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Archive for February, 2013

A Charter Right to Search Google™?

The Internet has transformed society in so many ways. Even the ways we find information and the sources we rely upon have been fundamentally transformed. It appears our legal systems need to adapt to this new reality.

In R. v. McKay, 2013 ABPC 13 (CanLII) the Alberta Provincial Court had the occasion to consider these issues in the context of a charge under the Criminal Code. The accused had been pulled over, a breathalyzer was applied and then he was taken to the police station. At the police station he was given a toll free number, to the Yellow . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.


Reposition Photos on Your Facebook Timeline
Dan Pinnington

Photos uploaded to Facebook don’t always appear how you want them when they are displayed on your Timeline. Photos, and especially wide photos, will be cropped so they fit in . . .


Who Inspires You
Shaunna Mireau

Today’s Tip is a follow-up from a theme that I see running through recent Research tips. The theme is about WHO. Who . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Tips for Building a Better LinkedIn Profile

When was the last time you tweaked or updated your LinkedIn profile? Unfortunately, “never” or “not recently” is the most probable answer for the majority of lawyers. In a day and age where almost every prospective or new client will check you out online, a solid LinkedIn profile is one of the key foundations to an online social brand. And if you are not otherwise active on the web or in social media, it is the one place you probably should be.
For those that would like to tweak their LinkedIn profile, a hat tip to Ernie Svenson for pointing . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

Email Pro Tip #1: Create a “Robots” Folder

I receive between 100 and 1,000 business-related e-mails per day. Out of necessity, over the last few years I’ve developed a numbers of systems that help me manage my inbox effectively. This is the first in a series of posts describing the systems I utilize to stay on top of my inbox.

First up is creating a “Robots” folder. This is a nearly foolproof system for easily separating e-mails sent from real humans from machine-generated e-mails sent by automated systems (including newsletters, alerts from software systems, Twitter notifications, etc.)

To determine which e-mails should be sent to your “Robots” . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

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 forty-one recent 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. Clicklaw Blog  2. Henry J. Chang’s Canada-US Immigration Blog  3. Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style  4.  5. Library Technician Dialog

Clicklaw Blog
Updated Common Question on Refugee Claims
We have recently updated Clicklaw’s common question entitled “We want to start a refugee claim in Canada” . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Planning for an Economic Tipping Point

If you engage in any form of meaningful strategic planning you cannot plan effectively without carefully examining the economic conditions that are likely to affect your firm’s prosperity over the next few years. And whether you practice in Canada or the United States, the U.S. economy has a profound effect on our combined prosperity.

For those who are regular readers of my material, you know that every so often I engage in flights of fancy believing that I may actually understand something about real-world economics. In August 2008, I authored a tract entitled Managing Through A Prolonged Downturn. In . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

ONCA Overturns the Blue Mountain Case

The Blue Mountain case, which was previously summarized by Yosie when the Divisional Court decision was released, was overturned earlier this month by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Justice Blair held that the OLRB and Divisional Court interpretation of s. 51(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which requires reporting of workplace injuries and deaths, would render virtually every place in Ontario a “workplace,” simply because a worker may at some time be present. 

The intervenors, Conservation Ontario and Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, had argued that an end-risks analysis without a reasonable connection between a risk . . . [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 concern:
Sovereign immunity / Expert evidence / Parental benefits under EI / Metis fishing rights / Questions by criminal jury / Insurance claim and limitations / Intervenors added on appeal / Equality and matrimonial property:

Steen et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran et al. 2013 ONCA 30
International Law – Sovereignty – Incidents of . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Sober Thought Squared

What follows is the sole responsibility of the author. The opinion(s) do not represent, implicitly or explicitly, the positions, policies, or opinions of Slaw or any other institution that I am in any way remotely attached to…. heck I don’t know if the opinions herein reflect that of anybody else period; however, deep breath…. I, Mark Lewis am a supporter of the Canadian Senate… there I said it!

I am not a supporter of feeding at the pork barrel but I am unwilling to throw the baby out with the bath water. The Canadian Senate was designed to serve a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

An Open Letter to a New Grad

Dear new grad:

Welcome to Libraryland. I enjoyed our conversation at the OLA reception in January – your energy and eagerness were wonderful to see. I also appreciate your concerns about your career, and especially this first step. Landing the first job can be tough, and it takes a lot of fortitude to get through the dry spell that proceeds that first day on the job.

Of course, I was particularly pleased that you are attracted to a career in law libraries. I have worked in legal environments of one kind or another for many years, and have found the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

The Friday Fillip: Drug Names

An article in the Globe and Mail earlier this week got me thinking about the names that drug companies give to their products. The article talks about diclofenac, a commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that some researchers believe is quite dangerous. As odd ad the word “diclofenac” is, it was the even stranger name of a similar drug that really made me wonder: “etoricoxib”.

What is going on? Who could coin such a monstrosity, and more to the point, why would they? I picture a big pharma Eden, where some utterly exhausted Adam, strung out on caffeine and out-of-date benzedrine, is . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Library Budgets and Priorities: A New Year and a New Normal

For my first column of this year, I had first thought to compile a “top ten” list of major issues currently confronting law libraries and librarians. As I started work on the list, two things quickly became clear to me: first, the column’s space constraints would allow only the most cursory treatment of the ten issues; and second, it was becoming more and more obvious that almost all ten issues were related to or even driven by one great issue. That issue is library costs and the shrinking budgets with which we are expected to cover them. Law schools continue . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information