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!


Resource Spotlight: Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Canadian Precedents of Pleadings, 3rd Edition

I was tempted to title this post “Omg, we love this book!” Don’t mistake my staid title for a lack of enthusiasm, though: we still really love this book, and were very excited to grab the newest edition when it came out at the end of last year. You may have noticed it in our most recent round-up of new titles in the library, but this is such a favourite of ours that it deserves its own post. You may recall we highlighted the second edition, so if you’ve become a fan of this book too, here’s your notice that a new edition is out!

The third edition of Canadian Precedents of Pleadings has grown to a rather thick three volumes. A comparison of the (excellently detailed) table of contents reveals new sections on the following:

  • Aboriginal Law
  • Arbitration
  • Aviation
  • Debtor-Creditor
  • Environmental Law
  • Family Law
  • Immigration
  • Information Technology
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Plain Language
  • Restitution
  • Wills and Estates

As with previous editions, this title comes with a CD-ROM of precedents, which is quite useful if you decide you’d like to use any of these in your practice. You can find this book in our temporary library at KF 8868.1 B85 2017, or ask any of the library staff for help.


Resource Spotlight: The Criminal Law Series by Emond Publishing

We’ve written about books from Emond Publishing before on Robeside Assistance, and we wanted to do so again to feature a relatively new series they have available. With the first book in the series published just last year, Emond has launched their “Criminal Law Series.” This series, currently up to four published titles, features easy to read and concise books on many aspects of the criminal justice system and criminal law practice, authored by both defence and Crown counsel. These books are geared toward the criminal law practitioner, and would be superb for anyone new to this area of law or would like a refresher.

Just last week, we received their newest entry to the series – Prosecuting and Defending Sexual Offence Cases: A Practitioner’s Handbook. To check out more about this book, including a summary table of contents, click here. This book joins other titles we’ve previously purchased, on youth criminal justice, extradition, and criminal appeals. The next titles to be published are scheduled to be on digital evidence and fraud cases, and we’re greatly looking forward to adding those to the collection.  If you’d like to review any of these books at our library, you’ll find these in the criminal law section of the Texts collection (or just ask us as the front desk!).

Resource Spotlight: Law and Law Breaking in Game of Thrones

The new season of Game of Thrones is less than a month away! A couple years ago, Jen (reluctantly) ordered me one of my favourite items in our collection: a short special edition from Lexis on Law and Law Breaking in Game of Thrones. The book contains a series of essays analyzing some of the legal issues brought up in the TV show.

From dispute resolution (trial by combat) to patents (wildfire) to laws of succession, this book is definitely a fun break from your regular reading.

Here are the titles of the essays included:

  • Engagement, authenticity, and resistance : using Game of thrones in teaching law / Mary Heath and Sal Humphreys
  • ‘You will never walk again … but you will fly’ : human augmentation in the known world / Catherine Easton
  • ‘Nothing burns like the cold’ : except for wildfire : how patents could win the game of thrones / Catherine Bond and Stephanie Crosbie
  • And the gods will judge : trial by combat in Game of thrones / John G. Browning and Amanda C. Brown
  • Arbitration by combat / Michael Smith and Raj Shah
  • Exploring imaginative legal history : the legalism of the House Stark in the Game of thrones / Jaakko Husa
  • ‘When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die’ : concepts of justice in George R.R. Martin’s A song of ice and fire / Alyce McGovern, Jenny Wise and Nathan Wise

As a former medieval studies major, I especially enjoyed reading about the history of trials by combat and how they evolved, versus how they are portrayed in the show.

If you need to tide yourself over until the new season, you can find this book on our New Books shelf in the library!

Resource Spotlight: The Comprehensive Guide to Legal Research, Writing & Analysis

Our newest “Oh my god, I love that book” title in the library is the excellent The Comprehensive Guide to Legal Research, Writing & Analysis. The second edition of this book came out last year, and it has won the praise of our library staff, both experienced and novice. Brenda and Emily enjoy the clear instructions for performing specific legal research tasks, particularly the wonderful use of full-colour screen grabs. Brenda (our more experienced law librarian) has found the book quite useful for researching jurisdictions outside of Ontario, for which this book has a chapter dedicated to each province and territory. Emily, who is a newer librarian, has enjoyed referring to the book for a wide variety of tasks, especially for those tricky numbers like finding Hansard debates. She’s even photocopied excerpts from the book to keep close at hand in case she needs them in the future.

We’re currently hoarding this book behind the main counter, but you will be able to find it soon at KF 240 M33 2016 in the “Reference” stacks (near the work tables).

Resource Spotlight: Indigenous Writes – A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada


Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada is currently stored on our “New Books” shelf, and I can easily say I’ve seen more people pick this book up to flip through than any other book we’ve had on the shelf before. Written by Chelsea Vowel, who can be found online at her Twitter handle @apihtawikosisan and website âpihtawikosisân, this book delivers an excellent discussion on Indigenous issues. Sample chapters include “Settling on a Name: Names for Non-Indigenous Canadians,” “Got Status? Indian Status in Canada,” and “What is Cultural Appropriation? Respecting Cultural Boundaries” (among many, many more). Recently, Vowel was interviewed on the CBC radio program “Unreserved” – you can listen to that segment here. If you miss this book while it’s on the new releases shelf, you’ll be able to find it later at E78 .C2 V69 2016.

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.


Resource Spotlight: CHRR Online

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!

As we frequently remind researchers (and even ourselves), there’s no one complete source for case law. Neither Westlaw, Quicklaw, nor CanLII has everything. One supplemental product that we have at the library to address gaps in electronic versions of decisions is the Canadian Human Rights Reporter Online. This is the most complete source of human rights cases in Canada, featuring a database that goes back to the first edition of the reporter in 1980, and also includes many unreported decisions.

In addition to having the full text of decisions (and where available, the decision in either French or English as well as the original language), there is an note-up functionality built-in.


As you can see in the above example, Hendry v. Ontario is listed as being cited by 10 other decisions in the CHRR database. A pop-up window will let you review that list, and link through the to text of those decisions as well. The advanced search function is fairly simple and easy to use, allowing you to search by topic, specific tribunal type, and of course by year, jurisdiction, and any keywords or names you want to look for.

Unfortunately, due to licensing restrictions, access to this database is only available to one person at a time, so please see us at the library desk if you want to use this yourself. Alternatively, if you require any decisions from this service, you can always let us know, and we’ll send them over to you.