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Archive for May, 2013

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 May 14 – 21:

  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

The Price of Open and Free

On May 1st, a Texas law student uploaded the specs for 3D printing of a single-shot pistol to the web – specs that were downloaded over 100,000 times before the U.S. State Department asked that he remove them from his site. That same day, May 9th, U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order “Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information.”

The juxtaposition highlights how open data efforts are generally considered contributions to freedom of information and the advance of human liberty, but occasionally thought of as dangerous incursions into . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Couchiching Roundtable on the Future of Legal Education

We learn from the redoubtable Howard Knopf that the Couchiching Institute is having one of its celebrated roundtables in Ottawa on May 27 with Ottawa U law dean Bruce Feldthusen on The Future of Legal Education.

As the announcement says:

This comes at crucial time, when enrolments in American law schools are sharply down due to decreased demand for graduates. Opportunities for new graduates in Canada are decreasing, and many competent graduates cannot even find articling positions. Yet, we are seeing the creation of new law schools in Canada. There are many challenges and opportunities ahead for legal education

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements

Flexibility With eBooks

I appreciate the ability to borrow eBooks from my public library with a tap on an app. I am not currently able to make it as easy as that for my law firm library users who wish to review legal texts with mobile devices. Times are changing though and law firms are buying eBooks.

At the Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference earlier this month, there were plenty of discussions about eBooks. A roundtable discussion that was blogged about, a session that included Bess Reynolds (author of The Challenges of E-books in Law Firm Libraries), and many . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

Community – It’s Where You Grow

They say it takes a community to raise a child – to watch out for it, to teach and shape him or her, and to give wise counsel.

Could it be that a community is also what it takes to put the legal profession in a position to flourish? founder Simon Fodden, in a background paper prepared for the CBA Legal Futures Initiative, suggests that the lack of a communal sensibility could be one of the reasons the profession is such a slow-turning ship.

That lack is both top-down and bottom-up. Inertia is found at the top in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Third Time IS a Charm – Ryan Manilla Passes the Good Character Requirement

Last July I wrote a blog about Ryan Manilla, who graduated near the top of his class at Osgoode Hall Law School only to be deemed, twice, by the Law Society of Upper Canada to not meet its good character requirement.

Last week Ryan received the word that the Law Society had finally deemed him of good enough character to be admitted to the bar. 

According to Ryan’s lawyer, the crucial piece of evidence this time around was a psychiatric assessment which found that Ryan’s prior “misconduct” was out of character with how he conducted both his personal and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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.


It is costly to replace the cartridges on laser and inkjet printers. You can save money by printing in draft mode, which uses a lot less ink. In most cases, you will probably find draft mode printouts are acceptable. Try printing in draft mode, and if the bulk of your printouts are fine, consider setting your printer…


Watch the . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Point and Touch

Touchscreens have made a difference. Until fairly recently, the assumption could normally be made that people would provide input to their machines using a keyboard or a mouse. But not now.

The people have spoken: we want touchscreens. Touchscreens more than justify the disruption they have caused. We need calm too, though, and that’s still a work in progress. This posting reviews some recent developments on the software standardization front concerning “pointer events” and “touch events”.


Touchscreen technology has actually been around since the 1960s. A great review of the history is available in Bill Buxton, “Multi-Touch Systems that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Avoid the Unintentional Expansion of Retainers

Here’s the scenario: A lawyer is retained to assist a client with a tort claim and an accident benefits claim. The client, meanwhile, has been informed that the long-term disability (LTD) benefits provided by her employer’s group plan are about to be terminated. In an effort to forestall the termination of benefits, she asks the lawyer to send a copy of a medical report that the lawyer has on file to the LTD insurer. The lawyer does so, enclosing a cover letter that reads “my client has requested that I forward the enclosed to your attention.”

After the tort litigation . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

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. Legal Post Blog 2. Thoughtful Legal Management 3. Youth & Work 4. All About Information 5. 

Legal Post Blog
Chief legal officers not so spooked about social media risk

A survey by the Association of Corporate Counsel reveals an interesting disconnect between top in-house lawyers and outside law . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

2013 LawTechCamp

Technology is the game-changer in the legal field, and yet most lawyers are not very technologically inclined. LawTechCamp seeks to change that, bringing together non-lawyers from the tech sector and the lawyers who are eager to identify the opportunities of the future.

Now in it’s third year, LawTechCamp is scheduled for June 8, 2013 in Toronto. The panels this year will again focus on some of the cutting-edge developments in the intersection of law and tech, and brings in several speakers from outside of Canada. Here’s a sampling of what you can expect:

Due diligence is one of those things . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw byMaritime 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:
Courts / Criminal Law / Indians, Inuit and Metis / Customs / Young offenders:

Courts – Criminal Law – Indians, Inuit and Metis – Practice

The plaintiff held a provincial permit to conduct logging operations on Aboriginal (Fort Nelson First Nation) land. That

. . . [more]
Posted in: Summaries Sunday