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Archive for December, 2013

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.


All the Accounts You Should Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Right Now
Dan Pinnington

I have given this tip before, but it is worth giving again (thanks to the nudge in this LifeHacker post): Two-factor authentication is one of the best things you . . .


Attend Vendor Delivered Training
Shaunna Mireau

The people who know most about what features a product has are the people who made it. . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Draw Clients a Roadmap to Avoid Communication Claims

This article by Nora Rock, corporate writer & policy anylist at LAWPRO, appeared in the December 2013 edition of the LAWPRO Magazine. All Magazine articles can be found at

Our readers should now be well aware that problems with lawyer-client communication are the number one cause of malpractice claims. Managing communication takes patience and effort: at one extreme of the spectrum, responding to calls and messages from clients who want constant contact can be frustrating; while at the other end, trying to get absentee clients to update instructions or produce necessary documents can be time-consuming. How can you get . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Lawyers Coaching SRLs in “Self-Advocacy”? Why This Paradoxical Proposition Deserves Your Serious Consideration

Much of what I heard from self-represented litigants in my 2011-12 study – and continue to hear in the mail we receive daily at the National Self-Represented Litigants Project – centred on what type of assistance they really wanted and felt that they needed.

How SRLs want help

SRLs want help – that is loud and clear. On-line resources get them part of the way – sometimes. But they want face-to-face help too.

Almost all of them say that they want lawyers. But they cannot afford to use a lawyer for every step of their case.

They want help to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Images You Can Use – Law Society of Upper Canada and the British Library

The Commons on the photo sharing site Flickr has brought together institutions from around the world to share their images (photographs, illustrations and the like) that are either in the public domain or available for open use.

I was surprised to notice last week that a Law Society of Upper Canada Archives is part of The Commons.

According to an undatec LSUC press release:

The Law Society Archives is pleased to announce that it has been admitted to The Commons on Flickr, a grouping of institutions from around the world that contain archival photograph collections which are available on

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

Court of Appeal Says Private School’s Decision to Expel Pot Smoking Student Not Subject to Judicial Review

The Court of Appeal has unanimously ruled that a private school’s decision to expel a student is not subject to judicial review.

In September, 2012, the Divisional Court quashed Appleby College’s decision to expel a student on his last day of high school for smoking pot in his residence. A quick refresher on the facts of the case can be found in a post I wrote last November.

In a nutshell, Mr. Setia was caught smoking pot in his residence at Appleby College (a prestigious Ontario private high school) on the day before his final exam of high school. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Legal Innovation: What’s It Going to Take?

The CBA Legal Futures Initiative has sparked a lot of great discussion and writing over the past few months about innovation. Monica Goyal has bound up a lot of the must-reads on this topic in one simple post on Slaw as a precursor to a Tuesday Twitter Chat organised to discuss innovation in the legal sector. A summary of that CBA Futures chat is worth reading here if you missed it.

What struck me reading this summary is that if we want innovation in our industry, we need to actively support and foster innovation as other industries do.

Mitch Kowalski, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Michael Rafferty Should Get Legal Counsel

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled this week that Rafferty should receive publicly funded legal aid in preparation of his appeal as part of a s. 684 application.

Public anger towards Michael Rafferty is perhaps understandable. As I commented last year, Rafferty was referred to as a “monster” even by the judge presiding over his sentencing for his horrific murder of Tori Stafford.

The parties agreed that Rafferty did not have means to retain counsel, and had limited ability to do so himself as he has a grade 9 education, is imprisoned in segregation, and does not have . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Pénal: Une ordonnance de non-publication rendue en vertu de l'article 517 C.Cr. n'empêche pas la publication de l'information obtenue d'une autre source; en l'espèce, la publication et la diffusion de la dénonciation caviardée ainsi que du rapport d'exécution de la perquisition ayant eu lieu chez les intimés, sauf quant aux éléments expressément prohibés, sont permises.
Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On one Sunday 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. (Nov. 16 to Dec. 13, 2013 inclusive).


Class Actions: . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Electronic Evidence: Spreadsheets Are Not Expert Evidence

In a recent civil case, the British Columbia Supreme Court had to decide on the admissibility in evidence of a database of transactions under a contract, and the results of SQL analysis of the database that produced a number of Excel format spreadsheets. The people who generated the spreadsheets were available to testify in person about how they had run the queries: Animal Welfare International Inc. v. W3 International Media Ltd., 2013 BCSC 2193 (CanLII).

The opposing party submitted that the analysis done in extracting the data constituted expert evidence, and the witnesses needed to be qualified as experts . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Office Technology, ulc_ecomm_list