Communications Breakdown: When a Lawyer Uses Jargon

slaw - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 15:18

“We’re [McLeish , Orlando LLP] in the process of retaining an ad agency for some of our marketing,” says Dale Orlando. “And it’s really frustrating when they use acronyms we don’t understand. You don’t want to ask because it seems like everybody else in the room knows what that means, so maybe I should.

“One agency came in to talk about a service agreement, and they were trying to explain to us the services they were going to provide. After listening for 30 minutes I still had no clue what they were going to be doing.”

Needless to say, Orlando did not retain that agency.

Speaking in code is an easy trap to fall into. It is the language lawyers use daily with their peers, so to talk in legal terms with a client seems totally natural. This can create two problems. First of all, when clients don’t understand what is going on, they aren’t in a position to make informed decisions.

“I like it when a doctor explains things on my layman’s level as I am not a doctor. We forget our clients are not lawyers,” says Pascoe. “I like it when my doctor makes it even simpler by drawing a diagram to explain my medical problem.” It may seem rudimentary, but it works. Understanding why something is the way it is makes it easier to accept and rationalize rather than just being told that’s the way it is.

The second problem,Dilip Soman, professor of marketing and communication strategy at the Rotman School of Business, says, is emotional: When someone speaks ‘above’ a customer’s understanding, it makes the client feel inferior.

“It puts the lawyer on a pedestal,” he says. No one wants to be talked down to or made to feel stupid, but when they don’t understand, it isn’t always easy to ask for an explanation.

As Orlando said, there is a perception that everyone else at the table “gets it,” so those who don’t are not as smart as the others. “We tell our new staff that good communication isn’t based on what the communicator says but what the listener understands,” says Gowlings Lafleur Henderson LLP’s managing partner,Stephen Pike. “Talk in the language the client understands.”

Ditch the jargon and speak plainly. Make things as concise as possible and ask questions to make sure the client understands.

In 2014 the broad category of communications accounted for about almost a third of claims reported and claims costs. LAWPRO asked some lawyers to give their opinions on the various ways lawyer-client communications can break down in the article “Let’s Get Talking“, from the 2011 issue of LAWPRO Magazine. All past issues of LAWPRO Magazine can be found at

Categories: Teknoids Blogs

How to Clone a MySQL Database. Useful for Development

<CONTENT /> v.5 - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 15:02

You can also use mysqldump and mysqlimport to transfer the database. For large tables, this is much faster than simply using mysqldump. In the following commands, DUMPDIR represents the full path name of the directory you use to store the output from mysqldump.First, create the directory for the output files and dump the database:

shell> mkdir DUMPDIRshell> mysqldump --tab=DUMPDIR db_name

Then transfer the files in the DUMPDIR directory to some corresponding directory on the target machine and load the files into MySQL there:

shell> mysqladmin create db_name # create database shell> cat DUMPDIR/*.sql | mysql db_name # create tables in database shell> mysqlimport db_name DUMPDIR/*.txt # load data into tables

Do not forget to copy the mysql database because that is where the grant tables are stored. You might have to run commands as the MySQL root user on the new machine until you have the mysql database in place.

After you import the mysql database on the new machine, execute mysqladmin flush-privileges so that the server reloads the grant table information.

Source: MySQL :: MySQL 5.0 Reference Manual :: 2.19.5 Copying MySQL Databases to Another Machine

Currently the best way to make a clone of a database on the CALI dev environment. Useful as a aid to development allowing the developer to test new things out on copy of a db so if it goes wrong you can get back to where you were.


Categories: Teknoids Blogs

My Twitter Digest for 07/26/2015

<CONTENT /> v.5 - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 14:30
Categories: Teknoids Blogs

Ontario Civic Holiday a “Stat Holiday”: Think Twice…

slaw - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 10:53

The upcoming Civic Holiday is celebrated on Monday, August 3 in Ontario. The holiday, which was created in honour of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, often raises questions for employees and employers alike. Contrary to popular belief, the Civic Holiday is not a statutory holiday in Ontario; it is not listed as a public holiday in the province’s Employment Standards Act. This means that while many employers choose to give their employees a holiday, they are not required to do so by law.

A number of other provinces also have a public holiday, called by a variety of different names, next Monday. British Columbia Day, New Brunswick Day, Saskatchewan Day, Civic Holiday in the Northwest Territories and Civic Holiday in Nunavut are all statutory holidays and are governed by each province’s employment standards legislation. Heritage Day in Alberta, Natal Day in Nova Scotia, and Civic Holiday in Manitoba are not statutory holidays and employees are therefore not guaranteed a holiday.

For more information on work and pay requirements, check out your provincial employment standards legislation.

Categories: Teknoids Blogs

Are We Approaching the Maturation of Library Linked Data Processes?

slaw - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 08:30

It’s nice to see that the processes involved in the creation of library linked data have evolved to a point where you might say they are approaching a degree of maturity. For a while now there have been a number of technical barriers including seemingly simple things like deciding which of the many programming languages to invest your time in or which of the many applications are necessary to accomplish your linked data goals. A number of useful tools have emerged in the last couple of years and there are now enough people who have tried them with some success and sharing their experiences.

One very useful contribution in this regard is Eric M. Hanson’s article, “A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Library Linked Data: Lessons from NCSU’s Organization Name Linked Data Project.” Hanson is the Electronic Resources Librarian at North Carolina State University Libraries and this project brings authority control to their eResource management system E-Matrix.

Their process draws on “Best Practices for Publishing Linked Data” a W3C Working Group Note released as a “work in progress” in January 2014. Although the intention of this note is to guide and facilitate the development of linked open data for open government initiatives Hanson considers this W3C paper to be, “… one of the best and most concise guides available on the subject of publishing linked data, and though it focuses on publishing government linked data, the project phases described could be applied to any type of linked data project.”

He distils the ten original W3C steps [1] down to the five “project phases” used by the NCSU project team: project definition and modelling; data clean up; data enhancement; converting data to RDF; and publishing. As Hanson notes, these phases are a “modified and reordered version of the framework described by [W3C] and more closely resembles how the NCSU ONLD project developed.”

For those who may not have direct access to this Serials Review article I’ve condensed and outlined Hanson’s project phases below.

  1. Project Definition and Modelling
  • Select source data weighing size and complexity against available time and resources
  • Define publishing goals considering use cases and needs of potential users
  • Identify available suitable RDF vocabularies (e.g. Dublin Core, FOAF, SKOS, OWL[2]
  • Define the structure for the Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) to be used in the linked data set
  1. Data Clean Up
  • Review source file and unsure data are well structured and error free
  • Common errors include inconsistent formatting, duplicate entries, and incomplete information
  • Consider differences based on the history, structure, and the original purpose of the data
  • To facilitate available tools and minimize error generation during the subsequent conversion of the data convert the dataset to a structured format (e.g. XML, JSON)
  • Consider data clean-up as an on-going part of the project life cycle
  1. Data Enhancement
  1. Converting Data to RDF
  1. Publishing
  • More than simply uploading files to a server
  • Associate on open data licence (e.g. Creative Commons’ CC0 license, Open Data Common’s ODC-BY and ODbL)
  • Announce availability to potential user groups (NCSU also registered with Open Knowledge Foundation’s Datahub a registry of published linked datasets)
  • Finalize plans for long-term maintenance of the dataset and include update frequency and contact information
  • Share project files and tools created (e.g. NCSU has posted their scripts with sample data and serialization outputs)

I’ll leave you with this quote from Hanson’s conclusion:

In these beginning stages of linked data, library staff have an excellent opportunity to influence the development of best practices in linked data publishing if we become prolific creators and users of linked data. The library community should share their expertise in authority control and metadata management and help make their data and the resources in collections an important part of the evolving Semantic Web.”

This article includes a great Lessons Learned section and a collection of must read references. Thanks to Hanson and the NCSU project team for sharing this useful project and this inspiring read. Read the complete article for the detailed story and insights of benefit to anyone setting out on their own linked data project.



[1] Here’s a summary of the ten suggested W3C best practices described by Hyland and others:

  1. PREPARE STAKEHOLDERS: Prepare stakeholders by explaining the process of creating and maintaining Linked Open Data.
  2. SELECT A DATASET: Select a dataset that provides benefit to others for reuse.
  3. MODEL THE DATA: Modeling Linked Data involves representing data objects and how they are related in an application-independent way.
  4. SPECIFY AN APPROPRIATE LICENSE: Specify an appropriate open data license. Data reuse is more likely to occur when there is a clear statement about the origin, ownership and terms related to the use of the published data.
  5. GOOD URIs FOR LINKED DATA: The core of Linked Data is a well-considered URI naming strategy and implementation plan, based on HTTP URIs. Consideration for naming objects, multilingual support, data change over time and persistence strategies are the building blocks for useful Linked Data.
  6. USE STANDARD VOCABULARIES: Describe objects with previously defined vocabularies whenever possible. Extend standard vocabularies where necessary, and create vocabularies (only when required) that follow best practices whenever possible.
  7. CONVERT DATA: Convert data to a Linked Data representation. This is typically done by script or other automated processes.
  8. PROVIDE MACHINE ACCESS TO DATA: Provide various ways for search engines and other automated processes to access data using standard Web mechanisms.
  9. ANNOUNCE NEW DATA SETS: Remember to announce new data sets on an authoritative domain. Importantly, remember that as a Linked Open Data publisher, an implicit social contract is in effect.
  10. RECOGNIZE THE SOCIAL CONTRACT: Recognize your responsibility in maintaining data once it is published. Ensure that the dataset(s) remain available where your organization says it will be and is maintained over time.

[2] Hanson suggests using RDF vocabulary registries like the Open Data Registry and Linked Open Vocabularies as good sources.

Categories: Teknoids Blogs

Even Smart Attorneys Fall for These Dumb Scams

The Lawyerist - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 06:12

Many of us are familiar with the classic Nigerian prince scam. You get an email from an individual claiming to be a Nigerian prince who needs to get money out of the country. The sum ranges from thousands of dollars to tens of millions of dollars. Wow, what luck that you happened to get emailed by a Nigerian prince! The prince explains that to get money out of the country, you will need to wire him money to aid in the fees that are required to move money internationally. Sure. With eyes on the forty-million-dollar prize, you wire the prince anywhere from $1,000—500,000, and the prince never sends the money. He may even be so bold as to follow up requesting more money, claiming the funds are “stuck” in transit.

For those of you doing your due diligence (and if you are being promised $40 million USD, you probably should), any quick Google search of “Nigerian prince” would show you the first result as being related to a scam.

The scam, commonly referred to as an “advance fee fraud” or 419 scam (in reference to the Nigerian criminal code statute the scam violates), is pop culture at this point. It has been referenced on the TV shows 30 Rock, Futurama, and The Office.

There is even a subculture of scam-baiters dedicated to wasting the time, money, and pride of 419 scammers in an effort to deter them from scamming others. Some scam-baiters will humiliate the scammers into taking embarrassing photos or videos of themselves, and the scammers will hesitantly comply, because they think there is a payoff in the end. In one legendary scam-baiting operation, an individual overseas ordered thousands of dollars worth of “Anus”-brand computers from a business in the United States. The business owner packed about 200 lbs. of computer parts into UPS boxes and shipped them to the scammer’s address in the UK. The scam-baiter also declared a high value for the shipment, forcing the scammer to spend money to get the box of useless junk delivered.

The 419 Scam on Lawyers

As much as the 419 scam has entered pop culture, it is still apparently unfamiliar to an exceptionally large group of people, lawyers included. Variations of the 419 scam specifically target lawyers and have proven effective in the past. Unfortunately, if you are duped by a 419 scam, you may not only be out of money, you may be suspended from the practice of law.

In Iowa, during the course of representing a client in a criminal case, an attorney found out that his client was the beneficiary of a large bequest from a long lost Nigerian cousin. If the client could pay over $150,000 in taxes, including an “anti-terrorism certificate,” the client would receive $18.8 million. The lawyer told his client he would help facilitate the transaction in exchange for a percentage of the client’s inheritance. The lawyer then solicited other clients, getting them to provide him with a loan to pay the Nigerian tax bill in exchange for a piece of the lawyer’s cut of the inheritance.

After paying his fees, the lawyer was told that funds were being shipped in trunks filled with hundred-dollar bills from Nigeria to Madrid and would be required to pay an additional €25,600 in “logistics charges.” The client-beneficiary traveled to Madrid, but for undisclosed reasons was unable to take possession of the trunks.

The lawyer violated, among other rules, the rule on competence. The disciplinary board noted a cursory Google search of “anti-terrorism certificate” would have suggested the lawyer was being scammed. Moreover, the lawyer never bothered to do his due diligence to determine whether the Nigerian representatives were actually affiliated with any legitimate bank, as they had suggested. At the end of the day, after being scammed of thousands of dollars from several clients, the lawyer was suspended from the practice of law.

This is not an isolated incident.

It should be though. The critical thinking skills necessary to practice law should make lawyers more difficult targets.

Variants of the 419 Scam

For lawyers, the 419 scam is not always in the form of a traditional Nigerian prince offering money; it can be harder to spot. In one common variant, the lawyer receives an email or website contact form submission requesting help to collect money owed by another party. The client may be from a foreign jurisdiction, but the opposing party happens to reside in the lawyer’s jurisdiction. The lawyer sends a demand letter, and the other side agrees to a settlement. The opposing party sends a check, the lawyer deposits the money into the trust account, and cuts the client a check from the firm’s operating account minus legal fees. Easy money for the lawyer, right? The client and the opposing party abscond with the lawyer’s money, and the lawyer realizes he or she has been scammed days or weeks later when the check provided by the opposing party is proved to be fraudulent. 

Now, I know what you may be thinking: “I would never turn over money to a client until the check clears. That’s common sense.” But, in the United States, banks will make the funds available from a deposited check within a few business days, whether or not the check has cleared. It can take up to a month for a bank to determine that a foreign check is a forgery. Under pressure from the client demanding their money, the lawyer cuts the client a check sooner.

Although it may seem like common sense, here are some important red flags that pop up in 419 scams involving lawyers:

  • Non-personal email from the prospective client using terminology relatively uncommon for lawyers in the States (e.g. “Dear counselor” or “Dear barrister/solicitor”).
  • Email is sent to many undisclosed recipients, sometimes multiple people at the same firm.
  • Poor grammar.
  • Case type is debt collection, but you are not necessarily a debt collection lawyer.
  • There is no justifiable reason for how the client found you. Saying they found you via the Internet is likely bogus if you do not practice debt collection, or if you have a fairly limited Internet presence — how many people typically find your firm for debt collection cases currently? Probably none. Also, if they are referred from a friend or local bar association, which one?
  • One party resides out of the country.

If you do choose to take on these potential cases, how can you avoid a 419 scam?

  • If any of the above red flags pop up, be suspicious.
  • DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE. You are a lawyer.
  • Do a cursory Google search of the client and the opposing party. Scammer emails are often posted on online forums in full. You may see your exact email. When searching for the client or opposing party by name, include keywords like “scam” and “419.”
  • If the client is requesting your services on behalf of their business, look up the business, call the office number provided on their website, and ask about the email to make sure this is a valid request.
  • If you do go through with this case, wait for the check to clear, not just for funds to appear in your account. Do not succumb to client pressure to get them a check. It is not unethical to wait for a check to clear before cutting a check for the client.
  • Relatively quick and easy resolution (e.g., you send a demand letter, get a settlement offer right away).
  • Once the check from opposing party is deposited into the lawyer’s trust account, the client promptly wants their funds, minus legal fees, sent to an overseas bank account. Expect the client to put on the pressure.

At the end of the day, you need to be smart. Not every scammer follows the same Nigerian prince formula. Lawyers are specific targets for scammers. Always do your due diligence and do not let clients pressure you into sending them funds if a check has not cleared.

Featured image: “Businessman takes the bait to the hook” from Shutterstock.

Even Smart Attorneys Fall for These Dumb Scams was originally published on Lawyerist.

Categories: Teknoids Blogs

Monday’s Mix

slaw - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 06:01

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from forty-one recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Legal Feeds 2. Blogue du CRL 3. The Lean Law Firm 4. National Blog 5. À bon droit

Legal Feeds
Will Ashley Madison customers launch class action over hacking incident?

While class action lawsuits have become more common following a data breach, may not see its 37 million customers racing to put their name forward as members of a class. “One of my first reactions was that Ashley Madison may be less of a class action risk than we would usually see because I’m not sure there are going to be a lot of potential representative plaintiffs who will want to come forward,” says Catherine Beagan Flood, a partner at Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP. …

Blogue du CRL
« Trucs et astuces de la magistrature » : entrevue avec l’honorable Michel A. Pinsonnault, j.c.s.

Admis au Barreau en 1975, l’honorable Michel A. Pinsonnault a amorcé sa pratique au sein du cabinet McMaster Meighen (1975-1997). Par la suite, il s’est joint successivement à Hudon Gendron Harris Thomas (1997-1998), Pinsonnault Torralbo Hudon (1998-2001) et Fasken Martineau DuMoulin (2001-2003). Pendant sa carrière, ses principaux domaines de pratique étaient le droit commercial, le droit bancaire, le droit administratif, le droit constitutionnel, ainsi que la faillite et l’insolvabilité. …

The Lean Law Firm
Diving Into Process Improvement

I’m a diver. When you dive, two things are important: planning and implementation. Getting ready for a recent dive, I spent some time thinking it through in my head as I packed my kit. Our group chatted about it as we geared up. We made sure someone on shore knew our exact location and how to contact emergency services. Then, as we all stood in the water ready to descend, we talked it through again. …

National Blog
Elder abuse or literary event? The Harper Lee revival

Once upon a time there was a writer named Harper Lee who wrote a book called To Kill a Mockingbird about a young girl’s discovery of the truth about racism in Depression-era small-town Alabama. The girl, Scout, learns this truth from her father, Atticus Finch, a just man and upstanding lawyer who in the course of the book defends a black man who has been wrongfully accused of raping a white woman. …

À bon droit
C’est sur le vendeur professionnel que repose le fardeau de prouver que la présomption d’existence du vice est repoussée

Le législateur – dans le Code civil du Québec (article 1729) – a choisi d’imposer un fardeau important au vendeur professionnel en prévoyant que l’existence du vice est présumée au moment de la vente. Il ajoute – comme le souligne la Cour supérieure dans l’affaire Lasido inc. c. Multibond inc. (2015 QCCS 3275) – que c’est le vendeur qui a le fardeau de renverser cette présomption en démontrant que la détoriation du bien est attribuable à la mauvaise utilisation du bien par l’acheteur. …


*Randomness here is created by and its list randomizing function.

Categories: Teknoids Blogs

A Few Thoughts on Writing for the Web

slaw - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 06:00

Your online presence plays a more prominent role than ever in your marketing, your brand, your reputation. That presence is defined in part by the “look and feel” of your various online outposts (including your website, social media accounts, and blog) but also by what you write in those places. The pretty veneer is mostly the domain of outside experts (graphic designers, photographers, web developers), but the writing – well, that’s largely on you.

Earlier this year I was asked by a Canadian legal stakeholder organization to present a customized seminar series for their staff on “writing for the web”. The organization provides products and services to lawyers and wanted to improve the content on their website, which has increasingly become the channel through which most of the organization’s revenue flows. The tips I provided them are a good summation of my own writing philosophy and so I share them with you here:


Law is not a party game and some aspects of law are drier than others. But that does not give you license to abandon efforts to make your writing compelling and set your keyboard to “drone-mode”. It’s a big wide web out there and if your shaggy prose makes your reader’s eyes bleed while your competitor’s is witty and engaging, she wins. Give your readers a reason to stay with you.


Put the important stuff right up front, and summarize the essentials at the outset if it’s a longer work. Don’t bury the key piece of information on Page 12.


There is a near-infinite amount of information online and very finite amounts of time your readers are willing and able to commit to your literary masterpiece. Don’t abuse their generosity by rambling.


Everyone hates jargon. Sometimes it’s necessary or useful shorthand between experts within the field, but more often it’s just lazy writing. As one marketing colleague I know expressed it in the title of his book, “Speak Human”.


We are hard-wired to absorb information in this manner. Stories provide context, structure and interest to your writing – all good stuff. Use them.


Navel-gazing is one of the most common, most egregious errors in law firm writing – “we did this, our lawyer did that, our firm has a long history of something else”. It’s a bit like being “that guy” at a party that can’t stop talking about himself. No one likes to hear that guy talk. Your clients aren’t part of your firm, and care a lot less about the firm’s history than you do. They are businesses, individuals, governments that are looking for solutions to their particular issues. They want to know that you have expertise and experience successfully addressing the exact problem(s) they face for clients that seem “just like them”. Make your clients the stars of the show and explain the effect your work had for their business. (And yes, you require their informed consent if you are going to identify them. Many will happily provide it if you ask).


Spend more time talking about how the new legislation is going to specifically affect industry W by requiring them to complete compliance activities X and Y before this date or Z bad thing will happen. Getting specific narrows the potential audience for your message, but makes it more valuable to those for whom it is actually intended.


Web readers have shorter attention spans than ever. Compartmentalize your writing with headers, lists, and call-outs, and look for opportunities to break your longer form pieces apart and use the fragments as teasers on social media for the longer version on your website or blog.


Most of us tend to write much more formally than we speak. That’s not always a bad thing, but it can lead to awkward turns of phrase, dry language, and run-on sentence constructions that aren’t found in nature. Putting a more conversational tone to your writing can be a real benefit. When in doubt, read it aloud or ask yourself if this is how you would describe the subject if you were talking to your reader in person. If not, change it.


So there you have it – my secrets revealed. It’s a list short on shocking revelations but long on practical experience from the trenches. I hope you find it of value.

Categories: Teknoids Blogs

Legal Health Checks for Employment Law

slaw - Sun, 07/26/2015 - 18:06

The CBA’s Legal Health Checks, which has been previously mentioned by  here, just released two new checklists in employment law.

One is for hiring for small businesses, and covers contentious issues such as employee/contractor distinctions and employment standards. The other is geared towards workers, and covers the law for non-unionized employees, and covers employment contracts, discrimination and harassment and wrongful dismissal.

Obtaining accurate legal information remains a challenge for the public, and efforts by our legal organizations to make this information more readily accessible is part of our professional mandate.

These checklists are also useful for prospective clients, helping them identify their issues and narrow the scope of their problems before a meeting or consultation.


Categories: Teknoids Blogs

My Twitter Digest for 07/25/2015

<CONTENT /> v.5 - Sun, 07/26/2015 - 14:30
Categories: Teknoids Blogs

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

slaw - Sun, 07/26/2015 - 06:00

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT : La règle interdisant les condamnations multiples ne s’applique pas au cas de l’appelant, reconnu coupable de conduite durant une interdiction et du non-respect d’une condition d’une ordonnance de probation, en l’occurrence une interdiction de conduire; même s’il est question dans les deux cas d’une interdiction de conduire, il demeure qu’il s’agit de deux infractions distinctes.

Intitulé : Gagnon c. R., 2015 QCCA 1138
Juridiction : Cour d’appel (C.A.), Montréal, 500-10-005510-134
Décision de : Juges François Doyon, Nicholas Kasirer et Martin Vauclair
Date : 3 juillet 2015

PÉNAL (DROIT) — infraction — infractions routières — conduite durant l’interdiction — interpellation d’un véhicule — détention arbitraire — violation des droits constitutionnels — recevabilité de la preuve — applicabilité de la règle interdisant les condamnations multiples — infractions distinctes — défaut ou refus de se conformer à une ordonnance — bris de probation — interdiction de conduire.

PÉNAL (DROIT) — infraction — infractions dans l’application de la loi et l’administration de la justice — défaut ou refus de se conformer à une ordonnance — bris de probation — interdiction de conduire — applicabilité de la règle interdisant les condamnations multiples — infractions distinctes — conduite durant l’interdiction.

PÉNAL (DROIT) — preuve pénale — exclusion de la preuve — interpellation d’un véhicule — détention arbitraire — violation des droits constitutionnels — conduite attentatoire de l’État — policier — bonne foi — incidence de la violation sur les droits de l’accusé — intérêt de la société à ce que l’affaire soit jugée au fond — mise en balance des facteurs — recevabilité de la preuve.

PÉNAL (DROIT) — garanties fondamentales du processus pénal — droit à la protection contre la détention ou l’emprisonnement arbitraire — interpellation d’un véhicule — détention arbitraire — conduite attentatoire de l’État — policier — bonne foi — incidence de la violation sur les droits de l’accusé — intérêt de la société à ce que l’affaire soit jugée au fond — mise en balance des facteurs — recevabilité de la preuve.

DROITS ET LIBERTÉS — droits judiciaires — personne arrêtée ou détenue — détention arbitraire — interpellation d’un véhicule — conduite attentatoire de l’État — policier — bonne foi — incidence de la violation sur les droits de l’accusé — intérêt de la société à ce que l’affaire soit jugée au fond — mise en balance des facteurs — recevabilité de la preuve.

Appel d’une déclaration de culpabilité. Rejeté, avec dissidence.

Appelés à se rendre dans un secteur en raison de la présence d’un véhicule suspect, les policiers n’ont croisé que celui de l’appelant. Ils ont fait demi-tour pour vérifier le numéro de plaque d’immatriculation. Dix secondes se sont écoulées avant l’interpellation de l’appelant, soit le moment où a débuté la détention arbitraire. Ce dernier était sous le coup d’une interdiction de conduire. L’intervention des policiers a eu lieu tellement rapidement qu’ils n’ont pas eu le temps de discuter ni de vérifier le numéro de la plaque d’immatriculation, surpris par la décision soudaine de l’appelant de se garer dans la première entrée de garage qui s’est présentée et par la sortie précipitée des occupants du véhicule. Le juge a rejeté sa requête en exclusion de la preuve et l’a reconnu coupable de conduite durant une interdiction et de non-respect d’une condition d’une ordonnance de probation.

M. le juge Doyon, à l’opinion duquel souscrit le juge Kasirer: L’exclusion de la preuve: La preuve obtenue en violation des droits garantis à l’article 9 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés est recevable. En outre, en ce qui a trait à la gravité de la conduite attentatoire de l’État, les policiers pouvaient légitimement suivre le véhicule et vérifier le numéro de plaque. La difficulté n’est survenue qu’au moment où ils ont questionné l’appelant, après avoir vu l’automobile entrer de façon soudaine dans la première entrée disponible et les occupants en sortir précipitamment. En voyant les occupants surgir du véhicule, les policiers étaient fondés à croire qu’il y avait une certaine urgence d’agir et que ces derniers pouvaient vouloir s’enfuir. L’affaire se distingue de R. c. Harrison (C.S. Can., 2009-07-17), 2009 CSC 34, SOQUIJ AZ-50566224, J.E. 2009-1377, [2009] 2 R.C.S. 494, en ce que les policiers ont agi de bonne foi et n’ont aucunement tenté de bonifier leur version des faits. Même si leur inconduite est sérieuse, elle n’est pas des plus graves. Il en va de même de l’incidence des violations sur les droits de l’appelant. En effet, l’utilisation d’un véhicule entraîne une attente diminuée en matière de vie privée. En l’espèce, même en l’absence d’une détention illégale, la preuve aurait pu être obtenue puisque tout conducteur d’une automobile a l’obligation de fournir son permis de conduire sur demande d’un agent de la paix. Quant à l’intérêt de la société à ce que l’affaire soit jugée au fond, l’infraction met en cause l’intégrité du système de justice étant donné qu’il est question du respect d’une ordonnance judiciaire. La mise en balance des facteurs permet de conclure à la recevabilité de la preuve.

La règle prohibant les condamnations multiples: Les deux infractions reprochées à l’appelant reposent sur des fondements différents: l’interdiction de conduire est une ordonnance spécifique qui prive le délinquant du privilège de conduire pour assurer la sécurité du public, alors que la probation encadre une multitude d’activités du délinquant et ses conditions font partie d’un ensemble de dispositions visant à assurer sa réhabilitation. Dans les deux cas, il s’agit d’une interdiction de conduire, mais il demeure qu’il s’agit de deux infractions distinctes qui poursuivent des objectifs différents. La poursuite d’intérêts sociétaux différents rend inapplicable la règle.

M. le juge Vauclair, dissident: Le juge de première instance a erré en justifiant l’interception du véhicule et la détention de l’appelant sous l’angle de la détention aux fins d’une enquête. En l’absence de tout indice d’activité criminelle ou en cours et de tout motif d’interception relié à la conduite d’une automobile, les policiers n’avaient aucune raison d’intervenir pour les motifs qu’ils ont exprimés. L’affaire se distingue de R. c. Bilodeau (C.A., 2004-10-14), SOQUIJ AZ-50274965, J.E. 2004-1990, où la preuve établissait l’existence de motifs objectivement raisonnables avant l’interpellation. Cela dit, l’interpellation illégale de l’appelant entraîne l’exclusion de tous les éléments de preuve ainsi obtenus puisque leur utilisation serait susceptible de déconsidérer l’administration de la justice. En outre, quant à la gravité de la conduite attentatoire de l’État, les tribunaux doivent se dissocier des agissements des policiers, même s’ils ne remettent pas en cause leur bonne foi. Rien n’empêchait les policiers de poursuivre leur enquête sur l’immatriculation du véhicule. Ils n’ont ni le pouvoir ni le mandat de contrôler les allées et venues des personnes, sans la présence d’autres éléments qui déclenchent, au minimum, un pouvoir de détention. Ce facteur milite en faveur de l’exclusion de la preuve. Il en va de même de l’incidence de la violation sur les droits de l’accusé garantis par la charte et de l’intérêt de la société à ce que l’affaire soit jugée au fond. La preuve provient essentiellement de l’appelant, qu’il s’agisse de ses déclarations ou de la remise de son permis de conduire sur l’ordre du policier. Il existe une certaine présomption voulant que cette preuve auto-incriminante soit exclue, d’autant plus lorsqu’elle n’aurait pu être découverte autrement. Le véhicule était immatriculé au nom du passager. Les policiers, en vérifiant la plaque, ne pouvaient repérer ni le nom de l’appelant ni la sanction rattachée à son permis de conduire. Il y aurait lieu d’accueillir l’appel, de conclure à une détention arbitraire, d’exclure la preuve ainsi obtenue et, comme il s’agit de l’unique preuve contre l’appelant, de prononcer un acquittement.

Instance précédente : Juge Marc Vanasse, C.Q., Chambre criminelle et pénale, Joliette, 705-01-080799-135 et 705-01-080800-131, 2013-10-10.

Le texte intégral de la décision est disponible ici

Categories: Teknoids Blogs

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

slaw - Sun, 07/26/2015 - 06:00

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at

This week’s summaries concern:
Administrative law – Courts – Family Law – Civil Rights – Criminal Law – Practice

Strickland et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) 2015 SCC 37
Administrative Law – Courts – Family Law
Summary: The applicants applied for judicial review under s. 18 of the Federal Courts Act, seeking to have the Federal Child Support Guidelines declared ultra vires the Divorce Act. The Attorney General of Canada moved to have the application dismissed. The Federal Court, in a decision reported 432 F.T.R. 152, granted the motion and dismissed the judicial review application. The court held that there was concurrent jurisdiction between it and the provincial superior courts …

R. v. Webster (P.A.) 2015 BCCA 285
Civil Rights – Criminal Law
Summary: The police arrested a woman for a dial-a-dope trafficking offence. A search of the woman’s cellular telephone revealed two telephone numbers for a person called “Dru Boss Man”. The police believed he was the woman’s drug supplier. The police obtained a production order under s. 487.012 of the Criminal Code and obtained several historical text messages. Surveillance was organized respecting the suspected drug supplier (the accused). The lead police investigator, who lived in the same …

Hyra v. Manitoba et al. 2015 MBCA 55
Barristers and Solicitors – Criminal Law – Practice
Summary: Hyra was convicted of criminal harassment. He sued the Province of Manitoba and the Crown Attorney who prosecuted the charge against him (the defendants), alleging negligence, violations of the Charter, discrimination, violation of the Professional Code of Conduct, intimidation and harassment. He sought damages of $12,000,000 plus an additional $100,000 for each month after service of the statement of claim. The defendants moved to strike out the statement of claim on the …

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Cylon.js – JavaScript framework for robotics, physical computing, and the Internet of Things using Node.js

<CONTENT /> v.5 - Sat, 07/25/2015 - 21:31

Cylon.js – JavaScript framework for robotics, physical computing, and the Internet of Things using Node.js

Categories: Teknoids Blogs

Cut and Paste Opinions: A Turing Test for Judicial Decision-Making

LLRX - Sat, 07/25/2015 - 15:40
Ken Strutin argues that cut-and-paste is a laudable method for reducing transcription errors in copying citations and quotations. However, he identifies that a problem arises when it is used to lift verbatim sections of a party's arguments into a case decision. Stipulations and proposed orders from counsel for both parties might be enviable and practicable, but judgment and fact-finding are solely in the province of the court. This has been a long standing issue that has spanned technologies from shears and paste-pot to typewriters and computers, and which might culminate in a Turing Test for case law.
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Library Research Guides: Best Practices

LLRX - Sat, 07/25/2015 - 15:15
Many librarians have a set of research guides that they are responsible for keeping up to date, but finding time to devote to this important task can be extremely difficult. As libraries migrate to LibGuides 2.0, many are using this opportunity to study their users’ preferences, implement new policies, and completely refresh their research guide collection. If your library is going through this process, or you are simply planning on using the (relatively) calm summer months to update your research guides, here are ten best practice tips to keep in mind - by Kara Dunn, D`Angelo Law Library.
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My Twitter Digest for 07/24/2015

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Categories: Teknoids Blogs

6 Node Raspberry PI 2 Cluster Running Apache Spark and Hadoop

<CONTENT /> v.5 - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 14:44

Source: Raspberry PI 2 Cluster Case pt2 | PocketCluster

Well, this is a heck of thing. I suppose having my own cluster for just a couple of hundred bucks sounds like a good idea.

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My Twitter Digest for 07/23/2015

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Categories: Teknoids Blogs