All Our Research Tips
I usually talk about currency from the “the quality or state of being current” perspective. Today, I used the Bank of Canada Currency Converter to look at the exchange rate which leads me to today’s tip that deals with another definition of currency:
Look to the Bank of Canada site for money issues.
For those of you who keep track of the prime business rate for the purposes of calculating interest under the Northwest Territories Judicature Act, s.56(2), the latest interest rate is 3%.
Happy New Year!
Supreme Court of Canada Decisions
Today’s Tip: Consider how you need a decision to help determine where to get it.
An announcement from the SCC last week inspired this tip:
Major addition to the Supreme Court of Canada decision’s website
The Supreme Court of Canada and Lexum are proud to announce that the Court’s decision website now contains all decisions back to 1907. Moreover, all the PDF versions of decisions up to 2010 are identical to the official version available in the Supreme Court Reports.
This major content addition has been made possible thanks to the support of the Supreme Court of Canada. The Court has been at the forefront of free access to judicial decisions for the past 20 years. Lexum is proud to provide its technology and infrastructure to ensure continuous and efficient availability of Supreme Court of Canada decisions.
The PDF copies, even for the earliest cases, are clean and beautiful. If I were preparing for a hearing and needed a copy of an SCC decision for the authorities, I would use this source.
If I were researching, comparing and contrasting case law, or noting up I would probably use a different source. Supreme Court of Canada decisions are available in many places:
I may have missed some sources, but as you can see, you have plenty of options.
Legal News for the Super Busy
Are you the most busy lawyer in Canada? Do you still need to know what is going on in the legal industry in our country?
The US Legal Market offers busy lawyers a 5 minute daily visit of the RSS feed for the legal gossip blog Above the Law to keep up to date on what is happening inside the legal industry. Associate bonuses, policies from big law firms, law firm mergers, layoffs and closures.
Here in Canada, we have 140Law – a daily offering of legal headlines offered as a roundup post on the Wise Law Blog by Garry Wise and through the Wise Law twitter stream. Today’s research tip is to follow these headlines for Canadian legal industry specific news.
Thanks for compiling 140Law for us Garry, and Merry Christmas.
Check for Coming Into Force
I was looking at the Interest Act (Canada) recently which reminded me to remind Tips readers to look carefully and closely at coming in to force information when researching legislation.
The Act at section 4 reads:
Marginal note: When per annum rate not stipulated
4. Except as to mortgages on real property or hypothecs on immovables, whenever any interest is, by the terms of any written or printed contract, whether under seal or not, made payable at a rate or percentage per day, week, month, or at any rate or percentage for any period less than a year, no interest exceeding the rate or percentage of five per cent per annum shall be chargeable, payable or recoverable on any part of the principal money unless the contract contains an express statement of the yearly rate or percentage of interest to which the other rate or percentage is equivalent.
R.S., 1985, c. I-15, s. 4; 2001, c. 4, s. 91.
The research trail at the bottom of a section will tell you amendments to that section that are in force for federal legislation. The Department of Justice Laws site gives a handy list of pending amendments when you look at the table of contents for an act:
The Amendments not in force particulars for this act have a couple of references to section 4. This means that there are acts that have been assented to and are only awaiting proclamation to be brought into effect. They many never be proclaimed and eventually be repealed under the Statutes Repeal Act. Read very carefully and look at the Table of Public Statutes for the key to coming into force dates.
The Table of Public Statutes for the Interest Act shows:
The Orders in Council Database at the Privy Council Office website provides a search engine for identifying proclamations by act name.
A note about an infographic was delivered to me by email yesterday. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation website www.fightspam.gc.ca. The infographic touted in the email was titled “Worried its Spam? 5 Things to Look for”.
Sharing the infographic was encouraged in the email. Sharing is what infographics are all about.
Gyi Tsakalakis has a fantastic collection of Law Infographics on his Pinterest channel. Gyi has jsut started contributing to Attorney at Work. Gyi’s byline for his Optimize!column:
Gyi Tsakalakis helps lawyers put their best foot forward online because clients are looking for them there. He is a co-founder of AttorneySync, a digital marketing agency for law firms. You can find more of his writing at Lawyerist & Avvo’s Lawyernomics blog. You can ask him a question (or just say hi) at LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
Thanks Gyi for sharing your Law Infographics collection.
Start at the Beginning
My browser is crowded with so many links in my favourites bar that sometimes it is faster to type a known URL than scroll for my link. Typing “parl.gc.ca” in the address bar of my browser inspired today’s tip. My shortcut to the parliamentary website skips directly to English, my sadly unilingual preferred language. As you can see below though, the beginning of the site has “important notices“…something that could be overlooked.
Click the image to enlarge.
Today’s Tip: Start at the beginning.
A Visual Tip
As the shelf sign says, not all tips are online. Remember to read the notes provided by your law library.
Buy the Book
I am often asked by folks touring through my firm’s library, or in airports, or at various events, if we still buy books. I am always a little surprised by the question. We live in the world of Chapters and Amazon – books are a major player in the retail market – of course we buy books for our law firm library.
We have a rule about books, we buy a title if we are going to use it 3 or more times a year. This seems a reasonable tipping point for pain to borrow vs. pain to buy.
If you are thinking about buying Canadian law books, check out LegalPubs.ca. The site aggregates RSS feeds from Canadian legal publishers to show the latest offerings, and provides links to the source for easy access to purchase.
For older titles, used Canadian law books are available from plenty of online retailers. I have even used eBay to add to our library collection.
Hard copy books are still a great way to share one title among many people for a reasonable, single time only, purchase price.
Read the Screen
Today’s tip is a simple reminder…read the screen. When you are doing legal research, the best gift you can give yourself, and your client, is careful attention to detail. For electronic research services, that means paying attention to everything that is going on – content and functionality.
Databases Databases Everywhere
Today’s Tip is for those of you who may be thinking of buying a sports car through eBay and shipping it long distances and cross borders so that your partner has a excellent birthday. Really, it is about the wealth of fantastic databases that exist and may not necessarily be considered legal research, but fill that role.
Take, for instance, the Road Safety Recalls Database provided by Transport Canada. This database, freely available through a government website, makes it very easy to find vehicle recalls for virtually any make and model of cute little sports car that you may choose.