#ThrowbackThursday: CCLA’s First Computer

Out of curiosity, we had a look through our old newsletters and found a reference to when the CCLA purchased its first computer. Apparently it was early February 1987 when we picked up a SPERRY HT, and were quite excited about it:


I remember growing up in the 80s with computers the size of desks and printers twice as big; the one the CCLA bought was a little smaller as you can see in the picture below, but it definitely brings back memories!


Resource Spotlight: JustisOne

Once a month, Robeside Assistance will feature a resource that we purchase for the library that you might not know we have. Our collection is full of great books, databases, programs, and other materials, so definitely visit us in the library if you’d like to use anything mentioned here!

This month we want to feature one of the online products available for use on the library computers, so we’re spotlighting JustisOne. If you haven’t used this before, prepare to be wowed.

Before subscribing to JustisOne, our ability to search through British case law was restricted to what was freely available on BAILII. We have British law reports dating back several hundred years, but they’re in paper format and that’s no way to research case law anymore. When we took a spin through JustisOne, we were super impressed with the clean design, the great research tools, and how innovative it is and different than other products on the market. In order to keep this post to a reasonable length, here are three of our favourite features (click on any of the pictures to make them bigger):

1. Key Paragraphs / Heatmapping

Paragraph Citing View

This feature is one both Brenda and I think is downright awesome. When you’re reviewing a decision on JustisOne, paragraphs that are highlighted in pink mean that those excerpts have been used in subsequent decisions. The most crucial of those paragraphs will be listed in the left pane – those are the “key paragraphs.” On the right hand side, where the actual text of the decision is, the darker the pink highlighting, the more cases that will have quoted that passage. You can click on the highlighted paragraph and open up the list of citing cases (and then click over to those cases to read those as well).Continue Reading…

Searching Federal Hansard Debates

Way back when I did a post about how to search through the Ontario Hansard Debates online, I made a note to myself to follow up with a companion Federal Debates post. This is me following up, after more than a year. Because, well, insert something about dedication (or stubbornness).

As it seems with all things in Canadian Law, online access to the Federal Debates of Parliament (“Hansard”) are scattered across several different websites, and your mileage may vary with each.

  1. Parliament of Canada / LegisInfo – If you’re lucky enough to be dealing with a piece of legislation from 1994 onwards (and the later you go generally the more linked content you will get for each Bill), the main Parliament of Canada website will most likely work well for you. You can trace Bills, click through to their linked debates, and see the reports from related committees.
  2. Canadiana – For earlier debates, use Canadiana.org’s Parliamentary Historical Resources site through the Library of Parliament. This site has the debates from both the Senate and the House of Commons, in both official languages, back to Confederation. The only downside here is that the search engine can be a little finicky. I’ve had the most success with it by narrowing the date range to the date you are interested, and searching the Bill number (not the chapter number of the Act), if you know it.


Like the rest of legislative research, trying to find Legislative Intent is unfortunately not an exact science, but hopefully the above should assist in getting you started. Also, I love doing this kind of research, so please don’t hesitate to let us know should you need assistance! 

#ThrowbackThursday: Elgin Street

I really love looking at old photos of Ottawa, and was especially excited to find this great shot when I was looking for pictures of Somerset House. Our current courthouse is located on at 161 Elgin Street, so most of us are probably quite familiar with the Elgin / Laurier intersection. But behold!

Elgin Street Arial View 1948

This picture, from around 1948, shows Elgin Street looking north, back when it was considered to be a ceremonial boulevard leading up to the war memorial. The area that looks like a big black circle towards the bottom of the picture? That’s Laurier and Elgin, and *that’s* a traffic circle! The northwest corner is the Lord Elgin hotel, and the southwest is the First Baptist Church, both of which still stand today. The other side of the street is a different story altogether – those buildings in the northeast corner of the intersection were torn down to make way for Confederation Park, and of course we’re now sitting in the courthouse in the southeast corner.

Upcoming Training: Lexis Advance Quicklaw

It’s finally here: the new Quicklaw!

Launched in the United States in 2011, it has been a long road to Lexis Advance Quicklaw hitting the computers at the CCLA. We received word two weeks ago that we were finally ready for the upgrade! Starting in September, access to Quicklaw on our library computers will all be through the new platform. The new look and design is much, much different than the previous version of Quicklaw, so we’ve arranged two training sessions for the Fall to help you get up to speed.

Session 1: Thursday, September 22, 2016 – 12:00 to 1:00 PM in the CCLA Library. RSVP.

Session 2: Thursday, October 20, 2016 – 12:00 to 1:00 PM in the CCLA Library. RSVP.

The instruction will be the same during each session, so attendance at only one of them is necessary (unless you really want to attend both!). As always, there is no charge for this session, but we do ask that you RSVP so that we know how many people to expect.

In the meantime, you can check out an overview of the features in this official launch video:


Recently Published Ottawa Decisions

Find below recently published Ottawa decisions, available for free through CanLII.org.

Family Matters

Green v Green (2016 ONSC 5091)
supervised access — emails — texting — children — age
Justice C. Hackland

Bridge v Laurence (2016 ONSC 5075)
substantive motions — spousal support — prima facie — agreement — affidavit
Justice J. Mackinnon

SAE v L.K.M.-B. (2016 ONSC 4999)
grand-père maternel — mère — africaine — preuve — capacités parentales
Juge M. Labrosse

Stimpson v Stimpson (2016 ONSC 5066)
father — child — access — days — best interests
Justice R. Smith

Continue Reading…

#ThrowbackThursday: Montreal Olympics, 1976

We get quite Olympic-obsessed at the CCLA Library, so there’s no better time to throw it back to the last (and only) time Canada hosted the Summer Olympics, which some of you might remember: Montreal in 1976. Our local connection to the Montreal Olympics of course is the Honourable Justice Fraser, who competed for Canada in Track & Field.


You can see more photos from Montreal 1976 on the Canadian Olympic website here.

Sites Unseen: Ravel Law

Last year I wrote a post on how to find free online access to American Case Law for us here in Canada. Well let’s add Ravel Law to that list!

While Ravel Law does operate as a subscription-based platform, some of its features, including its case law database, are available for viewing for free online (downloading the case is disabled unless you subscribe, however). It also offers additional features you would not get from the other free sources, such as the ability to visually map out references of a certain case:


Hovering over the different case circles will allow you to visualize which cases refer to which others. You can also narrow by date range or by court, and clicking through to the case on the right will open up the full text for you to view.

While some of its free features are limited, Ravel Law still seems to be a great source for those looking for free access to American case law, and its search visualization features are definitely fun to play around with!

#ThrowbackThursday: Hillary Clinton’s Ottawa Visit, 1995

Hillary Clinton made history last week by clinching the democratic nomination, but twenty years ago she also came to Ottawa as the First Lady and took in the sights. After the governor general at the time, Romeo LeBlanc, joked with the Clintons that they should have brought their skates, Hillary in fact did just that and took to the canal, telling her security team, “‘I brought my skates. I’m going to skate. My security is your problem.”

Newly Received Materials from LSUC CPD

Below are some of the most recent CPD materials added to the library collection. Each title links to the book record where you can view more details and the full table of contents. All materials are available in print at the library, or if you’re interested in only a couple of articles, feel free to email us a request for a scanned copy.

The Six-Minute Administrative Lawyer 2016 (Mar. 3, 2016)

  • Through the looking glass: recent cases on the standard of review / Nicholas McHaffie
  • Update on bias and independence / Emily Lawrence & Daniel Rosenbluth
  • Dealing with a deadlocked tribunal / Brian Gover & Benjamin Kates

The Oatley McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation 2016 (Mar. 31-Apr. 1, 2016)

  • The digital trial in coming / Joseph Obagi & Adam Aldersley
  • Developing a case for damages for the brain injured child / Roger Oatley & John McLeish
  • An overview of the changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule effective June 1, 2016 / Lindsay Charles
  • The new catastrophic definition: whole person impairment / Dr. Lisa Becker & Troy Lehman

The Six-Minute Criminal Lawyer 2016 (Apr. 9, 2016)

  • Unprovoked: the trimming of the defence of provocation / Susan Chapman
  • Update on admissibility of expert evidence / Professor Lisa Dufraimont
  • The thorny issue of jury deliberations / Carol Shirtliff-Hinds & Matthew Capotosto
  • Sexual Violence / Jill Witkin

10th Annual Family Law Summit 2016 (Apr. 11-12, 2016)

  • Temporary care and custody hearings / Charlotte Murray
  • Tax and the separated spouse / Steve Ranot
  • Setting aside domestic agreements & risk proofing your practice / Susan Sack & Kenneth Fishman