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Archive for April, 2013

Archiving the Web

A not-new UK law was given regulatory effect this week and enables the British Library to archive the .uk web, just as it already receives legal deposit of UK print materials. The import of the new regulatory changes in effect April 6 is, I gather, that the archive can built by automated crawl, rather by permission for page-by-page grabs.

As the British Library explains, legal deposit of UK publications to identified libraries is, of course, a practice of long standing. The new regulations extend and entrench the program for UK digital materials:

Legal deposit has existed in English law

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

Social Media and Your Career: Be Social but Be Wise!

You have likely already been warned about the potential impact of your social media involvement on your professional reputation. Hopefully, you already know enough to carefully tailor access to your “personal” online persona, and you stay on top of untagging yourself in too-wild party photos and the like. But cleaning up your image online can only upgrade your social media presence from negative to neutral. If your future legal career will require any marketing at all (and almost all lawyers need to market themselves), you should consider whether you can gain an early advantage by building a professional online identity . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week

It All Comes Down to How You Bend and Snap

Lawyers need to be of good character when they enter the profession but what does good character look like in lawyers already practising in the profession? To answer this, I will turn to Legally Blonde’s very own, Elle Woods, to demonstrate why I think Daniel Bibb[1], a Manhattan Assistant District Attorney who purposely lost a case to avoid a wrongful conviction, is an example of good character in the legal profession.

I watched Legally Blonde for the third (okay, thirteenth) time this weekend and something new occurred to me. Elle Woods is the lawyer we could all . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week

Updated TOROG Memos

For some years now Slaw has acted as a repository for the memos and precedent opinions of the Toronto Opinions Group (TOROG), an informal group of lawyers primarily practising with the Toronto offices of the larger Canadian law firms, with an interest in third party (or transaction) opinion practice.

Recently TOROG has updated two of the memos and has added a new one, providing a good opportunity for Slaw to remind readers of the existence of these very helpful documents.

Updated are the memos on “Third Party Opinions On Foreign Law Documents” and “Limited Partnership Opinion Paragraphs . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Are Litigants With “Funds and Audacity” Hampering Access to Justice?

A few comments with respect to access to justice caught my attention in the recent Manitoba Queen’s Bench (Family Division) decision in Price v. Laflamme, 2013 MBQB 25 (CanLII). In the course of providing reasons for a decision on costs at the conclusion of a lengthy trial, the trial judge noted that the conduct of the petitioner’s conduct in the matter effectively discouraged any possibility of resolution of the matter. He noted that:

Implicit in that conduct may have been a desire to exhaust the resources of the respondent/father in pursuing his position. No stone was left unturned. No examination

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Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Regulatory Jurisdiction

A recent Ontario Superior Court case gives some interesting guidance on regulatory jurisdiction over Internet activities. Civil jurisdiction is not completely resolved, but there are lots of cases, and criminal jurisdiction is also ‘known’ to some extent. What regulators can do or should do is often harder. I speculated a bit on that topic in a presentation on jurisdiction a few years ago: www.euclid.ca/jurisdiction2005.ppt (pages 15 – 20).

In Ontario College of Pharmacists v. 1724665 Ontario Inc., 2013 CanLII 13655 (ON SC), the court held that a call centre in Ontario that was acting for a company in Belize . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

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 2 – 9:

  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

50 Shades of Neutrality: A Review of “Professionalism”

With an uncritical eye the Chief Justice of Ontario’s report on professionalism makes a virtuous call for higher standards of professionalism for lawyers. It is a response to the reality of declining professionalism. The report, as well as the prevailing discussion on professionalism, does not reflect certain realities. The discourse bifurcates professionalism and morality in a way that the concept of professionalism is assumed to be morally neutral. The elements of professionalism are listed as: scholarship; integrity; honour; leadership; independence; pride; spirit; collegiality; service; and balanced commercialism. Not only does the list exclude a recognition of some fundamental attributes, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Hurdles to Initiating Change

Firms are navigating a tough financial climate, suppressed growth rates, and declining demand. Previous downturns have been transitory, as the industry has been able to recover within a few years. However this time the landscape has changed and the legal sector is not expected to return to previous levels of growth for a long time. Whatever kind of economist-speak you prefer, there’s no getting around the fact that now is a scary time to be a firm leader. Whether you choose to call it the digital age, the knowledge economy, or even “the New Normal,” it seems clear that we . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

What I Wish I Knew in Law School

May El-Abdallah is a former articling student at LAWPRO. This article originally appeared in the 2012 Student Edition of LAWPRO Magazine.

Law school can be a steep learning curve, and stepping into the world of practice can seem even more daunting. One of the most common complaints I hear from recent graduates is that they feel under-prepared to deal with the day-to-day realities of practice that they are confronting as articling students or recent calls.

While there may never be a substitute for hands-on learning, here are a few lessons my colleagues and I wish we had learned in law . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week

Law School Library Changes

I have never had the opportunity to practice my craft in a law school library having only worked as a law librarian in private firms. By the time I meet law students, they have had the benefit of learning about legal research in the academic setting. Though legal research practice in a law firm setting may operate differently than in academia, the principles of legal research are the same. Law firm librarians enjoy the fruits of the labour that takes place in law school libraries.

Recent news from the U of A Law Library was unexpected.

We regret to announce

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Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Students, Wondering What Hiring Firms Look For?

In a competitive job market, it’s important to consider not only what kind of work YOU want to do (and in what kind of environment), but also what legal employers are looking for in a new hire.

This does NOT mean that you need to contort yourself and your interests into a one-size-fits-all mold to have any hope of finding a job. In fact, when we asked law firm spokespeople from across Ontario to describe the perfect candidate, we were surprised with the variety in their responses (see our article “Finders & keepers: Recruiting and retaining the best talent . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week