Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for July, 2013

Hein and Fastcase Announce Publishing Partnership

A press release shared that William S. Hein & Co. and Fastcase announced a publishing partnership today. Hein will share federal and state case law to subscribers via links provided by Fastcase. Fastcase will integrate HeinOnline’s law review and historical legislation. The press release goes into greater detail about the linkages and even discusses how customers will see this material.

This is pretty exciting news. I am looking forward to hearing the reactions of AALL Members at the American Association of Law Libraries 106th Annual Meeting and Conference which kicks off this coming weekend. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Are You on Any Good Email Lists?

Around for more than thirty years and often mistakenly* called “listservs,” email lists were for a long time the most productive way for groups of people to argue and exchange ideas on the internet. We’ve touched on them on Slaw a number of times, particularly in the writings of Lyonette Louis-Jacques, the “queen” of law lists, her most recent contribution on the subject being A Few Good (Email) Lists

As Lyo says in that piece, we might imagine that this tired old format is “pretty much dead.” But in fact, she came up with a dozen or so email . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Technology: Internet

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 Shift+F3 to Quickly Change Case of Text in Microsoft Word
Dan Pinnington

If you do a lot of writing or editing in Word, you will often find yourself wanting to change the case of selected portions of text – perhaps to upper case or to title case. You can do this manually of course, but there is a much faster way. First highlight the text you want to . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Great Circle Route

If you’ve flown to Europe or Asia, you know that the flight path, viewed on a “normal” map, looks far longer than it should. The plane flies what appears to be thousands unnecessary kilometers on a route that curves up near the North Pole, rather than flying in a straight line.

Appearances are deceiving, as you probably have realized. The earth is not flat, and that so-called normal map, usually a Mercator projection, greatly distorts distances at higher latitudes. Trace a route from Toronto to Tokyo on such a map, and it appears to pass about 700 km south of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

OBA Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate’s Documents for the Purchase of a Condominium

The Ontario Bar Association’s Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate has established a sub-committee to consider the work undertaken in the purchase of a condominium.

The Subcommittee is working on various documents to assist real estate lawyers and their purchasers in a resale condominium transaction and intend to consult with and obtain a broad range of comments and suggestions from Ontario lawyers.

They have released for review the first document, a Master Chart of items to be addressed. The Master Chart is meant to bring to purchasers’ mind the items of concern and whether or not their lawyer will . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Adjudicators and Their Facebook Friends … Not So Fast?

Are there rules in Canada about, or practical examples of, judges or tribunal adjudicators being ‘friends’ on Facebook or otherwise connected by social media with counsel or parties to a dispute before them? What should be done?

The American Bar Association has an ethics opinion that is summed up in this high-level principle:

A judge may participate in electronic social networking, but as with all social relationships and contacts, a judge must comply with relevant provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct and avoid any conduct that would undermine the judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality, or create an appearance of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Reasonable Accommodation Limitations Re-Affirmed

In employment law circles, there is an ongoing debate about how far an employer must go in accommodating a disabled employee to reach the point of “undue hardship”. The Supreme Court has held that an employer is not created to create a position or hire an additional employee to cover for the duties of an employee – the employee must still be able to carry out the essential functions of their job. The debate has since moved to determining what exactly makes an “essential function”.

In a recent decision rendered by James McNamee, Hamilton Health Sciences v Ontario Nurses’ Association, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

New Supreme Court of Canada Website

The Supreme Court of Canada launched a new design for its website a couple of weeks ago. According to Michel-Adrien Sheppard, this was in order to come into compliance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Web Standard on Usability. The content appears to have remained unchanged.

The new design for the home page is set out below, followed by an image of its previous design:

The new design is generally cleaner and more readable than the former, which, by contrast, was a bit cramped. But to my eye there’s not a lot of improvement when it comes to aesthetics. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

The Lieber Code

April 24, 2013, marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, a U.S. government document also known as the “Lieber Code”. Francis Lieber of the War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, prepared the Code at the request of President Abraham Lincoln. The President issued the Code on April 24, 1863, as General Orders, No. 100. Even after a century and a half, this document continues to be relevant today. Justice O’Connor cited it in the plurality opinion in Hamdi et al. v. Rumsfeld, 542 . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Official Clio Blog   2. Social Media for Law Firms   3. Library Technician Dialog   4. Rule of Law    5. Canadian Legal History Blog
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Lessons From the Road: On Being Engaged

Recently my friend and colleague (and fellow Slaw-yer) Joan Rataic-Lang and I spent five six weeks walking the historic pilgrimage route, the Camino Frances, which for us started in St. Jean Pied-de-Port, France, and carried us through the Pyrenees and across northern Spain–a total of 780 km. We learned many personal lessons along the way, but surprisingly we also learned many things that apply to work. I thought it time to start sharing some of what I learned.

Most days we got up at 6 am and started our walk at 7 am. Ideally we would have some yoghurt . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management