Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for October, 2015

Vendor Quiz: Lexbox

Vendor Quiz is a periodic feature here at Slaw in which we ask a legal marketplace supplier a series of substantive questions about their product or service. Our goal is to provide insight and guidance to Slaw readers who might be considering a purchase, and who would benefit from practical information with which they can make a more informed choice. Vendor Quiz is an advertorial service, with each post sponsored by the featured vendor.

Lexbox is a free Google Chrome extension that helps you organize and monitor your online legal research.

  1. What does “getting organized” with your online legal research
. . . [more]
Posted in: Vendor Quiz

The Internet of Whose Things?

Much talk is heard, many tweets are generated, about the Internet of Things. Interconnected devices are everywhere, from your car to your home to your clothes to your body. This interconnection, it is alleged, will lead to great benefits, though sometimes it is hard to tell how, except for the people who build them.

We have looked at the questions of security they raise and their impact on privacy, as the Net connection pumps out data about your stuff, and by not-very-distant implication about you, to … just whom? With what restrictions?

The privacy authorities in Canada and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

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.


Noting Up Tip
Shaunna Mireau

I shared some tips about technology skills with some fine folks via webinar with CBA Manitoba’s Legal Research Section recently. One of the tech skills was about noting up: Note up cases for judicial history as well as consideration of decisions by other cases and legal commentary using multiple database sources (fee and free) …


Surveys and Law Firms
David Bilinsky

Lawyers are . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Augmenting the Practice of Law

In a response to comments in my last blog post about IBM Watson I mentioned a presentation that Kyla Moran gave at the last American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) conference. The presentation was called, “Contestant, Doctor, Lawyer, Chef: IBM Watson Moving from Jeopardy to the Legal Landscape,” and if you’re an AALL member you can watch the recording if you click that link.

For non-AALL members Jean P. O’Grady, Director of Research & Knowledge Services, at DLA Piper in Washington D.C., reports on this session in the recent AALL Spectrum: “Hand in Hand with . . . [more]

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

Legal Jargon – Alive and Well in Canada?

We were lucky enough to travel in England and Wales in early October. We travelled by plane, train, tube, bus and taxi (in addition to miles of walking). At the train station in Bath we picked up a copy of “Metro” – a tabloid type newspaper similar, perhaps, to Vancouver’s “24 Hours”. An article caught my eye: “Tough sentences…baffling lingo of courts explained”. An experienced (unnamed) barrister apparently believes that the jargon in the English criminal courtroom is so confusing (even law students cannot understand it) that he penned a colourfully worded dictionary to translate certain well-used phrases. Each phrase . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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. Barry Sookman 2. IPilogue 3. Combat Sports Law 4. U of A Faculty of Law Blog 5. Éloïse Gratton

Barry Sookman
By-passing paywall and circumventing TPM sinks fair dealing defense: Blacklock’s Reporter v CVA

Does by-passing a subscription paywall to access a news article violate the new prohibitions in . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Better Options for Interprovincial Motions to Change Support

When families split apart, they don’t always stick around in the same province. Sometimes that gives rise to challenge circumstances for resolving proceedings or updating support orders.

Justice Pazaratz examined a interprovincial motion to change support in Chree v. Chree. The judge, who is now known for his writing style, started with the following:


  1. There’s an old saying: “Two Heads Are Better Than One”.
  1. But not when it comes to trial judges.

  1. Two judges. Each hearing different parts of the case. On different dates, many months apart. Having to make decisions on the same case.
  1. It
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

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) : L’adolescent, accusé de possession de drogue à la suite d’une fouille sans mandat exécutée dans sa chambre à coucher, a renoncé à son droit à l’assistance d’un avocat de façon libre et éclairée; par conséquent, il n’y a pas eu violation de l’article 10 b) de la . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Friday Fillip: King of Dreams

I’m a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s movies. Yes, I’m an old man and these are animated films for children. And that’s okay, because both of the defining features of these movies can be the source of much pleasure for adults. Animation, especially the hand-drawn cells that come out of Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, lets the filmmaker do whatever he can imagine; and for me that’s one major value in art — its ability (I’d say “duty”) to take us to places we cannot go in our short, gravity-bound, lived lives. Then, to enter into the world of children is to . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Admissibility of Records Dependent Upon a Poorly Drafted National Standard

This article is about the poorly drafted proposed 2nd edition of a National Standard of Canada, which the Evidence Acts make necessary for discovery and admissibility proceedings concerning the use of electronic records as evidence. The admissibility of an electronic record requires proof of its records management “system integrity”; e.g.: Canada Evidence Act (CEA) s. 31.2(1)(a); and, Ontario Evidence Act (OEA) s. 34.1(5),(5.1). As shown by the case law, that is ignored, which is a failure to acknowledge the fundamental nature of an electronic record. Like a drop of water in a pool of water, it is dependent . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Canadian Newspapers Release 9th Annual National Freedom of Information Audit

What have our governments been up to lately? According to a recent study, it is not always easy to find out, with the federal government often responding with a glacial slowness to requests for information.

Last week, Newspapers Canada, a joint initiative of the Canadian Newspaper Association and the Canadian Community Newspapers Association, released its 9th annual National Freedom of Information Audit report:

“The 2015 FOI audit sent almost 450 access requests to federal government departments and crown corporations, ministries, departments and agencies in all provinces and territories, and to municipalities and police forces. As in previous audits, identical

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Amendments to Saskatchewan Essential Service Law

The Saskatchewan government has tabled amendments to Part VII of the province’s Employment Act in light of the Supreme Court of Canada’s January 30, 2015 decision, which struck down as unconstitutional an essential services law that prevents some public sector employees from striking. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation