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Archive for June, 2015

Thursday Thinkpiece: Carsley on Rethinking Canadian Legal Responses to Frozen Embryo Disputes

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Rethinking Canadian Legal Responses to Frozen Embryo Disputes

Stefanie Carsley
Canadian Journal of Family Law issue #29(1)
Copyright © 2015 Reprinted with permission from The Canadian Journal of Family Law

Excerpt: Introduction and Part I
[Footnotes omitted. They can be found in the original via the link above]


In December 2012, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Sharing Success Through Storytelling

Our firm recently held its Annual General Meeting during which five of our senior partners were asked to share information about their careers and what has aided in their success. We are likely not alone when I say these meetings can be dry, very dry. The group of them asked for my assistance as they were unsure how to make the presentation entertaining.

We had 45 minutes to present 10 tips that made these five people successful. If you do that math really quickly, each person was only given a few minutes to get their point across – and being . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorist Act, 2015) Passed by Senate Despite Massive Opposition

Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorist Act, 2015) has been passed by the Senate despite massive opposition against its privacy unfriendly invasive powers. See, for example, commentary by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, this article by security law professors entitled “Why Can’t Canada Get National Security Law Right“, and this post on .

Yet in the United States, the USA Freedom Act was just passed that pulled back a bit on the ability of the NSA to collect domestic data.

There seems to be no evidence that all this invasive spying and data collection actually reduces or prevents terrorism . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

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. R. v. Delchev, 2015 ONCA 381

[45] In explaining how I reach this conclusion, I first outline the approach to the review of prosecutorial discretion, including the threshold evidentiary burden that must be met by an accused person alleging an abuse of process based on the improper exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Second, I explain why the Crown’s offer and the circumstances . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Law Society Complaints: What We Don’t Know and Why This Is a Problem

In many ways, Canadian law societies are now more transparent institutions than ever before. The Law Society of Upper Canada, for example, has adopted innovations like live webcasts of Convocation meetings, online Annual Reports and a frequently used Twitter account which allow for easier access and greater insight into what goes on at Osgoode Hall and why. And, of course, for those interested in what happens to lawyers “gone bad”, there is free public access to discipline-related decisions on CanLII.

Disciplinary decisions seem to be, indeed, one of the things that lawyers and the public are most interested in. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Articling Readiness for Legal Research

The 13th annual Edmonton Law Libraries Association Head Start Program is just around the corner. As the program page states:

Welcome to the 2015 legal research program designed for students and individuals wanting to brush up on the basics. From reference request to memo, follow the trail of legal research, including finding articles, books, case law and legislation while avoiding unnecessary costs. Research professionals will provide tips, tricks and inside information on how to find materials, select the most relevant, and organize your research memo. Give us your time and we will give you a HeadStart!

Reflecting on the purpose . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Halt and Catch Fire (HCF)

“An early computer command that sent the machine into a race condition, forcing all instructions to compete for superiority at once. Control of the computer could not be regained.”

Those words appear on the screen of the opening scene of the first episode of the AMC program “Halt and Catch Fire”, a fantastic show set in the early days of the personal computing revolution. Wikipedia offers further insight into the truth or fiction of the actual HCF concept, but my purpose in introducing the term is to use it as a framework to comment on the efforts of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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.


David Bilinsky

This post continues the theme of innovative technology for lawyers. John Heckman, a legal technology consultant for whom I have a great deal of respect recently wrote in his blog “Does it Compute” a piece entitled: Technophobe and Proud Of It — the Consequences. …


Save Money by Printing in Draft Mode*
Dan Pinnington

It is costly to replace the cartridges on laser and inkjet . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Enfin. a Good Paper in the Canadian Law Library Review!

I just read Mark Phillips’s paper recently published by the Canadian Law Library Review: “Charting Law’s Cosmos: Toward a Crowdsourced Citator” (2015) 40:2 Can L Libr Rev 13. Phillips’s text is sufficiently refreshing to merit the deliberately provocative title of this short post. Immerging oneself in it is like being 40 again: abundant criticism of the slow moving incumbents, strong expressions of idealism peppered with some good ideas. Such a reading is good for the heart and the brain.

The thesis of Mark Phillips is that full-text searching alone is hazardous for legal research. Citators could be useful, but they . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management

New Criminal Background Check Legislation Introduced in Ontario

New legislation has been introduced to impose strict regulations on what information can be released in a police record check. Ontario’s Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Yasir Naqvi, presented Bill 113, the Police Record Checks Reform Act, into the provincial legislature this week. Mr. Naqvi stated that “the main thrust of the legislation is to strictly limit the disclosure of non-conviction information and prohibit the disclosure of non-criminal information such as mental health information”.

This new legislation comes as a response to criticisms of the release of non-criminal information creating barriers for people’s education, employment, volunteering, and other . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Will Libraries Outlast the Internet?

Hannah Furness, Arts Correspondent at the Telegraph, reports that the Director of the British Library Roly Keating thinks this could be the case. In a nice piece on the future of libraries Keating says the following:

I was surprised, and continue to be, how many smart people ask me in all seriousness ‘do we really still need these library things in this age of smart phones, search engines’ and so on? … Our commercial partners in the information delivery space do wonderful things and we couldn’t live our lives without them. But the time frame we think

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

Do Real Names Lead to Civility?

It has long been thought that using real names in Internet comments increases the civility of the comments. Here is a large-scale study purporting to demonstrate that this is true.

Anonymity and Online Commenting: The Broken Windows Effect and the End of Drive-by Commenting

The abstract:

In this study we ask how regulations about commenter identity affect the quantity and quality of discussion on commenting fora. In December 2013, the Huffington Post changed the rules for its comment forums to require participants to authenticate their accounts through Facebook. This enabled a large-scale ‘before and after’ analysis. We collected over 42m

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, ulc_ecomm_list