#ThrowbackThursday: CCLA Newsletter

Long before we started our weekly e-newsletter (which of course you’re subscribed to), the CCLA had a print bulletin. A few years back, we collected all the copies of this we could find in the library and had them bound in a hard-cover format. I refer to them constantly for information on the CCLA from years past, and I was curious when this was started (or at least, how far back we have copies of the newsletter). To my great delight, the oldest CCLA Bulletin we have is dated October 20, 1972 – perfect for this week’s Throwback Thursday!


Other notable entries from this newsletter include notice for the 1973 Law Ball, that the LSUC was looking to establish a lawyer referral service for Ottawa, and that a group of local lawyers had organized a dinner and speech by Earl Nightingale. That Annual Member Dinner under item number one certainly sounds like a ripping good time – perhaps we should reintroduce a comedic element to our AGM?!

As an aside, if you’re ever cleaning out your offices and come across old copies of the CCLA Newsletter or CCLA Bulletin, that would otherwise be destined for recycling, please let us know! We’d love to fill the gaps in our collection.

Resource Spotlight: Small Claims Court – Procedure and Practice

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!

A few years back, the CCLA Library started acquiring books from Emond Publishing that were typically written with the paralegal and law clerk audience in mind. In fact, some of these books are used as text books in the paralegal and law clerk programs. We were drawn to their very practical and step-by-step nature, and felt they’d be good for the paralegals and clerks we help, but also to students and new lawyers who are still getting the lay of the land.

One book from this series that became an instant hit was Small Claims Court: Procedure and Practice. Now looking much-loved, our copy has proven useful to many of our clients who have been preparing for their first Small Claims trial. With sample forms and precedents, loads of practical tips, and simply written instructions, this book is frequently off the shelf. We even made sure it hadn’t gone missing before we chose to write about it for this week’s post!

If you’d like to take a look at this title, you can find it in our texts section at KF 8769 K55 2014. While you’re here, we have quite a few books from Emond that are similarly good entry points to the practice in many different areas. If you’re browsing our shelves, keep an eye out for these green, softcover books.


Today in Legal History: Persons Day

Today, October 18, we celebrate Persons Day: the day on which in 1929 the historical decision was made to include women in the legal definition of “persons” under the B.N.A. Act, 1867. The decision itself, officially cited as Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General), was handed down by our highest court of appeal, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of Great Britain.


Agnes Macphail was the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons in 1921, but the Senate still remained off limits due to the narrow interpretation of “persons” found in s. 24 of the British North America Act. The text of that section read at the time:

The governor general shall from time to time, in the Queen’s name, by instrument under the Great Seal of Canada, summon qualified persons to the Senate; and, subject to the provisions of this Act, every person so summoned shall become and be a member of the Senate and a senator.

In their decision, Lord Sankey wrote for the committee that “The British North America Act planted in Canada a living tree capable of growth and expansion within its natural limits. […]  Their Lordships do not conceive it to be the duty of this Board — it is certainly not their desire — to cut down the provisions of the Act by a narrow and technical construction but rather to give it a large and liberal interpretation” ([1930] 1 DLR 98 at 106-107). This new concept of constitutional interpretation would come to be known as the living tree doctrine.

On October 18, 1999, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson unveiled a Women Are Persons! monument at the Olympic Plaza in Calgary, Alberta, which commemorated this historic legal decision. A similar monument honoring the Famous Five was erected in Ottawa and can be seen near the East Block on Parliament Hill.

We also have a book on this topic here at the library: The Persons Case by Robert J.Sharpe and Patricia I. McMahon.

Read More


#ThrowbackThursday: Criminal Law 1985

This weekend is the DCAO / CCLA’s 28th Criminal Law Conference, so naturally we dipped into our conference papers collection for this week’s TBT.


The first DCAO / CCLA Criminal Law Conference was held in May 1985, and you can see here the table of contents of papers from that year.  The colours refer to a rather unusual method of organizing the printed collection of papers; unfortunately a copy of the agenda has been lost to time so it’s hard to say if it was anything more than that during the conference.  Our old conference paper collections are always an interesting look at what was a hot topic during the time, and truly at some of the fantastic speakers we’ve had at our conferences over the years.

Sites Unseen: Jurisource

Far and away the most reference questions we get are asking for precedents or forms of some kind. We don’t have many french precedents in our collection, but thankfully Jurisource.ca is here to help with that!

A project by the AJEFO, Jurisource provides free access to french legal materials, including forms, precedents, and helpful checklists. The site is easy to navigate, allowing either a site-wide search or a browse through one of eight category choices on the homescreen. You can then search for what you are looking for, and narrow down your search results using the filters on the left-hand side of the screen.


Their library of resources is quite extensive, including acts, court decisions, studies, precedents, checklists, and reports. We offer Jurisource training in the library periodically, so if you’d like to learn more about everything they have available, keep an eye out for when the next session will be!


Recently Published Ottawa Decisions

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

Family Matters

Miller v Miller (2016 ONSC 6101)
recommendations of the realtor — costs — home — follow the recommendations — failed to comply
Justice A. Doyle

Barkan v Ovodov (2016 ONSC 6105)
child support — jurisdiction — forum — juridical advantage — conveniens
Justice A. Doyle

Brian McEwen c. Carole Lanoue (2016 ONCS 6176)
pension alimentaire — extraordinaires — études postes-secondaires — mère — dépenses spéciales
Juge M. Charbonneau

Dina Lorraine Belanger v John Kenneth Normoyle (2016 ONSC 6215)
support — spousal — child — income
Justice M. Charbonneau

Civil Matters

Scaffidi-Argentina v Tega Homes Developments Inc. (2016 ONSC 6056)
costs — reserved to be determined — sheard — determined at the time — advises
Justice L. Sheard

Accreditation Canada International v Guerra (2016 ONSC 6184)
costs — interlocutory injunction — aka — motion — preferable
Justice P. Smith

Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company v Lloyd’s Underwriters (2016 ONSC 6196)
excess — policy — insurance — coverage — contribution
Justice M. James

Owen v The Estate of Barbara Owen (2016 ONSC 6241)
costs — full indemnity basis — argues — condominium parking space — draft
Justice S. Kershman

Bearsfield Developments Inc. v McNabb (2016 ONSC 6294)
conveyance — creditors — fraud — genuine issue requiring — intent
Justice R. Maranger

Dhawan v Arnold (2016 ONSC 6304)
discovery — unexpected change in circumstances — liability — test — interrogatory
Justice R. Maranger

Criminal Matters

R. v. Madeley (2016 ONCJ 579)
victim surcharge — pressing — offenders — undue hardship — universality
Justice D. Paciocco

R. v. D.A.H. (2016 ONCJ 585)
cannabis — impaired — marijuana — probable grounds — drug
Justice P. K. Doody

R. v McCann (2016 ONSC 6057)
detention — vehicle — detained — police — snowbank
Justice. R. Beaudoin

Divisional Court Decisions from Ottawa Judges

Bart v McMaster University (2016 ONSC 5747)
faculty — complaints — harassment — business school — three-year suspensions
Justices H. Sachs, C. Hackland, and J. Thorburn

Court of Appeal Decisions of Local Interest

R. v. Manasseri (2016 ONCA 703)
death — evidence — murder — assault — joinder
Justices D. Watt, P. Lauwers and G. Huscroft

R. v. Sarrazin (2016 ONCA 714)
jury — in-dock identification — jurors — impugned comments — gang
Justices E. Gillese, P. Rouleau, and D. Brown

P.M. Snelgrove General Contractors & Engineers Ltd. v. Jensen Building Limited (2016 ONCA 728)
project — profit — expert — failure — evidence
Justices K. Feldman, G. Epstein, and B. Miller

Nadeau v. Caparelli (2016 ONCA 730)
nunc pro tunc — motion — joinder — assignor — equitable assignment
Justices D. Brown, A. Hoy, and G.Huscroft

Weekend Edition – October 8 & 9

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s going to be a busy weekend no doubt and Jen is off gallivanting in Europe, but here’s what we’re trying to read, watch, and listen to this weekend.


Brenda: “A Home Invasion, A Torture Session, One Lawyer Nearly Killing Another—The Gruesome November Night in One of Washington’s Wealthiest Suburbs.
Next up on my true crime longform reads.

Emily: Dracula – Bram Stoker
Fact about me: I love Halloween. As such, I usually reserve the month of October for reading spooky stories. This classic is simply amazing so far.


Brenda: Luke Cage
I’m sure I’ll find some time to binge-watch this between Jays games and Thanksgiving dinners!

Listening To

Emily: Quirks & Quarks – CBC Radio
I’ll be catching up on fascinating science with last week’s episode, which includes: “The origins of a good beer”, “Powerful microbe fights a crop fungus”, “Looking for life inside the red planet”, and “Trees survive the cold weather”. 

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 Estates Lawyer 2016 (May 3, 2016)

  • New rules of practice for estates: an overview / Suzana Popovic-Montag
  • Tax update / Paul Gibney
  • Dealing with personal property: the pesky and the practical / Marcia Green
  • The challenges of an insolvent estate: a side-by-side comparison of estate administration and bankruptcy / Benjamin D. Arkin

The Six-Minute Employment Lawyer 2016 (May 26, 2016)

  • Employment contracts: the jurisprudential tug of war continues / Kimberly Alexander and Rhea Kamin
  • Update on summary judgment motions: when should they be used? / Justin Tetreault
  • Ontario’s comprehensive review of the Employment Standards Act / Doug MacLeod and Katelyn Weller
  • Teething problems: the growing pains of workplace harassment legislation in Ontario / Laura Williams and Safina Lakhani

20th Annual Intellectual Property Law: The Year in Review (Jan. 21, 2016)

  • 2015 patent law update / Mark Davis
  • Trademarks update / David Lipkus
  • Copyright developments – 2015 / Margot Patterson and Andrea Rush
  • Trade-mark infringement: where are the courts going with the “use” requirement? / May Cheng, Mark Evans, Trent Horne, and Cynthia Rowden

The Annotated Guardianship Application 2016 (Feb. 25, 2016)

  • Annotated closing letter / Angela Casey and Kaylie Handler
  • The annotated guardianship application: the view of the public guardian and trustee / Jaël Marques de Souza
  • Ethical issues in guardianship applications / Susan Easterbrook
  • One neuron short of a retainer: the capacity to instruct counsel / Clare Burns

Upcoming Training: WestlawNext Canada

While we still have one more training session scheduled for the new Lexis Advance Quicklaw, we also have another Westlaw Next Canada training session scheduled for this fall. Join us in the CCLA Library on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 12:00 PM for an hour-long session led by Westlaw trainer Josée Provost. If you’re using Westlaw at your office, or like to take advantage of the great, free access we have here at the library, this session will show you how to use this database to its greatest potential. There’s no cost for this session, but please RSVP with us so we know how many people to expect.

To whet your appetite for what’s to come, check out this short training video on one of my very favourite features of WestlawNext: the Canadian Abridgment. Anyone who has been to one of my training sessions knows that I love browsing features in databases, so a video of browsing the Abridgment is my legal research dream come true:

Weekend Edition – October 1 & 2

Howdy, Ottawa legal community! It’s the weekend, so the reference desk is closed. But to give you some inspiration, here’s what we’re reading, watching, and listening to this weekend.


Jen: “Missteps Hamper 1999 Hit-and-Run Death Probe
Brenda sent me this article to read ages ago, and I’m finally getting to it. I’ve long found true crime stories to be interesting, and here’s another from the infamous Manitowoc County.

Emily: “Nightfall” – Isaac Asimov
Nightfall is a short story recommended to me by science fiction fans. It has been awesome so far!


Jen: All of Shomi.
This is a cop-out answer but count me among the people sad that it’s going away. I have two months to watch whatever I’ve been wanting to from the service!

Brenda: Jays
#OurMoment? Right? I’ll be in my blanket fort.

Listening To

Emily: “From Tree to Shining Tree” – Radiolab Podcast
This weekend I’ll be going for a hike in the woods to enjoy the fall colours, and think this will be an inspiring video to watch before I head out!

Brenda: “Bring on the Female Superheroes” – Christopher Bell, TED Talks Podcast
Having myself tweeted #WheresRey, I found this a very interesting talk on the merchandising of female characters in media, and the effects that it has on gender perceptions.