Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for June, 2013

Gaps in Electronic Legislation

I used to have a working VHS player and a copy of the movie Speed. Often a scene from the movie will pop into my (overactive?) mind when I am looking for legislation from my desk:

01:03:38 – Jack, what did he say?
01:03:42 – What’s the matter?
01:03:49 – There’s a gap in the freeway. – What?
01:03:53 – What do you mean? – How big is a gap?
01:03:56 – 50 feet. A couple of miles ahead.

I remember when looking for legislation at my desk was rarely a reasonable option. Today, if I can’t browse my . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

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.


Use Google Docs to Alter PDF Documents
Dan Pinnington

PDF documents are great when you want to make it easy for anyone to view or print a document. But what happens when you need to alter a PDF? You can, of course, do it with Adobe Acrobat or other expensive PDF Editors, but you can also do it for free with Google Docs! It’s easy. First, take the PDF . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Supreme Court Will Announce Thursday if It Will Hear Rob Ford Appeal


The Supreme Court of Canada will announce Thursday at 9:45 am whether or not it will hear Magder’s appeal in the ongoing Rob Ford case.

In case you have been living under a rock (or outside of Toronto at least), Justice Hackland ordered the Mayor of Toronto out of office last September. The Mayor won his appeal before the Divisional Court in January, and was permitted to remain in office.

With an election scheduled for 2014, the Supreme Court ruling, should the Supreme Court elect to hear the appeal, will likely be largely academic.

Nevertheless, many will be . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

YouTube (Part III) Notice and Take Down Safe Harbor Under the DMCA

A driving force for the development of the internet was to provide certainty for internet service organizations on the liability exposure they may have for acts of third parties on their internet sites.

Given that many Canadian internet web sites do receive U.S. visitors and many also utilize a DMCA safe harbor provision, understanding the scope of protection that the safe harbor provides can be important to Canadians. The ongoing legal saga in Viacom International Inc., et al. v. YouTube, Inc., YouTube, LLC, and Google, Inc., 07 Civ. 2103 illuminates the scope of the DMCA safe harbor.

The DMCA . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

The Virtual Estate: Are You Talking About This With Your Will Clients?

CBC news recently reported that the average Canadian spent over 41 hours online each month in the fourth quarter of 2012, and that Canadians are the world’s second-heaviest users of the internet (just behind Americans). While there is a great deal of variety when it comes to the nature of this online activity, there is no question that a substantial proportion of it leads to the creation of property that has value – whether it’s objective, measurable commercial value, or simply personal value.

In his article “The legal status of virtual goods” in the May 31 edition of the Lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Google’s Project Loon

Unfortunately, Project Loon doesn’t have anything to do with Canada — yet. But there’s potential here for a great benefit to Canadians in rural areas, particularly in the far north.

Google, where people are paid to brainstorm and pursue ideas that are often “wacky,” has initiated a project to place a chain of balloons into “orbit” around the globe and to use them as a way of providing internet connectivity for people who would otherwise not be able to access the internet.

Of course, being balloons, these relay stations won’t actually be in orbit. They will be in the stratosphere, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

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. Environmental Law and Litigation  2. SOQUIJ Blogue  3. Legal Feeds Blog  4. Legal Post  5. Thoughtful Legal Management

Environmental Law and Litigation
Oil Sands tailings pond management not meeting environmental targets
The Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board has released its 2012 Tailings Management Assessment Report, Oil Sands Mining Industry. . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Publishing Becomes an Academic Discipline

More back-seat drivers for the major legal publishers.

Robert Mackay’s recent post about how publishing is becoming an academic discipline highlights yet another source of analysis and commentary on the strategies being pursued with varying degrees of success by the legal publishers. To the growing list of blogs such as House of Butter and the Justitia Blawg, to name but two, has been now added the academic community.

This point was brought home to me by one of Robert’s students who recently completed an MA dissertation on corporate branding in the publishing industry. Her research included a survey of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

FSQ Reverses Turban Ban

The Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF)/ Fédération de Soccer du Québec (FSQ) has reversed its ban against turbans, relieving tensions reverberating across the country.

The move only came though after a suspension by the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) on June 10, and a statement by on Friday by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) that it allowed soccer players to wear the religious headgear. Sikhs in Quebec were dismayed over being excluded from the sport, and Canadians outside of Quebec questioned the approach of the organization.

The incident served as a flash point over the issues of integration, accommodation and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Remedies for Racist Tweets — in France

Twitter has been ordered by French courts to reveal the names of people responsible for anti-semitic tweets (using a standard hashtag) to a number of public interest organizations. Though Twitter said it would cooperate if it received an order from the American courts acting on the request of the French courts, the Court of Appeal said it has to cooperate because the direct order of the French court.

Would such an order be made in favour of private parties here? Would the private bodies first have to begin a legal proceeding against the pseudonymous tweeters – a civil action? a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime 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:
Medical malpractice / Employment and discrimination / Building contracts and sureties:

Manary v. Strban et al. 2013 ONCA 319
Medicine – Liability of practitioners – Negligence – Team leader (incl. Most Responsible Practitioner/Physician)
A pregnant woman was admitted to hospital with chest pains. On the day she was to leave the hospital she died . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On the second Sunday in each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, SupremeAdvocacyLett@r, to which you may subscribe.

Summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted (so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with). For leaves, both the date the S.C.C. granted leave and the date of the C.A. judgment below are added in, in case you want to track and check out the C.A. judgment. (May 8 – June 12, 2013).


Aboriginal . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday