Clawbies Announced!

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clawbies2015By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

The Canadian Law Blog Awards (Clawbies) were announced on December 31st and Legal Sourcery is proud to be named a runner up in the Best Law Library Blog category. Congratulations to the winner, Robeside Assistance, the blog of the County of Carleton Law Association in Ottawa. Other winners include:

1. The Fodden Award for Best Canadian Law Blog

Winner: The Court

It’s no exaggeration to say that The Court, the Supreme Court of Canada analysis blog produced by faculty and students at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, is a contender for this award every year. During a decade in which the SCC has had an enormous impact on the lives of Canadians and the livelihoods of lawyers, The Court has been there every step of the way to summarize, advise, and analyze the Supreme Court’s rulings. Yet in 2016, The Court’s frequency of posts, breadth of coverage, and depth of analysis pushed it over the top and garnered the blog its first Fodden Award since 2008.

2. Best Practitioner Blog Awards

Winner: McElroy Law Blog: It’s gratifying to see blogs that previously won in the “Best New Blog” category go on to win Best Practitioner Blog awards, as is the case with Ottawa criminal defense lawyer Anne-Marie McElroy. Her posts are filled with timely and insightful commentary, complemented with carefully curated monthly criminal law new roundups.

Winner: Welcome to the Food Court: Another former Rookie of the Year that has graduated to MVP,  this hybrid blog/podcast illustrates the myriad ways that food law and regulation affect our daily life. Toronto food lawyer Glenford Jameson is so deeply involved in the world of food law that he helped organize Canada’s first-ever food law and policy conference in Halifax this fall.

Winner: Family LLB: The consistently entertaining and informative blog of Russell Alexander, who operates several family law offices north and east of Toronto, remains one of Canada’s most widely read and consistently publishing bloggers.

3. Legal Culture Award

Winner: Erin Cowling

Toronto freelance lawyer Erin Cowling’s blog features frank discussions of gender and racial diversity in the legal profession, along with recaps and feedback on legal industry events and the occasional book review. Cowling’s curiosity, candour, and conversational approach make her blog a must-read.

4. Change and Advocacy Award (New)

Winner: National Self-represented Litigants Project Blog

Our new award category seeks to recognize blogs that drive positive change in the legal system. The winner of last year’s now-defunct “Non-Lawyer Audience Blog” is the first winner of our Change & Advocacy Award: Prof. Julie MacFarlane’s essential blog tracking progress in the fight to improve access to justice.

5. Best Law Library Blog Award

Winner: Robeside Assistance

If we had an award for Best Law Blog Name, this would be a perennial favourite. But until we invent that category, we’ll recognize Robeside Assistance, the blog of the County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA) in Ottawa. Offering a mix of new legal updates and research tips with archival gems and human interest stories, this is what a law library blog should look like.

6. Best Practice Group Blog Awards

Winner: Les Actifs créatifs: We mentioned earlier that the practice group blog category is now teeming with high-quality entries. Among the best this year was Les Actifs créatifs (in English, “creative assets”), a French-language IP and intangible asset law blog from the lawyers of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada.

Winner: Risk Management & Crisis Response: One of the reasons we like this blog, produced by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, so much is that it’s a cross-practice project, drawing in practitioners from multiple areas of law with a common focus on one of clients’ top priorities: the identification of possible risks and what to do when those risks go bad. The Clawbies have long supported client-perspective blogs, and this is a great example.

Winner: Canadian Energy Perspectives: There are so many great blogs generated by the lawyers of McCarthy Tétrault that it’s difficult to pick the best in any given year. But in 2016, Canadian Energy Perspectives stood out for timely and trenchant analysis of the energy and environmental issues that are having a major impact on Canada’s people and economy.

7. Best New Blog Awards

Winner: News from the Break Room: The great new blogs just keep emerging in Canada. Toronto employment lawyer Shaun Bernstein’s well-written employment law blog includes useful information for employers and employees alike.

Winner: Municipal Matters: Full-service law firm Barriston Law of Barrie, Ontario, and several nearby communities has produced one of the year’s best new blogs, a highly conversational, informative, and relevant discussion of emerging municipal law issues.

Winner: Eva Chan: It’s been too long since we’ve had a new social media and lawyer marketing blog in Canada, so we’re very happy to see Toronto social media strategist, consultant and trainer Eva Chan debut with her self-titled blog this year.

8. Best Law School/Law Professor Blog Award

Winner: National Security Law:

Well into the second decade of what might be called the “Homeland Security Era,” it has never been more important to understand the legal and social implication of anti-terrorist legislation and growing executive-branch power. Professor Craig Forcese of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law continues to generate some of the best analyses of this critical area.

9. Best Niche Blog Award (New)

Winner: Condo Adviser

There are now so many Canadian blogs devoted to narrow or specialized topics that we decided it was high time to give the Niche Blog its own award category. The blog of the Condominium Law Group at Gowling WLG takes home the inaugural Niche Blog Clawbie for its insightful and frequent posts and its eye-catching unique design.

10. New: Best Podcast/Vlog Awards (new)

Winner: The Docket: The Clawbies are getting on the podcast train! Michael Spratt and Emile Taman provide a mix of academic and practitioner information in a conversational, entertaining format.

Winner: Building NewLaw: Supported by Counter Tax Lawyers, Building NewLaw interviews lawyers, legal technologists, entrepreneurs and other like-minded people who are changing the the practice of law.

Winner: Peter Sankoff: Our first video blog award goes to University of Alberta Law School Professor Peter Sankoff, who analyzes new court rulings in short video recordings.

The Clawbies Hall of Fame!

This is a new category for blogs that have won a Clawbie (not just a runner-up award) at least three times. Starting this year, these blogs will no longer be considered for annual Clawbies, but they will be recognized with a Hall of Fame badge for their use, as well as a notation of the honour at lawblogs.ca.

Please welcome our inaugural Clawbies Hall of Fame class!

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