Yearly Archives: 2010

New Titles – August 2010

By Jennifer Walker

Of all the books in this library, the Criminal Codes are the most frequently consulted. The books look it, too – battered, a bit dirty, well-used. This is one of the reasons that the new arrival of Martin’s Annual Criminal Code brings so much delight each August – new, pristine Codes! An interesting note: according to many people I’ve spoken with, the dedication to the Martin’s Code is (at the very least) an Ottawa phenomenon. In Toronto, it’s Tremeear’s all the way. It would seem that Ottawa lawyers would rather use an old edition of Martin’s than a new edition of Tremeear’s – at least in this library! Our loyal Martin’s fans will be happy to hear that just today, we received our five new copies of the 2011 Criminal Code. This year, the Code comes with a pin number for mobile access (the same is in the Ontario Annual Practice as well). I haven’t checked it out on my phone yet, but if anyone does and wants to tell us all about it, we’d love to hear a review!

Check out the list and links below – we’ve also received some other popular annuals this month, such as the newest Annotated Ontario Highway Traffic Act, and Gold’s Defending Drinking and Driving Cases 2010, as well as some new updates to old favourites, such as the brand new edition of Waddam’s The Law of Contracts.

Continuing Legal Education


Supreme Court Library Tours

by Katie Tribe

Just a note that the Supreme Court of Canada Library recently notified us that tours of the Court and library are being offered to articling students next month. I’ve taken the tour and can vouch that both the Court and library are fascinating and beautiful; since tours of the Supreme Court aren’t available very often, I definitely recommend attending or sharing this opportunity with the students at your firm.

Tours are being arranged for the following dates and times:

French session:

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 at 9:30 AM – Court Tour
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 at 10:00 AM – Library Tour

English session:

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 at 10:30 AM – Court Tour
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 at 11:00 AM – Library Tour

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 at 9:30 AM – Court Tour
Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 at 10:00 AM – Library Tour

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 at 10:30 AM – Court Tour
Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 at 11:00 AM – Library Tour

When attending the tour, simply meet the guides in the Grand Entrance Hall just inside the main front entrance of the building. Each session lasts approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

If you or someone you know is interested in attending, contact the Supreme Court Library’s Reference Desk by email at prior to September 7th indicating your time and language preference.The Reference Desk will contact you for confirmation after receiving your email.

I highly recommend scheduling some time to check out this beautiful building and library! Of course, the CCLA Library is also offering tours this fall, so be sure to get in touch with us if you’d like to stop by!

Library Tip #002: Food and Drink

By Jennifer Walker

Fairly regularly, we’re asked in a hushed, anxious tone, “Can I bring, you know, a coffee in here?” I remember all too well the Draconian food and drink policies at my university library, and the resultant frantic chugging of a scalding tea in order to enter the library, or the attempts to sneak in a bag of chips (which must be the worst snack food option for a quiet library).

Here at the CCLA, we’re definitely okay with clients bringing food and drink into the library. Perhaps not a five course dinner or anything requiring an open flame (this really isn’t the time or place for crème brûlée), but the typical cup of coffee or a sandwich are no problem. In fact, we anticipate clients bringing food and drink to our lunchtime training sessions! We kindly ask that you leave no trace behind, and trust there won’t be sticky jam fingerprints on the computers, or coffee spills on the books. The cafeteria in the lower level of the courthouse is open until about 3:00 from Monday to Friday. If you’ll be here after hours, make sure to grab provisions ahead of time.

Ah, and of course, should you want to show appreciation to your excellent library staff, we wouldn’t be opposed to the occasional delivery of snacks for us, too! We have a particular interest in Edible Arrangements, or in a pinch, any variety of chocolate-covered fruit.

Quicklaw Features Roundup

by Katie Tribe

I recently posted about some of the new features available on Westlaw Canada, which is available for free here at the CCLA Library. Of course, we also provide free access to LexisNexis Quicklaw. While you may already be comfortable using this database to locate useful case law, legislation, and citing references, I thought I’d remind you of some of the other great products and features available on Quicklaw.

All Canada Quantums

All Canada Quantums are located under Quicklaw’s “Court Cases” tab, and are extremely useful for finding noteworthy case law. These topical quantums allow you to research noteworthy decisions across Canada, and are organized into topics such as child and spousal support, matrimonial property, personal injury, sentencing, wrongful dismissal, and torts, among others. Each quantum lists case summaries that include hyperlinks to the full text of the case.

Canadian Forms and Precedents

While O’Brien’s remains the most popular form and precedent collection (it is available in print and via a searchable database here in the library) Quicklaw contains noteworthy collections as well. Their Canadian Forms and Precedents collection, located under the “Forms” tab on Quicklaw, covers topics such as commercial tenancies, corporations, employment, land development, and wills and trusts, among many others. If you are a devout O’Brien’s fan, try contrasting Quicklaw’s collection with O’Brien’s the next time you need a precedent for some variety.

Halsbury’s Laws of Canada

Located under Quicklaw’s “Commentary” tab, Halsbury’s is a useful encyclopedic reference for summaries of legal topics, black letter statements of the law, and commentary. Personally, I like to access it via Quicklaw’s Source Directory; I find the directory is an easy way to choose the topics I’d like to search or browse. Halsbury’s reminds me a little bit of Westlaw’s Canadian Encyclopedic Digest, and covers a wide range of topics.

These are just a few notable highlights; some other Quicklaw features include Williston & Rolls Ontario Court Forms, and Words and Phrases Judicially Defined (in both Canadian and British court and tribunal decisions). Browse Quicklaw’s source directory to learn about the various legal journals that are also available (there are many).

As always, let us know if you have any questions or would like some assistance. Better yet, attend one of our Quicklaw or Westlaw training sessions that are scheduled for the fall! You can contact me for more information or to RSVP.

Articling Student Library Tours – Update

By Jennifer Walker

The CCLA Library staff will be offering additional tours of our collection on the following dates. Please RSVP with Reference Librarian Katie Tribe for any of the tours listed below. Tours typically last approximately 20 minutes.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 – 10:30 am, 2:30 pm
Thursday, August 5, 2010 – 10:30 am, 2:30 pm
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 – 10:30 am, 2:30 pm
Thursday, August 12, 2010 – 10:30 am, 2:30 pm
Tuesday, August 17, 2010 – 10:30 am, 2:30 pm
Thursday, August 19, 2010 – 10:30 am, 2:30 pm

New Titles – July 2010

By Jennifer Walker

With the summer months comes a slow down in Continuing Legal Education events. As such, we didn’t receive any new CLE binders this month. Where we’re lacking in new CLE, however, we have tonnes of new text books and annuals. For a neat little article on why on earth we’ve just received the 2011 version of the Ontario Practice when it’s only July, check out this entry from Gary P. Rodrigues at

Cool New Westlaw Updates

by Katie Tribe

As mentioned in past posts, at the library we spend a considerable amount of time helping people locate cases. Through time and repetitive use, we really get to know some of the nooks and crannies of our electronic database (think Quicklaw, Westlaw, Criminal Spectrum, O’Brien’s), and notice and appreciate when subtle changes are made that make searching swifter and more effective. One of our products, Westlaw Canada, has created a few new features over the past month or so that are really making us happy. Here’s a list so that you can start noticing and taking advantage of them as well!

1. Displaying the citation frequency of cases

Everyone knows the pain of having to browse through a large number of search results to find one powerful case. Westlaw recently made it easier to identify significant cases by displaying the amount of times the case has been judicially considered in the search results. When browsing the results, you’ll now see a note in brackets at the bottom of the case summary that states how many times the case has been considered, making it easy to determine its precidential value. The citation frequency is also listed after cases that show up in the citation list when you note up a case.

Westlaw also now allows you to limit your searches to cases that have been judicially considered. In the same way that you can limit cases by jurisdiction, timeline, and decision type, you’ll now find a drop down menu for citation frequency on the search screen. Pretty awesome!

2. Rules Concordance

I’m not sure how long this feature has been around, but it’s one that we’ve noticed and taken advantage of recently because a client was trying to locate an equivalent family law rule in a different jurisdiction. You’ll find the Rules Concordance in the “Browse Table of Contents” section of the main Westlaw page. It’s organized by subject areas that you can browse by expanding folders, much like other Westlaw Products such as the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED). Browse through the subject areas to find a complete list of rules related to your subject, separated by jurisdiction. Of course, the list includes hyperlinks that will take you to the full text of the rule you’re interested in.

3. ResultsPlus

Another new feature, ResultsPlus, suggests related analytical material (think links to secondary sources like the CED) next to your search results. If you view your search results in full screen mode, you’ll see ResultsPlus to the right of your search results. If you’re not in full screen mode, you can access it by clicking the tiny arrow in the upper right hand corner of your screen. When you are viewing an individual case, the ResultsPlus information will be listed under the “Related Info” tab on the left side of your screen. To refresh your memory, the Related Info tab is also where you’ll find links to the history of the case and any citing references. I haven’t used the ResultsPlus feature yet, but will definitely be checking it out, as I often find the best cases when using tools like the CED.

4. “Related Terms” and “Did you mean…?”

In a step towards the style of the powerful search engines we use on a daily basis (I’m obviously referring to Google here) Westlaw has added features that suggest related terms and notice spelling errors when you type in a search. If you are using search terms to find cases, you’ll now find a related terms box at the top of your full screen results page, listing related terminology that Westlaw will easily add to your search with a simple click. The related terms box will also show up on the main search page when you edit your search. Like Google, Westlaw will also now notice your spelling errors and suggest a different word at the top of your results list.

In life and in researching, it really is the little things that make the biggest difference. Thanks to Westlaw for making things a little bit easier for us with these new features; we hope that you’ll check them out! As always, if you need help locating or using these new tools and features, please don’t hesitate to ask us for help.

Library Tip #001: Photocopies

By Jennifer Walker

We’ve decided to start a new series here on the blog, that of tips for using the library. While photocopies don’t necessarily seem like the most interesting or exciting place to start (and it isn’t!), it seems like the appropriate point to begin with, in light of that pesky HST business.

Regular users of our library and photocopiers will notice a small increase in photocopy charges this week – now $0.40 a page. We’re not thrilled about the increase either, I promise!

In light of that price increase, and also to let you in on something that can make using the library even better, here’s Library Tip #001: buy a photocopy card! Or better yet – your membership card is also a photocopy card. Here’s how this works: you need a photocopy card to make the photocopiers work. The machines sit there idling until a card is inserted. Most people borrow one from us, but if you have your own card, you don’t need to ask us for one and if you’re a member, you can use it on the weekend or at night when we aren’t here. To help save you some cash, we’ve created discount photocopy rates – the more you buy in advance to put on your membership card (or a normal photocopy card), the more you save per copy. It also means you don’t have to check in with us before you leave to pay or create an invoice. You can peruse those rates here.

We have to note this, though, so you’re forewarned: if you use your own copy card, we can’t make an invoice for a specific client file. For some folks, this will be a problem based on how you do your billing. If, however, you don’t need that level of specificity in your photocopying, having your own card is definitely the way to go.

New Titles – June 2010

By Jennifer Walker

There’s been a bit of a book buying spree this month, which means a bunch of really neat new titles are making their way into the library. You’ll notice that this month I’ve linked the title to the publisher’s page, or in the case of the CLE materials, to the table of contents (when available). It will give you a bit more information about the book, should you want to preview the title before coming to the library.


Continuing Legal Education

Green Library News

If you’ve been by the library in the last couple of months, you’ve likely noticed all the development taking place to install a new green roof at the courthouse! The CCLA Library staff is a fairly environmentally-minded bunch (our front desk area may be a tad reminiscent of a greenhouse) and so we were pretty excited when the news was first announced. Lately, contractors have been walking around outside our windows working on the roof, and we’ve been able to track their progress. So far, there’s just been a whole lot of digging and moving around of concrete slabs, but we’re hoping the roof will be green and growing before the end of the summer. To quench some of the anticipation, I’ve been doing a little bit of research into some of the benefits of green roofs. Apparently they do nifty things like:

–  extend roof life by providing structural protection; green roofs last about twice as long as conventional roofs!

–  reduce heating and cooling costs; just imagine the difference between the temperature of your driveway and the temperature of your lawn on a summer day

–  provide sound insulation, reducing noise; certainly ideal for a library

–  create a beautiful aesthetic space while improving employee and client morale; many green roofs can also be used for meeting and recreational purposes

–  raise the profile and property value of a building in the community

–  assist in storm water retention and management

–  expand and promote green space while reducing dust and smog in the environment

–  provide a natural habitat for wildlife in urban areas

–  provide opportunities to grow flowers, plants, and food

Green roofs and green building design have really been catching on in North America in the last decade or so, and they’re already very common in many European countries. Did you know that Toronto recently created a green roof by-law that makes green roofs required on new buildings? While we’re not quite there yet, it’s wonderful to see some change happening here in Ottawa, as well.

All of the above benefits are certainly grounds for excitement. However, the really big news for both the library staff, and you, our library users, is that one of the large green roof sections is directly outside of the main library window. This means that we’ll all be able to gaze out onto the green roof while reading or working in the library!

These changes have really inspired me to look into other ways that we can make the library more green. I’ll keep you posted, on the roof and any of our own progress. For now, I’m just really happy to be working in a building that is a leader in Ottawa’s green movement.

If you’d like to learn more about green roofs, check out