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Archive for June, 2014

Getting Started With Legal Knowledge Management

How do you get started with Knowledge Management (KM) in the legal profession?

I get approached on a regular basis with this question by small law firms that want to have the advantages of the larger firms, by lawyers or librarians who want to become part of an existing KM team in a larger firm, or by individuals hired into firms to lead KM initiatives. There are programs specific to Knowledge Management that exist, but there is not a lot of introductory material specific to the legal industry.

I recently sat down with Garry Wise of Wise Law so he . . . [more]

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

Of Wickr and the Crypto-Ephemeral Anti-Social Revolution

Years before Edward Snowden obliterated digital innocence, showed us what the “Five Eyes” are really up to, and pulled stakes for the unlikely safe harbour of Moscow’s airport transit zone, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger released his 2009 book Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age. In it he urged caution for the “Digital Panopticon”, and warned against the growing trend towards mass surveillance. The Internet, as we now know, never forgets. He made the case for why it should.

Throughout human history, forgetting has been the norm and remembering the exception. Technology, as Mayer-Schönberger, a . . . [more]

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

The Promising Fallout From Hryniak v. Mauldin

Following the release of the SCC decision in Hryniak in January of this year, the widely held view was that the decision would deal a death blow to trials in Canada and would open the floodgates to summary judgment motions.

The Advocates’ Journal Summer 2014 has run an interesting piece by Jonathan Lisus which suggests that, on the contrary, Canadian courts and creative counsel are using the Hryniak to craft procedures that bring cases to trial in a more efficient and cost effective way, than has any other access to justice initiative.

After reviewing the treatment of the SCC decision . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Can a Criminal Conviction Make Your Client Inadmissible for Residency/citizenship?

Where a client charged with a serious crime is a non-citizen of Canada and is hoping to obtain resident status, criminal lawyers should be aware that recent changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) raise special plea and sentencing considerations.

The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act
On June 19, 2013, amendments to the IRPA made by Bill C-43, the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, came into force. Among other things, the amendments render inadmissible – without right of appeal – permanent residency applicants who have received a six-month custody sentence for an offence with a . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

What Do Your Clients Consider to Be “Good Value” When It Comes to Legal Services?

In September, 2008, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) formally launched its “Value Challenge” initiative with a goal “to reconnect value and costs for legal services.” At the time, many in the legal media declared that this would be the beginning of the change in the way law firm’s act as a business. They predicted that we would soon see the mass implementation of alternative and fixed fee arrangements, lowering of costs and increased efficiency. We’re five years on and there has not been nearly the movement the ACC had hoped, especially in regards to Canadian firms.

And so, it . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

How to Build a Small Knowledge Graph: Video Series

Eric Franzon, over on, has a nice post about a series of videos on semantic web and linked data technologies.

The series is called Build a Small Knowledge Graph and there are three videos:

  • Creating and Processing Linked Data

    Jarek Wilkiewicz introduces the reference architecture for support of Actions in the context of a specific use case (a music store). The video then focuses on exposing entities using markup with JSON-LD.

  • Managing Graph Data With Cayley

    Barak Michener introduces graph processing using Cayley, an open source graph database written in Go. Cayley is fast,

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

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 sixty 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. Vincent Gautrais  2. Family LLB  3. First Reference Talks  4. Environmental Law and Litigation  5. Barry Sookman

Vincent Gautrais
Tournoi de pétanque CRDP / CICC

C’est déjà une tradition que plusieurs universités, à travers le monde, nous envient : après une pause l’an dernier, le 15 juillet prochain (12h) . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Voices, My Personal Demons

I am not sure if the voices in my head were inherited or created for survival. I suffer from the disease of alcoholism and medical opinion suggests that the predisposition to this disease is inherited. All I know is that the voices are part of my disease and long before I took a drink and for as long as I can remember they were there.

At first the voices helped me cope with a very abusive father. However, even from a young age the voices were more detrimental than helpful. They told me “you are bad, you deserved it, you . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Reform Access to Information for Health Sector

The Canadian Open Government Initiative was announced on March 18, 2011. The project focuses on 3 main streams:

  • Open Data, which is about offering Government data in more useful and machine-readable formats to enable citizens, the private sector and non-government organizations to leverage it in innovative and value-added ways.
  • Open Information, which is about proactively releasing information, including on Government activities, to Canadians on an ongoing basis. It is about proactively making Government information easier to find and accessible for Canadians.
  • Open Dialogue, which is about giving Canadians a stronger say in Government policies and priorities, and expanding engagement
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

Famille : L’appelante, qui a fait appel à une donneuse d’ovules et à une mère porteuse, obtient la placement de l’enfant née au terme de cette démarche auprès d’elle en vue de son adoption.

Intitulé : Adoption — 1445, 2014 QCCA 1162
Juridiction : Cour d’appel (C.A.), Montréal, 500-08-000409-120
Décision . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Hughes v. Hughes, 2014 BCCA 196 


Areas of Law: Family law; Child support; Contempt of court; Change in circumstances

~ An order for a custodial parent to pay child support to the non-custodial parent pending the return of the child may be cancelled in circumstances where the child is not returned~

Background: At the beginning of the proceeding that gave rise to this appeal, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at

This week’s summaries concern:
Civil Rights/ Courts / Trade Regulation / Criminal Law / Evidence / Extradition

R. v. Spencer (M.D.) 2014 SCC 43; 2014 CSC 43
Civil Rights – Criminal Law – Trade Regulation

Summary: The accused was charged with possession of child pornography and making available child pornography. The accused brought an application, alleging several violations

. . . [more]
Posted in: Summaries Sunday