The Lighter Stuff

Legal Sourcery Inducted into Clawbies’ Hall of Fame

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clawbies2015After winning the Canadian Law Blog Award (Clawbie) for Best Canadian Law Library Blog three times, Legal Sourcery has been inducted into the Clawbie Hall of Fame!

  • Legal Sourcery: Sharing a reliable mix of practical tips, events, library news and resources, and legal developments and happenings in Saskatchewan–all in an personable and engaging way–Legal Sourcery has still got that “info-cool factor” we love. In a province with a small legal community, Legal Sourcery hits way above its weight.

Congratulations to all the other winners and to Saskatchewan’s own Kurt Dahl for being named runner up in the Best Niche Blog Awards category for his blog Lawyer Drummer.

In addition to recognizing the efforts of Canadian Legal bloggers, the Clawbies have broadened their scope to include the rapidly growing selection of Canadian Legal Podcasts and Vlogs, which seem to have exploded within the past few years.

Please see the complete list of winners and check out the fantastic posts and podcasts in many areas of law.

2018 Canadian Law Blog Award (Clawbie) Nominations

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By Alan Kilpatrick

It’s time to nominate your favorite Canadian legal blogs for a Canadian Law Blog Award (Clawbie)!  The Clawbies were established in 2006 to showcase the high-quality legal blogs being published in Canada.  You can tweet your nominations with the #clawbies2018 Twitter hashtag.  The deadline for nominations is December 21st, 2018.

Here are the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library’s nominations for 2018:

Great LEXpectations

The Law Society of Manitoba Library launched Great LEXpectations in 2017. It features research tips, resources, and news of interest to the Manitoba legal profession.  The About GreatLEXpectations page describes how the name was created: “Great LEXpectations is a play on words of the Dickens novel, Great Expectations, and lex, the latin word for law. The library for the Law Society of Manitoba and the legal profession, is called the Great Library, thus the mashup of Great LEXpectations.”

Lawyer Drummer

Lawyer Kurt Dahl, dual member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan and British Columbia, practices entertainment, corporate, and commercial law.  He is also a rock musician and committed SaskMusic board member.  His blog, Lawyer Drummer, uniquely combines his twin passions of law and music.  This blog’s “cool factor” is through the roof.

Library Boy

Library Boy, written by Supreme Court of Canada reference librarian Michel-Adrien Sheppard, is a stalwart of Canadian legal library blogs.  Online since 2005, Library Boy was an inspiration for Legal Sourcery.  Each month, the blog features a variety of high-quality posts on legal, government, and library topics.

Robeside Assistance

The County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA) Library launched Robeside Assistance in 2016.  It is written and maintained by the CCLA’s phenomenal library staff.  Robeside Assistance features practical legal research tips and tricks, the lowdown on the latest legal resources, and compilations of recent Ottawa decisions.  We have to hand it to them, coming up with a great blog name can be difficult.  Robeside Assistance takes the cake when it comes to blog names.

Book Review: Full Disclosure

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By Brooke Sittler

I am one of a small group of tax litigation counsel at my office in Saskatoon. Several years ago, one of our counsel received a beautiful and unusual gift from her spouse.  In an act of pure devotion to his wife and as a nod to her nerdy obsession with the Supreme Court he had, over the course of many months, custom made a replica of the Supreme Court of Canada out of Lego.  He hunted online for the right colour for the rooftop pieces, he fitted it with holiday lights that actually light up, and he tucked a tiny Lego couple in the gardens at the front of the building, holding hands.  He presented it to his wife as a Christmas gift.  In doing so, he endeared himself not only to his wife, but also to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court herself.  Then-Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin became aware of the creation after an online photograph of it was picked up through a newswire over the holiday period.  Thanks to a slow news day and to the romantic quest of my colleague’s husband, the Chief Justice made contact with my colleague and arranged a visit to our little office in Saskatoon to view the now-famous Lego Supreme Court.  Yes, that’s right…this was a personal visit from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, complete with security detail and accompanied by her spouse, Frank McArdle.  She excitedly sat on my colleague’s desk and examined the replica, she graciously shook hands with each of us hangers-on who hovered around our colleague’s door nervously hoping for a few seconds of small talk with this formidable and inspiring woman, and she was by all counts entirely approachable and — surprise! — human.

So when this same lady retired from Canada’s highest court and the most powerful legal position in Canada and promptly proceeded to write a work of fiction, you can only imagine who was at the front of the line buying out the entire in-store stock of Full Disclosure at her local bookstore.  Yours truly.  I should mention, of course, that I received my first copy of the book from my own devoted husband for Mother’s Day, just a day or so after it was released.  Seems that we tax lawyers tend to marry well.

I dove into the book and devoured it in a couple of days.  It is a murder mystery told from the perspective of the protagonist, Jilly Truitt.  Jilly is a young, up and coming criminal defence lawyer in Vancouver.  She is working to build her firm and a name for herself.  She has surrounded herself with colleagues that give her firm the feeling of a family.  She has a frenemy, her mentor and long-time opponent in the court room, a crusty prosecutor named Cy.  She has an on-again-off-again boyfriend, Mike.  And she has a past.   When she takes on a high profile case defending a well-known Vancouver billionaire against charges that he murdered his beautiful young wife, her past begins to catch up with her.  There are sex scenes (OK, one sex scene and it’s extremely tasteful), f-bombs (OK, at least one f-bomb), a buxom housekeeper named Carmelina, a plucky social worker, and a loveable teen.  There are heartbreaking ties to the Pickton murders.  And there are some truly excellent descriptions of the mental and physical exhaustion that comes with working hard on difficult cases.  Who among us hasn’t ended a gruelling night at the office with a can of tuna and a bottle of white wine?  It is a wonderful, fast summer read.

After reading Full Disclosure, I handed out several copies among my colleagues in our little tax section including, of course, to the owner of the Lego Supreme Court.  I gave it to my mother and she read it in one sitting in her back yard.  I gave it to former classmates.  To a person, those who have given feedback to me have found it to be a fun read.  Why have we all loved this book so much?  Perhaps because it was written by someone we admire deeply.   She is someone whom we feel we know, if only just a little bit.  Possibly because this book helps us to understand that behind the eyes of every great lawyer is a creative wheelhouse, a mind full of ideas yearning to be set free.  That the greatest lawyers come to court laden with a toolkit of musical, literary and artistic talent along with their decades of brief-writing, affidavit reading, and transcript review.  That in order to write a readable and engaging first novel almost immediately after retiring from our country’s top legal post, there must have been some part of Chief Justice McLachlin’s mind that was deciding whether Jilly would break up with Mike when she was sitting on the bench deciding her final patent, tax, and administrative law cases.  Reading this book made me proud and grateful for the wonderful example of steely jurist and gifted storyteller that our former chief justice is for all of us.

Legal Sourcery’s 12 Recipes of Christmas – Day 12

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On the twelfth (business) day of Christmas, the Law Society staff gives to you:

Buche de Noël / Yule Log

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
6 egg whites
1/4 cup white sugar confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Line a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper (if you do not have a jelly roll pan, a cake pan of similar size will do).
  3. In a large bowl, whip cream, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until thick and stiff. Refrigerate.
  4. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and salt.
  5. In large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat until whites form stiff peaks.
  6. Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites.
  7. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
  9. Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioners’ sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.
  10. Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down onto a serving plate, and refrigerate until serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
  11. Decorate with meringue or marzipan mushrooms, plastic Santa and reindeer, or PUT A BIRD ON IT! Let the people to whom you are serving it know which parts are edible and which are not.

 

Photo credit: Christine Muldoon

Legal Sourcery’s 12 Recipes of Christmas – Day 11

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On the eleventh (business) day of Christmas, the Law Society staff gives to you:

Pierre and Janet Burton’s Tourtière

Put in a pot:

1 lb chopped pork
1 diced onion
1 garlic bud
½ tsp salt
½ tsp savory
¼ celery pepper
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
dash of mace, cayenne, and fresh ground pepper
½ cup water

Bring to a boil, cook 20 minutes, remove from fire. Slowly add ½ cup breadcrumbs, a spoon at a time, pausing until all fat has disappeared from the top. Cool, pour into a pie shell, cover with more crust and cook for 25 minutes or until crust is golden in a 500 degree Fahrenheit oven.

 

Photos courtesy of Melanie Hodges Neufeld

Legal Sourcery’s 12 Recipes of Christmas – Day 10

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On the tenth (business) day of Christmas, the Law Society staff gives to you:

Apple and Sage Stuffing

1 loaf of unsliced bread of your choice
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 yellow onions, medium dice
2 apples of your choice, medium dice
3 celery stalks, medium dice
8 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
salt
ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 13×9 baking dish with butter and set aside. Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes and place in a large, heatproof bowl; set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add the onions and brown, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the apples, celery, thyme and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, for about 6 minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup of the stock or broth to the mixture and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the vegetable-apple mixture to the reserved bread cubes. Season with two or three large pinches of salt and two large pinches of pepper, then stir to evenly combine. If the mixture seems too dry, add more stock or broth 1/4 cup at a time (but make sure it doesn’t get mushy).
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake, uncovered for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the top of the stuffing just starts to get brown and crusty. Serves 6 to 8.
  5. To make ahead of time: Cool, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Rewarm uncovered at 350°F for about 30 minutes.

Legal Sourcery’s 12 Recipes of Christmas – Day 9

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On the ninth (business) day of Christmas, the Law Society staff gives to you:

buttertartGrandma’s Delicious Butter Tarts

Pastry

1 lb of lard
5 cups of flour
2 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp of baking soda

Blend ingredients well with a pastry blender. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of vinegar on top and blend with a fork. Put 1 egg in a measuring cup and whip with a fork. Fill with cold water to make 1 cup (may not need all of this). Blend well with dry ingredients. Roll out thin and use a glass or cookie cutter to cut into circles. Place dough circles in a muffin tin. Makes 58 to 60 tarts.

Filling

2 eggs well beaten
1 cup of brown sugar
3 tbsp of butter
½ tsp of vanilla
1 cup of raisins, currants or chopped walnuts/pecans
½ tsp of vinegar or lemon
2-3 tbsp of syrup

Mix all these ingredients in a bowl and put this raw mixture in the raw dough and bake 325° to 350° until done. Triple the filling recipe to make 58 to 60 tarts.

Photo credit: Kelly Laycock