It is with great excitement (and we’ve been pretty excited recently) that we can announce that we have just published the first newsletters on CanLII. Thank you to Siskinds LLP and Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan for contributing newsletters to this collection.
You may be familiar with Siskinds LLP’s class action newsletter already, which has been published for many years. They have generously offered to make it available for free on CanLII as the Siskinds Class Actions Review, with the first issue being published today. The Review will be published monthly and summarize recent noteworthy class actions cases.
We are also excited to include Justice as Healing from the Native Law Centre. The Justice as Healing newsletter was made a free electronic newsletter in 2015, and the Native Law Centre has kindly agreed to include it in CanLII’s commentary section too.
The newsletters will appear in CanLII search results and be browsable here.
We are excited to have so many organizations see the potential of making legal commentary available for free and look forward to making more announcements over time!
If you write a newsletter on Canadian legal topics that you think would be a good fit for publishing on CanLII or you’d like to start one, please contact us here.
By Ken Fox
For some time, Saskatchewan lawyers have been asking us to add Estates&TrustsSource to our suite of online products. It took a bit of time, but we are pleased to announce that the Law Society Library, in cooperation with Thomson Reuters, has now added E&T to our WestlawNext platform.
If you are a Saskatchewan lawyer, you will be able to access Estates&TrustsSource from the Members’ Section of the Law Society website. Sign in to the Members’ Section the usual way. Look for the WestlawNext Canada heading towards the bottom of the page, and the Estates&TrustsSource link below that, along with all of the other online sources. If you have any trouble logging in, please contact the library to get that sorted out.
When opening Estates&TrustsSource, you will notice near the top of the page a section called “Workflow Solutions” which is divided into three stages of estates law: Estate Planning, Estate Administration, and Estate Litigation. This area is intended to assist your practice, and for the most part duplicates content that is in other places.
Following that is Primary Law, which accesses the case law and statute databases of LawSource, but with an estates & trusts law filter.
Further down you will see Commentary, including the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (again, filtered to include only the relevant titles), and twelve textbook sources. Of these, six are jurisdictionally-based estate admin manuals, and thankfully one of those jurisdictions is Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan content includes six chapters of legal commentary followed by collections of 62 Precedents, 92 Special Instructions, 54 Letters, and a Words & Phrases index.
Other included texts are (with descriptions based on print versions):
- Widdifield on Executors and Trustees – blue, single volume loose-leaf, comprehensive legal commentary with noted case citations
- Waters’ Law of Trusts in Canada – very popular hardbound book with red cover
- Schnurr, Estate Litigation – 2-vol loose-leaf, loaded with precedents and case law appendices
- Histrop, Estate Planning Precedents – 3-vol dark blue looseleaf
- Allen & Quinlan’s Estate Planning Handbook – a thin paperback volume of practical advice
The Commentary section also includes the Canadian Bar Association Concordances, which are organized by jurisdiction (including Saskatchewan), and consist of tables on all areas of estates law with three columns: Question, Answers, and Comments (usually giving the legal source of the answer).
The next section down is Forms and Precedents, and this section deserves your attention, despite the presence of copious forms and precedents in the Commentary Section, for two reasons. First, this content is not included in the global searching tool (note search bar at top of screen). Second, and most importantly, these forms are Word Docs – so will save you the trouble of retyping them.
Finally, there is a link to the Canadian Abridgment Digests. These were already available to you, but it is worth pointing out once again that you can save tons of time in searching for case law by taking advantage of the Abridgment’s exhaustive classification system.
As always, please contact the library if you have any questions are ideas for further resources we should acquire.
By Alan Kilpatrick, Librarian
Have you heard about MMS Watch? It’s a free mandatory minimum sentencing resource recently created by the experts behind Rangefindr – the popular criminal sentencing resource accessible in the Law Society Members’ Section.
MMS Watch provides a list of every mandatory minimum sentence in force in the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Sentencing Act. Additional explanation appears on the website:
MMS.watch is an ongoing project by rangefindr.ca to monitor the constitutionality of each mandatory minimum sentence (MMS) in the Canadian Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. All data are from the rangefindr.ca database. MMS.watch is free and will remain free.
We encourage you to check out MMS Watch! You can learn more from Matthew Oleynik’s guest post on Slaw.ca.
By Melanie Hodges Neufeld
HeinOnline, one of the useful resources we offer for members in our Members’ Section, recently added a new database: McGill Institute of Air and Space Law Publications. The McGill Institute is a leading authority on air and space law. With nearly 50 titles and 50,000 pages on this topic, HeinOnline invites you to check out their new fully searchable, user-friendly interface.
Please visit the Members’ Section to explore this new resource and the over 700 other legal periodicals available on HeinOnline.
Alan Kilpatrick, Librarian
Did you know that CanLII provides free access to thousands of decisions from twenty-one Saskatchewan administrative tribunals? You can access decisions from the following Saskatchewan tribunal:
As a committed supporter of public access to the law and open legal publishing, the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library works tirelessly to improve coverage of Saskatchewan case law and tribunal decisions on CanLII. We For example, we began a multi-year digitization project in 2015 to provide a complete online record of Saskatchewan case law. In all, the Law Society Library digitized about 16,000 cases, almost doubling the amount of Saskatchewan case law available on CanLII. Saskatchewan’s public now has free access to a virtually complete record of Saskatchewan cases back to 1907 as a result of this project.
Notice a Saskatchewan tribunal that does not have its decisions on CanLII? See a tribunal with poor coverage of decisions on CanLII? Help us improve CanLII’s coverage of Saskatchewan content by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Ken Fox
Once again, HeinOnline has added to its digital offerings, this time with legal dictionaries – & yes, almost 300 of them. You may be wondering, how could there be so many? Well, the answer is that they are spread out across legal subject areas, historical periods (back to the 1500s), and legal jurisdictions.
Most of these dictionaries are not intended for everyday use – but for historical terms used in the common law, for cross-jurisdictional research, for foreign or technical terms, and for many other exceptional cases, you will find something here that will help.
And needless to say, if you are a legal scholar or curioso, this is a bibliographical feast.
Just to whet your appetite, here are a few included titles that caught my eye:
- 5000 Criminal Definitions, Terms and Phrases, 4th ed (Fricke, Charles W. Los Angeles: Legal Book Store, 1961)
- Australasian Judicial Dictionary (Bedwell, CEA. Sydney: The Law Book Co. of Australasia Ltd, 1920)
- Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, new rev ed (Boston: Boston Book Co, 1897)
- Criminal Slang: The Vernacular of the Underworld Lingo, Rev ed (Monteleone, Vincent Joseph. Boston: Christopher, 1949; Clark, NJ: Lawbook Exchange, 2003)
- Cyclopedic Law Dictionary Defining Terms and Phrases of American Jurisprudence, of Ancient and Modern Common Law, International Law, Civil Law, the French and Spanish Law, and Other Juridical Systems, 3d ed (Shumaker, Walter A. Chicago: Callaghan and Co., 1940)
- De Verborum Significatione: The Exposition of the Termes and Difficill Vvordes, conteined in the Fovre Bvikes (Edinbvrgh: Printed be Robert VValde-graue, Printer to the Kingis Majestie, 1597)
- Dictionary of Canon Law, 2nd ed, rev (Trudel, P. St Louis: B Herder, 1920)
- Dictionary of Contemporary International Law (Diliman, Quezon City: College of Law, University of the Philippines, 2011)
- Dictionary of the Underworld, British & American. Being the Vocabularies of Crooks, Criminals, Racketeers, Beggars and Tramps, Convicts, the Commercial Underworld, the Drug Traffic, the White Slave Traffic, Spivs (Partridge, Eric. New York: Macmillan, 1950)
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature & General Information; the Three New Supplementary Volumes Constituting with the Volumes of the Latest Standard Edition, 13th ed (London: The Encyclopaedia Britannica Co, Ltd, 1926)
- Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law (Berger, Adolf. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1953)
- English Dictionary: Explaining the Difficult Terms That Are Used in Divinity, Husbandry, Physick, Phylosophy, Law, Navigation, Mathematicks, and Other Arts and Sciences (Coles, Elisha. London: Printed by Samuel Crouch, 1676; Clark, NJ: Lawbook Exchange, 2006)
- Glossary of HIV/AIDS-Related Terms (Rockville: Dept of Health & Human Services, 1995)
- Glossary of Mediaeval Welsh Law: Based upon the Black Book of Chirk (Lewis, Timothy. Manchester: University press, 1913; Clark, NJ: Lawbook Exchange, 2006)
- Law-French Dictionary Alphabetically Digested; Very Useful for All Young Students in the Common Laws of England: To Which Is Added, the Law-Latin Dictionary, photo reprint (Clark, NJ: Lawbook Exchange, 2004)
- Legal Terms and Obligations Common to the Farm Business (Weeks, Silas B. Ithaca, NY: New York State College of Agriculture, 1957)
- Military Law Dictionary (Dahl, Richard C; Whelan, John F. New York: Oceana Publications, 1960)
- Quote It: Memorable Legal Quotations Data, Epigrams, Wit and Wisdom from Legal and Literary Sources (Gerhart, Eugene C. New York: C Boardman Co, 1969)
- Ragbag of Legal Quotations (Albany: M Bender, 1960)
- Selection of Legal Maxims, Classified and Illustrated (Broom, Herbert. Philadelphia: T & JW Johnson, 1845)
- Verborum Significatione: The Exposition of the Termes and Difficill Wordes, Conteined in the Foure Buiks of Regiam Maiestatem (Skene, John. London: Printed by EG, 1641)
To access this remarkable collection, log in to HeinOnline (through the Members Section, if you are a Saskatchewan lawyer). Look for grey menu strip near the top of the screen and click on the word “Databases” at the far left. Then, under “Browse Databases by Name,” click on “Legal Dictionaries.” You can browse by title or by country.
For more information, or to request research assistance, contact the library.
As we transition into summer, we thought we’d take the opportunity to refresh your memory as to what’s new at CanLII.
New Board members
In November 2016, Professor Adam Dodek, Crystal O’Donnell, Shannon Salter, and Thomas Schonhoffer, Q.C. joined the CanLII board. The board will be chaired by Dominic Jaar, Ad. E. They will help us further our goal of making legal materials more accessible to the public.
More information on this can be found here.
We have made several changes on the main CanLII site and on CanLII Connects.
- LexBox is now fully integrated into CanLII: For those who haven’t used the LexBox extension that Lexum offers for the Chrome browser, LexBox allows users to save search queries, set up alerts for new content that matches a search query, create folders with saved results, and offers a trail of your research. Until now, users were required to download the extension to save search queries on CanLII. This is no longer the case. See here for more details.
- The blue “Headnotes” button at the top of each case is now dynamic: This means it alerts you with a warning sign ( ) when there are either related decisions in our database from the same level of court as the decision you are consulting, or we have found a related decision from a higher court. Previously, this information was only available after clicking the button.
- The highlighting (i.e. find in document) feature now allows you to change which words you want highlighted in a decision: Previously, the tool did not allow for changes mid-search. Now, you can edit your highlights by clicking on the little pencil at the top right of the document page.
- The ability to post multimedia content: We recognize that commentary comes in many forms, and as such we welcome content in forms such as podcasts or videos. If this form of legal commentary appeals to you, just pick the embed option when you are creating content and paste the html embed code from hosting sites such as YouTube or Vimeo in the text box.
- The ability to save searches and set up e-mails: This one is pretty self-explanatory, but basically, just save your search after you run it, and you will get a daily update of new content.
- The ability to indicate negative treatment on a case: This new feature is still in its early stages, but promises to be an exciting development on CanLII Connects. Each case present on CanLII Connects now has the ability to be flagged by verified users to indicate that the case has received negative treatment by another case. All verified users are active members of the legal community. We will keep you posted on further developments of this feature.
We expanded our content
In furtherance of our goal of access to justice and for legal content to be publically accessible, we have partnered with multiple entities to increase our content. Most notable include:
- New “Smart PDFs” from Lexum have allowed us to upload 16,000 decisions from the Dominion Law Reports (DLR). The DLR are the second most cited block of cases on CanLII after the Supreme Court Reporter. The strategically chosen cases from the DLR represent all the decisions that have been cited in the cases contained in the CanLII collection when we started this project. This is more or less equivalent to saying that we have all the decisions in the DLR that have been cited in approximately the last 15 years in Canada or in any earlier case in the Supreme Court Reports (SCR). Some Privy Council decisions were included in this set, so we also set up a new database for this content. More information on this can be found here.
- An expanded partnership with CAIJ, which allowed us to post thousands of decisions issued between 1980-2015 from Quebec administrative tribunals including: 36 500 decisions from the Commission d’appel en matière de lésions professionnelles (CALP), 41 500 decisions from the Commission des lésions professionnelles (CLP), 17 000 decisions from the Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ) and 28 000 decisions from the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec (CPTAQ).
- We introduced a new way to publish commentary. CanLII has expanded to include some secondary materials on our website. Thanks to Lexum’s Qweri software which powers this new innovation, you can now read legal commentary in a more elegant format with content that is easier to search and navigate. Looking forward, we will have more ebooks later this year. If all goes well we will have law reviews, CLE materials, and law reform commission reports by the end of 2017. We are also working on a program to allow individual authors and organizations (or teams of authors) to submit long form commentary (books or articles) to be considered for publication on CanLII.org. To see more on this, click here.