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The blog of the Great Library


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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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Je ne parle pas français: Tips for finding English versions of French language case law

Few things are more frustrating than finding your “golden case”—the case that will answer all your questions, solve all your problems and surely render opposing counsel speechless—only to realize you cannot understand a word of it because it’s been reported in French (and, well, you don’t speak French). While the search for English translations of case law reported in French is not entirely hopeless, it can be a challenge.

Unless the decision has been reported in an official court reporter or published in a bilingual jurisdiction, it is most likely the decision has only been reported in the language in which it was argued. Nevertheless, there are several pathways to take before admitting defeat.

To double-check if there is a translated version of a Canadian decision, search by style of clause (name of the case) on:

  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw
  • WestlawNext Canada
  • CanLII

If these resources do possess a translated version of the case in question, you’ll see an “English” link on the French case, or you’ll notice the case is shown as being reported twice in the same database (one in English, the other in French).

Another source worth consulting is SOQUIJ, the body that publishes Quebec judicial and administrative tribunal decisions.  Although limited in scope, its free database of Translated Decisions offers unofficial English translations of selected decisions from the Quebec Court of Appeal, Quebec Superior Court, Court of Quebec, Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, Quebec Professions Tribunal, the Ministère de la Justice of Quebec and the Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal.

Lastly, some of us at the Great Library have had luck searching for translated versions of cases by using CanLII on Google Chrome. When using CanLII and Google Chrome in tandem, a pop-up window which reads, “Translate this page?” appears. After clicking the “Translate” button, an unofficial English translation of the French case is presented.


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What are Nominate Reports?

A few weeks ago we wrote a blog post about bookplates and casually mentioned British nominate reports. Realizing that it is quite an archaic term, some explanation into their significance and their use in the legal world would be beneficial. Referred to as either nominate or nominative reports, these collections of decisions were usually published by individuals.

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How to Find Law Society Discipline Decisions

We have a new legal research guide about finding a specific type of tribunal decision – How To Find Law Society Discipline Decisions. The guide covers available sources of full-text discipline decisions issued by the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Hearing and Appeal Divisions, as well as sources for older decision summaries. We also include a few tips for searching these sources. Continue reading