News


Upcoming SCC Case: Keatley Surveying Ltd. v. Teranet Inc.

There is an interesting case being heard at the Supreme Court of Canada next Friday (March 29), which has a good number of people in the legal community excited. Keatley Surveying Ltd. v. Teranet Inc. is a case on appeal from the Ontario courts to do with the issue of the copyright of land surveys.  Here is the summary of the proceedings to date, as it appears on the Supreme Court website:

The respondent manages the Province of Ontario’s electronic land registry system (the “ELRS”). Documents that were prepared by land surveyors such as drawings, maps, charts and plans (collectively “plans of survey”) are registered in the ELRS. The public can obtain on-line copies of registered plans of survey through the respondent for a fee prescribed by statute, no part of which constitutes fees or royalties paid to the land surveyors who prepared them. The appellant is the representative plaintiff in a certified class action brought on behalf of approximately 350 land surveyors whose plans of survey were scanned and copied into the respondent’s digital database and made available on-line. The appellant claims that the respondent is in breach of copyright by reaping substantial profits at the expense of surveyors. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the appellant’s motion for summary judgment, granted the respondent’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the class action. The court found that as a result of the legislative regime requiring registration or deposit of the plans of survey in the land registry office, ownership in the property of the plans of survey, including copyright, is transferred to the province. They are then “published by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty” pursuant to s. 12 of the Copyright Act. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, holding that provincial Crown copyright is by virtue of s. 12 of Copyright Act, not the provincial legislation.

As section 12 of the Copyright Act is rarely judicially considered, particularly so at the Supreme Court level, interest in this case has been high. Several groups have successfully attained intervenor status for this case, including the Federation of Law Societies, CanLII, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL), and the Attorneys General of Canada and three provinces. For those of you with a keen interest in intellectual property and copyright, this is undoubtedly one to watch. (Which of course, you can do, as a webcast!)


Law Society of Ontario Bencher Elections 2019

The LSO 2019 Bencher Election season is upon us, and it feels more active and exciting this year than in the past.  A few of our favourite online legal contributors have set up special (and free!) features to cover the election and provide platforms for candidates to share their message, so we thought we’d spotlight those here.

LSO 2019 Bencher Election by Colin Lachance: Our friend and legal technology enthusiast Colin Lachance has set up a website for the 2019 election that aims to consolidate and organize information by and about Bencher candidates so that you, the voters, can make informed decisions. We really like that you can look up specific issues facing the incoming Benchers, and see what your candidates have to say on those topics. To use a completely random and unbiased example, here is what candidates have contributed so far on the topic of funding for courthouse libraries.

Of Counsel: Bencher Series by Sean Robichaud: Bencher candidate Sean Robichaud is taking his podcast “Of Counsel” on a special diversion for the election – the “Bencher Series” of interviews with candidates. The format is simple: candidates get nine minutes and are asked the same questions. You can listen directly in your web browser, or through your podcast app.

Bencher Elections 2019 from Law Times: Law Times has been heavily active this Bencher election season. Many candidates are linking right to their Law Times profile in their promotional materials.

CCLA Bencher Emails: An easy plug for our own service, but worth mentioning! As we have done in the past, the CCLA will be sending three emails to our mailing list at the beginning of April. One email will be for Toronto candidates, one for East Region candidates, and one for people from all the other areas of Ontario. There is no cost to either be on our mailing list (you can do that here), nor for candidates to send this message out. Details on that can be found on our website.

 


Pan-Canadian Project to Translate Court Decisions 1

The following message was shared on the Canadian Association of Law Libraries listserv, and we think it might be of particular interest to some of our readers.

 

Pan-Canadian Project to Translate Court Decisions
TARGET DATE : MARCH 8th 2019

Greetings. 

We have received funding from the Department of Justice Canada to compile an initial list of selected unilingual decisions requiring translation. The ultimate aim of the project is to increase the number of court decisions available in both official languages in all provinces and territories and thus to ensure that caselaw emanating from all over Canada is accessible to all. 

The project will favour the translation of court decisions which are more likely to have a serious impact on citizens’ private lives, notably in the field of family law and penal law. While decisions in these fields would be translated as a priority, other areas of law are certainly not excluded. We recognize that access to leading cases and landmark decisions in all fields of law is of paramount importance for the Canadian legal system. 

We are therefore inviting all the members of the legal community to participate in this ambitious project, which is a golden opportunity for the Anglophone legal community to obtain English translations of caselaw currently only available in French, but also to see that caselaw currently only available in English is translated for the use of the Francophone legal community. The participation of those involved in penal law and family law, whether as lawyers, professors or judges) would be particularly welcome. 

Please contact us with your suggestions at the address mentioned below. You may use the Proposal Form to transmit your suggestions. 

Note that we are inviting numerous stakeholders to participate in this pan-Canadian project, including members of the judiciary, all law schools, as well as Anglophone and Francophone lawyers).   

Karine McLaren
Director, Centre de traduction et de terminologie juridiques
Université de Moncton


Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario, January 1999 – October 2018 Update

The CCLA Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario has been updated to October 2018! This invaluable guide is a favourite with local litigators, and has been produced for the CCLA for several years under the leadership of The Honourable James Chadwick and with the assistance of students from the University of Ottawa law school.

To check it out, please click here.

For future reference, you can find this publication on the CCLA website under our “Civil Litigation” practice portal.

 


The 2018 Clawbie Awards: Our Nominations!

It’s Clawbies time!! For the past couple of years we’ve highlighted some of our favourite Ottawa Law Blogs, so this year we’re going to change gears a bit and nominate our favourite Access to Justice blogs:

National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP)
This has to be one of my favourite reads. The NSRLP’s posts always offer thoughtful, open, intelligent, and on-point discussion on access to justice and self-representation issues in Canada and abroad. 

ReconciliAction (University of Alberta Faculty of Law)
Frequently mentioned and frequently Clawbie-nominated, and for very good reason! It almost goes without saying, but this is one of the most hard-working group of people doing extremely important work. 

Legal Aid Ontario
The LAO blog features interesting topics and interviews, and is always a good site to have on your radar. I also generally love infographics, so the plethora of those tends to lend this blog to my tastes quite nicely. 


Courthouse Libraries Web App Launch

Do you often travel to different jurisdictions for court? Did you know there’s a Courthouse Library in the 47 courthouses across Ontario, and they provide services for visiting counsel? 

The Ontario Courthouse Libraries Association (OCLA) is excited to roll-out our new mobile-device-friendly app. The new website is designed to be a lawyer-centric portal to the County and District Law Libraries in the province. We’ve packaged the individual law library profiles into one convenient site, offering an easy-to-digest overview of the information, and services being offered. Some of the features include:

  • Highly visible quick link icons to contact information, location-based mapping, weather, and Association websites.
  • Find information about hours, access, electronic resources, parking, robing rooms, lounge facilities, value added extras, and more.
  • Quick library catalogue access to diverse resources, directly from the homepage.
  • A persistent header with a drop-down menu for easy navigation by Association or city.

Enhance your travel experience to another jurisdiction by visiting http://oclanet.com/webapp/!

You can also find instructions on how to add a link to this web app to your mobile homepage here!


Meeting Rooms Now Available for Reservation in the CCLA Library

For those of you who have had a chance to come visit our newly-renovated-but-not-quite-finished library space (and if you haven’t, it’s worth the trip!), you may have noticed our two newly-furnished meeting rooms opposite the library computers. To answer your burning question: yes – these are for you!

We’ve been asked about meeting space in the courthouse for years, so we’re happy to now be able to provide these Lees and Kealy Rooms for small groups (4-6 people) to use. Additionally, you can now reserve these rooms by sending us an email with your name, contact information, and the date/time you will need a room. You’ll receive a confirmation by email when the room has been booked.

Of course, before you go crazy here are some ground rules:

  • There are NO CLIENTS permitted.
  • Reservations can be no longer than 3 hours at a time.
  • Food and drink are allowed but please make sure the room is clean and tidy when you leave.
  • If you’re not here within 30 minutes of the start time, we’ll release the room.
  • Please make sure to finish up on time for the meeting ending – if you need to extend your time, check the schedule to see if there is room.
  • Priority may be given to larger groups, or groups who use the rooms less frequently.

 

So let us know if you’d like to book!

 


Book Giveaway! “Indigenous People and the Criminal Justice System”

One of our favourite “finds” of the last few years has been the books of Emond Publishing. We started to collect more from this publisher about five years ago, and in that time, books like Small Claims Court: Practice and Procedure and Civil Litigation have become staples of our collection.

In 2016, Emond Publishing started their Criminal Law Series, an on-going set of titles meant for criminal law practitioners, written by both defence counsel and Crowns. Just this summer, the most recent title in this series was released. We’ve picked up our own copy of Indigenous People and the Criminal Justice System: A Practitioner’s Handbook (written by Jonathan Rudin, the Director of Aboriginal Legal Services), and we’re thrilled to be able to offer a free copy to one of our readers!

 

 

To enter to win, head over to Twitter and give our tweet a “Like”!

Don’t tweet? Send us an email to put in your name! We’ll be drawing a name at random from all entries at the end of the month.

If you don’t want to wait for a copy or try your luck, you can purchase a copy of this book from Emond and use the code ROBESIDE10 for 10% off the price. That code will work until the end of November.

Thanks to Emond Publishing for providing a copy of this book, and a promo code, for this giveaway!


Translated Family Law Forms

We have a lot of forms and valuable practice information available on our Family Law Practice Portal; we’re pleased to work with the AJEFO in order to provide newly-translated versions of the following Family Law documents:

  • Most Common Errors When Drafting a Court Order in Accordance with an Endorsement (English / French)
  • Case Conference Template (English / French)
  • Emergency Motions (without notice) under Rule 14(12) – A Guide (English / French)
  • Standard Terms for Family Court Orders (English / French)
  • Confidential Application for Integrated Family and Criminal Court (IFCC) (English / French)

 


CALL / ACBD 2018 Preview

Brenda and I are heading off to the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) conference in Halifax this weekend, and as always, are very much looking forward to it. The theme this year is “Build Bridges / Broaden Our Reach,” a sentiment that resonates with our library and our drive to do more and work with more people. The CALL conference is an excellent opportunity for us to meet and learn from our colleagues across the country, and this year, we’ll both be contributing to the programming! Here are some of the upcoming topics:

Knowledge is Power: The Role of Law Librarians in the Future Legal Market 

Law is becoming a buyer’s market. Armed with unprecedented access to industry data, clients are ready to forge a new relationship with law firms, which themselves are facing competition from alternative legal services providers while coping with shrinking retainers and internal succession crises. In this time of upheaval, many old assumptions are falling away, and new approaches to the business of law are emerging.

In the coming years, law firms will generate revenue from a diverse range of sources — including technology-driven products and the contributions of skilled “non-lawyers” — rather than from the billable efforts of lawyers alone. The critical elements in these new offerings will be knowledge, data and information — and that will make law librarians and legal knowledge managers some of the most important people in the legal world.

Jordan Furlong, a leading legal market analyst and industry consultant, will explain the forces that have brought about such widespread change in the law, describe the key features of both tomorrow’s clients and tomorrow’s law firms, and share his insights and forecasts about the role that law librarians and legal knowledge managers will play in the law firms of the future.

Competitive Intelligence & Government Docs: Find, Use & Create Actionable Intelligence

Locating and analyzing government information can be a daunting and convoluted task, however honing these skills can give you an edge in conducting competitive intelligence (CI) and business research for lawyers and their clients. Among other things, government information can be used to:

  • Keep lawyers and clients abreast of regulatory and legislative changes,
  • Gather intel on clients and client competitors, and
  • Provide data for benchmarking and forecasting.

This hands-on session will present a few case studies- employing analytical CI frameworks and government information to create actionable intelligence. A variety of government information including regulatory changes, access to information requests, parliamentary, and ministerial/departmental information will be covered. Attendees will leave this session with an understanding of basic CI frameworks, how to locate a variety of government information, and how to combine these to create actionable intelligence.

The Crown, The Copyright, and The Law

November 7, 2017 marked five years since the 2012 Copyright Modernization Act was implemented, a point by which a review of the Act is mandated. Surrounding months have seen wide discussion of Canada’s copyright regime. Librarian Amanda Wakaruk launched ePetition E-1116, a laudable attempt to assure availability of government publications. Digging deeper, there is a plausible argument that with respect to primary law of Canada – legislation and case law – Crown copyright, or indeed copyright protection generally, has never subsisted, nor should it.

This session will pursue an analysis of Canadian copyright legislation, judicial interpretation, theory, and comparative law including Indigenous law, to elucidate the contention that primary law is a copyright-free zone in this country and should be formally recognized as such. The session will also explore the possibilities and implications that might arise from such recognition, particularly for wide publication of open primary law and creative opportunities.

As I mentioned above, Brenda and I will also be presenting this year. Brenda will be leading a session on the super useful website Canva, which allows you to make really nice graphics without being a designer, while I’ll be giving a lightning talk on our Will Check program. It’s going to be a busy, but undoubtedly excellent, conference!