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Archive for January, 2015

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. Sandu v. Fairmont Hotels and Another, 2014 ONSC 5919

[55] As mentioned above, the contents of the Midnight Log were circulated only within the circle of individuals within Fairmont who were its appropriate recipients. To that extent, the publication of the words complained of was contained.

[56] I accept that Sevillya was upset and embarrassed as a result of the publication. . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Overhaul of Intellectual Property Legislation

In a series of initiatives, legislation addressing intellectual property is being amended. The Patent Act, the Trade-marks Act, the Copyright Act, the Industrial Design Act and the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act have been amended or are about to be amended. While most of the changes are procedural rather than substantive, the changes will likely have a lasting effect on Canada’s role in the international intellectual property system.

Many of the changes effect the filing requirements in Canada to standardize or integrate the process with international systems. For example, for trademarks, the Madrid Protocol allows an international trademark . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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.


Dan Pinnington
How to Tell Which Side of the Car Your Gas Cap is On*

The location of the gas cap on any car you own or drive regularly is probably second nature to you. But when you drive a rental car into a gas station, how do you know which side the gas cap is on?….


Critical Characteristic 1 – Integrity
Shaunna Mireau

For the last

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Hackers and Legal Information

In late 2014, during a meeting of my firm’s technology advisory group, I recall skeptically saying something like: “What hacker is actually going to target a law firm. We don’t store client credit card data, there are multiple layers of security on our servers, on our files and for employee personal information, I mean really, we are not Target or Home Depot.” Other members of our group did not agree with me.

Boy, was I mistaken. On December 31, 2014 the Law Society of BC issued a Fraud Alert titled BC law firm’s computer system hacked by extortionist.


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

Avoiding Communications Claims in Family Law

No matter what the area of practice, the number one source of claims at LAWPRO is a breakdown in communication between the lawyer and client.

Between 2008 and 2013, nearly 4,600 communications claims – an average of 762 a year – have been reported to LAWPRO. The total cost of these claims to date is about $158 million – and likely to rise as more recent years’ claims are resolved.

In the Fall 2011 issue of LAWPRO Magazine we asked LAWPRO claims counsel with expertise in the various areas of law to provide insights into the communications mistakes they see . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Open Source Digital Forensics

Here’s an interesting site on open source digital forensics. The site is maintained by a group of volunteers and was created by Brian Carrier who wrote the “foundational book for file system analysis” in 2005, “File System Forensic Analysis.”

There are some potential legal benefits for using open source software in digital investigations. Brian Carrier looks at these benefits in his paper, “Open Source Digital Forensics Tools: The Legal Argument.”

It’s noted however that open source tools are not necessarily better than “closed source” tools because both may suffer from “serious bugs and faults and . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology

Write Apps

One of our neighbours was born in India. When he was young, his father would buy one pencil every few months for him to share with his brother. They did this by cutting the pencil in half. Contrast this with the over-abundance of pencils in our household with just one 9 year old.

Similiarly, there is now an amazing abundance of apps that can used by lawyers. That was not the case when I compiled the first Australasian Legal Software Directory in 1986. I had to scrounge to find tools for lawyers. Like pencils, apps don’t come with pre-packaged drawing . . . [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 forty-one 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. Susan on the Soapbox  2. Western Canadian Business Litigation Blog  3. First Reference Talks 4. Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer’s Blog  5. Blogue du CRL

Susan on the Soapbox
Danielle Smith Betrayed the Wildrose; Jim Prentice Betrayed the Rest of Us

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Back to the Future of Lawyers

For the Generation X lawyers on this site, 2015 has special significance. This was the year that Marty McFly from Back to the Future II travelled to, specifically on October 21, 2015.

Many of us who saw this movie back in 1989 wondered how much of this fictional reality would actually come true. One prediction in particular is of interest to those of us who have ended up being lawyers,

Marty McFly: You said this had to do with my kids.

Doc: Look what happens to your son.

Marty McFly: [Reading the newspaper from 2015]

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Workplace New Year’s Resolutions for Employers: #1 – Implement Workplace Relationship Policies

Happy New Year! For the next few posts, I thought I’d focus on lessons learned through employment law cases – essentially a list of resolutions to make and keep in 2015 – for employers and their HR departments, in particular. The first one, Shirbigi v. JM Food Services Ltd., 2014 BCSC 1927 (CanLII), comes to us from British Columbia and deals with what can happen when a boss has an affair with one of his employees and a Workplace Relationship Policy either isn’t in place or isn’t followed . The sordid details can be summarized as follows:


. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

2014 Clawbies Announced

In case we missed you on New Year’s Eve, the 9th annual Canadian Law Blog Awards (aka the ‘Clawbies’) were announced.

This year’s Fodden Award winner for the top overall Canadian blawg went to Double Aspect, the Canadian constitutional law blog of Leonid Sirota, a J.S.D. candidate at NYU School of Law. As usual, we chose winners and finalists for 3 practitioners, 3 practice blogs, 3 ‘new’ law blogs, and a series of topical and group awards.

You can visit to see the full list of this year’s winners & finalists.

Once again, there were many . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

The Friday Fillip: Sunlight Serenade

I’m partial to daylight.

So it’s probably no wonder that around this time of year here in the Northern Hemisphere I become fascinated by the wanderings of the sun. And even though I’m way down south in Canada, as these things go — on a line1 with Rome and northern California — I’m still light deprived, getting barely more than nine hours at the moment out of the available 24. At noon the sun only just crests a four storey building. Bah!

Now I know you can’t push the river (until it freezes) — or Sol for that matter. . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip