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Archive for January, 2013

Statistics Canada Launches Blog

Statistics Canada launched a blog today called—what else?—StatCan Blog (Blogue de StatCan, en français). As the first post explains,

Like most endeavours at the agency, the blog’s topics will have a certain statistical gravitas: the Framework for Environment Statistics, the System of National Accounts, the Consumer Price Index Enhancement Initiative, the Survey of Financial Security, as well as some broader topics, such as the use of microdata or the new model for publishing data online.

The Chief Statistician believes in the importance of linking these sometimes arcane-sounding initiatives to people’s own backyards.

This is tangential to law, . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous

European Court of Human Rights Rules on Religious Freedom Cases

On January 15, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg released its ruling in the cases of four Christian employees who argued that they suffered from discrimination and that their employers encroached upon their right to religious freedom at work.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Thursday Thinkpiece: Gelowitz on Appellate Review

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.

THE CONDUCT OF AN APPEAL, 3rd ed.
by Mark Gelowitz (see also the author’s website for the book)
Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2012

Excerpt by the author: Chapter 2, pp. 67-69

1. Standards of Appellate Review

In recent years, the Supreme Court of Canada has refined its approach to appellate standards of review by . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Chicken Little, Pandora[1] Et A. v. the Federal Court

There is a virus going around which incites selected journalists and commentators to lambaste the Courts for certain decisions, particularly constitutional decisions, and more particularly decisions about Aboriginal peoples. (For the moment I am refraining from saying “Aboriginal or treaty rights” for reasons that will become evident a short distance below.) It is always an advantage enjoyed by those who want to indulge in such lambasting not to have read the decision, or to have followed the proceedings, either in that Court or any other Court or any public inquiry or parliamentary committee that may be studying related issues. Indeed, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Public Legal Education Webinars

PLEI Connect recently began a new series of public legal education webinars, some topics in English and others in French. For those not familiar, “PLEI Connect is a project to help organizations across Canada identify and share technology tools to effectively deliver public legal education and information (PLEI) services.”

PLEI Connect is a multi-jurisdiction, team initiative of CLEO, Éducaloi, PovNet, and Courthouse Libraries BC. It originated only a couple of years ago at the Just a Click Away conference. A look at a bit about PLEI Connect shows how these fine organizations share defined responsibilities for the project. From the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues, Technology: Internet

English Court Finds No Property Right in Information

The High Court of England and Wales (Technology and Construction Court) has held that an employer has no proprietary right in emails sent by the company’s CEO that would give the company the right to see the content of the emails. The case is Fairstar v Adkins [2012] EWHC 2952 (TCC). (For various reasons no claim arising from copyright or confidentiality could be made, and the employment contract did not deal with the question.)

The court reviews a great deal of English (and a bit of Canadian) law on the point. It also considers the practical implications of holding that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

New Code of Ethics in British Columbia Introduces New Concepts

On January 1, 2013, the Law Society of British Columbia brought into force a new code of ethics to govern the actions of lawyers in the province.  The new code, officially known as the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia (“BC Code”) replaces the existing Professional Conduct Handbook that was in effect in British Columbia from 1993 until 2013. 
Posted in: Practice of Law

Is a Smartwatch in Your Future?

Many people don’t bother wearing watches any more because its so easy to check the time on our phones. But that may change as watches move from just telling time to being a display device that works with our phones. A Datamation article entitled 5 Tech Trends That Will Bring Back the Wristwatch explains why. 

The 5 trends:

  • Multi-screen functionality where devices work together
  • Wearable computing
  • Voice interaction
  • eInk displays that are thin and consume very little power
  • Bluetooth 4.0 that consumes very little power

See, for example, the Pebble watch, a Kickstarter project that is now shipping. I’ll take . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Documents in the Edgar Schmidt Whistleblower Case

As most everyone will know, the story broke last week that lawyer Edgar Schmidt is suing the federal Attorney General because of a practice within the Department of Justice, where he is employed, that too easily finds legislation passing the Charter "sniff" test. Two documents in that case are available on Slaw via the links below.
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Is Buying a House Like Buying Legal Services? It May Be in Toronto

Recently I decided to move house. We love our neighbourhood and neighbours but the house itself just wasn’t what we needed for our family. We had done a number of renovations to make it work but it was still missing a few things we really wanted so it was time for a new home. By “new” I mean moving from a house that was built in 1913 to one that was built in 1920…

When speaking with our agent about our wish list for the new house, inevitably the question of budget came up. I had a rough idea of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For the week of January 15 to 22:

  1. Canada (United States of America) v. Equinix Inc. 2013 ONSC 193

    [1] The Attorney General of Canada applies for an order pursuant to s. 15 of the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act (the Act) sending mirror-imaged copies of thirty-two computer servers to authorities in the United States of America. . . .

  2. McCain v. McCain 2012 ONSC
. . . [more]
Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Laws and Consequences

I spent yesterday attempting to snorkel in Hanauma Bay, a coral reef nature sanctuary attached to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. A beautiful part of the world which is protected by laws to help keep it beautiful for future generations as well as the current one.

Because this area is a nature preserve, there is a limit to how many people can be in the beach area and in the water. There was a mandatory 9 minute video presentation facilitated by a volunteer that instructed all the people who would be allowed into the beach area about how they . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous