Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for March, 2014

Open Refine and the ALCTS eForum on Library Linked Data

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) held an eForum on Library Linked Data earlier this month. An eForum is a great way to participate in a topical discussion because, unlike a webinar or live chat session, it allows you to drop in and out of the discussion as you have the time.

Theodore Gerontakos, Metadata Librarian, University of Washington and Co-Chair of the ALA Linked Library Data Interest Group, provided a couple of very useful summaries of the two days:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

CCCA National Conference – April 6-8, 2014 in Calgary

The next Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Conference will be taking place in Calgary from April 6 to 8th. The conference theme this year is “Energy matters” explained below (from the website):


Energy as resource, as catalyst, as inspiration. The energy of in-house counsel, ignited.

The Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (CCCA) is the official voice and forum of Canada’s in-house counsel community; a community that is passionate, energetic, and always evolving.

Join us at The Westin Calgary in Calgary, April 6-8, 2014 for our National Conference, the largest gathering of in-house counsel in Canada. Featuring a program

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law

The Black Spider Memos

A fascinating freedom of information/constitutional/administrative law case is winging its way to the UK Supreme Court.

It concerns 27 letters sent by Prince Charles to seven government ministers between September 2004 and April 2005 in which the heir to the throne lobbied for changes in policy.

A Freedom of Information tribunal decided in 2012 on the application of the Guardian newspaper that the Prince’s handwritten letters (dubbed the “black spider memos”) should be released because the public had a right to see how he had sought to influence government.

The Attorney General vetoed the tribunal’s decision and blocked publication, citing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

One Shared Legal Future, Too Many Solitudes

We often talk about the “Two Solitudes” within the legal profession: the silos between the academy and the profession. However, a recent talk by the Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada Thomas Conway made me realize that this dichotomy is wrong. There are not two solitudes within the legal profession, there are many more. 

As the Director of the Cavanagh LLP Professionalism Speaker Series at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, I invited the Treasurer to speak about “The Law Society of Upper Canada: Promoting the Public Interest and Facing the Challenges of a Changing Legal World”. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Victim Compensation Reexamined in Ontario

In the aftermath of the disappearance and death of a high profile Toronto lawyer, the legal community has expressed a greater interest in the victim compensation fund in place for clients of lawyers and paralegals practicing in Ontario.

At the February Convocation, new guidelines were put in place for the victim Compensation Fund, which has been in place since 1953. The fund serves to protect the public per s. 51(5) of the Law Society Act, and is administered by a Compensation Fund Committee established under By-Law 12. The Guidelines created by this Committee was recently upheld by the Divisional . . . [more]

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

Legal Research in Saskatchewan

From Legal Sourcery:

CBA Legal Research Section

CBA Saskatchewan is considering expanding its sections and providing a Legal Research forum for lawyers that are interested in maintaining and honing their research skills. This section will be geared towards those who conduct legal research, including lawyers with firms, the courts, government, corporations and law reform and other legal institutions, contract research lawyers, and law librarians in the private and public sectors. If you are interested in being part of the section, please contact the Branch. Based on the level of interest, the Branch will consider introducing this section during the 2014-2015

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Heather Robertson (March 19, 1942 – March 19, 2014)

We note the death of Canadian author, Heather Robertson, last Wednesday. She published her first book, Reservations are for Indians, in 1970, and her last book, Walking into Wilderness, four years ago. She was a founding member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and the Professional Writers Association of Canada.

For the Slaw community she is best known for being the representative plaintiff in the action by freelancers to be paid royalties for electronic and digital access to their work. Robertson v. Thomson Corporation is the seminal case on copyright in a digital environment as it affects freelancers . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

“… and the Insight to Know When You Have Gone Too Far”

The title being a snippet of the Irish Proverb: “May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.” Why that title? Well on Monday of this week it was the 17th, better known as St. Patrick’s Day. We all know St. Paddy’s Day (anyone else notice the push back at “St. Patty’s” day this year that I have not noticed previously?) is named after Saint Patrick who reputedly led the snakes out of Ireland and we all know the festivities . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Nadon Cannot Sit, Supreme Court Rules

In a six to one jointly written decision (Moldaver, J. in dissent), the Supreme Court of Canada has answered the questions In the Matter of a Reference by the Governor in Council concerning sections 5 and 6 of the Supreme Court Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-26, as set out in Order in Council P.C. 2013-1105 dated October 22, 2013 2014 SCC 21 as follows:

1. Can a person who was, at any time, an advocate of at least 10 years standing at the Barreau du Québec be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada as a member of the Supreme . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Bogus Rhetoric About Bogus Refugees

It is time to take a stand against all the bogus rhetoric about bogus refugees.

Our current Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, has unfortunately taken a shine to making frequent use of the pejorative, inflammatory and meaningless term. That was certainly the case last month when he decided to take Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews to task for her decision to step in and provide essential health care coverage for large numbers of refugee claimants who had been cut out of the federal government’s longstanding refugee health care program.

On January 22nd he chided Minister Matthews, complaining . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues