End of Year Round-Up

It’s hard to believe it’s almost 2017! (And really, good riddance 2016.) With our Clawbie noms out yesterday, we’re wrapping things up this week before the holiday break. We’re very happy with what we achieved this year with the launch of Robeside Assistance, and we’re excited to go into the new year with a whole bunch of ideas for new content. In the meantime, though, here’s a quick look back at our favourite posts that we made this year.

By far our most popular series are the Recently Published Ottawa Decisions and the Blog Rolls, so we won’t be including those, but here are some others worth a read!

  • How to Find Unreported Decisions – In our technologically-antiquated Ontario court system there’s no real good way of going about finding decisions that were never published, but here we present your best options for getting your hands on those difficult-to-find decisions.
  • Tools We Love: Doodle – We love free things that make our lives easier! Using Doodle to schedule meetings does both of those things, and here’s a quick tutorial to show you how great it is.
  • Sites Unseen: Lipad – In the Sites Unseen series we featured legal research sites and tools that might be lesser known. A newcomer on the scene and one of my favourite new resources is Lipad, which is a new interface for accessing the Federal Hansard Debates.
  • #ThrowbackThursday: Somerset House – We had so much fun researching old Ottawa photos and history for our Throwback Thursdays, and when the Somerset House came into the news this was a perfect opportunity to do so!

Thanks so much for your support and readership this year; it’s been a blast. Wishing you all the very best of holidays and a Happy New Year!


The 2016 Clawbie Awards: Our Nominees!

Clawbies Logo

It’s the most exciting time of the year for Canadian law blogs – the Clawbies! A quick recap: the Clawbies have been awarded each year since 2006 to Canadian law blogs for their work over the previous year. Nominations come from the blogging community itself, in posts like these or on Twitter (look for the hashtag #clawbies2016).

We’re super excited to name our three nominees for the Clawbies this year. We’ve kept in mind the key characteristics of a legal blog (practical, genuine, conversational, and improving the legal system), and we also wanted to pick some of our local favourites. We’re only allowed to pick three (but we love all of you, Ottawa, we promise!), so here they are:


Michael Spratt
Michael Spratt (Abergel Goldstein & Partners) / @MSpratt

We became huge fans of Michael’s work when he started doing episode recaps of the Netflix show “Making a Murderer” on his podcast The Docket.  As the old saying goes, come for the Wisconsin true crime, stay for the interesting, thoughtful, and provocative posts on the Canadian legal landscape.  Michael’s dedication to the criminal justice system inspires us, and his blog has become essential reading. 

Some of our favourite blog posts this year:


Labour Pains
Sean Bawden (Kelly Santini LLP) / @SeanBawden

Sean’s blog has been an inspiration to us for a long time. His analysis of recent labour and employment decisions and the ramifications for the reader as either an employer or employee are well written and incredibly useful. Also, we love a punny name (obviously). 

Some of our favourite blog posts this year:


Anne-Marie McElroy
Anne-Marie McElroy (McElroy Law) / @ammcelroy

When Brenda does her Ottawa Blog Roll posts, Anne-Marie’s posts are always among her favourites. Don’t tell the others, but this is the first blog name she yelled out when nomination time came! 

Some of our favourite blog posts this year:



CCLA Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario – October 2016 Update

This one is hot off the press! Just this morning, we were sent the latest update to our Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario. This guide has been produced for the CCLA for several years, with the assistance of students from the University of Ottawa law school, and under the leadership of The Honourable James Chadwick. This year’s update was prepared by Caleb Timmerman – we thank him tremendously for his work on the project!

To check it out, please click here. For your future reference, you can find this publication on the CCLA website under our “Civil Litigation” practice portal.

Also, if you’re looking for the CCLA’s Compendium of Costs, our most recent update is from 2013 – you can find that here.

Preview: 2016 CALL/ACBD Conference

Next week, Jen and Brenda will be attending the 2016 CALL/ACBD Conference in Vancouver, BC. This is the leading professional development opportunity for legal information professionals in Canada, and is an excellent opportunity to meet and learn from other people working in firm, academic, government, and courthouse libraries across the country. It’s also where we learn about new products coming out from vendors, and notable legal developments.

Of all of the sessions coming up over three days, here are some of the topics we’re most excited for:

“Webinars: Doing it Right” – Brenda will be attending this pre-conference half-day session, which is timely and highly relevant to us here at the CCLA, since we’ve finally made the plunge into providing legal research webinars. She is very excited to get some great tips on how to make our webinars top notch.

“Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About US Legal Research But Were Afraid to Ask!: US Legal Research for Canadians” – There’s plenty we’d like to know but have been to afraid to ask, so this session is perfect! Currently, the only things Jen knows for sure about US law is that Louisiana follows a Civil Code (much like Quebec), and that you can find US decisions on Google Scholar. Ready to take lots of notes during this session!

“Research in the Real World” – This session is all about the collaborative program Research in the Real World that was conducted in Calgary, between academic, firm, and courthouse law librarians for summer students to develop practice-focused legal research skills. Sounds right up our alley!

“Computers in Legal Research” – Brenda is really excited to attend this discussion on the future of Watson-type AI in the legal world, and the extent to which computers might be capable of replacing lawyers in the future (and the inevitable Skynet uprising of course!).

Librarians love to live tweet events, so if you want to check in on the conference, look for #CALLACBD2016 on Twitter.

Welcome (back) to Robeside Assistance! 2

Since we started posting Ottawa decisions round-ups in 2010, we’ve had hundreds of visitors to our blog every month. Recently, we started compiling blog posts from legal folks in the Ottawa area, which our readers have responded enthusiastically to as well. So thank you for reading!

Through all this, we’ve never found the name “CCLA Library Blog” to be very inspiring. We decided it was time for a facelift and a new name. Robeside Assistance is a phrase we’ve been toying around with for a long time, and it finally occurred to us that it was perfect for the blog. The CCLA Library is your courthouse library, and we’re here to help you in your legal research (whether you’re gowned or not, of course!). Legal research is expensive and time consuming. Let us assist you – save time, save money, and get access to some of the best legal research products on the market. We’ll use this space to talk about legal research and products, upcoming training, tips and tricks, and of course, the popular decisions and blogs compilations.

We’ll be sticking to a more regular publishing schedule, so feel free to subscribe to the blog by email, or follow us on Twitter to catch posts as they happen. We’ll also continue to include many of our posts in the CCLA News email newsletter every Wednesday.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy the new look and name of our site!

Compendium of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Actions Across Ontario, Updated to Oct. 2015

Every year a team under The Honourable Justice Chadwick publishes a table of damage awards in personal injury actions across Ontario. We are pleased to provide this year’s copy of the compendium, updated to October 31, 2015. You can download the compendium here, or on the CCLA website’s Civil Litigation Practice Portal.

Many thanks to Justice Chadwick and Gwendolen Boyle, law student at the university of Ottawa, for compiling the updated list!

JustisOne: New British Case Law Subscription

One of the most frequent services we provide here in the library is the locating of old case law, quite often old British cases that are not available on the basic Lexis or Carswell subscriptions. We have been keeping our eye out for an affordable solution to having to trudge through and scan the old British case reporters, and after demoing JustisOne for the past month we are pleased to announce it as a new subscription available for use here at the CCLA library!


With JustisOne we now have electronic in-library access to a wealth of British case law and legislation, including noted up links to Canadian case law as well.

Beyond the access to British materials, JustisOne also re-envisions the case law search, eliminating boolean searching in favour of a category searching system that gives more applicable and refined search results. Some of my other favourite features include the Precedent Maps, which visualize how the case law has been treated, and the Key Paragraphs, which eliminates the guesswork of noting up by directly linking to the paragraphs that have been quoted in subsequent decisions.


We’ve greatly enjoyed playing around with this new software, and we are excited that it is now available for library users as well! If you need access to British materials you can feel free to come and try it out yourself, or as always you can get in touch with us and we will be happy to send them to you.

From Your Library: Online Access to LSUC CPD

I’m sure most of you are well aware of the valuable Continuing Professional Development programs that are held by the Law Society in Toronto every year. Perhaps you’re even aware that the CCLA Library receives the materials from these programs in our collection. What is lesser known we find, is the fact that most of these papers are available online through a service called Access CLEAccess CLE provides LSUC articles since 2004, and articles that are older than 18 months are free of charge. Some of these papers include:

  • The popular Annotated Document series (i.e. Annotated Shareholder Agreement, Annotated Guardianship Documents, Annotated Employment Agreements, etc.)
  • Presentations on more obscure areas of law
  • Case Commentaries and Analysis
  • Practical Practice Management Tips
  • And many more!

The unfortunate part of all of this is that the search engine for Access CLE is somewhat frustrating to use and many find it difficult to locate what they are looking for. Instead, the best way to search for articles is by using the Infolocate search engine, which integrates Access CLE into its collection. You can search as follows:

  1. Head to
  2. In the dropdown menu that reads “All Libraries”, scroll to the bottom and select “Access CLE”, so that your search bar looks like this: infolocate
  3. Enter search terms in the box and select search. This will search only online articles that are available for download.

If you prefer, you can also browse what is available by going to the Access CLE website. Click on your area of law under “Browse Collections”, and select which year you would like to browse.

As mentioned, the CCLA collects all of these materials in print as well, so if there is something you would like that was released in the past 18 months, we can get that for you for free. Just give us a shout!

Chat Service Now Available!

Research made even easier! We are pleased to announce that you can now contact the CCLA Library through our new chat service. Simply click on the “Chat Now” button to connect with one of our Library Staff.

chatNow during regular office hours (8:30am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday), you can chat with a Librarian and get case searches, precedents, historical legislation, secondary sources, document retrieval, and more, all free of charge.

So make sure to bookmark this page for the next time you need legal resources!

Library Tours for Summer Students

We are always excited to welcome new students to the CCLA Library! In anticipation of the influx of new summer and articling students we have scheduled some tours for the end of May and beginning of June.

These tours are a great opportunity to meet library staff and learn about library resources, training opportunities, and legal services which may support and assist you in your practice. We also encourage any and all to sign up for the CCLA Newsletter to begin learning about news, events, and opportunities in the East Region.

Tours will be held beginning May 12 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 AM, and usually take between 15 to 20 minutes. Please email or call 613-233-7386 x221 to schedule a tour.