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Legal Resources Has Your Back

By Alan Kilpatrick

Due to the ongoing situation with coronavirus, the Law Society’s Library locations in Regina and Saskatoon have been closed to members and the public. Despite the closure, our top-notch legal librarians and skilled information professionals are working remotely and still here to support you. We’ll continue to add value to your legal work during this uncertain time. Never fear, we’ve got your back.

As a member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan, you have access to some of the best online legal resources and law library services in Canada:

Research Assistance
Don’t hesitate to contact us by email at reference@lawsociety.sk.ca for research assistance and legal information questions. As legal information navigators, we can quickly and efficiently locate whatever you are looking for. If it takes longer than five minutes to find, contact us! 

Members’ Resource Section
This is your online law library and resource gateway. Library staff regularly evaluate and test new resources and negotiate with legal vendors to ensure that you have access to the leading resources, wherever you are in the province, right on your desktop or device, at an outstanding value. Technology enables us to push the limits of how we support you.

During this closure, we’ll be reviewing some of the online resources available through the Members’ Resource Section. Clicking on these links will take you to some of our existing research tips:

DivorceMate
HeinOnline 
Emond eBooks
vLex Canada
WestlawNext
O’Briens Encyclopedia of Forms
Rangefindr

Print Resources
Despite the extensive online resource collection, we understand that our members might require access to our print collection during the COVID-19 outbreak. Access to our print resources is dependent on the Queen’s Bench Courthouses remaining accessible to our staff. We cannot guarantee your access to the print resources at this time. Please reach out to our dedicated Library professionals (reference@lawsociety.sk.ca) and we’ll work with you to arrange delivery through electronic means or identify alternate online resources.

HeinOnline: More Than Meets the Eye!

By Alan Kilpatrick

You likely know that HeinOnline is a popular online legal journal database accessible directly through the Law Society Members’ Resource Section.  It provides access to an abundance of legal journals, more than 2000 titles, from Canada, the United States, and the Commonwealth.  What you might not know is that there is far more to HeinOnline than meets the eye!

We recently received this comment from a member about HeinOnline:

“I use Hein at least once a week, and it’s rarely for the articles.  It’s the statutes that I use it for.  It’s an excellent source for statute law.  But, people don’t know about it.  I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve advised people to look on Hein for statute research, and they’re surprised to know that resource even exists.”   

In the past, we’ve written on this blog about HeinOnline’s growing coverage of historical case law, legislation, and secondary legal sources.  For example, did you know that, among many other things, you can use HeinOnline to:

Access American case law,
Generate instant citations,
Browse over 300 legal dictionaries, and
Locate historical legislation?

Notably, HeinOnline features an impressive collection of historical legislation from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.  Once you access HeinOnline, select your jurisdiction from the browsable menu at the top of the screen.  Coverage is Canadian legislation is particularly impressive:

• Federal Revised Statutes: 1886 to 1985
• Federal Annual Statutes: 1792 to 2018
• Saskatchewan Revised Statutes: 1909 to 1978
• Saskatchewan Annual Statutes: 1906-1968

Rather than being a mere journal database, HeinOnline is a true online law library.  Do yourself a favour and spend some time taking a tour of HeinOnline’s many offerings.  The browsable menu (Browse Databases by Category) is a great way to learn about all of the content that can be accessed!

If you have any questions about legal research or resources, ask a Law Society Librarian! We are pleased to provide high-quality assistance to Saskatchewan members in person, on the telephone, or by email.

Email reference@lawsociety.sk.ca
Call 306-569-8020 in Regina
Toll-free 1-877-989-4999

Book Training with a Law Society Librarian

By Alan Kilpatrick

It’s no secret that Law Society of Saskatchewan members have access to the best collection of legal resources available to members of any law society in the country. Unfortunately, if your legal research and resource skills are lacking or less than stellar, you’re missing out. Can you afford to lose the competitive advantage in the courtroom or waste your client’s time researching aimlessly?

Fortunately, the Law Society librarians are here, and they have your back. Members can book one-on-one or group training with our legal information gurus, Ken Fox (Saskatoon) and Alan Kilpatrick (Regina):

Want to earn CPD credit while updating your legal research skills?

• Need a review of the incredible suite of resources, services, and expertise available to you through the Law Society’s library?

• We’ll craft a customized session to help you or your firm develop solid research strategies, identify leading legal resources, and save time and money through efficient research.

• Sessions are a great value, only $60.00 per member per hour for 1.0 CPD credit!

Located in Regina or Saskatoon? We’ll come to your office for the session in person! For members outside Regina and Saskatoon, we can provide training remotely over the computer in a live session.

Still not convinced? Here’s a testimonial from a member who recently scheduled a session with us:

“Thank you for taking the time out for our training sessions and for the well-prepared reference materials as well. I learnt a lot about using research tools and search strategies which will help me in my daily tasks. I look forward to implementing all I that I have learnt so far. Thanks once again!”

Book your session today!

Email reference@lawsociety.sk.ca
Call 306-569-8020

Free Legal Workshop Series at the Regina Public Library

By Alan Kilpatrick

Did you know that the Regina Public Library is hosting a free Legal Workshop Series at its Central Adult branch on Saturday, February 1st? The day features free presentations on many different areas of the law, lawyer appointments, and legal research & resource assistance.

The Law Society is proud to lend its support to this important event for a fifth year in a row. Working with our community partners like the Regina Public Library goes a long way towards meaningfully improving access to legal information and justice for those in need.

Drop by the Library between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm to hear a variety of qualified legal professionals present on common legal topics. Sessions are free, drop-in, and don’t require any pre-registration!

They include:

• Child Custody & Access 10:00 am
• Wills and Estates 10:00 am
• Collaborative Divorce 11:15 am
• Rental Laws & Rights for Landlords 11:15 am
• Property Division 12:30 pm
• Rental Laws & Rights of Tenants 12:30 pm
• Help your Incarcerated Loved Ones 1:45 pm
• PST for Small Businesses 1:45 pm
• Guardianship of Adults with Disabilities 3:00 pm
• Legal Research 3:00 pm

Additionally, Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan will be providing free thirty-minute lawyer appointments to those seeking legal advice and assistance.  Income testing does not apply. However, you’ll need to call the Pro Bono office at 1-855-833-7257 to book an appointment.

Law Society Librarian Alan Kilpatrick will also be on site throughout the day as the “Law Librarian On Site.”  He will be present to assist members of the public with their legal research or to guide the public through the many legal resources available.  Alan will also be presenting a session as part of the event at 3:00pm: Legal Research.

We look forward to seeing you there!

What’s a Bit of Space?

By Alan Kilpatrick

You may have heard that the Law Society’s library space on the second floor of the Regina Queen’s Bench Court House was being reduced to allow for increased space for the Saskatchewan Courts. We are pleased to report that construction concluded earlier this month and that our newly renovated and condensed library is open for business!

Our print and online legal resource collection, library staff, and information services represent the best legal resource and law library service in the country. Members can be assured that they receive an outstanding return on investment for their annual membership fees. Our judicious curation of print and online resources will ensure that all members will be able to access the resources and services they need, regardless of practice location, on demand.

In our updated space, still located on the Court House’s second floor, you will find two top-notch legal information specialists, Alan Kilpatrick and Sara Stanley, ready and keen to support your information needs and provide expert services and assistance. Feel free to take advantage of our comfortable workspace with wi-fi, a photocopier, scanner, printer, and phone. Our reduced collection of print resources features a comprehensive selection of current legal texts covering every area of Canadian law. Those searching for older resources will find them in our newly created historical collection in the Court House basement. Our space remains accessible to members 24/7. Members can visit the Sheriff’s Office on the main floor of the Court House to obtain their Court House and Library key.

We welcomed this opportunity to reinvigorate our space, modernize our collection, and work more closely with the Saskatchewan Courts to create a Court House that better meets the needs of the Saskatchewan public. We took advantage of the downsizing to recycle a substantial collection of old print law reporters (more than ten thousand pounds’ worth) no longer relevant to our practicing members after a thorough review of case reporters held by law libraries across the province. Fortunately, two smaller public libraries in rural Saskatchewan were able to make use of some of our excess book shelving.

We have expressed our intent on this blog over the past five years to radically reimagine and transform the law library for the current online era. We meant it. The law library is no longer a place. It’s a service and a resource that is everywhere you need it to be.

Welcome to the law library of the future.

The 2019 Canadian Law Blog Awards (Clawbies) Are Here!

By Alan Kilpatrick

Snow underfoot, Christmas music in the air, eggnog, and …Canadian law blogs?  The arrival of the holiday season means that the Canadian Law Blog Awards (Clawbies) are right around the corner.

Created in 2006 by Steve Matthews, the Clawbies highlight great blogs in the Canadian legal sector annually.  Voting is simple.  Write a blog post nominating your favorite blogs and tweet the post using the hashtag #Clawbies2019 by December 20th, 2019.  Steve and the Clawbies team review the nominees and announce the award winners on New Years Eve.

This year is a bit different.  The Clawbies are evolving.  This year’s award is open to any online content or digital publication that is freely accessible: blogs, podcasts, social media, newsletters, online commentary, websites, and videos.

On that note, here are my Clawbie nominations for 2019:

CanLII.org: Primary Law and Commentary
CanLII, more formally know as the Canadian Legal Information Institute, is an outstanding resource.  As a law librarian, I depend on CanLII’s reliable collection of primary law and growing collection of commentary and ebooks while serving lawyers and the public in the law library.  A major proponent of free access to law and open legal publishing, CanLII’s efforts are worthy of recognition.

Family Law Saskatchewan: Form Wizard
The first resource of it’s kind, Family Law Saskatchewan, was launched in 2015 by Saskatchewan’s Public Legal Education Association.  Providing both plain language information on common family law topics and a court form wizard, the website is making strides in improving access to justice in Saskatchewan.  Users answer plain language interview questions and the form wizard generates the forms and steps necessary to start or respond to a family law action.

National Self-Represented Litigants Project: SRL Resources
The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP), founded by Professor Julie Macfarlane in 2013, researches issues affecting self-represented litigants (SRLs) and creates practical resources for those trying to navigate the legal system on their own.  As a law librarian in a publicly accessible law library, I know how challenging it can be to assist SRLs.  I frequently refer SRLs to the NSRLP’s free collection of resources.  For example, I know of no better legal research guide for SRLs than the NSRLP’s amazing CanLII Primer.

Emond eBooks: Criminal Law Series

By Alan Kilpatrick

We are extremely excited to announce that Law Society members now have access to even more great eBook content right on their desktop or mobile device: Emond’s Criminal Series eBooks.

Emond describes this series, which received the prestigious Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing, on its website:

The award-winning Criminal Law Series offers clear, concise guidance on the practical and procedural aspects of criminal law. Ideally suited for members of the criminal bar and judiciary, this collection covers discrete areas of criminal practice, anchored by the expertise of General Editors Brian H. Greenspan and Justice Vincenzo Rondinelli. Most titles are authored by both defence and Crown counsel, lending balance and comprehensiveness to the series.

You can access these titles simply by logging into the Members’ Resource Section of the Law Society’s website. All members, regardless of location or firm, have the same amazing access!

The addition of this new series means that Law Society members now have access to nearly 400 eBooks through the Members’ Resource Section from Irwin Law, Westlaw Next, Emond Publishing, and vLex Canada.

Legal Resources and Library staff regularly evaluate new digital resources and negotiate with legal vendors in order to provide members with access to the latest online resources. As we continue to evolve the Law Society’s print resource collection towards a largely online one, members can expect to see more online resources and to receive a competitive return on investment from the Library.

If you have any questions about legal resources, ask a Law Society Librarian! We are pleased to provide high-quality assistance to Saskatchewan members in person, on the telephone, or by email.

Legal Researchers Take Note: Canadiana Online is Now Free to Access!

By Alan Kilpatrick

Earlier this year, Canadiana Online’s unparalleled online collection of historical materials became free to access. The collection, available at no charge at Canadiana.ca, contains more than 60 million digitized pages of books, periodicals, and government publications from early Canadian history.

Why should lawyers and legal researchers take note of this thrilling development? Canadiana Online features an outstanding collection of historical statutes, bills, legal journals, and law reports. Some examples include:

• Bills
• Court Rules
• Criminal Law Texts
• Law Reports
• Lawyer Directories
• Sessional Papers
Statutes

Notably, we located a digitized copy of the Catalogue of the Law Society Libraries of Saskatchewan from 1912 through Canadiana Online.

Legal researchers should take advantage of the wealth of legal resources available freely online here.  Canadian Online offers a simple search interface with search tips. Search results can be narrowed by multiple search filters and subject headings.

Sources Cited

Ross, R. (2018, November 15). Over 60 Million Pages of Digitized Canadian Documentary Heritage Soon To Be Available At No Charge. Retrieved from: https://www.crkn-rcdr.ca/en/over-60-million-pages-digitized-canadian-documentary-heritage-soon-be-available-no-charge

 

The Next Generation of Legal Research is Here: Vincent

By Alan Kilpatrick

Meet Vincent! The Next Generation of Legal Research (CPD 240)
Wednesday, October 1st, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST

Are you ready for next generation of legal research technology and biggest disruption Canada’s legal information landscape has ever seen: artificial intelligence?  Don’t miss this Continuing Professional Development webinar with Ken Fox (Law Society Library, Saskatoon), Alan Kilpatrick (Law Society Library, Regina), and Colin Lachance (vLex Canada).

Meet Vincent! The Next Generation of Legal Research (CPD 240) will familiarise you with Vincent, a revolutionary AI powered legal research tool from vLex Canada.  It’s unlike any other resource you’ve used before.  Vincent, powered by Iceberg’s artificial intelligence framework, “reads and analyzes” your legal documents, memos, and briefs.  Doing so, Vincent draws out and highlights the key concepts, authorities, and relevant results.

The Law Society’s library staff have negotiated and secured access to Vincent for all Saskatchewan members.  Members can access this amazing new tool directly on their desktops from the Members’ Resource Section.

Meet Vincent! is accredited for one 1 CPD hour. Registration Fees: $80.00 +5% GST = $84.00. Register Here!

Sources
•  AI-powered legal research added to the tool kit of every lawyer in Saskatchewan / Colin Lachance
•  Meet Vincent! / Ken Fox

Saskatchewan’s New Revenge Porn Law

By Alan Kilpatrick

Saskatchewan’s Privacy Act, RSS 1987, c P-24 was recently amended to introduce new avenues for victims of revenge porn to seek damages and justice.  Revenge porn includes the non-consensual distribution and sharing of intimate photographs, films, or videos.

Justice Minister Don Morgan explained that The Privacy Amendment Act, SS 2018, c 28, which came into force on September 15, 2018, “provides victims with a clear path for pursuing legal action against those who have victimized them by sharing their intimate images without consent.”

The new law enables a victim to directly sue the image’s distributor.  The law also creates a reverse onus and places a burden on the distributor to prove they had consent to share the intimate image.  Victims can now pursue an action in either Small Claims Court or the Court of Queen’s Bench.  For damages under $30,000, a victim can pursue a simpler and quicker action in Small Claims Court.

Consult the sources below to learn more.

Sources

Fraser, D.C. (2018, September 17). Saskatchewan’s revenge porn law is now in effect, making it easier for victims to take legal action.  Retrieved from https://leaderpost.com/news/saskatchewan/saskatchewans-revenge-porn-law-is-now-in-effect-making-it-easier-for-victims-to-take-legal-action

Government of Saskatchewan. (2018, September 17). Legislation To Support Victims Of “Revenge Porn” Takes Effect.  Retrieved from https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2018/september/17/privacy-act

Green, G.A. (2018, September 18).  Recent Saskatchewan Law Regarding Sharing, Posting, or Disseminating Intimate Images.  Retrieved from http://www.mckercher.ca/blog/recent-saskatchewan-law-regarding-sharing-posting-or-disseminating-intimate-images