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Michel-Adrien Sheppard – Slaw

Canada's online legal magazine

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British Columbia Law Institute Blog Series on Financing Litigation

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 23:01:28 +0000

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) recently published a Study Paper on Financing Litigation that looks at six financing models that have emerged both in Canada and internationally that can help litigants pay for litigation:

  • Unbundled legal services
  • Third-party litigation funding
  • Alternative fee arrangements
  • Crowdfunding
  • Legal expense insurance
  • Publicly funded litigation funds

The Institute has started a 6-part blog series on the topic. Each blog post will showcase one of the financing models.

Two posts have appeared so far.

The first post is on Unbundled Legal Services. The second is on Third-Party Litigation Funding.

It is all part . . . [more]

Survey of 3000 Canadians on Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice

Sun, 10 Sep 2017 21:50:07 +0000

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) surveyed over 3,000 people in Canada to better understand their experiences with the civil and family justice system.

The survey was part of a major national 2011-2017 study by the non-profit organization on the social and economic costs of Canada’s justice system. The study was funded by a $1 million grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The CFCJ has broken down the survey results based on the following criteria:

. . . [more]

2017 Annotated Quebec Civil Code Available for Free on CAIJ Quebec Legal Info Portal

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:45:03 +0000

The 20th edition (2017) of the Code civil du Québec annoté by Jean-Louis Baudouin & Yvon Renaud is now available on the website of the CAIJ.

CAIJ is the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique, the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association.

The annotated Civil Code includes:

  • links to caselaw and commentary on each section
  • links to section-by-section explanations produced in 1993 by the Quebec Ministry of Justice as the new Code was making its way through the National Assembly
  • links to parliamentary debates in the early 1990s
  • concordances for the Civil Code of Lower Canada
. . . [more]

Fifth Bibliography on Access to Justice From National Self-Represented Litigants Project

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:37:07 +0000

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) has published Version 5 of its Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography.


From the description on the NSRLP website:

“Version 5 of the Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography includes over 100 summaries on access-to-justice material in the Canadian, American, and International context. Our latest updated Version 5 contains a specific section dedicated to unbundling and legal coaching, reflecting the increasing attention being given to these areas (…)”

The NSRLP, which flows out of the work conducted by Dr. Julie Macfarlane, Faculty of Law of the University of Windsor, describes itself as a clearinghouse . . . [more]

Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 18:48:41 +0000

Alan Kilpatrick, a law librarian with the Law Society of Saskatchewan (LSS), wrote earlier this month on the Legal Sourcery blog about a new Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories published by the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries (the linked version is a reprint by the LSS).


From the text of the Primer:

“This primer to legislative research is arranged by province/territory, with each table providing answers to seven questions.

  • Do you have a centralized resource for Court Rules (either print or online)?
  • Do you have any resources that help you with Provincial Point-In-Time Research?
  • What is
  • . . . [more]

    Québec National Assembly Guide on History of the Civil Code

    Sun, 11 Jun 2017 18:38:31 +0000

    The website of the Québec National Assembly has created a thematic guide to the history of the Civil Code of the province from its origins in France’s Napoleonic Code of 1804 t0 today.


    The guide outlines the major amendments and repeals up to and including those affecting the new Civil Code of Quebec that came into force in 1994.

    For each change, the guide provides a detailed historical description with associated documents (bills, parliamentary debates, briefs or “mémoires” submitted by stakeholders in front of parliamentary committees etc.)

    All the documents mentioned are available from the legislative library of the National . . . [more]

    Petition to House of Commons to “Fix” Crown Copyright

    Fri, 02 Jun 2017 16:28:51 +0000

    University of Alberta Copyright Librarian Amanda Wakaruk is asking people to sign the petition she started to get the Canadian government to fix Crown copyright.

    Her text has been shared widely in the past few days on social media and on various librarian discussion lists:

    “Canada is one of many countries stating a commitment to Open Government. It is also, conversely, one of a decreasing number of countries to retain a legal provision that gives the government the sole right to reproduce and distribute works produced for public consumption. For example, the vast majority of federal US government works

    . . . [more]

    2017 Law via the Internet Conference Call for Papers

    Sat, 13 May 2017 17:41:59 +0000

    The organizers of the 2017 Law via the Internet conference have posted a call for submissions.

    The event takes place at the Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey, October 19-21, 2017.

    The conference brings together people from the Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) from different countries and continents that together form the Free Access to Law Movement.

    The submission deadline for abstracts is July 30, 2017. Organizers are looking for papers on the following topics:

    • Development and Implementation of Standards for Preserving and Presenting Legal Information
    • New Initiatives in Free Access to Law
    • Technical initiatives and developments in
    . . . [more]

    Internet Archive Wins Webby Lifetime Achievement Award

    Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:10:02 +0000

    The Internet Archive, a non-profit that has harvested and preserved billions of web pages and made them available for free, has been awarded a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

    One of the Archive’s most well-known and coolest products is the Wayback Machine that lets users see what a web page looked like at various times in the past. The Wayback Machine is the librarian’s best friend.

    The Award was given to the Internet Archive in recognition of:

    ” … its unflagging commitment to making the world’s knowledge available online, and preserving

    . . . [more]

    Canadian Association of Law Libraries Letter on Eliminating Print Version of Statutes of Canada

    Fri, 31 Mar 2017 18:57:41 +0000

    Connie Crosby, President of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL), has written a letter to The Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, explaining the many concerns law librarians have about the idea of discontinuing the paper publication of the annual Statutes of Canada.

    The letter is in response to a CBC News report that the federal government might consider changes to legislation that requires that Canada’s annual laws be made available in print.

    In her letter, Crosby calls on the government to take care before any move to a digital-only policy, in . . . [more]

    University of Virginia Website on US Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

    Sun, 19 Mar 2017 21:22:04 +0000

    The University of Virginia School of Law has launched the Gorsuch Project, a website devoted to the career of Neil Gorsuch, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left on the US Supreme Court by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016:

    “Hearings on the nomination of the Honorable Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court are scheduled to begin March 20 and interest in the nominee’s judicial record is high. To assist researchers, we’re proud to announce the launch of the Neil Gorsuch Project, a website that assembles all of Gorsuch’s written opinions, as well

    . . . [more]

    Quebec Legal Info Service CAIJ Adds Commentary From McCarthy Tétrault

    Fri, 10 Mar 2017 17:10:25 +0000

    CAIJ, the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has signed resource sharing agreements with many major law firms in Québec that make their legal commentary freely available on the organization’s website.

    This week, CAIJ announced that it will now feature texts written by lawyers from the firm of McCarthy Tétrault. This means there are 29 law firms that share material with CAIJ in English and French.

    Their material will be added to a collection that already includes full-text commentary and textbooks including the Développements récents  (annual reviews of . . . [more]

    Supreme Court of Canada Statistics 2006-2016

    Thu, 02 Mar 2017 15:46:34 +0000

    Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Canada published a statistical overview of its work for the decade from 2006 to 2016.

    It provides data on the following:

    • “Cases Filed”
    • “Applications for Leave Submitted”
    • “Appeals Heard”: by category of law, by regional origin, as of right/by leave
    • “Appeal Judgments”: the number of judgments rendered each year, how many were unanimous, how many were delivered from the bench/reserved
    • “Average Time Lapses”
    . . . [more]

    Comments Pro, Con and Neutral on Trump’s US Supreme Court Nominee

    Thu, 02 Feb 2017 17:27:24 +0000

    SCOTUSblog, the well-known American blog devoted to analysis of the United States Supreme Court, has been providing great coverage of US President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit) to fill the vacancy left on the top court of our Southern neighbour by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

    Here are some links. Each of the SCOTUSblog posts below contains extensive links to news, commentary and analysis:

    . . . [more]

    Supreme Court of Canada Tackles Link Rot With New Online Archive

    Thu, 26 Jan 2017 19:07:36 +0000

    To combat link rot, the Supreme Court of Canada today launched an online archive of Internet Sources Cited in SCC Judgments (1998 – 2016).

    Link rot refers to broken URLs or to URLs that direct to the original site but whose corresponding document has been removed or relocated without any information about where to find it.

    From the Terms of Use:

    “The Office of the Registrar of the SCC, recognizing that web pages or websites that the Court cites in its judgments may subsequently vary in content or be discontinued, has located and archived the content of most

    . . . [more]

    Internet Archive Launches Trump Archive

    Sun, 08 Jan 2017 18:47:31 +0000

    Earlier this week, the Internet Archive, a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library best known for its huge (!) Wayback Machine web archive, launched the Trump Archive.

    As a January 5, 2017 blog post explains:

    The Trump Archive launches today with 700+ televised speeches, interviews, debates, and other news broadcasts related to President-elect Donald Trump (…)

    It includes more than 500 video statements fact checked by, PolitiFact, and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker covering such controversial topics as immigration, Trump’s tax returns, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and health care.

    By providing a free and enduring source for TV news

    . . . [more]

    Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada

    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 19:06:36 +0000

    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]

    New Law Library of Congress Reports on Encrypted Communications and Foreign Intelligence Gathering

    Thu, 13 Oct 2016 21:46:45 +0000

    In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., reported earlier this week on two recent comparative law reports published by the institution.

    The first, Government Access to Encrypted Communications, “describes the law of 12 nations and the European Union on whether the government, pursuant to a court order or other government process, can require companies to decrypt encrypted communications or provide the government with the means to do so”.

    The other one is an updated version of an earlier report entitled Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws that examines the legislation regulating the . . . [more]

    Law Library of Congress Report on Miranda Warning Equivalents Around the World

    Thu, 21 Jul 2016 22:22:01 +0000

    The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. published a report a little while ago about Miranda Warning Equivalents in more than 100 countries around the world, including Canada.

    In the United States, so-called Miranda rights are named after the US Supreme Court decision of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966) that determined that a person detained by law enforcement and interrogated must be made aware of the right to remain silent, the right to consult with an attorney and have the attorney present during questioning, and the right to have an attorney appointed if they can’t afford one. . . . [more]

    LégisQuébec Official Legislative Website Now Free

    Thu, 16 Jun 2016 16:58:25 +0000

    LégisQuébec, the website that contains official versions of Quebec laws and regulations, this week went totally free.

    The site which offers access to current and former versions of Québec statutes and regulations used to require a subscription for many of its more advanced features.

    The revised site has documents in HTML, PDF or EPUB formats.

    The material includes the consolidated statutes and regulations for Quebec, historic versions of legislation and regulations, the Table of Amendments to Statutes and the Table of Amendments to Regulations. Information on what period is covered by the historical versions is available in the FAQ . . . [more]

    Publications Nominated for the 2016 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing

    Thu, 05 May 2016 17:24:27 +0000

    Every year, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) hands out the Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

    It honours a publisher that has demonstrated excellence by publishing a work, series, website or e-product that makes a significant contribution to legal research and scholarship.

    The nominees this year are:

    • BC CLE Online (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia): CLE Online is the home of CLEBC’s online subscription services
    • Quickscribe 2.0 (Quickscribe Services Ltd.): Quickscribe provides up-to-date consolidated legislation, point-in-time legislation, and the current status of bills, regulations and Orders in Council from British Columbia
    • WestlawNext Canada
    . . . [more]

    Québec Bar Association CAIJ Portal Launches Special Section on Province’s New Code of Civil Procedure

    Thu, 03 Mar 2016 20:52:59 +0000

    This is a follow-up to the February 1, 2016 post about Background Material on Québec’s New Code of Civil Procedure .

    CAIJ, the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has created a special section on its website that brings together information about the province’s new Code of Civil Procedure that came into force on January 1, 2016.

    The Code underwent a major overhaul that aims to reduce delays in the justice system by giving priority to amicable dispute resolution processes such as mediation, arbitration and conciliation, and by increasing . . . [more]

    Background Material on Québec’s New Code of Civil Procedure

    Mon, 01 Feb 2016 17:58:33 +0000

    Quebec’s new Code of Civil Procedure came into force on January 1, 2016. It involves an ambitious overhaul of the way cases are supposed to work their way through the courts and it is intended to increase access to justice.

    CAIJ, the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), recently added an annotated version of the province’s new Code of Civil Procedure to its website (in the lefthand column of the eLois page, click on “Code de procédure civile (nouveau)”).   The annotation includes the sections of the new Code, a . . . [more]

    Canadian Librarians Track Down Fugitive Federal Government Documents

    Sun, 10 Jan 2016 17:49:37 +0000

    So-called fugitive Canadian federal government documents are documents that are available in print or on a website but that are not collected by an official depository program such as the federal Depository Services Program that maintains the Government of Canada Publications catalogue.

    A few years ago, staff at 11 Canadian libraries launched the Canadian Government Information Digital Preservation Network (CGI DPN), an initiative dedicated to preserving digital collections of government information.

    In 2014, the Network created the Fugitive Documents Working Group to develop strategies to collect fugitive documents.

    The Working Group has created a spreadsheet to locate and report . . . [more]

    Lawyers Who Have Won the Nobel Peace Prize

    Fri, 11 Dec 2015 00:07:46 +0000

    December 10th is the day on which the annual winners of the Nobel Prizes in various fields collect their awards in Oslo or Stockholm.

    The Nobel Prize winners in literature, chemistry, physics, medicine and economics gather in the Swedish capital. The winner or winners of the yearly Peace Prize attend a ceremony in Oslo.

    Law Library of Congress employee Jennifer Gonzalez has written a two-part post on the Library’s blog In Custodia Legis about the many lawyers and law professors who have won the Peace Prize:

    The list includes Oscar . . . [more]

    Canadian Government Publications: What Has Been Digitized?

    Fri, 04 Dec 2015 23:28:17 +0000

    Law librarians are used to receiving requests for help in locating government documents and reports, with requesters often expressing a preference for materials in digital format.

    Relatively recent materials should not be too hard to locate. In fact, there are new portals that have been created for the very purpose of tracking down digitized government documents. One example is GALLOP, launched a few years ago by the Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada.

    When it comes to earlier materials, documents, if they have been digitized, may pop up in any number of places, such as HeinOnline for federal statutes. . . . [more]

    National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Opens at University of Manitoba

    Thu, 05 Nov 2015 17:21:20 +0000

    Earlier this year, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its findings after its years-long investigation into the many abuses against Aboriginal children at Church-run Indian Residential Schools in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    This week, a grand opening was held for the new National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation located on the grounds of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. The Centre is the permanent home for all statements, documents, and other materials gathered by the TRC.

    As the Centre’s director Ry Moran explains:

    On this site and at our centre, you will find a vast collection of documents,

    . . . [more]

    Canadian Newspapers Release 9th Annual National Freedom of Information Audit

    Thu, 22 Oct 2015 17:40:24 +0000

    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]

    Ralph Nader Museum Opens in Connecticut

    Thu, 08 Oct 2015 22:31:09 +0000

    The September 28, 2015 issue of The New Yorker has an article on Ralph Nader’s Tort Museum.

    It is actually called the American Museum of Tort Law and it opened recently in Winsted, Connecticut.

    The museum is the idea of the famous American consumer advocate and lawyer Ralph Nader who comes from there:

    “Nader’s consumer-protection advocacy is the lifeblood of the museum. In the center of the museum sits a cherry-red Chevrolet Corvair, the car Nader disgraced in his 1965 book ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’.”(…)

    “In an unfortunate irony for the museum, its building is located directly across the

    . . . [more]

    Canadian Bar Association 2015 Election Engagement Kit

    Thu, 01 Oct 2015 18:09:40 +0000

    With the federal elections coming up on October 19th, many organizations have been producing lists of priorities, demands and positions on issues relevant to them and canvassing the major political parties to respond.

    The legal community is no exception.

    The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has produced an Election Engagement Kit that will “put equal access to justice on candidates’ radar and publicly call for enhanced federal leadership in this area”.

    The Kit includes tips for members on how to:

    • Ask questions when candidates come knocking on your door.
    • Attend and raise these issues at all candidates’ meetings.
    • Contribute to the
    . . . [more]