Know How

The blog of the Great Library


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First Time Tips: Going to Court

Leaving behind the familiar challenges of the academic arena for the professional world of legal practice can be a scary move.  While it is what your legal education has been working to prepare you for, there are other resources available that can help make the transition as smooth as possible.

The Student Issue of LAWPRO Magazine is devoted to preparing law students and new lawyers for the momentous and intimidating leap from the academic to the practice setting. From tips on how to avoid cyber dangers to advice on how to prepare for your first day in court—the latter being the feature of this post—LAWPRO Magazine: Student Issue has got you covered.

The First Timer’s Going to Court Cheat Sheet is an excellent resource that explains the ins and outs of court procedure—what to expect, when to expect it and what is expected from you—as well as the do’s and don’ts of counsel’s behaviour. This article offers advice on what to wear, where to stand, how to act and what to say in court. Need to reference courtroom etiquette and procedure in a pinch? Rely on this helpful Cheat Sheet.

And, of course, the Great Library is here to supplement whatever informational resources are available to you. Whether it’s to bolster the legal research skills you’ve developed in law school or to act as a guide through the simpler to more complex research, the library staff is here to help.

Photo of Brockville courtroom by P199


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Print or Electronic? It’s Your Choice

The Great Library now offers over 300 current Canadian legal titles in electronic form as well as in print. Searchable electronic versions of texts and loose leaf services on a broad range of legal topics can be accessed in the library through Thomson Reuters ProView, Lexis Advance Quicklaw and WestlawNext Canada.

How does this work?

If you’re a Law Society of Ontario licensee, articling student or LPP student, you can use your Great Library eResources barcode and password to log-in to these texts and loose leafs. But you need to be in the library to use these resources. Remote access is not available.

To find a specific text or loose leaf service, use the search bar on the Great Library home page. The catalogue entry for the book will tell you if an electronic version is available.

Here’s an example for a perennial favourite, the loose-leaf service The Law of Costs by Orkin.The library offers this title in both hard copy and electronic formats. If you’re using the catalogue within the library, clicking on the  View Online  link will take you to a log-in page and then directly into the electronic version of the book.

Alternatively, you can log-in to one of the library’s online services, such as Thomson Reuters eLooseleafs on ProView. Then search within the collection for a specific title or browse by subject.

If you need log-in instructions, or help in finding or using any of the Great Library’s eResources, email us at refstaff@lso.ca.


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New Books for Spring

Here’s a selection of recent additions to our print collection:  

Cannabis in the Workplace by Gilmore. KF 3540 G55 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

This text provides guidance for employers facing challenges brought about by cannabis legalization. It covers areas of concern such as human rights, privacy, health and safety and impairment testing. References to relevant legislation and case law, as well as sample privacy and workplace policies are also included.

Employment Law for Paralegals by Romano & Filsinger. KF 3320 .ZB3 R66 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Written specifically for paralegals, Employment Law for Paralegals offers substantive overviews of labour law, employment law, human rights and the new changes made to the Employment Standards Act in 2018. This text was created with the specific scope of paralegal practice in mind when speaking to the administration of legal services involving: the employment contract, privacy in the workplace, tort law, dismissal without cause, and more.

Fitness to Stand Trial: Fairness First & Foremost by Schneider & Bloom. KF 9242 S35 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

This book explores a legal issue that affects mental health practitioners and criminal courts daily: fitness to stand trial. Whether it involves fitness assessments, psychiatric reports or fitness hearings, Fitness to Stand Trial: Fairness First and Foremost helps navigate the complex and sometimes unsettled dynamics of the Fitness Rules. With chapters on the “Unfit to Stand Trial” test, psychiatric aspects of fitness, assessing fitness to stand trial, trial of the issues of fitness and more, this text helps to interpret this common but at times convoluted legal issue.

The Fundamentals of Statutory Interpretation by Hutchison. KF 425 H88 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

This book provides an accessible analysis of Canadian statutory interpretation, structured around Driedger’s modern principle. It covers the foundations of statutory interpretation, textual and contextual meaning and also includes separate in-depth chapters on legislative history and intent, temporal application of statutes, judicial review and constitutional interpretation.

Law for Healthcare Providers by Nelson & Ogbogu. KF 3821 N44 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Acting as a primer of sorts for Canadian health care providers and their students, Law for Health Care Providers provides overviews of areas of health law which concern: indigenous peoples, medical negligence, consent, medical records, organ and tissue donation, end of life care and health research. This book mainly deals with Canadian common law jurisdictions. 

Prosecuting and Defending Offences Against Children: A Practitioner’s Handbook by Joyal et al. KF 9323 J69 2019 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

The latest title in the Criminal Law Series is a valuable resource for both Crown and defence counsel dealing with cases of sexual abuse and other offences against children. Differences in the way children and adults interact with the criminal justice system are examined, and procedural considerations, such as children as witnesses, testimonial aids, disclosure and expert evidence and sentencing, are covered. The text is clearly laid out and includes ample case references.

Surrogacy in Canada: Critical Perspectives in Law and Policy edited by Gruben et al. KF 3830 S94 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

In wake of the proposal of major reforms to the regulatory framework of surrogacy, Surrogacy in Canada: Critical Perspectives in Law and Policy explores the challenges associated with the regulation of surrogacy today. Addressing such issues as surrogate autonomy, lack of empirical research, the internationalization of surrogacy and the need for effective and responsive law and policy, this book offers a critical perspective on the governance and experience of surrogacy in Canada while making recommendations for change.

Taxation of Cannabis in Canada by Tomlinson. KF 6624 .M37 C36 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

This handbook covers taxation and regulation of recreational cannabis across all Canadian jurisdictions.  Appendices contain the text of relevant federal legislation, CRA forms and notices, as well as a sample calculation of federal and provincial cannabis duty.  


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Has It Been Appealed?

When you’ve found the perfect case that’s exactly on point, what’s your next step? Besides running out and buying a lottery ticket, you should note up the decision to see if it has been appealed. You can do this using Lexis Advance Quicklaw, WestlawNext Canada and CanLII. There may be a later decision that upholds or reverses your decision, awards costs or in some instances orders a new trial.

What if your perfect Ontario case is very recent and you’re wondering if it has been appealed to the Court of Appeal? The court’s website has a section that lists motions for leave to appeal, organized by year and then month. Once you have selected a year you can then do a ctrl-f search for one of the party’s names. The motions for leave to appeal begin with 2002.

What if leave to appeal has been granted and you’re desperate to know when the decision might be released? After checking the three case law databases listed above (but only after they have been checked), you can call the Court of Appeal. For inquiries about appeals, contact the Intake Office at 416-327-5020 and select Option #2.


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A Lesson in Anatomy: The Canada Gazette 

As the official newspaper of the Government of Canada, published under the authority of the Statutory Instruments Act, the Canada Gazette contains a wealth of government information from new and proposed regulations to various public notices. The materials published in the Canada Gazette can form the backbone of much of your primary legal research — if you know where to look! In this post we’ll examine the anatomy of the Canada Gazette and dissect its 3 separately published parts to provide some clarity.

Part I

Part I of the Gazette is published every Saturday and is organized into six parts: Government House, Government Notices, Parliament, Commissions, Miscellaneous Notices and Proposed Regulations. It is most often used to look for orders-in-council, proposed regulations and their Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) and federal agency or departmental notices.

Quarterly Indexes provide a handy list of notices and orders-in-council published in Part I in the previous 3 months.

Part II

Part II is published bi-weekly on Wednesdays. This part contains important information for legislative research purposes, namely enacted regulations, other classes of statutory instruments, and orders. Part II is where to find orders fixing the coming into force dates for acts. Every document contained in Part II can be identified and is organized chronologically by a specified number: a Statutory Orders and Regulations (SOR) number or a Statutory Instruments (SI) number.

Part III

Part III contains official versions of public Acts of Parliament along with their enactment proclamations. This part of the Gazette is now less used than in the past, since recently enacted or “assented-to” versions of acts can be readily accessed in other places, such as the Justice Laws website or through LegisINFO. Part III is published irregularly, essentially whenever the Department of Justice determines there are enough newly enacted statutes to warrant it.

All parts of the Canada Gazette since 1998 are available on the “Canada Gazette Publications” webpage. (PDF versions since April 1, 2003 are official for evidence purposes.) For older issues, look to the Canada Gazette Archives. The Great Library has hard copies of the Canada Gazette from its inception in 1841 to 2014, the year the federal government discontinued the print publication.

For further reading, the Government of Canada has produced a helpful webpage on Understanding the Canada Gazette, as well as a History of the Canada Gazette.