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Archive for August, 2013

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. (July 12 to August 8, 2013 inclusive).

APPEALS . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Government Intervention to Solve the “Access to Justice” Problem Is Inevitable

All that has been written and said in relation to the “access to justice” problem — that is, the fact that the majority of the population cannot obtain legal services at reasonable cost – fails to contain the necessary solution. That is because the law societies and other such institutions and experts that write the reports and speak to the problem do not understand a fundamental fact. That fact, stated as an issue, is: shouldn’t the present method of delivering legal services be abolished in favour of some other method?

The present method of legal services delivery is the “handcraftsman’s” . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice


The Cyber-safety Act, SNS 2013, c 2 came into effect in Nova Scotia this week. This act followed a high profile case of cyber-bullying that occurred in the province that was the final straw, so to speak, that led to a high profile report and the legislature to act with the creation of this act.

The act has some interesting points that should be intriguing playing out in case law. It establishes Cyber-bullying as tort where the victim can sue the perpetrator and more interestingly, is that if a minor commits cyber-bullying this act allows the victims to sue . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

The Friday Fillip: Canadian Inventions of the Humble Sort

Canadians have invented a lot of high-profile things — the Canadarm, the method for extracting insulin, IMAX projection — but what catches my attention are the small things that disappear into everyday life as though they’d always been there. These Canadian inventions are rarely sung (well, if something can be “unsung,” surely it might also be “sung”).

First among these is the humble egg carton. Yes, a Canadian invented the thing in which you buy and, likely, store your eggs. Joseph L. Coyle from  Smithers, B.C., a newspaperman of all things, came up with a working prototype in . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Responsive Design Websites

If you are currently considering a new website, you may want to build it for the mobile generation, and you will want to include responsive design. All websites – including law firm sites – are seeing an increase in mobile traffic. Mobile users require unique usability and it is anticipated that in the near future, mobile devices will account for nearly half of your website’s visitors.

Responsive design is a technology aimed at crafting sites that provide an optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Happy Birthday “in Custodia Legis” (Law Library of Congress)

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, turned 3 this week.

Since August 2010, a team of bloggers has been busily blogging about anything legal:

“Some posts are interesting things we see in the news that have a legal angle, some are interviews with staff, many are about the Law Library, and others are photos from here and law libraries around the world. Some are a bit more off beat than others.”

The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes  . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

As Goes the Washington Post – So Goes the Legal Profession?

There has been a great deal of buzz over Jeff Bezos’s recent purchase of The Washington Post for a fraction of what Facebook paid for Instagram, and also a fraction of what Yahoo paid for Tumblr. How can it be that a venerable old newspaper, guardian of the right of the public to know, with hundreds of employees and thousands of square feet of bricks and mortar be worth far less than smaller companies that simply deal with code?

If lawyers ever needed another reason to believe that the world has changed. This is it.

In my view, it . . . [more]

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

New Rules and Procedures for Quebec Immigration and Skilled Workers Program

New rules have been adopted regarding procedures for the processing of certain applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec submitted by permanent workers, investors, business people and self-employed workers. These changes were published in the Gazette Officielle du Quebec on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. These new rules are in effect from August 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Thursday Thinkpiece: Adams on Singular and Plural in Drafting

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.

A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, Third Edition
Kenneth A. Adams
Chicago: American Bar Association, 2013

Excerpt Chapter 13, Selected Usages


  • 13.748 One type of failure to address an issue is uncertainty regarding whether a reference in the singular also applies to the plural. (It bears some resemblance
. . . [more]
Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Yes, but Will It Blend? Feedback on the CanLII Beta

Blendtec makes amazing blenders, a fact well understood by millions of YouTube visitors that have seen the blenders make soup or dust out of iPads, glow sticks, bic lighters and many other objects one would not normally place in a blender. No matter your needs or level of sophistication, you can be sure the Blendtec product will deliver on its core promise.

So what is the “will it blend” question for a free, online legal research tool like CanLII? And is there a single answer to the question or are there many?

Common need, diverse practices

Regardless of the level . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Opinions on High

We have The Court for Canada, the New Zealand Supreme Court Blog, for New Zealand, and SCOTUSblog for the United States. As of last week, Australia also has a blog dedicated to discussion of the decisions of its highest court: Opinions on High. Indeed, Melbourne Law School, at the University of Melbourne, expressly noted the influence of these three blogs in the development of its own high court commentary site.

It seems an objective of the Opinions on High is to engage a wide audience. Melbourne’s Associate Dean (Engagement) Professor Miranda Stewart not only expects the site to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Inquest Into the Death of Brian Sinclair

The Inquest into the death of Brian Sinclair opened yesterday in Winnipeg. Brian Sinclair was a 45-year old homeless, Aboriginal man confined to a wheelchair due to double amputations. On September 19, 2008, he went to the emergency room of Winnipeg’s Health Sciences with a bladder infection, where he spoke with triage staff and was directed to wait. According to media reports, Mr. Sinclair waited as directed, without receiving care, until he died, some 34 hours after arriving at the hospital.

Provincial Court Judge Timothy Preston will hear testimony over the next several months in the Inquest called under . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law