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Archive for January, 2015

Why Write?

I have a bit of a writing habit. I am not alone. Over the years, I have tried to determine why I enjoy putting words on a page or screen for others to read. It could be shameless need to promote my ideas, it might fulfill my outgoing introvert soul, and it could be that it helps me solidify the Why for my daily work life.

Why does anyone do what they do?

Regardless of how it came to be, I would like to share a new publication with you.

A Handbook for Corporate Information Professionals, edited by Katharine . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information

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.

Technology

Create a playlist to help yourself fall asleep*
Dan Pinnington

Not sure if the experts will say this is a scientifically helpful idea for falling asleep (IMHO it seems better than just counting sheep), but sometimes you will want to listen to music as you (hopefully) fall asleep. But how do you set things up so you aren’t stuck listening to music all night?…

Research

Plan Your Research
Shaunna . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Update: Tenant Convicted of Fraud

In September, 2012 I posted a short piece about a tenant who had been evicted from 6 homes in 7 years who was arrested to face fraud charges.

The Toronto Star has reported that Nina Willis was found guilty after an eight day trial that turned into a “spectacle”.

Is there any question as to whether she will appeal? . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

The Good Guys of Legal and Professional Publishing

I wonder if many others, like me, find almost all those uplifting messages posted and spread on social and business media sites, intensely nauseating? Mostly they instruct, or rather order us to have some kind of simplistic emotional feeling surrounding “do something awesome”, “life is like a (any noun will do)”, “17 things that mentally strong people do” or, maybe even more shallow, the command that we “keep calm” followed by something really tedious. However, I could probably live with “keep calm and stop getting childishly over-excited about next to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

British Columbia Law Firm’s Computer Network Hacked by Cyber-Extortionist

The Law Society of BC recently issued a warning to its members to be vigilant about their firm’s cyber security after a BC firm’s files were held captive by a hacker who encrypted them and tried to extort payment in return for restoring access. There have been similar cases in Ontario in the last year.

…the firm found that its computer system was hacked and paralyzed by a computer virus known as the Cryptowall Virus when the staff showed up for work on Monday, December 29, 2014. Notices appeared on some of the firm’s computer monitors stating “Your files were

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

LII-in-Your-Pocket?

When I first learned about “LII-in-a-Box,” a new legal information service developed by the African Legal Information Institute, I thought it might provide a stand-alone information system that could operate independent of the internet. I thought it might be something that would alleviate poor and intermittent internet connections that make access to online information difficult in under-served communities and countries. Honestly though, what really came to mind was the LibraryBox Project that Jason Griffey has been championing for a number of years now. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

A Book Review: Paul Lomic, Social Media and Internet Law: Forms and Precedents

What is it about social media that make them such a hot topic these days, even for lawyers, as this new book demonstrates? I suggest it’s all the people. Other areas of technology can be dry or technical or mystifying, other areas of law can be the realm of big corporations or telecoms or governments. Social media combine cutting-edge technology with real human beings just doing what we do – spouting ideas, going places, making pictures, telling stories. The topic is more about us than most of the others in law or technology.

Social media do not have all their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

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. David Whelan  2. Éloïse Gratton 3. SOQUIJ  4. The Court  5. Ontario Condo Law Blog

David Whelan
Cut Your Library Nose Off to Fight for Space

File this one under different perspective. There is a tension in courthouse libraries. Keep in mind that, in most cases, whether the courthouse . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Workplace New Year’s Resolution #2: It Pays to Be Remorseful (And to Be Unionized)!

We can probably all agree that workplace violence can not and should never be tolerated. In my view, Employers should take a very firm stance and terminate any employees who intentionally physically assault another employee, particularly when they don’t show remorse. I’ve come across a recent decision that runs counter to this opinion, and while I don’t often critique decisions on Slaw, Kruger Inc., v. Unifor, Local 1646, 2014 CanLII 66101, deserves some discussion.
The Employer is unionized by Unifor and so the decision to terminate the Employee was challenged in a grievance. The facts are simple are
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Judges as Gatekeepers for Necessary Expert Evidence

Expert evidence is often perceived as a necessary evil by many judges. The “evil” of these experts is that they tend to enhance the adversarial nature of litigation, unduly complicate proceedings, and often add unnecessary costs for the parties.

What is the role of the court in excluding or managing this evidence?

Concerns over the excessive use of experts has been identified in several jurisdictions. A 2002 study by Carol Krafka in the US found that judges are becoming more recalcitrant towards accepting expert evidence post-Daubert. The 2009 Jackson Report in the UK accepted the manner in which expert . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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, Supreme Advocacy Letter, 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) (Dec. 11, 2014 – Jan. 6, 2015 inclusive).

Appeals

Criminal Law: Search & Seizure; Cellphones
R. v. Fearon, 2014 SCC 77 (35298)
Searches of cell phones incident to arrest is permitted, provided the search (both what is searched and . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) :Les trois accusés, un guide spirituel et ses deux assistants, sont reconnus coupables de négligence criminelle ayant causé des lésions corporelles à une victime et la mort d’une autre à la suite d’une séance de sudation tenue dans le contexte d’un séminaire de croissance personnelle.

Intitulé : R. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday