An Ordinance Respecting Stallions (Throwback Thursday)

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By Alan Kilpatrick

Ordinances of the North-West Territories
An Ordinance respecting Stallions
No. 13 of 1878
[Passed 2nd August, 1878.]


Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories, in Council, as follows:

  1. No stallion of one year old or upwards shall be permitted to run at large within ten miles of any settlement in the North-West Territories.


Tips from the Editor – From Hyphens to Triple Ems

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By Kelly Laycock

hyphens2Okay, we all know what hyphens are (although I bet most of us don’t use them correctly all the time), but how many of you have ever heard of an em dash? What about an en dash or a soft hyphen?

Unless you work in publishing or design, it is entirely possible that you’ve managed to live a completely full life without ever needing to know what these different dashes are all about, but I’m here to tell you that they exist and are actually all around you, whether you know it or not. I hope by the end of this post, you not only know their names but also agree that your writing will benefit by understanding their uses.

In fact, there is a whole range of dashes—from hyphens to triple ems—that are extremely useful in all sorts of writing. In addition to the rules of use, which are pretty much settled in most cases, there are also preferences of style to consider, and each style guide will have a preference. There are many excellent references out there, and I’ve included links throughout this post for further reading.      Read the rest of this entry »

Case Mail

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casemailBy Melanie Hodges Neufeld

Case Mail volume 16, no. 16  (Aug. 14) 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 Huerto v. Salte, 2014 SKQB 127, dealing with a statement of claim being struck under former Queen’s Bench Rules 139(1), 140, 173(a), (b), (c) & (e), 188, and 189.


CBA Law Office Sustainability Challenge

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

greenThe CBA recently launched the CBA Law Office Sustainability Challenge to improve firm-wide environmental performance. To assist firm to ‘go green’, the CBA developed a toolkit to provide simple, straightforward and effective ways to improve their environmental practices. The CBA claims that application of the toolkit will result in:

  • Cost Savings: Improving energy efficiency and reducing use of water, paper, and other inputs to your practice can reduce overhead costs. Green workplaces (e.g. those with low levels of off gassing from office furnishings and coatings, those with good light and good indoor air quality) are also associated with improved health, resulting in increased productivity due to fewer sick days.
  • Employee Recruitment and Retention: Increasingly, environmental issues factor into people’s choices about where to work. Green workplaces have been associated with greater productivity and employee satisfaction, which can translate into greater loyalty and lower staff turnover. Furthermore, the process of working toward shared environmental goals within the firm can contribute to a sense of team and community.
  • Developing Expertise: Many law firms are increasingly advising clients on environmental issues. Making environmentally-conscious decisions in-house helps to develop the expertise needed to improve credibility with clients and may lead to reputational lift.
  • Corporate Responsibility: Businesses of all sorts are increasingly under pressure from clients, consumers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders to “do the right thing” by improving environmental performance. Corporate responsibility is a business imperative for some companies and a company’s commitment to corporate citizenship can demonstrate its value to employees, clients and society at large.

To sign up to help your firm go green, please visit the CBA Law Office Sustainability Challenge (.pdf). If you have questions, please contact Jennifer McKenzie.

Research and Reference Services (Tip of the Week)

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By Alan Kilpatrick

The Law Society of Saskatchewan Library provides our members with high-quality legal research services at affordable rates.

Ken Fox and Alan Kilpatrick, librarians with the Law Society of Saskatchewan, have years of experience with print and online resources. We can quickly find relevant case law, note up a decision, locate textbooks, or trace a statute section.

Ken is located in Saskatoon at the College of Law library during the temporary closure of the Law Society’s Saskatoon Library due to court house renovation. Alan is located in our Regina Library in the court house on Victoria Avenue.  Please contact us at or 306-569-8020 if you require research assistance.  We are happy to assist you over the phone, in person, or via email.

Ken Fox
Reference Librarian
c/o University of Saskatchewan
8 Law Building, 15 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A6
(306) 966-5999
Alan Kilpatrick
Reference Librarian
Law Society of Saskatchewan Library
2425 Victoria Avenue, 2nd Floor
Regina, SK S4P 4W6
(306) 569-8020


Call 306-569-8020 in Regina
Toll-free 1-877-989-4999
Fax 306-569-0155

Technology of the Day, A Century Ago – The Typewriter (Throwback Thursday)

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Saskatchewan Bar Review, March 1936
Saskatchewan Bar Review, March 1936

“For readers under the age of thirty or so, the ‘typewriter’ was a mechanical device used for creating documents that pre-dated the computer and lacked some of the computer’s more annoying characteristics, in particular the computer’s facilitation of ‘cutting and pasting’, which is undoubtedly one of the four horsemen of the modern apocalypse and which has cost many trees their lives and many lawyers and judges their eyesight.” – R. v. Duncan, 2013 ONCJ 160

The first commercially successful typewriter was invented in 1868. In the early 20th century, the typewriter had become the must-have tech toy of the day. A US tax assessment appeal case in 1920 revealed that Underwood Typewriter Co. was making $1.34 million profit in 1915. (Underwood Typewriter Co. v. Chamberlain, 254 U.S. 112 (1920)) That was serious money 100 year ago when the median hourly wage was 33 cents and the average price of a new home was $3,200.

Unlike computers, typewriters create a document that has “characteristics” that can lead back to the exact typewriter on which the document was created or even the typist. In the second edition of Questioned Documents by Albert S. Osborn (Carswell, 1929), an entire chapter was devoted to “Questioned Typewriting”.

Questioned Documents, 2nd ed. (Carswell, 1929.)
Questioned Documents, 2nd ed. (Carswell, 1929.)

America’s most infamous typewriter belonged to Alger Hiss.  Hiss, an American lawyer, graduate of Harvard Law School, clerked for Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, was accused of being a Soviet spy in 1948. The most damaging testimony against Hiss were the documents (known as Pumpkin Documents because they were hidden in a hollowed pumpkin) supposedly typed on Hiss’s typewriter and the defence team’s failure to refute that the typewriter belonged to the Hiss family.  Hiss was eventually convicted of perjury because the statute of limitations on espionage had run its course. The Alger Hiss case captured the nation and launched the political career of Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon.

In Canada, we have our own infamous Gamey Investigation of 1903. On March 11, 1903, Robert Roswell Gamey, Conservative MLA,  brought forth allegations in the Ontario Legislature that he had been bribed by the Liberals for his political allegiance, and that Provincial Secretary James Robert Stratton, Liberal MLA, was privy to the conspiracy. Gamey stated that $2,000 had been offered to him in Stratton’s office and that the statements in the Liberal newspapers regarding his supposed change of political allegiance had been prepared in Stratton’s office.  A Royal Commission headed by Chancellor John Alexander Boyd and Chief Justice Falconbridge was formed to investigate the allegations.  The hearing lasted 27 days. Eleven anonymous typewritten letters were under investigation and 119 witnesses were examined, and the affair was a sensation in Ontario. In the end the Commission found no proof of bribery. Nonetheless the scandal destroyed the Liberal Party in the election. The Liberals suffered a crushing defeat with only 28 seats elected out of a Legislature of 96.

So is this 150-year-old technology dead yet?  Is there a chance that it is surviving in some hidden, remote corners of this high tech world? After all, William Gibson, who coined the word “cyberspace”, pounded out his triple-award-winning (Nebula, Hugo, Philip K. Dick Award) cyberpunk fiction Neuromancer on a 1927 Hermes typewriter.  Actor Tom Hanks, a typewriter collector, recently released an iPad app that recreates the experience of typing on a typewriter. Within four days of its release, the app Hanx Writer soared to the top of Apple App Store Best New App list.  If you are a typewriter enthusiast, check it out.



Report of the Royal Commission re Gamey Charges before the Honourable Sir John A. Boyd, chancellor, and the Honourable Chief Justice Falconbridge

Alger Hiss –

Who Was Alger Hiss –

Robert Roswell Gamey –