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Archive for November, 2016

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 research, writing, and practice.


Sway by Microsoft: The Easy Breezy Way to Create an Interactive Presentation
Law Society of Saskatchewan Library

Have you ever had to create a simple interactive presentation in a hurry and PowerPoint seems too daunting when you are in crunch mode? Give Microsoft Sway a try. In a few easy steps, you can create an online interactive presentation that you can make public, keep private, or share with people . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Idiot Lights

I’m old enough to recall cars that had useful gauges – the cooling-system temperature gauge, for example.

Nowadays they have on/off indicators, referred to as “idiot lights.” Such as the check-engine light. The idiot light that this morning is illuminated in my car. I’m writing this article while sitting in the dealer’s waiting room until they attach a computer to my vehicle to diagnose the problem. (And then charge me a bunch of money to fix it.)

The car’s computer system stores a diagnostic code that the dealership’s computer will retrieve, at least as I understand it. What I don’t . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

“The First Thing We Do, Let’s Poll All the Lawyers”

Courthouse Libraries BC (CLBC) just launched its #CLBClawyersurvey2016. Now we’re looking for sweet, precious survey fuel to reach the moon-like destination of 350 respondents—our statistically significant sample. By “survey fuel” I mean, of course, human lawyers in BC capable of clicking through a 10-minute survey. Eligible takers can start the online survey now.

CLBC has a long history in BC. We have served lawyers and the public for over 40 years in (and beyond) dozens of branches in courthouses throughout the province. This survey is the first of its kind for us, and it should help CLBC evolve  . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Limited Scope Representation Resources

The information and resources on practicePRO’s Limited Scope Representation page are intended to help you understand some of the risks inherent in providing limited scope legal services, and how you can reduce your exposure to a claim when working for a client on an unbundled basis.

LAWPRO’s concern that unbundling could lead to more claims stems from the fact that the biggest causes of claims against lawyers – communication issues and inadequate investigation or discovery of facts – are at least equally, if not more likely, to occur during the provision of unbundled legal services. See this LAWPRO magazine article . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Fall Information Update From Washington, DC

I’m back in DC after a lovely summer in Wisconsin and am catching up on the latest developments here. Our amazing U.S. election is finally over. Last spring I described the election as a circus. Actually it was not fun at all, but always surprising and often appalling to watch.

I have returned to my post as a volunteer at the Library of Congress, which has changed a lot over the summer. On September 14th Dr. Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress. On October 21st she removed Maria Pallante from her position . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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 seventy 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. Lee Akazaki  2. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada 3. The Factum  4. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog  5. National Magazine Blog

Lee Akazaki
The Trial of Hillary Clinton, the Lawyer and Woman

“The episode is one of … America’s most notorious cases of mass hysteria. . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

How Political Can a Judge Get?

It has been an important week. So important in fact, that one Hamilton judge decided to walk into court, fully robed in judicial attire, wearing a “Make American Great Again” baseball cap.

Never mind that Hamilton, Ontario is based on the north side of the border. The openly political statement by a judge in a courtroom has raised some concerns among some members of the bar,

“The clerk said ‘all rise’ and the door opens and Justice Zabel comes out. He is in a black silk robe with the crimson sash and the white tie. He has a poppy on

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

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. It’s a summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted, so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with (October 15 – November 11, 2016 inclusive).


Civil Procedure: Contempt
Morasse v. Nadeau-Dubois, 2016 SCC 44 (36351)

In Québec, the power to find someone guilty of contempt of court is an exceptional one; courts have consistently discouraged . . . [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) : L’article 151 a) C.Cr., qui prévoit une peine minimale de 12 mois de détention, est déclaré inopérant dans le cas de l’accusé, qui s’est reconnu coupable d’attouchements sexuels à l’égard d’une jeune fille de 13 ans alors qu’il était lui-même âgé de 18 ans et vivait une . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Profession and the Academy Reconnect About Legal Education

For the first time in recent memory, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and representatives of Canadian law schools met in New Brunswick on October 19-20, 2016 to talk about legal education.

A Brief History of Law Societies v. Law Schools

Here is some background that will help readers understand why this meeting was so important.

Canadian law schools have traditionally had a fairly free hand in setting their curriculum and the requirements for graduation. Law societies set the requirements for the call to the bar in each province. However, the profession has over the past century played a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada

Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada were published on November 2nd in the Canada Gazette Part II.

They will come into force on January 1, 2017.

The amendments include a new process for giving notice when an appeal raises a constitutional issue, as well as new deadlines for serving and filing appeal documents. An online Guide exists to help explain the changes.

The existing version of the Rules is available on the Justice Canada website. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Charities Political Activities: CRA Consulting on Rules

The Government of Canada has committed to modernizing the rules governing the charitable sector to ensure that they are operating in a regulatory environment that respects and encourages their contribution to society. One of the areas they are looking into is to clarify the rules governing charities political activities. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation