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The Stream - Courthouse Libraries BC Blog
Welcome to the Stream.

Stay current with the latest news and views from Courthouse Libraries BC.
  • Of Google's Pending End-to-End Encryption Extension and Vintage Email Legal Ethics Opinions

    by Nathaniel Russell | Jan 07, 2015

    Last June people perked up to the news that Google was developing an email encryption extension to Google Chrome. The alpha version of the “End-To-End” extension was posted publicly for the coding community to test and kick around, and David Whelan dropped the news on Slaw in the course of a more general post about the importance of encryption and the risks lawyers take when they don’t properly safeguard client data.

    Unlike data on your hard disk, data sent by email has always been prohibitively complicated to encrypt. The tools necessary to encrypt email from sender to recipient have ...

    Full story
  • Convictions and Orders Under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA)

    by Ryan M.J. Johnson | Dec 01, 2014

    For certain prescribed offences, if a person is convicted of, pleads guilty to, or is found not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder (“NCRMD”) the court will make an order under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (“SOIRA”). That order will require the convicted person to provide the police with their personal information and keep the police updated if their relevant personal information changes. The length of time that orders under SOIRA last ranges from 10 years to life, depending on the type of offence which the order is made for. Needless to say, as a practitioner it is ...

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  • Tricky Legislation: The Adult Guardianship Act (updated Nov. 26, 2014)

    by CLBC Administrator | Nov 26, 2014

    In theory, it should not be a momentous task to find out if an Act is in force, but sometimes it really is.  

    If we resolve a particularly complicated piece of legislation, we know that there are others out there who may have similar questions.  So we like to write a blog post about it so that someone else, faced with the same research, doesn't have to start from scratch.

    The latest post in our "Tricky Legislation" series is a particularly confusing one and concerns the Adult Guardianship Act. Sections were brought in to force by various proclamations, but some ...

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  • Earn CPD Where You Are, On Your Own Time

    by Meghan Maddigan | Nov 21, 2014

    Last year, I had the incredible privilege of travelling the province of BC visiting lawyers.  Among the many things I learned, I was struck by the ingenuity of local communities who come together to support one another.

    Lawyers from Port Alberni to Prince George to Trail gave me incredible examples of ways that their local Bar are getting together to learn from one another.  While our practical and targeted webinars meet some of the needs of our remote lawyers, these lawyers highly value getting to network within their communities. Yet travelling out of town for all CPD was often cost ...

    Full story
  • Privacy Alert: Adobe Digital Editions Version 4.0

    by Nathaniel Russell | Oct 10, 2014

    UPDATE: January 22, 2014

    This story originally broke in early October 2014. More recent reports from late October and early November 2014, including this one from Nate Hoffelder (who broke the original story), and this one from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation indicate that early concerns were founded. Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) version 4.0 was observed collecting extensive information about ebooks and conveying it unencrypted to Adobe servers. These reports also indicate some encouraging developments however.

    ADE version 4.1 has been released and EFF reports that it "appears the problem is solved, for now." ADE 4.1 is communicating with encryption, and ...

    Full story
  • Earn CPD and Improve Your Skills for free at Courthouse Libraries BC

    by Kat Siddle | Sep 26, 2014
    September 23 marked the official start of fall. The leaves are falling, children are (finally) heading back to school, and Courthouse Libraries BC is starting our fall 2014 training season. 



    We're bringing back popular webinars, like our 10 Tips for Finding Legal Information Online, and debuting some brand-new, practiced-focused sessions, like CLE Online for Family Lawyers and Legislation for Solicitors
     

    If you are a BC lawyer, you can participate in these events for free from anywhere in the province: all our sessions are being delivered online, so you can join us from any place with a computer and an internet ...

    Full story
  • Public legal events at large in the community

    by Nathaniel Russell | Sep 23, 2014
    It's hard enough remembering the early bird deadline for conferences that offer CPD credit and professional networking opportunities, so it's not surprising that few lawyers will have much of a concept for the calendar of legal events and seminars aimed at the public. 
    There is, nonetheless, always something going on, some public workshop, community outreach event, or library-sponsored public forum. These aim to inform the broader populace — or in many cases educate niches of society, such as youth, elders, immigrants, etc., who may have concerns and interests that make them unique in the legal system.
    Take, for instance, a wave of recent events...
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  • Johanne Blenkin: Courthouse Libraries BC 2014/2015 Service Reductions

    by Johanne Blenkin | Aug 06, 2014

    CLBC has recently reduced or discontinued some services and adjusted our staffing levels in response to an 18% funding cut from our primary funder, the Law Foundation of British Columbia. 

    Because the majority of our current budget is devoted to two core areas (staffing costs and information resources), it is not possible to absorb a budget reduction of this size without affecting these two areas.  After careful review, we have made the following adjustments:

    • Service for our Vancouver reference counter has been reduced from 3 to 2 on-duty staff during regular service hours. Our staffing levels have been slightly ...
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  • JP Boyd: Adapting Joyce and Horn Models for Divorce Act and Family Relations Act

    by CLBC Administrator | Aug 01, 2014

    Under the regime just past, the overlapping concepts of custody under the Divorce Act and custody and guardianship under the Family Relations Act allowed us to think of custody as a somewhat empty concept, largely valued by our clients for the perception of power and control it implied, and guardianship as the repository of the real nuts and bolts of parenting. As joint custody became increasingly prevalent, guardianship often became the flash point for conflict among our clients and we typically managed that conflict in one of two ways, by defining the rights and obligations involved in joint guardianship or by dividing the ...

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  • John Bilawich: Beneficiary Designations - Part 5 of WESA Requires Changes To Estates Practice

    by CLBC Administrator | Jun 27, 2014

    Introduction

    A beneficiary designation is a simple, informal way to pass certain types of benefits to a beneficiary outside one’s estate.  Part 5 of WESA expands the kinds of benefit plans that can be dealt with by beneficiary designation and introduces new rules about how designations operate. 

    To say Part 5 is dry reading is an understatement, but the changes are significant.  Executors, administrators and beneficiaries should be aware of the issues and implications and where necessary the lawyers who advise them should make appropriate adjustments to how they practice.

    Definitions & Interpretation

    Section 1 of WESA contains the definitions ...

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  • Legal information is going digital ... and the Library is too

    by CLBC Administrator | Apr 15, 2014

    As so much of our world shifted to digital over the last two decades, law has been something of a hold out. When it comes to legal information, the “authoritativeness” of print has been slower to fade. Lawyers, as a profession, aren’t known for embracing new ways of doing things. But that’s now changing, rapidly. Technology is now transforming what it means to find and use legal information. The shift to digital has arrived.

     

    Gone are the days where legal research began and ended in expensive texts and hefty case reporters that were only within the grasp of the ...

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  • WESA reading roundup

    by CLBC Administrator | Mar 20, 2014

    With the March 31, 2014 coming into force date of the Wills, Estate and Succession Act, SBC 2009, c. 13 fast approaching, many practitioners are looking for quick ways to get up to speed. Here is a roundup of some tips and resources for current awareness:

    • For convenience, Quickscribe Services Ltd. has a great PDF preview of the Act (alternate link here courtesy of Quickscribe) which includes an alert table for proposed changes (there are three proposed changes, which incidentally the 3rd reading of Bill 4 — 2009 does not warn you about).
    • Remember that until the Act ...
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  • Glenn Veale: Formal settlement offer revoked by newer "informal" offer

    by Kat Siddle | Feb 28, 2014

    As counsel, are you confident in knowing when an offer to settle is no longer on the table? What conduct by one or the other party will be enough to revoke it? Although Rule 9-1(8) of the British Columbia Supreme Court Civil Rules states that an offer to settle does not expire by reason that a counter offer is made, it does not specifically address the issue of revocation of a "formal" settlement offer when an "informal" settlement offer is made by the same party. When this occurs, is there a revocation of the original formal offer?

    Such an issue ...

    Full story
  • Order Books to Your Home or Office with Book in a Box

    by Kat Siddle | Feb 06, 2014

    When it comes to legal information, Courthouse Libraries BC is committed to leveling the playing field in BC.  We are piloting a new service that disperses our print collection across the province–even to communities that don’t have a convenient Courthouse Library location.

     

    We Come to You

     Or at least, our books come to you.

    Even if you don’t have a Courthouse Library in your community, you can still use our books. This new service is called Book in a Box. We send you books using Canada Post, and when they’re due, you mail them back to us—at no cost ...

    Full story
  • BC Forms & Precedents and BC Practice by McLachlin & Taylor are now available on Quicklaw

    by CLBC Administrator | Jan 29, 2014

    One of the two most sought after resources at the Courthouse Library are the McLachlin & Taylor BC Forms & Precedents and the British Columbia Practice.  We are happy to announce that with our expanded Quicklaw suite both of those resources are now available in digital format and accessible on public terminals at any BC Courthouse Library location.

    Let’s explore a few typical questions that can be addressed using these two resources:

    Q: How do I find these two resources on Quicklaw?

    Step 1: Launch Quicklaw and from the top menu bar select Practice Areas and then LitigationPractice...
    Full story
  • Social Media Evidence and Litigation (Part One)

    by CLBC Administrator | Jan 20, 2014

    Courthouse Libraries BC maintains a regular column in the Advocate and in the first issue of 2014 we promised to follow up on the issue of technological competence and lawyering. Is it, for instance, even possible to opt out of a reasonable understanding of social media? Consider this in light of how commonplace social networks have become, and in the specifics set out in the definition of "competent lawyer" in the Code of Professional Conduct for BC. 

    Here is part one in a series of tips for using social media responsibly in litigation. 

    Social media and law generally

    Quite apart ...

    Full story
  • Essential Family, Criminal and Litigation Titles Now Available Province Wide Through Quicklaw

    by CLBC Administrator | Jan 06, 2014

    One of our key goals is to shape our digital offerings and collections to meet the diverse needs in the legal communities we serve. With 29 locations throughout the province, it certainly is a challenge to provide all of the legal titles we would like to in each location. Many important legal texts are very expensive loose-leaf services that can have huge un-forecasted price fluctuations due to their pay-per-update pricing plan. Unfortunately it is simply too expensive to purchase print titles for all of our locations.

    But good news! Our expanded Quicklaw subscription makes some of the most frequently used ...
    Full story
  • Robert Holmes QC: When "must" means may and "may" means must

    by Kat Siddle | Dec 13, 2013

    Getting legal advice on how a statute, regulation or contract is likely to be interpreted by a court is usually a sound idea on any significant business decision.  What may appear straightforward  is not always as non-lawyers would expect.  For example, in some cases, the word “may” is used.  Usually, that would set out the something was permissible, not that it was required.  But context and purpose govern and in some situations “may” can become “must”.  In an old case, Julius v. Oxford (Lord Bishop) (1880), 5 App. Cas. 214 at 222-23 (H.L.), Lord Cairns said:

    “But there may be ...
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  • Searching Federal Hansard

    by Kat Siddle | Nov 25, 2013

    Exciting news! The Library of Parliament, partnered with Canadiana.org, launched http://parl.canadiana.ca last Wednesday, November 20. The site provides access to scanned originals of the Federal Debates of Parliament from the 1st Parliament, 1st Session, 1867-1868, up to the 35th Parliament, 1st Session, 1994-1996, when coverage on the Parliament of Canada site begins. Between parl.canadiana.ca and parl.gc.ca, the Debates of the House of Commons and Senate are now fully available online.

    We are so pleased to have this resource available and want to outline how you can make the most of it, along with some tips on searching Hansard generally....

    Full story
  • How Can I Find Out if a Federal Statute Has Been Amended?

    by CLBC Administrator | Nov 12, 2013

    Fairly often, we get asked "how can I find out if a federal statute has been amended?"

    Our go-to resource for this question is the Justice Laws Website. It's an excellent source for finding out if a statute has been amended between 1985 and the present.

    On the left hand side of the home page, there is a link to the Table of Public Statutes and Responsible Ministers, which is also found at the back of the printed and bound Statues of Canada (available in resource and regional libraries).  It's a table of legislative changes, showing all of the chapters of ...

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