Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for December, 2012

Still Riding the Omni-Bus

No the Omni design has not been brought back for a new bus.

As disturbing as that may sound, the continuing debate over the “omnibus” has creepy characteristics itself.

In fairly recent times the Omnibus has been the subject of a few posts here at Slaw, The Unreasonable and Transgressive Nature of Omnibus Bills (Michael Posluns, June 24, 2011) , & Library of Parliament Paper on Omnibus Bills back in November by Michel-Adrien Sheppard. and myself when the storm of Bill-38 was occurring. Well I’m back with an update. In recent years all of us in Canada have been riding . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

Take the Ten Minute Challenge

Sherry’s desk is covered with stacks of paper. Her in-tray is overflowing. She has a pile of filing that she can’t seem to get around to giving to her assistant. John next door is fighting fires on his files again. He is delivering a CLE next week and hasn’t even prepared the outline yet. He’s already told his wife that he is going to be in the office again all weekend working on the darned presentation.

Does any of this sound familiar? It does to me, I have been in both Sherry and John’s shoes, but these days I keep . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip: Lions (No Tigers or Bears), Oh My!

The University of Minnesota Lion Project has been studying lions in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park for forty-five years. They’ve now decided to learn about the behaviour of the other species in the park. To do this they’ve set up 225 “camera traps” throughout the park, primed to grab snapshots when anything warmer than the surrounding environment triggers the sensors.

As you might imagine, the cameras that survive ants, elephants, hyenas and rain result in a lot of photographs. Because they’re scientists, the lion project people want to classify the photos — no science without counting. But no counting without identification, . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Of Ebooks, Licenses, and Law School Exams

Law students are in the midst of exams and, in law school, exams are often open-book. In theory, open-book exams allow students to refer to their thoughtfully-prepared outlines, summaries, CANs—whatever the local term for their study aids—during the exam. In reality, during what is often a stressful time, many students also appreciate the comfort of their coursebooks, required texts, and, for extra reassurance, recommended texts often borrowed from the library.

Those who studied law might remember arriving early at the library reserve desk to check out one of a few copies of a useful recommended text in the days leading . . . [more]

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

Ediger v. Johnston, SCC Case No. 34408

Anyone interested in medical malpractice litigation and the quagmire that is the current state of the Supreme Court of Canada’s jurisprudence on factual causation in negligence should listen to the the webcast of the appeal argument in Ediger v. Johnston, SCC case no. 34408, on appeal from 2011 BCCA 253 reversing 2009 BCSC 386. You should glance at the parties’ factums which are available on the SCC’s website or, at the miminum (if you’ve sufficient background) read the Registrar’s summary. If you don’t, you might get the wrong impression that the case is about only whether . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Top Ten Business and Human Rights Issues in 2013

This is the time of year when different people and organizations compile their top ten events/stories of the year about to end or list their top ten issues to watch/predictions for the year to come.

The following top ten list caught my attention today. I saw it on a feed of stories sent out by Amnesty International.

The London-based Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) has published its Top 10 List of Business and Human Rights Issues for 2013:

“Just 18 months after the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, significant progress has

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Another Win for Quebec on Ethics and World Religions Course

On December 4, 2012, the Quebec Court of Appeal gave reason to the Quebec Ministry of Education regarding the Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) curriculum, which opposed them this time to Loyola High School, a private Catholic school. Loyola was asking to be exempted from teaching the curriculum set by the Ministry, and to substitute in its place the school’s own world religions and ethics course.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Pay the Speaker!

I straddle a number of very different work environments every day all of which give me a very different perspective on many things. Some readers find this refreshing, others find it annoying or threatening.

As a writer hanging out with many different types of writers, discussions often crop up about getting paid for services rendered. Of concern to many writers is that more and more writers are willing to write for free, which drives down the value of writing – which in turn, drives down the already low living standard for most writers.

Harlan Ellison, well-known for his rants on . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing

All I Really Need to Know About Marketing I Learned in Kindergarten

Robert Fulghum’s book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” is a collection of essays that demonstrate that the basic rules we all learned in kindergarten are all that is necessary to successfully navigate the adult world. The same can be said for legal marketing. The following legal marketing rules are adapted from some of the lessons contained in Fulghum’s “Kindergarten Credo”:

Share. What’s happening in your firm? What is the latest news in your area of practice, or in your clients’ industry? What current events could impact your client’s bottom line? It’s a world of content . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Thursday Thinkpiece: MacDougall on Estoppel

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

ESTOPPEL
Bruce MacDougall
Toronto: LexisNexis, 2012
Excerpt: Chapter 1, paras 1.29-1.33

[Footnotes omitted. A PDF file of this excerpt is available with the footnotes included.]

1.29 Historically, the equitable concern manifested through the use of estoppel was characterized as being about “fraud”, but today estoppel is usually not thought to be based on such . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Digital Holiday Cards Go Mainstream

Only a few short years ago we all received a deluge of holiday cards by snail mail this time of year from clients, lawyers, and others we work with. The thought of sending a card digitally was thought to be tacky by many. Those of us who wanted to send a card digitally had to either get the original digital file from the creator of the card, or scan it in ourselves (and depending on the situation turn a blind eye to possible copyright issues).

Fast forward to 2012 and the number of cards we get by snail mail has . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology