Month: December 2014

“Leave the Law to Take Care of Itself” (Throwback Thursday)

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dickens1By Alan Kilpatrick

Are you searching for a legal themed book to read this holiday season?  Why not try something from Charles Dickens?  While A Christmas Carol is the most popular of Dickens’ works this time of year, lawyers, courts, and judges appear in many of his other works.

In his youth, Dickens worked as a court reporter for the English Courts of Chancery.  Interestingly, you can find original copies of the Court of Chancery Law Reports from the 1800s in the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library.

Witnessing corruption and cruelty, Dickens developed a critical view of the English legal system.  Many of his books reflect this and feature criticism of the courts. His experience as a court reporter greatly influenced the bleak courtroom scenes in David Copperfield.

dickens2Here are two notable Dicken’s quotes about the law:

From Bleakhouse:

“The one great principle of the English law is to make business for itself. There is no other principle distinctly, certainly, and consistently maintained through all its narrow turnings. Viewed by this light it becomes a coherent scheme and not the monstrous maze the laity are apt to think it. Let them but once clearly perceive that its grand principle is to make business for itself at their expense, and surely they will cease to grumble.”

From A Tale of Two Cities:

“It is the law,” remarked the ancient clerk, turning his surprised spectacles upon him. “It is the law.”

“It’s hard in the law to spile a man, I think. It’s hard enough to kill him, but it’s wery hard to spile him, sir.”

“Not at all,” retained the ancient clerk. “Speak well of the law. Take care of your chest and voice, my good friend, and leave the law to take care of itself. I give you that advice.”


Christmas Reading List, Part 2

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How will the Library staff relax this holiday season? By reading a few good (non-law-related) books, of course. Our second installment of staff picks for the holidays has some excellent choices! Take a look.

Jenneth, our Admin Assistant:

  • Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn (Psychological Thriller)): Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn, takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong.
  • A Girl I Knew – JD Salinger (Short Story): A boy fails out of college and is sent to Europe to learn languages that will help with his father’s business. Before going back to America, he befriends a Jewish girl in Vienna who gives him lessons in German. When the Nazis invade Vienna, the boy enlists as an infantryman and returns to locate his friend.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde (Historical Thriller): As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and gross sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait grows day by day into a hideous record of evil, which he must keep hidden from the world.

Melanie, our Director:

  • The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt (Adult Fiction): Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die: Eli and Charlie Sisters can be counted on for that. Though Eli has never shared his brother’s penchant for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. On the road to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside San Francisco — and from the back of his long-suffering one-eyed horse — Eli struggles to make sense of his life without abandoning the job he’s sworn to do.
  • In One Person – John Irving (Adult Fiction): John Irving’s In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love–tormented, funny and affecting–and an intimate, unforgettable portrait of the novel’s bisexual narrator and main character, Billy Abbott.
  • Panic – Lauren Oliver (Young Adult Fiction): Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do. Heather never thought she would compete in panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Check back tomorrow for more good reads.

Christmas Reading List

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How will the Library staff relax this holiday season? By reading a few good (non-law-related) books, of course. Over the next week before Christmas vacation, let us help you fill in your holiday reading lists as we highlight our staff picks. So snuggle up in front of the fire with a cup of cocoa and one of these great books…

Sarah, our Library Technician in Regina:

  • The Magicians – Lev Grossman (Fantasy) Book 1 in the trilogy: Quentin Coldwater is a high school senior, but he’s still secretly obsessed with a series of fantasy novels he read when he was little, about the adventures of five children in a magical land called Fillory. Compared to that, everything in his real life just seems gray and colorless. That changes when Quentin finds himself admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the practice of modern sorcery.
  • Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer (Adult Non-Fiction): In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.
  • Cold Magic – Kate Elliot (Steampunk) Spritwalker #1: As they approach adulthood, Cat Barahal and her cousin Bee think they understand the society they live in and their place within it. At a select academy they study new airship technologies and the dawning Industrial Revolution, but magical forces still rule. And the cousins are about to discover the full ruthlessness of this rule.

Pat, our Library Technician in Saskatoon:

  • A Peanut Christmas – Charles M. Schultz (Children’s Holiday Fiction): Christmas is a joyous time of year—and what could be more fun than sharing it with dear friends? Celebrate the season with the Peanuts characters you’ve loved so long.
  • Paris – Edward Rutherfurd (Adult Non-Fiction): From the grand master of the historical novel comes a dazzling epic portrait of Paris that leaps through centuries as it weaves the tales of families whose fates are forever entwined with the City of Light.

Check back tomorrow for more good reads.

Legal Citation in Saskatchewan

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CitationGuideBy Alan Kilpatrick

Last week, Louis Mirando, Chief Law Librarian at OsGoode Hall, wrote a blog post regarding the future of Canadian legal citation on Slaw.  The post is boldly titled Legal Citation: Beyond the McGill Guide.

You are likely familiar with the McGill Guide.  The McGill Guide, officially known as the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, is a popular citation guide for Canadian legal materials.  The guide is published by Carswell and edited by the McGill Law Journal.  In its eighth edition, the guide is used by many law journals and several courts.

In his recent Slaw post, Mirando is critical of the McGill Guide and suggests two basic problems exist with the guide: the guide is written by students and published by Carswell.  Students may not yet possess the expertise to create a citation guide for practitioners.  Carswell, as a publisher, is concerned with an income stream that can only be maintained by price increases and frequent new editions.  Mirando suggests in his post that these new editions “are unnecessary and unjustified, lightly sprinkled with gratuitous and often ill-considered changes that fail to advance citation practice, confuse and sow uncertainty and even disagreement among even seasoned legal writers, editors and instructors, and generally make citation practice even less uniform and uniformity more difficult to realize.”

Ultimately, Mirando urges readers to look beyond the guide, “because it is essentially a consolidation of in-house practice at the student-edited McGill Law Journal, it is increasingly irrelevant to the creators and consumers of professionally produced, globally accessed, born-digital legal information.”  He highlights the new alternative citation guide recently developed by the Courts of Saskatchewan.

Did you know that Saskatchewan created and adopted a new Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan in September 2014?  At the time, some questioned why it was necessary for Saskatchewan to develop its own guide when the McGill Guide was available.  Concerns with the McGill Guide specifically motivated the Saskatchewan Courts to review legal citation and develop its own guide.  The Courts of Saskatchewan explain on their website that the purpose of its guide is to provide “a clear, authoritative and standard set of citation rules for use in and by the courts of Saskatchewan.”

If you would like to learn more about legal citation in Saskatchewan, Legal Sourcery featured an exclusive seven part series on the new citation guide: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7



Courts of Saskatchewan, “Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan” (2014) Online.
Mirando, Louis, “Legal Citation: Beyond the McGill Guide” (2014) Slaw: Online.



Case Mail

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casemailBy Melanie Hodges Neufeld

Case Mail volume 16, no. 24 (Dec. 15) is now available on the Law Society website. Produced by the Law Society Library, Case Mail is a free semi-monthly electronic newsletter of digests of Saskatchewan cases with links to fulltext decisions on CanLII. Numerous areas of law are covered including torts – nuisance: Strand Theatre Ltd v City of Prince Albert, 2014 SKCA 85.

Proposed Changes to The Enforcement of Money Judgments Amendment Act, 2014

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

The following news item containing proposed changes to The Enforcement of Money Judgments Amendment Act, 2014 recently appeared on the Government of Saskatchewan website:

The Government of Saskatchewan is moving to enhance the province’s debt collection law.  These amendments will strengthen the present system and improve the seizure and sale of assets.

Proclaimed more than two years ago, The Enforcement of Money Judgments Act streamlined the process for a person to collect money from another person, increasing the chances of recovery on a court judgment.  It was the first major update to the legislation in over five decades.

“The implementation of this program is going well, but some changes are needed to address certain issues raised by both the Sheriff’s office and the public,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said.  “These amendments will improve the present system and continue to strengthen the seizure and sale of assets, increasing the chances of recovery of a court judgment.”

The proposed changes to The Enforcement of Money Judgments Amendment Act, 2014 include:

  • Extending the effective period for a notice of seizure of employment income from 12 months to two years;
  • Giving Sheriffs the authority to immediately ensure that the title to land is clear before the title is transferred to a third party purchaser.  This applies when there is an agreement that payment will be made out of the proceeds of a land sale to address a debt before being sold to another party;
  • Appointing a Director of Sheriffs; and
  • Authorizing the Director of Sheriffs to stop pursuing money from debtors if the amount owed is less than the cost to recoup it.

For more information, contact:

Jordan Jackle
Phone: 306-787-8621