HeinOnline Available to our Members

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

For the last few years, we have subscribed to HeinOnline, which contains full text of over 700 legal periodicals from the United States, Canada and the Commonwealth. These include popular journals such as the Saskatchewan Law Review! It is available, along with other numerous online resources, in the Members’ Section of our website.

HeinOnline has experienced considerable growth in the last year. They have added more than 13 million pages of content to their database, bringing their total number of pages to more than 100 million. New content includes:

  • More than 125 new journals added to the Law Journal library
  • More than 1,000 titles added to the Legal Classics library
  • More than 100 titles added to the World Trials library

HeinOnline also has a new Help & Training website to provide you with more assistance. Please, check it out!



Saskatchewan Library Week – Libraries Inspire!

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By Alan Kilpatrick

Saskatchewan Library Week will be celebrated this year from October 19 to 25.  The theme is Libraries Inspire.  We look forward to celebrating the event at the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library.  It is an exciting opportunity to spread awareness on the value of libraries and literacy in the province.

Saskatchewan Library Week has a vibrant and storied history.  The patron of the first library week in 1976 was famous Saskatchewan lawyer John Diefenbaker.  The Saskatchewan Library Association describes the annual event on its website,

Saskatchewan Library Week is a province-wide, annual event, which promotes the wonderful resources and services that libraries have to offer. Saskatchewan Library Week is celebrated throughout Saskatchewan in all types of libraries, in both urban and rural communities and by all age groups. The Saskatchewan Library Association has proudly presented this weeklong celebration since 1976.

To celebrate Saskatchewan Library Week this year, a book spine poetry contest will be held across the entire province.  The Law Society of Saskatchewan Library will be eagerly participating in this contest.  We challenge all of our members to also participate!  Please see the contest details below.


Noting Up Cases – Part 1/3 (Tip of the Week)

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By Alan Kilpatrick

Over the next several weeks, we will highlight three different ways to note up a case.  Noting up is an essential legal research skill.  It will allow you to locate other decisions that have followed, not followed, or considered a particular case.  Noting up will enable you to determine whether a case is still good law or whether it has been overruled or criticized.

Three excellent resources can be used to note up a case.  They are the Saskatchewan Cases Search, CanLII, and the Canada Cases Citations.  This week, we will use the Saskatchewan Cases Search.  The Saskatchewan Cases Search is a searchable legal database created by the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library in 1999.  It is meticulously maintained by library staff and is the best resource to note up Saskatchewan case law.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Great Margarine Debate (Throwback Thursday)

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By Jenneth Hogan

margarineYou make your grocery list and you head to the store. Making your way down the frigid isles of dairy products gleaming with creamy white to buttery yellow versions of every household’s staple, you have a choice to make, butter or margarine? With so many versions out there – all vegetable, low fat, non-fat, with omega fatty acids – margarine seems to be the popular choice to stock our fridges, but there wasn’t always an option. In fact, from 1886 to 1948 margarine was banned across Canada, although the ban was temporarily lifted between 1917 and 1923 due to a shortage in dairy.

If you do your math right you’ll realize that at the same time Americans were smuggling in bootleg liquor from Canada, Canadians were smuggling bootleg margarine in from Newfoundland, not yet a part of Canada.  Made by the Newfoundland Butter Company from whale, seal and fish oils and sold for half the price of butter, margarine was making its way to kitchen tables and pantries across the country, prompting the Supreme Court of Canada to lift the ban in 1948. That same year Newfoundland negotiated its entry into the Canadian Confederation making one of its three non-negotiable conditions for union with Canada a constitutional protection for the new province’s right to manufacture margarine.

From Section 46 of the 1949 British North American Act:


  1. (1) Oleomargarine or margarine may be manufactured or sold in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador after the date of the Union and the Parliament of Canada shall not prohibit or restrict such manufacture or sale except at the request of the Legislature of the Province of Newfoundland, but nothing in this Term shall affect the power of the Parliament of Canada to require compliance with standards of quality applicable throughout Canada.
    (2) Unless the Parliament of Canada otherwise provides or unless the sale and manufacture in, and the interprovincial movement between, all provinces of Canada other than Newfoundland and Labrador, of oleomargarine and margarine, is lawful under the laws of Canada, oleomargarine or margarine shall not be sent, shipped, brought, or carried from the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador into any other province of Canada.

In 1950 the landmark “margarine reference” removed federal jurisdiction over margarine but provincial strictures remained for decades, implementing rules regarding the color of the product. Most provinces required margarine to be a bright yellow or orange product and in some provinces it was to be colorless. In Ontario it was not legal to sell butter-colored margarine until 1995 and Quebec’s ban on colorized margarine was not repealed until 2008.





Legal Research Ethics Webinar

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

On October 29, I will be presenting a lunchtime webinar on Legal Research Ethics:

This is a one (1.0) hour webinar being held Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. (Saskatchewan time).

This webinar will focus on recent case law concerning ethical legal research issues such as legal research costs, research abilities and a lawyer’s professional competence, and adverse authority obligations. The webinar will also focus on how these issues are impacted by changing technology. More specifically, whether computerized legal research is necessary to meet the expectations of the Code of Professional Conduct, and the issue of costs for electronic research disbursement fees.

This webinar will be presented by Melanie Hodges Neufeld, Director of Legal Resources at the Law Society of Saskatchewan.  Melanie is responsible for administration of the traditional library, as well as developing and recommending a strategic plan for the management of legal information within the Law Society and the province.  Melanie is a lawyer with a background in administrative law and policy development.  She also recently completed her Master of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan in the area of restorative Justice.

This webinar qualifies for one (1.0) CPD hour, all of which qualifies as Ethics under the Law Society’s CPD Policy.

For more details are available on the Law Society CPD website.  Once you have completed the online registration form you are required to provide payment in advance of the webinar to the Law Society via cheque or credit card.  After payment has been made, your registration will be complete.

For up-to-date information on educational programming and events visit the Continuing Professional Development website.

First Ever Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan, part 1

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

CitationGuideYou have likely heard there is a new Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan. Its purpose is to provide a standard set of citation rules for use in and by the courts of Saskatchewan.

You may wonder why a guide such as this is needed. After all, for years now, many lawyers and courts have used the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (McGill Guide). Why the need to create a different one for Saskatchewan?

We have been very appreciative of the McGill Guide and the work that went into writing it every four years. But there were concerns with the 7th edition published in 2010.  For example, it removed periods from citations to case law, legislation, and secondary sources, an approach not agreed upon by everyone. This change in the 7th edition was the impetus for us to conduct a thorough review of legal citation in Saskatchewan, which eventually led to the development of the Guide.

The Guide is available in PDF on the Courts of Saskatchewan website. It contains a table of contents, a two-page quick reference guide, and detailed explanations and examples of each citation pattern. It is 21 pages long, and covers basic legal citation structure. For more complex citation questions not covered by the Guide, you will still want to consult the McGill Guide.

Our Guide stresses the importance of the neutral citation and mandates its use in any citation if one exists for the decision cited. Where a case is pulled from an electronic database rather than being read in a print report, the Guide requires the electronic source be identified in certain circumstances, and it introduces a hybrid approach in relation to periods. More in-depth discussion of each of these points and other aspects of the Guide will appear in future posts on this blog.

So what does all of this mean for you?

Two things: It means that all submissions you make to the Saskatchewan courts will have to conform to the Guide; and it means that in conforming to the Guide, you will have a standard, easily accessible set of rules to follow.

Keep an eye on this blog for future posts about the Guide, which is available here.

This is part 1 of a 7-part series on the Citation Guide for the Courts of SaskatchewanPart 2 | Part 3 | 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.