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Archive for March, 2013

Stumped by “Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument”? What ABQB Chief Justice Rooke Wants From You

Among the top ten cases (decided in ANY year) accessed on CanLII in 2012 was an Alberta Queen’s Bench decision granting a routine motion to appoint a case management justice in a family proceeding. The written reasons in Meads v. Meads (2012 ABQB 571 (CanLII)), however, took 736 paragraphs, and the decision seems destined to become a Canadian classic.

In his reasons appointing himself as the case manager, Chief Justice J.D. Rooke undertook a meticulous categorization and analysis of several iterations of what he labeled “organized pseudolegal commercial argument” (OPCA). Apparently, litigants who favour these litigation strategies have plagued Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Reconsidering Citation Rules for Statutes

I was recently alerted to Louis Mirando’s post on the Osgoode Hall Law School Library Blog regarding the addition of the Revised Statutes of Canada to HeinOnline’s collection. I was struck by his comment that “now that there is a continuing consolidation of federal laws available online on the Dept. of Justice Justice Laws Website, there will never be another revision of the Statutes of Canada in print.” While I had long ago realized that revised statutes would no longer be a priority (if they ever were!) for either level of government with the move to online, continuously . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Loyalty Policy at Library and Archives Canada

There’s been something of a fuss in the media in the last couple of days concerning a relatively new, or newly explicit, Code of Conduct at Library and Archives Canada that’s said to create the possibility of “muzzling” librarians or of their being snitched on if too outspoken. (See the story in the National Post and the buzz on Twitter.)

I thought Slaw readers might be interested in the fact that the whole Code of Conduct is available on Scribd. The most often mentioned portion is section 3.2.2 Duty of Loyalty:

3.2.2 Duty of loyalty

Employment in the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Google Reader Woes

By now everyone who uses Google Reader has seen the news – this tool has been given its crash papers. TechCrunch’s headline Good Riddance, Google Reader broke my heart, and judging by the comments, the hearts of others as well. Perhaps I have a secret aversion to change – wait a minute, no, I definitely don’t.

Like many others, I moved to Google Reader in 2009 when Newsgator decided to discontinue its online application. Since then, my library team and I have used Reader to select and aggregate information from feeds in a number of areas for our practice groups. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Are You Worthy Enough?

Over the last week, several colleagues had outlined how they had felt disconnected from their law firms at various times. One lawyer described her difficulty in getting someone to explain billing practices at a new firm. In a nutshell, she didn’t feel she could ask someone to explain billing practices because they couldn’t bill for giving the explanation. Other lawyers described similar catch-22s and illogical situations which left them feeling disconnected and at arm’s length from their work environment.

A recent Harvard Business Review blog post by Mitch Joel (Six Pixels of Separation) talks about unlocking new ways . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading

Know What You’re Selling

Lawyers’ eyes usually glaze over when marketers talk about the six Ps of marketing: Product, Position, Package, Promotion, Price, and Place. You can’t sell legal services the same way you sell soap, they declare, because the products are different. 

OK, so how would you define your product?

That’s where the fun starts. The usual first words are some combination of the three E’s—education, expertise, and experience. Well, the fact is, while each of these has a role in making a good lawyer, none of them is actually the lawyer’s product. Education is nice to have and it makes your mother . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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.


Don’t Embarrass Yourself: Read Before Retweeting
Dan Pinnington

You can retweet something in an instant with just a few taps or clicks. Tap, tap and zoom – the RT goes to all your followers. You get a good feeling when you retweet something that your followers will enjoy or find really helpful. But, what if the link in the retweet doesn’t exactly say what the tweet suggests it does? . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Sandra Petersson Joins Slaw

We’re proud to announce that Sandra Petersson is joining Slaw as a regular blogger.

Sandra is research manager at the Alberta Law Reform Institute, a writer and a former Supreme Court of Canada clerk. She travelled to New Zealand as a Commonwealth Scholar to earn a Masters Degree in legislative drafting and gender equality, and stayed on in New Zealand as a senior lecturer in law at Victoria University of Wellington, teaching courses in legal theory, legislation and torts.

Please welcome Sandra to Slaw. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements

CALL/ACBD’s New Janine Miller Fellowship

Last week a new applications for this year’s award for members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries was announced: the Janine Miller Fellowship established by CanLII to provide funding each year for one CALL/ACBD member to attend the Law Via the Internet conference. I think this is a fabulous opportunity for Canadian legal information professionals to get more involved in the free access to law movement.

From the announcement:

Janine Miller was an integral part in the vision and development of the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) and served as Project Manager from its inception and later as

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

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. Rule of Law   2. BC Injury Law Blog   3. SOQUIJ | Le Blogue   4. Clicklaw Blog    5. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

An Exciting Time for Legal and Professional Publishing

The recent news of PLC being acquired by Thomson Reuters is a most significant indicator of change and direction, certainly inasmuch as it affects the state of play competitively in the UK.

Finally Thomson Reuters, in its Sweet and Maxwell and Westlaw UK guises, has woken up to a world that combines a deep commitment to electronic delivery of primary and secondary content, with related workflow in the form of guidance and documentation driven by clever software. This, alongside the timely new launch of Westlaw UK Insight, seems to me to take the UK business, in one leap, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Search of Smartphones Incident to Arrest

Although we are all excited to try out the new iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, or Blackberry 10, few of us think what it means for us to be carrying this enormous amount of information in our pockets.

The Canadian Charter grants the “right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure,” but one of the main exceptions to this is a search incident to an arrest, which allows a police officer to frisk a person who has been lawfully arrested. This exception exists largely because it has been considered a minimal intrusion on individual rights necessary to ensure . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions