Annual Report 2013/2014

  • June 09, 2014

Submitted by Section Chair, Laurel Courtenay

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held: 4

September 24, 2013
Guest Speaker: Tamara Hunter
Meeting Title/Topic: Researching Privacy Law
Synopsis: Overview of privacy legislation resources for privacy research. After the privacy legislation overview, Tamara discussed how the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA"), which is the federal government's private-sector legislation, extends to apply in provinces that do not have their own "substantially similar" private-sector legislation.

Tamara also discussed Federal Bill 28, which is commonly referred to as "Canada's Anti-Spam Law." As drafted, this is one of the world's strictest anti-spam laws. Tamara explained how this law will apply to entities that send commercial electronic messages to "communicate, market, or solicit services and products." She also reviewed several exceptions to this law.

Lastly, Tamara reviewed the various resources for researching privacy/access to information legal issues, which are outlined in the hand-out she provided at the meeting.

October 30, 2013
Guest Speaker: Timothy Outerbridge
Meeting Title/Topic: The new Court of Appeal Leave to Appeal Procedures
Synopsis: Timothy Outerbridge, Law Officer to the British Columbia Court of Appeal, provided an overview of the new Court of Appeal Leave to Appeal procedures.

January 21, 2014
Guest Speakers: David Garner and Jennifer O'Rourke
Meeting Title/Topic: Researching Labour Law Issues
Synopsis: Ms. O’Rourke and Mr. Garner provided an excellent overview of the tools lawyers can use to locate Labour Relations Board (“LRB”) decisions. Further, they described the materials available on the LRB website, including Information Bulletins, practice guidelines, collective agreements and application forms.

During the latter part of the meeting, Ms. O’Rourke and Mr. Garner discussed judicial review of LRB decisions, including the applicable statutes and standard of review, as well as recent developments in judicial review jurisprudence (see British Columbia Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union v. British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., 2013 BCCA 497, paras. 35-42, re United Steelworkers, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, Local 2009 v. Auyeung, 2011 BCCA 527).

February 25, 2014
Guest Speaker: Catherine Best, Boughton Law Corporation
Meeting Title/Topic: Recent Developments in the "Big Three" of Canadian Legal Research
Synopsis: Catherine Best is a research lawyer with Boughton Law Corporation in Vancouver, British Columbia. She researches complex legal issues, prepares opinions for clients, and develops submissions for court and other types of proceedings.

Ms. Best discussed recent changes in the CanLII platform, and the introduction of WestlawNext Canada and QLMO, in the context of fed­erated searches, plain language searches, integration with secondary sources, working with search results, and cost recovery. As well, Ms. Best discussed some of the differences between Quicklaw, WestlawNext Canada and CanLII regarding content, functionality and currency.

Ms. Best’s PPT presentation contained excellent screen shots, and the comparative searches she conducted on the three platforms were useful and instructive. Catherine illustrated in her PPT presentation that as of February 23, 2014 QL had a significant backlog in publishing decisions from the BC Supreme Court. At that date, only 3 BCSC decisions from February 2014 had been published by QL. The production team at QL is now taking steps to remedy that situation and eliminate the backlog. As of noon PT on March 3, 2014, BCSC cases decided before February 20 had been added, as well as a few later decisions from that court.

It is Catherine's understanding that QL will continue working towards eliminating the backlog, until it can meet its usual publication timeline. The QL editorial manager for case law has advised that "Our normal turnaround time for posting judgments is 3 business days for Appeal and priority cases, such as customer requests, and 5 business days for routine judgments."

Reports or Resolutions prepared by the Section:

In April, 2014, the Legal Research Section provided written submissions to the British Columbia Court of Appeal on the Consultation Paper E-Filing Factums and Statements.

Comments and Observations of the Chair

The Legal Research Section has completed another year of providing outstanding speakers in a variety of legal fields with a view to promoting our mandate of improving and nurturing the research and writing skills of the CBA community. In addition to holidng four such presentations over the past term, the Section formed a special committee to provide the Court of Appeal with comments and suggestions regarding the proposed new electronic filing system. The Legal Research Executive continue to provide a valuable service to CBABC members.