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Archive for January, 2013

LSUC’s Your Law Video Series: Certified Specialist

A new video about the Certified Specialist designation for lawyers was released last week by the Law Society of Upper Canada. This is the seventh video in the series aimed at the public.

From the January 22, 2013 press release:

In the new video, the seventh of the series, Certified Specialists highlight how the public can benefit from hiring a lawyer who is recognized by the Law Society for their specialization in an area of practice.

Offered by the Law Society for several years, the Certified Specialist Program recognizes lawyers who have met high established standards of experience and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD

The Anti-Spam Act, Part 1 of 5: Introduction

The Canadian Anti-Spam Act was passed in December of 2010, and is expected to come into force some time in 2013.

If you think it won’t affect you because you don’t send mass emails trying to sell random products, or don’t infest other people’s computers with spyware, you would be wrong. It creates tools to fight spam, but unfortunately defines spam so broadly that it will affect how most of us conduct business. The definition of spam is so broad that goes far beyond what the average person would consider to be spam.

My personal view is that this Act . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

A Good News Story About EU Cooperation

The European Legal e-access conference Paris 21-23 November 2012.

There is much that is written that may falsely lead folk far from Europe to think that the EU vision is no longer successful, and that old Europe is slowly imploding. This meeting sure dispelled some of those myths. There is energy, enthusiasm and innovation going on in European circles that we English speakers are rarely exposed to. The European Digital Agenda is seen as a tool for economic growth, and this free conference provided an understanding of the legal e-access work underway.

It was organised by Juriconnexion, the French . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada's award-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from thirty-five 2010 & 2011 CLawBie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Canadian Securities Law   2. Finding Legal Information   3. First Reference   4. Environmental Law and Litigation    5. Avoid a Claim
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Rob Ford Conflict Case Successfully Appealed

The Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice allowed the appeal of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Friday in Magder v. Ford, reversing the decision of Justice Hackland, which had ruled that Ford had violated s. 5 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA). The implications of Justice Hackland’s decision is that Ford’s seat as mayor could have been vacated under the City of Toronto Act (COTA).

Ford argued that the pecuniary interest of donations to a football team was not a violation of the city’s Code of Conduct, which would have allowed for his . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at

This week’s summaries are in Natural justice, Government pensions, Testifying in niqab, Definition of disability, & Right to counsel:

R. v. Stonefish (S.T.) 2012 MBCA 116
Criminal Law – Sentencing – Considerations on imposing sentence – Time already served
At his preliminary inquiry the accused pleaded guilty to one count of possession of . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Resolutions to Better Set and Control Client Expectations

Clients can be demanding and will sometimes have expectations that will be unreasonable. Unmet expectations, even if they are totally unreasonable, are a recipe for unhappy clients. Setting and controlling client expectations is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you have a happy and satisfied client at each stage and the conclusion of a matter. Follow these resolutions to better set and control your clients’ expectations:

  • I will carefully explain how the matter will proceed: While you may have handled a particular type of matter hundreds of times before, remember that your client is
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Pause for a Moment

I would like to take this opportunity to suggest a few of you perusing this post pause for a just a moment to consider an earlier age, a more simple age and a device that set many of us on the path to our constantly connected state that we now occupy. If the names Pong, Missile Command, Frogger, Asteroids, Centipede, and Burgertime mean anything to you, then I’m willing to bet that you belong to Generation X and that you just may have got your start on the road to reading a blog about technology and law by playing Atari . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Time for a Canadian-Based Think Tank on Legal Innovation and Competitiveness

I have been thinking for some time on the need for a legal innovation and competitiveness think-tank in Canada; so when a few of my students at University of Ottawa Law School independently suggested that Canada needs something like that, I decided that I was not completely crazy.

Surprisingly no Canadian business school, Rotman is the first to come to mind, has picked up on this obvious green field and neither has something like the Institute of Competitiveness and Prosperity.

What I mean by a legal innovation and competitiveness think-tank is a body that would take a serious look . . . [more]

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

Old Tricks …

Firstly apologies to all of you who were waiting with bated breath for that final pre-Christmas missive from me with some incisive comments about legal publishing in 2012.

Unfortunately (and very unlike me I should add ) I had absolutely nothing to say about the state of legal publishing in 2012. It has to be said that, for me at least, it was without doubt the dullest year in the industry that I can remember.

Even now, sitting here with my thinking cap on. I can’t really remember one event from the legal publishing calendar last year that immediately springs . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Friday Fillip: Image Atlas

In reading about Aaron Swartz after his death, I came across a website/program, Image Atlas, he built for his friend Taryn Simon, as part of an art exhibit. It’s simplicity itself: using search terms of your choice, you call up the top images from Google in a wide variety of countries. The images are displayed in strips, one above the other, so that you can see at a glance how countries differ in their use of graphics on the web. (I should not that of course your search terms are translated into the languages of the countries you’re . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

UK Supreme Court Launches YouTube Channel

This week, the UK Supreme Court launched a YouTube channel that highlights short summaries of judgments.

According to a press release published by the Court:

“Video of the five-minute summary given by the lead Justice in each appeal as they deliver their judgment will now be posted on the popular video-sharing website YouTube shortly after delivery in court. The move follows the success of the Court’s live web streaming of proceedings provided in partnership with Sky News (…)”

“The Justices’ summaries aim to explain briefly the background to the appeal in hand, the decision the court has reached, and

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