Noting Up Cases – Part 3/3 (Tip of the Week)

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By Alan Kilpatrick

tip10Oct2014_1Noting up is a basic legal research skill.  It allows you to locate other decisions that have or have not followed or considered a particular case.  This will enable you to determine whether a case is still good law or whether it has been overruled or criticized.

Over the past two weeks, we have discovered how to note up case law with the Saskatchewan Cases Search and CanLII.  This week, we will note up case law with the Canadian Case Citations (CCC).  This is a print resource in the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library in Regina.

tip10Oct2014_2The CCC describes itself as a national case citator.  It provides the case history and significant treatment of all reported federal and provincial decisions from 1867 to the present.  Unreported decisions are included in the CCC from 1986 to the present.  The CCC is contained in several red volumes on the library shelf.  It is arranged alphabetically by style of cause.

The red hardcover volume on the left is the CCC volume for cases beginning with the letters R v L to R v Q.  It contains the treatment of cases from 1867 to 2006.  The red soft cover volume on the right is the CCC Annual Supplement for cases beginning with these letters.  It contains the treatment of cases from 2007 to the present.   As such, noting up cases with the CCC is a two-step process:

  • First, the hardcover CCC volume must be consulted to determine the history and treatment of a case from 1867 to 2006
  • Second, the softcover CCC Annual Supplement must be consulted to determine the treatment of a case from 2007 to the present

The CCC uses a variety of symbols to illustrate case history and treatment.  A table at the front of each CCC volume defines these symbols:tip10Oct2014_3

The CCC explains that, “history entries record prior and/or subsequent developments in the appellate history of a case.  Treatment entries record the judicial consideration of one decision by another.”

Let’s continue by learning how to use the CCC to note up R v Lewko, 2002 SKCA 121.  First, select the hardcover CCC volume for case law beginning with the letters R v L to R v Q.  Let’s open this volume and flip through the pages until we find the case we are searching for.tip10Oct2014_4

In the centre of the page, we see a list of cases citing R v Lewko, 2002 SKCA 121.  Note the history and treatment information.  Let’s continue by checking the softcover CCC Annual Supplement next.  Flip through the pages of the annual supplement until we find the case we are looking for.tip10Oct2014_5

Again, we see a list of cases that have cited R v Lewko, 2002 SKCA 121.


If you have any questions, ask a Law Society Librarian. We are pleased to provide legal research assistance to Saskatchewan members in person, on the telephone, or by email.

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





Time is Running Out! CBA Legal Research Section

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

Time is running out to sign up for the first CBA Legal Research Section lunch being held October 14. The first speakers are:

  • Regina – Melanie Hodges Neufeld (Director of Legal Resources, Law Society of Saskatchewan):Understanding Information Literacy – And Convincing a New Generation of Lawyers They Might Need Legal Research Training
  • Saskatoon – Marilyn Lustig-McEwen (Queen’s Printer, Government of Saskatchewan): The Challenges of Legislative Publishing

This is the first year CBA Saskatchewan has offered a legal research section and we’d love to see a great turnout. Lunches will be held in both Regina and Saskatoon on the second Tuesday of each month. This Section supports the professional development of lawyers who conduct legal research and wish to maintain and hone their research skills. The section is relevant to those who practice in the private and public bar; legal counsel to courts, tribunals, law reform and other legal institutes; legal educators; legislative drafters; and law librarians. Members are kept up-to-date on rapidly developing research methodologies and sources of law. Session topics include research resources and processes, and substantive legal topics.

The new CBA Section Registration & Program Handbook was circulated with the summer issue of BARNOTES. Please complete and submit the Sections Registration Form enclosed with your copy of BARNOTES or register online. We look forward to seeing you there!

Book Review – Tomorrow’s Lawyers

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By Alan Kilpatrick

BkRevTomorrowLawyerTomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future
By Richard Susskind
Oxford University Press, 2013
224 pp.

Do you have questions about the future of the legal profession?  According to Richard Susskind, radical changes are in store for aspiring lawyers.  This book purports to be the definitive guide to the future of the legal profession.  Oxford University Press describes this book on its website,

Tomorrow’s Lawyers predicts fundamental and irreversible changes in the world of law. For Richard Susskind, best-selling author of The End of Lawyers, the future of legal service will be neither Grisham nor Rumpole. Instead, it will be a world of virtual courts, Internet-based global legal businesses, online document production, commoditized service, legal process outsourcing, and web-based simulated practice. Legal markets will be liberalized, with new jobs for lawyers and new employers too. This book is a definitive guide to this future – for young and aspiring lawyers, and for all who want to modernize our legal and justice systems. It introduces the new legal landscape and offers practical guidance for those who intend to build careers and businesses in law.

Please stop by the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library in Regina if you are interested in checking this item out. Call Number: KF 297.S96 2013.  




In the Legal Sourcery book review, new, thought-provoking, and notable library resources are reviewed. If you would like to read any of the resources reviewed, please contact our library at or (306) 569-8020. Let us know if there is a book you would like reviewed.


Thanksgiving Day (Throwback Thursday)

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A Thanksgiving Service, attended by Canadian troops, being held in the Cambrai Cathedral, October 13, 1918
A Thanksgiving Service, attended by Canadian troops, being held in the Cambrai Cathedral, October 13, 1918

Thanksgiving has been an official holiday in Canada since 1879. With the exception of the Atlantic provinces (where it is an optional holiday), we will all be enjoying an extra day off on the coming Thanksgiving weekend.

The first North American Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1578, when the English explorer Martin Frobisher organized a day of thanks in Newfoundland to honour the reunion with his scattered fleet and crew members after enduring bitter winter storms near Baffin Island in the Eastern Arctic (now Nunavut).

In 1750s, the Pilgrim’s harvest celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts, was brought to Nova Scotia.  Halifax commemorated the end of the Seven Years’ War with a day of Thanksgiving in 1763, and the American settlers’ tradition of eating turkey and pumpkin pie was spread through Canada.

In the course of the following centuries, Thanksgiving was celebrated on different dates for different reasons by parliamentary proclamations. In addition to the most common “Blessings of an abundant harvest”, “For God’s mercies”, “To continue God’s mercies” and “For general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings with which the people of Canada have been favoured”:

  • September 13, 1814 – End of sanguinary contest in Europe and to give the Dominions blessings of Peace
  • April 6, 1815 – End of the war with United States and restoration of the blessings of Peace
  • May 21, 1816 – End of war between Great Britain and France
  • February 6, 1833 – Cessation of cholera
  • November 1, 1834 – End of quarantine of ships at Grosse Isle
  • February 26, 1838 – Termination of the rebellion
  • January 3, 1850 – For God’s mercies and cessation of grievous disease (* influenza epidemic)
  • June 4, 1856 – Restoration of Peace with Russia
  • April 15, 1872 – For restoration to health of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales (* later King Edward VII, recovery from a serious case of typhoid)
  • June 21, 1887 – 50th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to Throne (* Queen Victoria)
  • June 22, 1896 – Diamond Jubilee of H.M. Queen Victoria
  • August 9, 1902 – King Edward VII’s Coronation

In 1921, Member of Parliament Herbert Macdonald Mowat of Ontario brought before the House of Commons a proposal for a single long weekend for Armistice Day and Thanksgiving Day. An amendment to the Armistice Day Act in May 1921 established that Armistice Day and Thanksgiving would both be celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11 occurred.  Combining a day of festivities to celebrate bountiful harvest and a day of solemn introspection to remember those who sacrificed for the country met with strong disapproval from the veterans and the public at large.  Nevertheless, Armistice Day and Thanksgiving remained on the same day for another 10 years.  In 1931, MP Allan Neill introduced a bill to hold Armistice Day (which was to be renamed Remembrance Day) on November 11, and Thanksgiving was celebrated on October 12 that year. On January 31, 1957, Parliament finally proclaimed and set the annual observance of Thanksgiving on the 2nd Monday in October to separate Thanksgiving from Armistice Day and to bring the harvest celebrations earlier to reflect the shorter growing season in Canada.


Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada (
Wikipedia: Thanksgiving (Canada) (


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By Jenneth Hogan

latinOBSCENE, OBSCENITY  [L. obscenus / foul, repulsive, filthy]
Designed to incite lust or depravity; also, conduct or language regarded as taboo in polite usage.

In Canadian law, the word is defined by section 163 of the Canadian Criminal Code. The prohibited class of obscene things is expansive, covering text-only written material, pictures, models (including statues), records or “any other thing whatsoever”. Section 163(8) defines obscene as any publication with a dominant characteristic of the undue exploitation of sex, or the combination of sex and at least one or more of the following: crime, horror, cruelty or violence.

The law states:

163. (1) Every one commits an offense who

(a) makes, prints, publishes, distributes, circulates, or has in his possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation any obscene written matter, picture, model, phonograph record or other thing whatsoever; or

(b) makes, prints, publishes, distributes, sells or has in his possession for the purposes of publication, distribution or circulation a crime comic.

For this purpose, a crime comic is defined as a book or magazine that pictorially depicts and glorifies criminal activity. There are, literally, thousands of crime and horror novels out there, which makes you wonder why the addition of images suddenly makes the material illegal and raises issues of limitations on freedom of expression made under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But we’ll save that topic for another time.

The origins of section 163 date back to 1892 when parliament first passed criminal legislation on obscenity, officially termed as “Offences Tending to Corrupt Morals”. This would include “exhibiting a disgusting object”, advertising a medicine, drug or article for causing abortion or miscarriage, curing venereal diseases or restoring sexual virility.

In this day and age, where medical advertisements for everything under the sun, including Viagra and Cialis, appear during commercial breaks, it makes you wonder why and how this section of laws remains in the books. It is safe to say that drug manufacturers are well aware that section 163 also states it’s not an offence if it “served the public good”.

(3) No person shall be convicted of an offense under this section if the public good was served by the acts that are alleged to constitute the offense and if the acts alleged did not extend beyond what served the public good.



Emanuel, Lazar. Latin for Lawyers: The Language of the Law (New York: Aspen Publishers, 1999).

First Ever Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan, part 3

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By Ann Marie Melvie, Librarian, Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan
and Joanne V. Colledge-Miller, MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP


The Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan adopts a hybrid approach when it comes to using periods within a citation. What this means in practical terms, is that all periods are removed from citations except those contained in proper nouns, including corporate names or abbreviations in individuals’ names.

You may wonder why there is a need to eliminate periods. What has the period done to us anyway? Or, you may be on the other side of the fence and wonder why periods need to remain in citations at all. Let’s explore.

There is a worldwide trend towards the removal of periods from legal citations. The Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities and the Australian Guide to Legal Citation removed periods from citations. The 7th edition of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (McGill Guide) also removed periods from citations. Harvard Law School’s Bluebook retains periods, but the University of Chicago Manual of Legal Citation (Maroonbook) has adopted a hybrid approach, removing periods from citations but keeping them when referring to names. So generally, the majority of the common law world has adopted or is moving towards adopting a citation style that no longer includes periods. In Canada, the adoption of neutral citations (discussed in our previous post) is a perfect example of citations without periods.

The removal of periods from acronyms makes sense. We do not write C.B.C., we write CBC. We write NATO, NFL, CFL, NBA, and NHL. We can therefore do the same with RSC, RSS, SS, SCR, DLR, WWR, CR, CCC, and so on. We know that “RSC” stands for the “Revised Statutes of Canada”. And we know that “CR” stands for the Criminal Reports.

Our Guide prescribes that periods should be removed from places in a citation where it is implicitly understood there is an abbreviation. For instance, the period after the “v” in the case name is removed; they are removed from print report abbreviations and from abbreviations to legislation. In criminal matters, periods are removed after the “R”.

However, the Guide prescribes that periods must be retained in proper names where their removal could cause confusion:

  1. They are retained where they exist in company names. Any periods are part of the legal registered name of the corporation and should be retained e.g., Coachlight Resources Ltd. v Duce Oil Ltd.
  2. They are retained when the names of parties are initialized e.g., H.E.K. v M.L.K., or Canada (Attorney General) v H.L., or anytime an abbreviation is used in the name of a party e.g., E. (Mrs.) v Eve.
  3. They are retained in author’s names when secondary sources are cited e.g., G.H.L. Fridman, Peter W. Hogg.

Note that within a citation, periods should be removed from “para” when dealing with a paragraph number and from “s” when dealing with a section number. But these rules only apply to proper citations. Within the body of a document, these abbreviations keep their punctuation e.g., “The Court made the following statement at para. 25.” In this case, because “para” is not within the citation proper, it must retain the period. Or, in this sentence “the Court called for a combined approach to s. 241(2) of the Canada Business Corporations Act”, the period is retained after the “s”.

One last place where periods will remain is in a list of authorities or a bibliography. In that case, you still continue to end each citation with a period. For example:

Canada (Attorney General) v H.L., [2003] 5 WWR 421 (Sask CA).
Gray v Wiegers, 2008 SKCA 7, 291 DLR (4th) 176.

So, what does this mean for you?

It means that you will have relatively few periods in your citations. But, as described above, you need to keep them when referring to proper nouns within citations.

This is part 3 of a 7-part series on the Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan:  Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

Ann Marie Melvie is the Librarian at the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan, having served in this position since 2001. She received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan and her diploma as a Library Technician from SIAST.

Joanne V. Colledge-Miller is currently an associate at MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP, practicing in the areas of commercial litigation and class actions.



Staying current in legal news (or how to be a legal news ninja)

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By Sarah Roussel-Lewis

ninjaAt the Law Society Library, we like to jokingly refer to our staff as Legal Resource Ninjas, because we tend to be able to find information quickly and from some pretty obscure sources. A key component of this is trying to keep up with current legal news, which can be quite difficult at times. This process involves spending a lot of time perusing law blogs (or blawgs), news sites and reading current case law. For my Monday Pick-Me-Pp posts, I often find myself going through all three of these types of news sources and amalgamating them for our readers. Here is a short write-up highlighting a few sources you may find useful.

Some of the websites I check daily:

Slaw: Canada’s online legal magazine

Slaw is the first resource I check when looking for current legal news. They post a wide variety of legal articles about three to six times a day with the help of “22-25 weekly bloggers and 60-70 regular columnists”. Some of the re-occurring posts are: Monday’s mix (highlighting five blawg posts), Tips Tuesday, and Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII. These three in particular are super useful, and often get re-posted in our Monday Pick-Me-Ups.

Wise Law Blog

This is one of the most useful websites I have come across in my time here at the library. Garry J. Wise has taken on the task of making a daily post gathering any and all legal link headlines. When searching for any current legal development or recent articles, this blog will give you a head start.

Here are a few more websites that I check once or twice a week:

CanLII Connects

CanLII is a website everyone in the legal profession is aware of (or should be) but you may not be as familiar with their new website CanLII Connects. This resource makes it easier for everyone to access “high-quality legal commentary on Canadian court decisions”. I haven’t yet familiarized myself with their entire website, but have often found useful and interesting links since their inception (April 4, 2014). &

I have recently added CBC and Global to my list of “must check” websites. The legal articles might not always be front page news, so I have to dig for them, but the articles are really great for keeping up on local legal news.

I also have a category of more specific blogs that post articles within their practice areas:

Canadian Privacy Law Blog

Canadian privacy lawyer, David T.S. Fraser, runs this blog that posts articles about “developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer”. Although this blog isn’t updated every day, David posts about once or twice a week with substantial articles.

Family LLB

Even if not specific to Saskatchewan family law, this blog has become very important for being up-to-date on current family law issues. Russell Alexander, an Ontario family law lawyer, posts two to three times a week with videos or commentary on recent family law cases.

I have a much longer list of other blogs I check for our Monday Pick-Me-Ups, but I thought a short list of essential websites would be more useful for our members. Hopefully you can all become news ninjas and share in our joy of gaining knowledge about our profession.

If you know any great resources I haven’t mentioned here, be sure to leave a comment below!