For my newest blog post, I thought I would work in some legal “grammar”. After reading through case law for many publishing projects, I’ve come to realize just how tricky it can be to cite authorities properly, so I can imagine it is even more so for people who don’t deal with it every day. I thought it might be helpful to do a series of posts about legal citation formats. Read the rest of this entry »
Case Mail volume 16 no. 9 (May 1st) 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 this criminal law case dealing with warrantless searches of cell phones:
R. v. Adeshina, 2013 SKQB 414 – Court of Queen’s Bench, Acton, November 21, 2013 (QB13414)
The accused was charged with possessing in excess of three kilograms of cannabis marihuana for the purposes of trafficking contrary to s. 5(2) and 5(3)(a) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and with possessing the proceeds of property knowing it was obtained by the commission of an indictable offence, with a value less than $5,000, contrary to s. 354(1) of the Criminal Code. The accused was stopped for speeding. He was driving a rental vehicle and indicated he was travelling to Saskatoon for a five-day business trip although the rental contract was only for three days. The police discovered that the accused had outstanding warrants for driving an unregistered vehicle in Saskatchewan. A search of the accused revealed a white substance thought to be cocaine. The accused was arrested. An officer noted a smell of fresh marihuana in the vehicle and a search revealed 33 Ziploc bags totaling 7,692 grams of marihuana in a duffel bag. Two cell phones were also seized, one located in the vehicle right after the arrest of the accused and one located when the vehicle was searched pursuant to a search warrant. The phones were first checked for their contents almost two months after the traffic stop. The officer checking the cell phones had been away from work for almost a month in the interim. Once the officer checked the phones he sent them to the criminal investigation unit for further checks. There were 682 pages of data recovered from one of the phones. The accused argued that the information on the two cell phones be excluded pursuant to s. 24(2) of the Charter because his s. 8 Charter rights were breached. The accused argued that the searches were without warrant and therefore prima facie unreasonable and not properly incident to arrest.
HELD: The Court determined that the cursory review of the text messages and content on the LG phone when it was seized from the accused at the detachment was part of the search incidental to arrest. The subsequent review of the contents on the phones two months after the arrest and at the criminal investigation unit was determined to be too distant in time to be considered incidental to arrest and was a violation of the accused’s s. 8 Charter rights. The Court noted support for that conclusion from a recent Supreme Court of Canada case. The Crown argued that the searches were authorized by the search warrant obtained for the vehicle; however, that search warrant was not provided to the Court and it was presumably a general warrant that did not specifically include cell phones. The Court applied s. 24(2) of the Charter as follows: 1) the Charter-infringing conduct was not serious. The officer believed that he had the authority to search the one phone incident to arrest and the other phone pursuant to the search warrant of the vehicle; 2) a search of a cell phone is highly intrusive and in this case the police obtained more personal information than was appropriate.; and 3) the information retrieved from the cellphones was reliable and real evidence, which may weaken the Crown’s case if not admitted. The Court noted that there is a clear societal interest in adjudicating trafficking cases on their merits, especially when such large quantities are involved. The Court concluded that, after balancing all factors, the evidence should not be excluded.
By Sarah Roussel-Lewis
Some interesting reads to help you ease into your week:
- Law Society of B.C. to hold new vote on Trinity Western’s law school: lawyer (Vancouver Sun)
- Ashley Smith inquest sparks federal project for mentally ill inmates (CBC)
- Incorporating the “voice of the child” – one example of how it can be done (Family LLB)
- Video: Canadian court documents posted online, via Romania (CBC)
- Residential school survivors want justice lawyers ousted from compensation hearings (The Globe and Mail)
- Should access to Ontario court schedules be restricted? (Slaw)
- Internet explorer security flaw can be exploited by malicious websites (Lawyerist)
Noting up a statute is a crucial part of the legal research process. It allows you to identify the judicial treatment and interpretation of a statute. Noting up a statute allows you to locate cases that have discussed the meaning and application of that statute.
Last week, we learned how to note up a statute with the Saskatchewan Cases Search. This week, we will learn how to note up a statute with the Canadian Statute Citations (CSC). This is an authoritative print resource available in the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library.
“Canadian Statute Citations is a national statute citator, providing a list of Canadian federal, provincial and territorial statutes, as well as international and foreign statues which have been the subject of judicial consideration by Canadian courts and administrative tribunals.”
CSC is arranged in several different volumes based on legal jurisdiction. Each province has its own set of volumes. For example, we can see some Saskatchewan volumes below. Individual volumes are organized alphabetically by statute title.
The dark blue hardcover volume on the left is the CSC Saskatchewan volume for statutes beginning with the letters A-L. It contains the judicial treatment of Saskatchewan statutes up to September 2004. The light blue soft cover volume on the right is the CSC Saskatchewan Annual Supplement. It contains the judicial treatment of Saskatchewan Statutes from September 2004 to the present. As such, noting up Saskatchewan statutes with the CSC is a two-step process:
- First, the hardcover CSC Saskatchewan volume must be consulted to determine the judicial treatment of a statute to September 2004
- Second, the softcover CSC Saskatchewan Annual Supplement must be consulted to determine the judicial treatment of a statute from September 2004 to the present
Each CSC volume features a helpful user guide that explains how to use the resource.
“Developments in the judicial treatment of any statute are indicated by symbols together with the style of cause, docket number and/or citation of the decision in which the statute was considered. The symbols used and their meanings are as follows:”
Let’s continue by learning how to use the CSC to note up The Family Property Act, SS 1997, c F-6.3. First, let’s select the CSC volume for Saskatchewan statutes beginning with the letters A-L. Next, let’s open the volume and flip through the pages until we find the statute we are searching for.
On the right side of the page, we can see a list of cases that have generally considered this statute. Let’s continue by checking the CSC Saskatchewan Annual Supplement next. Let’s flip through the pages of the annual supplement until we find the statute we are looking for.
We can see a list of cases that have generally considered The Family Property Act, SS 1997, c F-6.3 on the right side of the page. The CSC can also be used to note up a specific section of a statute. The CSC lists considerations of specific sections immediately after the general considerations.
If you have any questions about noting up a statute with the CSC, please feel free to contact the library at email@example.com or (306) 569-8020. Next week, we will learn how to note up a statute with CanLII.
It is that time of the year again! The students who have completed the Bar Admissions Program will be eligible for admission as lawyers. Those admitted will be required to sign the roll at the Law Society. The Law Society of the North-West Territories started in 1898 with 186 members on the roll. The Law Society of Saskatchewan continued to use this roll until 1911 when a new parchment roll book was procured. The first name entered in the parchment roll is Amédée Emmanuel Forget, the last Lieutenant Governor of the North-West Territories and the first Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Saskatchewan. The benchers hoped that every barrister and solicitor in the province would come to sign the roll. It remained open for one year after which the secretary was instructed to “cause the names of any members who have not signed to be engrossed on the roll in distinctive characters not liable to be mistaken for autograph signatures.” As a result, some early names appear in pencil in the roll. In December 1912, the benchers passed a resolution to create a rule making it a requirement of admission to actually sign the roll.
Signing Roll – Rule amended
Moved by Mr. Acheson seconded by Mr. Black that no one be admitted as barrister and solicitor until he actually signs the roll; and that the declaration of nonpractise required by the Rules be taken at the time of signing the roll and that the rules be amended accordingly. Carried Unanimously.
The same 1911 roll is still in use today. It has space for 13,000 signatures. Students can sign the roll in ballpoint pen or a dip pen and ink.
The New York Times recently wrote an article on an entertaining short film called Verbatim: What Is a Photocopier? The film is based word for word on an excerpt of an Ohio Supreme Court legal transcript. The case explored the definition of the photocopier.
The film’s director, Brent Weiner, explains:
In this short film, I sought to creatively reinterpret the original events. (I’ve not been able to locate any original video recordings, so I’m unsure how closely my actors’ appearance and delivery resembles the original participants.) My primary rule was the performance had to be verbatim — no words could be modified or changed from the original legal transcripts. Nor did I internally edit the document to compress time. What you see is, word for word, an excerpt from what the record shows to have actually unfolded. However, I did give the actors creative range to craft their performances. As such, this is a hybrid of documentary and fiction. We’ve taken creative liberties in the staging and performance to imbue the material with our own perspectives.
What do you think? Let us know your comments.
By Kelly Laycock
This may seem inflammatory to some, and for some strange reason, this issue brings out the worst in people. Forget Liberal or Conservative, are you a Single-Spacer or a Double-Spacer?
Now, I happen to be an adamant Single-Spacer, and I’m always amazed at how many people continue to use the double-space (or em-space) after every period. It seems like an awfully inefficient use of time and energy in our “Time is Money” world, not to mention a waste of space! But I don’t dare mention it to my authors and contributors, because I might be setting myself up for a full-blown attack: “That’s what I was taught, so it must be right” or “It just looks better with two spaces.” And we all know that you can’t argue with belief. Read the rest of this entry »