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Archive for September, 2012

Judicial Comment in Arizona Draws Ire

Robb Gary Evans, a police officer in Arizona, drove to a bar, flashed his badge to avoid paying entry, and downed eight beers. He then proceeded to sexually assault one of the patrons, and when he was tossed out of the bar he threatened to have the bouncers arrested.

Following an internal investigation Evans was fired from the police force. He was also convicted by a jury for sexual assault and sentenced for two years probation. I’ve made the minute entries from the case available here.

Despite the disturbing nature of the facts, this case takes an even stranger . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

What Is 1.97?

It’s the average number of references per year, in reported cases, to my text Apportionment of Fault in Tort, in the 32 years years since it was published: 61 in total based on Carswell and CanLII. (I didn’t check on QL to see if there are some others.) On the other hand, there were only 6 in the first decade, but there’s been 30 in the past 10 years so I must be on a roll. Of course, most of them are in cases quoting other cases, but a reference is a reference, is a reference.

The thing has . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous

Scalia Et Al. vs. Posner: Slo-Mo Bun Fight

There’s something of a slow motion bun fight going on at the high table of the US legal world. The spat started a long time ago. In fact, it’s origin is probably lost in the mists of time like the sources of animosity between the Houses of Slytherin and Gryffindor, having to do, as it does, with the correct way to extract meaning from a written document. No one could be wronger than the person on the other side of the interpretation divide, whatever it may be; and feelings run hotest when the document in question is a quasi-sacred document . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading

Cybersecurity by Government Contract?

According to Steptoe and Johnson’s E-Commerce Law Week,

The U.S. Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and NASA last month proposed a change to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) that would require contractors to safeguard their information systems containing information provided by or generated for the government. The proposed rule … would require government contracts with all federal contractors and appropriate subcontractors to mandate basic information security measures.

Is this a good idea?

In particular, should Canadian governments be concerned about the security of the IT systems in place among businesses that contract with them? If so, should . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Welcome to Law School – the Encore

Normally, I am loath to repeat a post here at Slaw but seeing as how this is the first week of Law Skool I feel like this is an appropriate one to repeat for all of the 1Ls out there whose heads are, in all likelihood, spinning right now following their first four days as a law student.

Orientation week is drawing to a close. 2L and 3L classes have begun with 1L to begin on Monday. To all 1Ls, here is my advice. I know that not all who have experienced law school will agree with these and that’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Who’s the Boss?

A very witty Master of the Alberta Supreme Court once wrote:

[51] Any legal system which has a judicial appeals process inherently creates a pecking order for the judiciary regarding where judicial decisions stand on the legal ladder.

[52] I am bound by decisions of Queen’s Bench judges, by decisions of the Alberta Court of Appeal and by decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada. Very simply, Masters in Chambers of a superior trial court occupy the bottom rung of the superior courts judicial ladder.

[53] I do not overrule decisions of a judge of this court. The judicial pecking

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Friday Fillip: Memory

I have a memory that might be described as variable. On the one hand I’m lousy when it comes to remembering when things happened in my past. Oh, I can tell you that I lived in D.C. before I came to Toronto, but if you press me for dates, I’d have to gaze into the middle distance and try to come up with clues as to the years (months are long gone). So I can remember social things in rough order but can’t really map them onto a timeline.

On the other hand, I can tell you exactly what you’ll . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Is that the sound of your life being eaten away by the trojan called work, infiltrating our personal time via portable devices? Or is it the sound of forgotten files? Hopefully, it is you conveniently dealing with work on your terms.

Lawyers have had a long list of tools to help with getting things done. One of the first was the ToDo button, the brainchild of Peter Hart of Legalware with his Project Modeler in 1986. Inspired by this, it became the trade marked Do button in another Practice Management System (PMS).

Now there is no shortage of ToDo tools . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

You Might Like … to Learn a Tad About Pallets, Thinking, Greed, Pain, Bears, the Universe 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.

Image: 3d Studio UK . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: You might like...

Lawyer Confusion

I was recently prepping for a podcast with twitterite, @CharonQC, who unfortunately had to postpone it due to family reasons. So, why let some good thinking go to waste?

One of the matters we were going to discuss was that the legal profession has lost its way. Not in the sense that lawyers are struggling with the conundrum of whether they are a business or a profession. Rather, it is my view that one of the reasons that lawyers have not adapted to better and more efficient styles of legal service delivery is because by using these new styles, they . . . [more]

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

Summer Projects, Revisited

It’s halfway through the first week of the new academic term and time for me to revisit my summer projects list. Regretfully, I report I was less successful in checking off completed projects than was Shaunna Mireau in checking off her substantial writing project.

As it turns out, I check off as complete my “standard mundane tasks” and “institutional projects”—so, hooray, me!

On the flipside, the institutional projects consumed most of my available summer hours. By way of either prescience or a well-planned rationalization, though, I had prefaced my project list with this:

Summer rarely seems to offer the

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

New Reports Released by National Action Committee on Access to Justice

The National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters this week made two reports available to the public.

The reports are:

The National Action Committee is a broad-based committee established by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverley . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law