Day: October 7, 2014

Staying current in legal news (or how to be a legal news ninja)

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By Sarah Roussel-Lewis

ninjaAt the Law Society Library, we like to jokingly refer to our staff as Legal Resource Ninjas, because we tend to be able to find information quickly and from some pretty obscure sources. A key component of this is trying to keep up with current legal news, which can be quite difficult at times. This process involves spending a lot of time perusing law blogs (or blawgs), news sites and reading current case law. For my Monday Pick-Me-Pp posts, I often find myself going through all three of these types of news sources and amalgamating them for our readers. Here is a short write-up highlighting a few sources you may find useful.

Some of the websites I check daily:

Slaw: Canada’s online legal magazine

Slaw is the first resource I check when looking for current legal news. They post a wide variety of legal articles about three to six times a day with the help of “22-25 weekly bloggers and 60-70 regular columnists”. Some of the re-occurring posts are: Monday’s mix (highlighting five blawg posts), Tips Tuesday, and Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII. These three in particular are super useful, and often get re-posted in our Monday Pick-Me-Ups.

Wise Law Blog

This is one of the most useful websites I have come across in my time here at the library. Garry J. Wise has taken on the task of making a daily post gathering any and all legal link headlines. When searching for any current legal development or recent articles, this blog will give you a head start.

Here are a few more websites that I check once or twice a week:

CanLII Connects

CanLII is a website everyone in the legal profession is aware of (or should be) but you may not be as familiar with their new website CanLII Connects. This resource makes it easier for everyone to access “high-quality legal commentary on Canadian court decisions”. I haven’t yet familiarized myself with their entire website, but have often found useful and interesting links since their inception (April 4, 2014). &

I have recently added CBC and Global to my list of “must check” websites. The legal articles might not always be front page news, so I have to dig for them, but the articles are really great for keeping up on local legal news.

I also have a category of more specific blogs that post articles within their practice areas:

Canadian Privacy Law Blog

Canadian privacy lawyer, David T.S. Fraser, runs this blog that posts articles about “developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer”. Although this blog isn’t updated every day, David posts about once or twice a week with substantial articles.

Family LLB

Even if not specific to Saskatchewan family law, this blog has become very important for being up-to-date on current family law issues. Russell Alexander, an Ontario family law lawyer, posts two to three times a week with videos or commentary on recent family law cases.

I have a much longer list of other blogs I check for our Monday Pick-Me-Ups, but I thought a short list of essential websites would be more useful for our members. Hopefully you can all become news ninjas and share in our joy of gaining knowledge about our profession.

If you know any great resources I haven’t mentioned here, be sure to leave a comment below!


Substantive Law Webinar Series

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The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD) is offering a series of substantive law webinars delivered by Ted Tjaden. Ted delivered a webinar on Civil Procedure in March, 2014, and due to the level of interest, the Webinar Committee has paired up with Ted to offer the following subjects over 2014 and 2015:

  • Tort Law – October 30, 2014 from 1:00pm-2:30pm EST
  • Contract Law – December 9, 2014 from 1:00pm-2:30pm EST
  • Constitutional Law – February 12, 2015 from 1:00pm-2:30pm EST
  • Real/Personal Property Law – April 21, 2015 from 1:00pm-2:30pm EST
  • Criminal Law – June 18, 2015 from 1:00pm-2:30pm EST

Ted Tjaden, a long-time member of CALL/ACBD and the 2010 recipient of the Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship, is the national litigation precedents lawyer in Gowlings’ Toronto office. Ted works closely with the firm’s national precedents team and litigation lawyers to organize and annotate the firm’s litigation research and precedents for use by the firm’s advocacy professionals. Ted has extensive experience as a litigator and knowledge management lawyer and is called to the bar in both British Columbia and Ontario. In addition to being the author of Legal Research and Writing, 3rd ed (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2010) and The Law of Independent Legal Advice, 2nd ed (Toronto: Carswell, 2013), he is a regular speaker at conferences on issues of knowledge management, technology and the effective organization of litigation documents.

Webinar costs:

CALL/ACBD Member: $40 + $5.20 HST = $45.20/webinar
Non-member: $60 + $7.80 HST = $67.80/webinar
*A 20% discount will be applied to registrations for the entire series (5 webinars).  Please contact to register for all 5 webinars.

More information and online registration form is available on CALL’s website.