist Ottawa law firm, Galldin Robertson. Karin’s practice comprises civil litigation, human rights, and plaintiff-side employment law; and she is particularly interested in using tort and human rights law to strengthen institutional responsibilities towards women’s security, as well as that of other historically marginalized groups. Karin believes strongly in mentoring young women in the legal profession, and in . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Fraser Institute Reports Good News for Canada

Canada is a good place to do business. That is the news with today’s release of the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report.

The Executive Summary is an interesting read. As you might expect, one of the five broad areas used to construct the measurement is the legal system and property rights. Though we outranked the US in many categories, our index under legal system and property rights is considerably below the US, with that particular gap widening since the 2005 report. This chart in the National Post shows the comparison. The connection between the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canadian Forum on Court Technology (24-25 Oct 2012)

Slawers, take note! The Canadian Forum on Court Technology, a two-day conference held every second year in Canada, is coming to Montreal at the Hyatt Regency on October 24th and 25th with an excellent program, great speakers and a variety of court technology stakeholders in attendance.

If you haven’t done so yet, please mark your calendars; you can also register online! I look forward to meeting you there in person,

Patrick Cormier
CEO CCCT-CCTJ . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Technology

Apples, Oranges and Legal Citation Practice

I have been prompted to write this column by several recent posts on Slaw: Gary Rodrigues’s column “Reality Check: Fact, Fiction and Case Citations”, and more recently, Susan Munro’s “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Neutral Citation”. With the new fall term just beginning, and thousands of first-year law students across the country entering upon legal studies; and with the student editors of the McGill Law Journal preparing yet another new edition of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (incredibly, the 8th since its first appearance in 1986), I thought it an . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Community Bonds: Turning Social Capital Into Financial Capital

Today the book The Community Bond: An Innovation in Social Finance by Tonya Surman launched along with its companion website

Tonya Surman is CEO and Director of Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation, affectionately known in local circles as the CSI. The CSI opened its first location on Spadina north of Queen St. in 2004 as a work space for organizations with a social mission. They gradually took over increasing amounts of space in the Robertson Building, until they finally decided to open a second location.

They were able to raise all but $2 million to buy a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading, Substantive Law

LAWPRO’s Map of Frauds Targetting Lawyers Continues to Grow

Back in April practicePRO released a map that showed where emails to our fraud reporting database ( were originating from. The aim was to show how widespread the problem of email scams was. Despite being an Ontario-based insurer, almost half of our emails had come from elsewhere in Canada, the US and overseas.

We recently updated the map, and it shows that the pace of email fraud attempts hasn’t slowed. In five months we’ve had nearly 1,000 more emails, posted 57 new warnings on and heard from lawyers in 29 additional countries.

Strangely, South Dakota continues to be the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: You might like...

Canada’s Biggest Rip-Off: Broadband Internet

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos slammed Canada’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs) last week, calling the rates we’re charged “almost a human rights violation.”

Sarandos is referring to the high prices and low bandwidth caps imposed by Canada’s “big four” ISPs: Bell, Shaw, Telus and Rogers. If consumers exceed these bandwidth caps imposed by these ISPs, they are forced to pay an overage amount of several dollars per gigabyte.

The poor state of broadband internet has already prompted Netflix to lower the quality of streaming in Canada.

“The problem is [Canada has] almost Third World access to the Internet”

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

Over Reaching

Oscar Wilde apparently advised, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can possibly do the day after.”

Procrastination is the evil that some say would be encouraged if Rule 48.14 of the Ontario Rules of Procedure were changed to lengthen the two year period after which court machinery will come belching and hissing to life, swiping actions not listed for trial off the conveyor belt into the waiting pail beneath marked “Status Hearings”.

Is this a sensible use of judicial and administrative resources? All those plaintiffs’ lawyers swearing affidavits about how they changed their address and never got the Status . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Gardner: The Law as Ass

Slaw readers who enjoy a little legal philosophy might take a look at the OUP (Oxford University Press) Blog post by John Gardner, “When law is part of the problem“, in which he addresses one of the issues from his new book of essays, Law as a Leap of Faith. In the blog post Gardner, who is a Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford, sketches his argument that we should adopt the “assymetrical interpretation of the rule of law,” which requires officialdom to observe the laws scrupulously while allowing citizens greater lattitutde in that respect. That is, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Windows 8 – Is It for You?

This week Microsoft shipped the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) build of Windows 8, the next version of their flagship operating system. This is the build that Microsoft is sending off to have burned onto DVDs and installed into new computers. In about 60 days you’ll be able to walk into your favorite electronics store and buy a box with Windows 8 in it.

Like a good technologist I promptly got my copy from MSDN (the Microsoft Developers Network) and set about installing it on my desktop to give it a good workout. In the interests of full disclosure I should . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

2012 Opening of the Courts in Toronto

This past Wednesday the Opening of the Courts ceremony occurred in Toronto, marking the start of the judicial season.

I covered the ceremony last year here on Slaw. True to their promises the protesters were present again this year.

Family Law Still a Problem

Their focus this year, as in last year, was primarily family law. Not much has changed though since last year, except that law enforcement asked the protesters to move to the sidewalk instead of using their megaphone right outside the doors.

The speeches by the judiciary also touched on family law this year. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Robots at War: Scholars Debate the Ethical Issues

The dawn of the 21st century has been called the decade of the drone. Unmanned aerial vehicles, remotely operated by pilots in the United States, rain Hellfire missiles on suspected insurgents in South Asia and the Middle East.

Now a small group of scholars is grappling with what some believe could be the next generation of weaponry: lethal autonomous robots. …

From the website of the Chronicle of Higher Education . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Technology