Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for February, 2014

Legal Thought Leaders Needed for Only $15,000

A few months ago I questioned whether there was any worth in a lawyer paying for an enhanced profile on legal lists.

I got a call recently that topped that concept.

The call was from a publisher in England. They started off by talking about their publication read by thousands of CEOs around the world. And an upcoming edition that was going to feature a global CEO survey on social media risk from a major accounting firm. They did their best to promote this as a high profile publication.

Then they said they wanted to do a companion article to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

Being in Favour of Reform, Just Not Change

To a hammer, everything is a nail

There is an old aphorism that “To a hammer, everything is a nail”. The aphorism reflects the centrality of perspective. Where you stand very much affects what you can (or want to) see.

I think that Professor Julie Macfarlane makes this point in the context of discussions about access to justice. Professor Macfarlane has carefully researched and thoughtfully written about the reality that most family law litigants don’t use lawyers. She speaks about this issue with lawyers yet, as she seems to say, the discussions with lawyers about this topic are, at best, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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 this last week:

  1. Wallman v. John Doe 2014 BCSC 79

    [1] Occasionally a seemingly innocuous event can have tragic consequences.

    [2] On the morning of December 4, 2006, the plaintiff, an emergency room physician, was driving his Honda Accord (“Honda”) eastbound on Lorimer Road from his home in Whistler, British Columbia to the Whistler Health Care Centre (“WHCC”). It was cold and snowing. The roads were

. . . [more]
Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

A Mini-Review of WestlawNext Canada

My team has nearly finished with our project rolling out the new WestlawNext Canada platform. So far the response to the new site is positive. WestlawNext Canada has a lovely new feature along side the new all-in-one search box that will be interesting to Slawyers.


Within WestlawNext Canada a user can create folders to store information like full documents or snips from a WNC content (cases, legislation, texts and annotations as well as journal articles). Sharing a folder with colleagues within the firm is also available.

While I like the concept of sharing folders full of research bits with . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Sports Arbitration – Contesting Olympic Judging Decisions

Most of you will have heard of the controversial figure skating win of Russian teenager Adelina Sotnikova who won the Olympic gold medal last week beating out Yuna Kim of South Korea, despite many stylistic errors and fumbles. Many media outlets and fans were surprised to say the least at what appeared to be clear favoritism on the part of the Russian judge. The South Korean Olympic Committee has already sent a protest letter to the International Skating Union, and a petition is posted on calling for more accountability in sports judging.

But what legal recourses do athletes have . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Candor as Advocacy

Too often, litigation disputes are like two ships passing in the night. The first salvo describes in great detail the relevant facts and applicable law. The opponent’s response then covers the very same ground, emphasizing the facts and law that are favourable to it – often with very little to no references to the opponent’s points of view.

Our goal as advocates is to advance our client’s case as effectively as possible. Unlike advocates, though, a judge’s job is to balance the different points of view to reach the best result. The judge needs help to decide who is right . . . [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.


Back Up Your Cloud: How to Download All Your Data
Dan Pinnington

On at least a few previous occasions (here and here), I have written about the necessity of backing up your personal data, pictures and contacts, regardless of where they . . .


Shaunna Mireau

One of the things we don’t talk about much on the legal research side of things here at Slaw Tips are . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Brainspray and the Law

[Vocabulary Watch] ‘Brainspray’ – Electrical and other signals given off by the brain that are detectable – and increasingly usable – for various purposes.

Science, medicine and commerce

It is widely known that much of the functioning of our brain is done by electrical impulses, or at least that its functioning creates electrical impulses. Since the invention of the electroencephalograph (EEG) many decades ago, these impulses have been measurable. In recent years, they have become subject to increasingly subtle interpretation as well. Science is beginning to know what the measured impulses mean and to be able to use . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Civil Injunction Cheat Sheet

Injunctions are a powerful remedy that are sought and granted in a wide range of disputes.

An employer might seek an injunction to stop a former employee from soliciting the employer’s clients. A business may seek an injunction to stop a competitor from unfairly using a registered trademark. Your neighbour may seek an injunction to stop you from cutting down that hideous tree in your back yard that provides oh-so-much shade and privacy for your neighbour, or perhaps they may seek a mandatory order requiring you to cut down that same hideous tree that they view as an eye-sore.

A . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Library Advocacy Unshushed

Many members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries will be familiar with Wendy Newman, lecturer and fellow at the University of Toronto’s iSchool. At the CALL/ACBD conference in 2012 she took many of us through an Advocacy 101 workshop which was invaluable. I’m pleased to let everyone know that–starting today!–she is leading everyone through a library advocacy MOOC. Is is free, online, and provides a certificate for those who fully participate and do the work over the next 6 weeks.

From the website:

About this Course

How can we strengthen libraries and librarians in the advancement of knowledge,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Applying the <indecs> Model to Interoperability of Legal Data?

I’m in the middle of teaching an introductory course on metadata and while preparing for an upcoming lecture I was reviewing the <indecs> model for e-commerce. It occurred to me that this model might have something to contribute to the interoperability of legal data.

<indecs> is a rather peculiar looking acronym that stands for Interoperability of Data in E-Commerce Systems. It’s a “metadata framework” or reference model similar in intention to the library community’s Functional Requirements for Bibliographical Records (FRBR). FRBR is a conceptual model that provides the cataloguing community with a common frame of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Major Apple Security Flaw Requires That You Update Your iPhone or iPad

Apple fans often brag that Apple devices are far less susceptible to hackers and security breaches than PCs and other devices. While that was the case in the past, you can no longer use Apple devices and blissfully assume you can’t or won’t be hacked or infected with malware.

Last Friday, without a lot of fanfare, Apple released iOS update 7.0.6. iPads and iPhones use the iOS operating system. This update fixes a coding mistake that could allow a hacker to capture the information you think you are securely sharing with an online merchant or when logging in on a . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology