Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for April, 2013

Canada to Start New Biometric Screening Program on Temporary Residents

Beginning September 2, 2013, foreign nationals applying for Canadian visas from countries such as Haiti, Jamaica, Saudi Arabia, Albania, Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Columbia, Burma, Egypt, Yemen and Pakistan, will undergo mandatory fingerprinting and digital photo collection at new visa application centres being established by Canada overseas. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has indicated that the new measures are necessary because of a "rise in global identity fraud" and technological innovations that "make it easy to steal, forge or alter identity documents."
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

25 Tips From the Best in Legal Marketing

More than 1200 legal marketing professionals gathered in Las Vegas for the industry’s largest conference earlier this month. This where marketers with a shared obsession for business development and client retention, sharpen their skills.

Here are the best nuggets from the sessions I attended:

  1. Client focus simply defined: always doing what’s best for the client.
  2. Understanding the client’s business means being responsive because you understand (and share) in the urgency, follow client directions and never, ever, undermine general counsel.
  3. Business strategy knowledge includes understanding the products, competitors and their geographic market.
  4. Law firm client relationships are stickier than first thought
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing

Thursday Thinkpiece: LaViolette on Sex, Gender and Refugee Determination

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.

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Refugee Determination Process
Nicole LaViolette
Paper prepared for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada in support of a presentation made to the Board members. March 2, 2010

[Footnotes omitted. They are available in the PDF of the full paper available via the link on the title.] . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Orphan Works and Digital Libraries via CopyrightX

Very shortly, at 7 pm ET, a presentation on Orphan Works and Digital Libraries will be live-streamed. The stream will be available at

For later viewing, the presentation and discussion will be archived in about a week at

The speakers are top-notch: Brewster Kahle, John Palfrey, and Robert Darnton. It seems likely their discussion will be set in the context of the Digital Public Library of America, which launched last week, and with which all are connected. Copyright themes likely will focus on US law.

More information on the DPLA is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Removing Barriers to Accessibility

In excess of 15% of the population of Manitoba face barriers to their full participation in the activities of daily living, according to recent estimates.  Addressing and removing these barriers is the purpose of Bill 26, Manitoba’s proposed Accessibility for Manitobans Act, introduced in the Legislature today.

This legislation has been in the works for some time. In its November 2010 Discussion Paper for Made in Manitoba Accessibility Legislation the government stated that:

“The proposed legislation will provide for a long-term, systematic and proactive approach to dealing with accessibility issues for seniors and persons with disabilities. With this approach,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Legislating Queer and Non-Traditional Families

Recently a precedent setting family law case involving a sperm donor claiming to be a parent of a child born to lesbian mothers was settled out of court. Not unlike many non-traditional families the women in this northern Ontario case conceived a child by way of donor sperm, but precedent setting in that the sperm donor applied to the courts to be declared a parent and for liberal access rights to the child.

Settling out of court is great for the parties involved who got to determine the details of their settlement agreement and put an end to long and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Access to Justice Reports Released

Earlier this month, Kirk Makin of the Globe and Mail scooped an announcement of a major set of Reports on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, an inititaitive that started with the Chief Justice’s challenge to the Canadian Bar Association last summer.

The four Reports from Working Groups chaired by Justice Thomas Cromwell were officially released this morning:
Report of the Court Processes Simplification Working Group
Report of the Access to Legal Services Working Group
Report of the Prevention, Triage and Referral Working Group
Report of the Family Justice Working Group

And a background literature review: Family . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

What’s in a Name?

We are always naming things – businesses, brands, trade-marks, domain names, and children. But what makes a good or valuable name? Naming anything can be a personal or emotional thing – but it is part science.

Take a brand name or trade-mark, for example. The first choice of many for their business or product name is one that describes their business or product. But that does nothing to distinguish that business or product from the competition. Much better to have one that is unique and memorable, rather than descriptive.

Over the past decade it has become more important to adopt . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Action Committee on Access to Justice Reports Released

Slaw has just received word that the national Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters has placed four working group reports online. The Committee, established by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin, and chaired by Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell, was, in the words of the Backgrounder, also online, “convened to address the urgent and multiple issues surrounding access to justice in civil and family matters.”

The four reports made available are:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

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 April 16 – 23:

  1. R. v. Duncan 2013 ONCJ 160

    5. At heart, Mr. Duncan’s case was unremarkable. A minor alleged Highway Traffic Act offence led to a police-citizen interaction in the parking lot of Mr. Duncan’s apartment building in the wee hours of the morning. A request that Mr. Duncan produce his licence led to an alleged refusal, which led to an

. . . [more]
Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Grey Law on Grey Books

Last month, the United States Supreme Court held in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons that it was non-infringing of copyright to import books into the United States that had been legally purchased elsewhere. The decision upheld the “first sale doctrine,” a concept that says once a publisher sells a copy of a work to a member of the public, the buyer is free to do sell or dispose of the copy as they wish. In Canada, the situation is less clear.

The defendant in the United States proceeding, Mr. Kirtsaeng was a student at Cornell University who bought foreign . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

LESA Supports Its Volunteers

The Legal Education Society of Alberta is recognizing the more that 600 people in Alberta, mostly lawyers, who volunteer their time to support legal education in our province. How are they doing that? By sharing a full day seminar with volunteers about a topic that is potentially useful to anyone on the legal community: social media.

Today we are in Edmonton (April 25 the session will be repeated). We are starting the day with Marliss Weber and Randy Brososky giving an overview titled Social Media 101.

Tweets about this session are at #lesaonline. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD