Canadian Open Access Legal Citation Guide

Nothing excites librarians quite like citation guides! While many people are familiar with the products available through the major publishers, our colleagues across the country have been busy working on an open access guide that will be free and accessible for all. We’re so pleased to announce that the Canadian Open Access Legal (COAL) Citation Guide/Guide canadien de la référence juridique en accès libre (RJAL) is now freely available on CanLII.

This guide is a continually-evolving publication, and there is an email included below for any feedback. Stay tuned as well, as there will be training sessions for this guide offered this fall!

You can read the full press release below.

The Canadian Open Access Legal (COAL) Citation Guide/Guide canadien de la référence juridique en accès libre (RJAL), which began with the desire for an open-access legal citation guide in Canada, is now available:

Over the course of two years, law librarians from across Canada worked together to create the COAL-RJAL Guide. The English version of the Guide is now freely available and hosted on CanLII (2024 CanLIIDocs 830), and the French version is in progress. The Guide is intended to be used throughout the legal field and incorporates feedback contributed by reviewers from Canadian courts, law firms, law journals, law societies, and law schools.

COAL-RJAL is freely available on CanLII, allowing anyone requiring a Canadian legal citation guide to access it online without financial barriers. This Guide will reduce the financial burden on law students, new lawyers, and sole practitioners and will also support self-represented litigants, libraries, and other organizations with an access to justice mission.

The Editorial Board of COAL-RJAL is a national, bilingual, and bijural group, committed to continuity of the Guide and continuous knowledge building. Regular Guide updates will centre the needs of the legal community by incorporating user feedback and responding to emerging developments, while maintaining long-term consistency.

The legal community’s support and expertise is the foundation for COAL-RJAL’s success. Explore the Guide on CanLII for writing, editing, or teaching, and give us your feedback. The Guide will be enriched by contributions from a diverse group of people sharing their knowledge. Connect with the Editorial Board at for feedback, volunteer inquiries, and more.

vLex Canada: New Subscription!

We have another new database now accessible at the CCLA Library! We’re excited to announce our subscription to vLex Canada. This includes access to both their AI-powered research tool, Vincent, as well as electronic versions to the popular Irwin Law book series Essentials of Canadian Law.

Vincent, AI-powered legal research

Vincent is a virtual legal assistant who, through artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies (Iceberg AI), finds legal citations, cited documents and the most relevant legal concepts in any legal document from 10 jurisdictions including Canada. Just drag and drop your document into Vincent and it will generate a list of documents for you to review including legislation, case law, books, journal articles and more!

We haven’t been able to play around with it much yet, but we’re looking forward to hearing how it works for you! You can learn more about Vincent here.

Irwin Law’s Essentials of Canadian Law

You’re probably familiar with the Irwin Law textbook series even if you don’t know it! Many of them can be recognized by a burgundy-coloured cover. They are very popular in the library because they are so straightforward and easy to read.

And now they’re even more accessible on the vLex platform – to read and search electronically! The Essentials of Canadian Law series contains over 300 titles on a wide variety of topics.


Interested in checking these out? Feel free to attend one of four upcoming training sessions! Click on the dates below to register:

This subscription was made possible through the Legal Information and Resource Network (LiRN) new Electronic Resources Suite for all courthouse libraries in Ontario.

LexisNexis Practical Guidance: New Subscription, Plus 2-Week Remote Access!

We’re so excited to announce that we’ve acquired a subscription to LexisNexis Practical Guidance! It’s not an exaggeration to say that this database has quickly become one of our favourite sources, as it contains some of the most helpful and practical materials we’ve seen in most areas of law.

There are Precedents, Practice Notes, Checklists, Calculators, How-to Guides, toolkits… the list truly goes on! We now have access to ALL of the modules, featuring the following subjects:

  • Capital Markets and M&A
  • Commercial
  • Corporate and Private M&A
  • Employment
  • Family Law
  • In-house Counsel
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Personal Injury
  • Wills, Trusts & Estates

This database will be accessible at the CCLA library terminals.

Remote Access

Although the COVID-19 remote access to Quicklaw has now ended, as a promotion LexisNexis is offering two-week remote access to Practical Guidance for Ontario Courthouse Libraries. Register here by February 28th for a complimentary two-week remote access trial of LN Practical Guidance accessible from the convenience of your own office or designated workspace. Your two-week trial period starts the day you register.


If you would like to attend training on this new resource, please see the links in this pdf for upcoming CPD-accredited sessions.


This subscription was made possible through the Legal Information and Resource Network (LiRN) new Electronic Resources Suite for all courthouse libraries in Ontario. More details on this new suite of resources will follow!

Free CPD Webinars from LexisNexis

We’d like to highlight some valuable webinars from LexisNexis for you, and better yet they’re free of charge! So if you’re looking for some interesting topics to round out your CPD hours this year, check out the LexisNexis CPD Webinar hub.

Podcasts more your style? They’ve got a couple of those too.

I particularly enjoyed, and can definitely recommend, the discussion on Tech & Litigation: Shifting Paradigms – The impact and transformative influence of AI on the legal industry.

Check them out!


Remote Access to Westlaw and ProView during COVID-19

Some more happy news during this strange time!

Thomson Reuters has agreed to help support Ontario lawyers with their remote work during the COVID-19 crisis. Thomson Reuters alongside the LIRN network of courthouse law libraries is providing all Ontario licensees of the Law Society complete remote access to Westlaw and an online ProView Library of legal texts and looseleaf equivalents covering the practice areas most important to you.

Please click here to see a full list of what is available. Initial access to these programs will be for 30 days.

If you are interested and would like to get started, please request access here:

For any questions on where to get started with WestLaw or ProView, feel free to visit the Customer Learning Centre, where you can find training materials, how-to videos and other resources to help you navigate and maximize your usage of WestLaw and the ProView Library.

Thanks, Thomson Reuters!

Remote Access to Lexis Advance Quicklaw during COVID-19

Lexis Advance Quicklaw Access

We’ve just heard some excellent news that we are pleased to pass along to all of our Ontario lawyers! During the COVID-19 crisis, LexisNexis Canada is offering Courthouse Library staff the opportunity to provide a link for a free 30-day trial of the Lexis Advance Quicklaw service to lawyers upon request. This means you can get remote access to our library subscription of Lexis Advance for 30 days; a timeline which will be re-evaluated based on the status of the pandemic.

Our library subscription includes case law, legislation, and an excellent collection of texts and commentary.

To request your 30-day trial, please click here!

Additional Resources

LexisNexis Canada has also extended free access to the following useful resources during the crisis:

Thank you to our friends at Lexis!

Available CCLA Library Services during COVID-19 Shutdown

The CCLA Library may have closed its physical doors for the time being, but we’re still able to assist you remotely with many of your legal research needs! Here’s what we can still help with :

  • Case & Looseleaf Searching: We still have access to Quicklaw Advance, WestlawNext, and Proview and are able to run keyword searches for you on a wide variety of topics.
  • Case & Document Retrieval: Missed the chance to grab a remote HeinOnline password while the Great Library is closed? Let us know if there are any journal articles you might need and we can forward them along to you!
  • Precedents: We might not have our print collection, but there are a ton of precedents available in O’Briens and Quicklaw that we can search for you to assist with your drafting.
  • Legislative Research: Historical legislation is confusing! (but we love doing it!) Let us help point you in the right direction with tracing or helping to find point-in-time legislation.

Unfortunately for the time being we are not able to assist with:

  • Scanning Print Materials
  • Interlibrary Loans
  • Eliminating pandemic-related anxiety (let’s all breathe and do some yoga)

So please don’t hesitate to send us an email if there’s anything we may be able to help with as you’re locked up at home! Wishing you and your families health and safety.

Ottawa Blog Roll: January 2020

Please find below links to a selection of recent blog posts or articles authored by the Ottawa legal community in January.

Civil Litigation

Changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure in Ontario
– Chloe Waind, Merovitz Potechin LLP

Ontario introduces amendments to simplified procedure – What does this mean for insurers?
– Jordan Wright & Cassandra Khatchikian, Gowling WLG

Consider Yourself Warned the Next Time you Lace Up Your Skates
– Michael Beeson, Low Murchison Radnoff LLP

Condominium Law

Status Certificates – A Checklist of Legal Considerations
– James Davidson, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Alberta Court Orders Removal of Dog from Condominium
– Mohiminol Khandaker, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Water Damage Flow Chart
– James Davidson & Nancy Houle, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Mould in a Unit – When Is a Condominium Corporation Responsible?
– James Davidson, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Chargebacks for Enforcement Costs – What Now?
– James Davidson, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Second-Hand Smoke – What Are the Rights and Obligations?
– James Davidson, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

The Crisis in Condominium Insurance
– James Davidson, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Condos Must Notify Owners Before Commencing Lawsuits 2.0
– Rod Escayola, Condo Adviser

Condos Must Act Reasonably When Imposing a Section-98 Agreement
– Graeme Macpherson, Condo Adviser

Condos Must Act Reasonably When Seeking Compliance
– David Plotkin, Condo Adviser

Condos Cannot Lien the Cost of Seeking Compliance
– Rod Escayola, Condo Adviser

The Condo Forms Have Moved !! Find Them Here!
– Rod Escayola, Condo Adviser

Construction Law

Regulatory changes for Ontario’s construction and environmental sectors
– Roxie Graystone, Merovitz Potechin LLP

Corporate Commercial Law

Incorporation for Real Estate Agents
– Jade Renaud, Mann Lawyers

Judicial Update – Bond Design Build Inc. v Wellings of Stittsville Inc.
– Christine A. Powell & Crystal McConkey, Soloway Wright

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2019 Clawbies: Canadian Law Blog Awards Winners!

Happy New Year! We can’t believe it’s 2020 already.

With the new year brings a new round of winners for the Clawbies, the Canadian Law Blog Awards! It’s evident from the blog roundups we do every month that we have a ton of extraordinarily talented bloggers, podcasters, videographers, and more in the Ottawa region, and we’re extremely happy to see that many of them were recognized for all their hard work in this year’s awards. We’re very happy our CCLA newsletter got a shoutout as well!

Congratulations to the following Ottawa-area winners!

You can find a list of all winners and descriptions of their work at the We look forward to seeing more Ottawa lawyers and legal professionals join the fray in 2020!


Ottawa Blog Roll: September-October 2019

Please find below links to blog posts or articles authored by the Ottawa legal community in September and October.

Civil Litigation

Ontario’s Small Claims Court Raising its $$ Limits
– David Plotkin, Condo Adviser

Two appeal decisions spotlight plight of self-represented litigants
– Robert J. De Toni, Merovitz Potechin LLP

What Happens When a Landlord Defaults on their Mortgage?
– Kelli-Anne Day, Merovitz Potechin LLP

Canadian Neighbours Go To Battle Over Maple Tree
– The Ontario Wills and Estates Law Blog

Recreational Trails And Non-Urban Property Use: “Risks Willingly Assumed”
– Najma Rashid, OTLA

No “Home Free” Defence for Commercial Host
– Edward Masters, Mann Lawyers

Is it Time for a Royal Commission on Occupational Illness & Compensation?
– Van Dyke Injury Law Blog

Injured Workers Seek UN Recommendations on Deeming
– Van Dyke Injury Law Blog

Interim Construction Adjudication Takes Effect in October 2019
– Bryce Dillon & Keith A. MacLaren, Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP/s.r.l.

Condominium Law

The 10-Day Countdown to Condo Liens is Not as Simple as it Sounds
– Graeme Macpherson, Condo Adviser

Condo Declaration May Not Impose an Obligation to Lease Parking in Perpetuity
– Rod Escayola, Condo Adviser

Condo’s Legal Bills Sent to be Assessed
– Graeme Macpherson, Condo Adviser

Court Expands Condo Lien Notification Requirements
– Rod Escayola, Condo Adviser

Harassment in the Condominium Setting
– James Davidson, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Buyer Beware: Enhanced Disclosure for Purchasers of Pre-construction Condominiums
– Emily Deng, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Condominium Landlords Can Be Held Responsible for their Tenants
– Mohiminol Khandaker, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

What’s in a Majority? The Buzz on By-Laws
– Andrea Daly, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

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