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Archive for March, 2013

Searching Within the Ontario Reports

Almost a year ago I remarked here that the Ontario Reports, long a staple — and privilege — of membership in the Law Society of Upper Canada, were freely available online. (The reaction at the time was one of mild interest: CanLII provides all the free access we’re likely to require. And, too, the online ORs are delivered up in what I regard as a less than user friendly fashion that takes awkward advantage of what the web has to offer a publisher.)

For what it’s worth, I noticed the other day that the ORs are indexed by Google . . . [more]

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

Our National Obsession

A criminal case was recently decided in which, I’m sure, many people reading this saw in the national media. It created a brief stir and the news cycle went on. What it left behind is a disturbing glimpse into our national obsession. In this case a minor hockey coach intentionally tripped a player on an opposing team in the handshake line at the end of the game and causing him injury. The purpose of this post is not to draw attention to the individuals involved in this incident or even the case itself, but to highlight the actions that would . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

First Peoples Law Blog

First Peoples Law, a BC law firm that’s just over a year old now, has launched a new blog that essentially forms the main page of their website.

According to the firm’s principal, Bruce McIvor, they’re aiming to inform First Nations readers directly, and not just other lawyers. Bruce is unusual, perhaps, among lawyers in that he has a doctorate in history, something particularly useful in his chosen field, where so much depends on understanding how to approach the past.

It’s a well designed site, and if they can continue to post with some regularity — the big difficulty . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Reading

Med-Arb: The Adjudication Perspective

“The promise of arbitration is choice, and in order to fulfill that promise, choice must be deliberatively and effectively exercised,” Thomas J. Stipanowich, in Arbitration: the New Litigation.

“I am a firm adherent to the school of thought that denies acceptability of a person who has mediated subsequently filling the role of arbitrator, notwithstanding statutory recognition of this possibility.” Sir Laurence Street, “The Language of Alternative Dispute Resolution” [I992] ADRLJ 144.

Kari Boyle and I are writing columns this month about mediation at adjudication, commonly known as med-arb: she from the mediation perspective and I from the adjudication . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The Friday Fillip: Vennting

I wasn’t so hot at algebra but I kicked azimuth in geometry. It’s a visual think / thing I guess. Which probably explains why Venn diagrams give me a kick. They say a whole lot about as laconically as it’s possible to get, rather like a joke when you come to think of it.

I recommend two sites where you can feast on these set pieces: a Tumblr: Fuck Yeah Venn Diagrams; and the delightfully witty Indexed. But herewith a bunch of my favourite Venns (and a bit of earnestness toward the end). You’re seeing thumbnail versions below, . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Nominations for Canadian Bar Association Awards for Excellence in Journalism

Nominations are open until May 1, 2013 for the Stephen Hanson Awards for Excellence in Journalism (formerly the Justicia Awards)

Organized by the Canadian Bar Association, the Awards recognize “outstanding journalism that fosters public awareness and understanding of any aspect of the Canadian justice system and the roles played by institutions and participants in the legal system”.

There are awards for French or English stories in two categories: print and broadcast media.

The judges evaluate submissions based on “accuracy, originality, effectiveness in explaining issues to the public, informational value, and insight”.

The rules state (among other things):

  • Any article published
. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

The Upgrade Train’s a-Comin’

There’s an unmistakable trend in software and it’s going to change how firms and users handle technology in the future. The trend is for far more frequent upgrades – often as part of a Cloud or subscription package — and the result is going to be a higher tempo of IT testing and user training.

Numbered are the days when you’ll sit comfortably on 8 year old software doing what you’ve always done. Coming are the days when your computer acts more like your mobile phone or tablet – with new software updates (including feature changes and additions) coming on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

From Full Mobility to Outside Investment?

On February 28, 2013, the Law Society of Upper Canada became the first Canadian law society to ratify the national mobility provisions allowing for full and permanent mobility of lawyers between Ontario and Quebec.

Most Canadians will be forgiven for failing to be as joyful as the Benchers were that day, as the agreement does much to enhance lawyer mobility (and hence fee-earning capability), but does nothing to address access to justice.

The Law Times piece on this matter was done by Yamri Taddese and can be found here.

How much better it would have been if Benchers had . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

A Teaching Hospital for Law School Graduates

After a visit to the Mayo Clinic, the dean of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University decided that there was a need for a “teaching hospital” for law school graduates to gain experience and learn their trade while being assisted by experienced lawyers. Thus, this summer, Arizona State is setting up a non-profit law firm for some of its graduates to work under seasoned lawyers and be paid to provide a wide range of services at relatively low cost to the residents of Phoenix.
Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Thursday Thinkpiece: Cameron on Patent Claims

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually 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.

Canadian Patent Law Benchbook
Donald M. Cameron
Toronto: Carswell, 2012
[© 2012 Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. Reproduced by permission of Carswell, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Limited.]

Excerpt: pp. 303-4, 381-2, 398-403

[Footnotes have been converted to endnotes.]

Executive Summary:

The question to be asked in construing a claim of a patent . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

A Rare Example Perhaps of “More Than Mere Exercise of Patent Rights” – a Recent Competition Bureau Inquiry Into Pharmaceutical “Product Hopping”

There is an obvious inherent tension between competition principles and intellectual property (“IP”), including patents. A recent Competition Bureau inquiry into alleged market manipulation by Alcon provides a good illustration of how these principles can intersect.

By their very nature patents may be considered exclusionary and anti-competitive. The Competition Act (s. 32) specifically empowers the court to prevent use of a patent only if it “unduly” lessens competition. Otherwise there must be “something more” than the mere exercise of patent rights to be anti-competitive. The Competition Bureau has provided enforcement guidelines to evaluate when IP rights may be used in . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Antrim Truck Centre Ltd. v. Ontario (Transportation) 2013 SCC 13

Some of you might be interested in recent comments of Professor Jason Neyers (of the University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law), which I repeat with permission, on the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Antrim Truck Centre Ltd. v. Ontario (Transportation), 2013 SCC 13 (CanLII).

Dear Colleagues:

Although from a very high level of generality, the Antrim case really changes nothing in relation to the way Canadian courts decide nuisance cases (a two-step test of substantialness and reasonableness) on many points of detail the case is very troubling. What are some of these troubling bits?

1. The

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