Month: November 2018

Tech Tip: Convert to Text!

Posted on Updated on

By Ken Fox

You know what really grinds my gears? When I open a PDF file containing what appears to be digitally-formatted text and find that it is non-copyable and non-searchable. The ability to search, copy and paste text are essential functions of digital communications – so the idea that a text is born digitally and therefore ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) encoded, and that somebody wittingly or unwittingly should remove that functionality – it leads to much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on my part.

Well just last week I was sent a large PDF document with more than 70 pages of text. So I opened it in Adobe Acrobat, and tried to execute a search for a key term, and found that it was (you guessed it) another one of those documents that had signs of ASCII-formatted text in its progeny, but through the manipulations of some kind of monster, been reduced to the mere semblance of text, no more searchable than a stack of paper.

So naturally I commenced with my usual process of wailing and gnashing, but after a few minutes of that I got a notion that maybe I should try something different. In near desperation, I got the idea that – just maybe – if I “select all” and paste it into a text editor then some hitherto-hidden ASCII-encoded text might appear. Worth a try, right?

So I hit control-A, and THIS happened:

Hello!

“Why yes,” I said out loud, “in fact I WOULD like to run text recognition to make the text on this page accessible – THANKS for asking!”

I clicked Yes.

Then I got asked for some settings, which I ignored and just clicked OK – opting for the default option in my excitement.

Adobe Acrobat then leapt through my document, systematically performing the miracle of breathing life into the dead letters at the rate of about a page a second – slightly faster for the “born digital” main portion, and a bit slower for some appendices that bore the stigmata of pre-digital technology.

The result was perfectly copyable, pastable, searchable text in the main body of the document. As for the typewritten appendices, Acrobat almost flawlessly converted them into digital text as well, while maintaining the visual features of the original typed text. Basically, the document looked identical to how it had looked prior to the procedure but was now digitally functional. The only letters and numbers that resisted the resurrection were data from a single table with a very small typeface – those few characters remained a heretical community of graphics in the midst of a near-universal mass conversion.

Optical text recognition technology has come a long way in a few short years.

Now if you work anywhere in the legal industry (or do any kind of office work), then there is a good chance you have been able to follow right along, and to some of you, this is already old news and why am I boring you. But if there are any among you who don’t know what I’m talking about with text that can be searched and copied – you need to learn a few tricks that will make your life a whole lot easier. Begin with learning these commands, which work on almost all text-editing software:

CTL-F … Find text in document

CTL-A … Select All

CTL-X … Cut selected text

CTL-C … Copy selected text

CTL-V … Paste the last text you cut or copied

CTL-Z … Undo last operation

CTL-Y … Redo undone operation

CTL-H … Find all identified text in document and replace with other text

You can use point-and-click menus for these operations as well, but I find the keyboard shortcuts easier. These features, and many others, are now standard practice in office work – so learning them will not get you ahead so much as get you caught up with the rest of us.

And if you ever come across a text, especially a longish one, for which the above commands do not work, try to do minimal weeping & wailing and tooth-gnashing. And when you are done that, wipe the tears off your keyboard and try the simple operation described above. Failing that, try something else. And if all else fails, ask your friend in IT to perform a miracle. Because there is no reason to tolerate text in a digital file that cannot function as digital text.

Family Law: Through the Eyes of the Child

Posted on Updated on

By Jakaeden Frizzell, CPD Program Coordinator 

The Law Society was delighted to present the informative family law seminar Through the Eyes of the Child with The Honorable Justice Turcotte as host. We held the event at TCU Place in Saskatoon on Tuesday, November 20th and in Regina on Wednesday, November 21st at the Delta.

The morning sessions featured our main presenter and clinical psychologist Dr. Craig Childress who gave insight into his Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation (AB-PA) and its application to high conflict divorce, specifically focusing on the relationship between parent and child. The lecture continued with a discussion about Dr. Childress’ AB-PA pilot program work with family courts in Houston, Texas and the use of assessment focused treatment in divorce proceedings.

The first afternoon session was comprised of presentations from local professionals regarding various resources available for high-conflict divorce. Participants heard from Connie Lupichuk and Leanne Leedahl of Aspire Too who use an innovative approach to coach parent skills and ultimately reduce the impact of conflict for children in potentially high conflict divorce cases. Coralee Peterson of the Family Justice Services Branch with the Government of Saskatchewan took attendees through the services available from their office. Kim Miller, a consultant with the Government of Saskatchewan’s Dispute Resolution Office discussed high-conflict mediation and reviewed proposed changes to mandatory mediation for family law in Saskatchewan. Finally, participants were presented with a look at some new ways of delivering Family Law services from Charmaine Panko of Panko Collaborative Law & Mediation and some alternative professional services from former lawyer and separation specialist Lana Wickstrom.

The afternoon concluded with the panel discussion When Court is Necessary. In Saskatoon, Justice Turcotte, Jim Vogel Q.C, Dr. Childress, and Kim Miller provided some insight into this topic as well as some best practice strategies for court proceedings. They were joined for the Regina session by Coralee Peterson.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan would like to thank Dr. Childress for travelling all the way from California to share his expertise at this in-depth and informative seminar. We would also like to thank our guest speakers for sharing their knowledge and guidance on this topic. To our participants, thank you for your attendance and thoughtful participation throughout the day.

Saskatchewan Proclamations

Posted on

The Agricultural Implements Amendment Act, SS 2018, c 1, has been proclaimed into force November 9, 2018.

The Reclaimed Industrial Sites Amendment Act, 2018, SS 2018, c 32, has been proclaimed into force December 1, 2018.

Academic Authors Sharing their Writing on CanLII

Posted on Updated on

By Sarah Sutherland; reposted with permission from the CanLii Blog

CanLIIDocs was created as a platform to share legal commentary, and we now have many types of resources available on CanLIIDocs written by authors from various backgrounds. Here is a page where you can browse what’s currently available on the site.

One group that has been enthusiastic in endorsing CanLII as a vehicle to share their work is legal scholars. In this post we would like to highlight some of the academics who agreed to share their work with legal researchers on CanLII:

François Crépeau is full professor and the Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law, at the Faculty of Law of McGill University, as well as the director of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. You can read publications by François Crépeau on CanLII here.

Paul Daly is a University Senior Lecturer in Public Law at the University of Cambridge and the Derek Bowett Fellow in Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge. Before working at Cambridge he was at the University of Montreal. You can follow his commentary on developments in administrative law on his blog: Administrative Law Matters. CanLII contains multiple publications by Paul Daly which you can read here.

Armand Claude de Mestral is professor emeritus and Jean Monnet Chair in the Law of International Economic Integration at McGill University. Some of his publications on CanLII include Dispute Settlement Under the WTO and RTAs: An Uneasy Relationship and Investor-State Arbitration between Developed Democratic CountriesYou can read more publications by Armand Claude de Mestral on CanLII here.

Gerry Ferguson is a University of Victoria Distinguished Professor of Law who specializes in criminal law. He is also a senior associate with the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy in Vancouver. You can read his recent law textbook publication titled Global Corruption: Law, Theory & Practice on CanLII.

Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, and a former CanLII Board member. You can learn more about Michael Geist and follow his commentary on developments in information and privacy, intellectual property, and internet law from his eponymous blog. You can read several works by Michael Geist on CanLII here.

Linda C. Neilson is professor emerita at the University of New Brunswick, a lawyer, and a socio-legal academic. Her fields include domestic violence, court systems, conflict resolution, family law and sociology of law. One of her recent works includes a comprehensive ebook on domestic violence and family law published on CanLII. You can find Responding to Domestic Violence in Family Law, Civil Protection & Child Protection Cases on CanLII here.

Eric M. Tucker has been a professor at Osgoode Hall Law for over 35 years. He has published extensively in the fields of occupational health and safety regulation and labour law. Some of his publications on CanLII include On Writing Labour Law History: A Reconnaissance, and When Wage Theft Was a Crime in Canada, 1935-1955. You can read more publications by Eric M. Tucker on CanLII here.

Please join us in thanking them for seeing the value in open legal commentary!

If you would like to see your work in CanLIIDocs too, here’s how.

Here is what CanLII provides:

  • A reliable and credible online platform for authors to publish their content
  • A permalink with CanLII in the URL
  • Licensing options that allow you to continue sharing your work while keeping control of your rights

Free Legal Resources Fair at the Saskatoon Public Library

Posted on Updated on

Law Society of Saskatchewan librarians Ken Fox and Alan Kilpatrick, (used with permission from Theressa Slind, community librarian at Saskatoon Public Library,

By Alan Kilpatrick 

The Saskatoon Public Library’s Frances Morrison branch hosted a free Legal Resources Fair during Saskatchewan’s Third Access to Justice Week.  The fair featured a tradeshow, legal assistance clinics, and presentations on legal topics.

The fair’s bustling trade show included representatives from non-profit, government, and community organizations.  It gave members of the public a chance to connect with Saskatoon’s legal service providers.

Volunteer lawyers and law students from the Ministry of Justice, Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan, and Pro Bono Students Canada hosted a free walk-in family law information clinic.  Lawyers from CJC & Co. LLP volunteered to host a free walk-in wills and estates information clinic

Law Society Librarian’s Ken Fox and Alan Kilpatrick were proud to attend the trade show and to connect with members of the public who had questions about legal information.

Hosting a fair like this aligns naturally with the mission of public libraries.  CREATE Justice explains further on its website:

Saskatoon Public Library’s mission includes providing free and open access to resources as well as providing community spaces where people and ideas meet. Through the Legal Resource Fair, we are able to help meet the legal needs of Saskatoon citizens with the tradeshow of service providers, a walk-in family law information clinic, and a walk-in wills & estates information clinic.

The Law Society Library is looking forward to participating in the Regina Public Library’s annual Legal Resources Fair in Winter 2019.

 

Sources

Create Justice. (2018, October). Saskatchewan access to justice week. Retrieved from https://law.usask.ca/createjustice/saskatchewan-access-to-justice-week.php

Legal Sourcery. (2018, October 24). Free Legal Resources Fair – Saskatoon. Retrieved from https://lsslib.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/free-legal-resources-fair-saskatoon/

Saskatchewan Legislative Update

Posted on Updated on

The following regulations were published in The Saskatchewan Gazette, Part II, Vol. 114 No. 45, November 9, 2018:

  • SR 76/2018 The Cities (Property Classification) Amendment Regulations, 2018
  • SR 77/2018 The Northern Municipalities (Property Classification) Amendment Regulations, 2018
  • SR 78/2018 The Municipalities (Property Classification) Amendment Regulations, 2018
  • SR 79/2018 The Western Livestock Price Insurance Program Amendment Regulations, 2018