Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Legal Information Events

* On March 31, 2009, the Guildford Branch of Surrey Public Library will host a free public lecture about the rule of law, independence of lawyers and the public interest with guest speaker Gordon Turriff, QC, President of the Law Society.

* On April 28 the Central Library of Vancouver Public Library will offer two sessions of CLICKLAW : British Columbians' Newest Legal Website as part of their TechnoTuesdays sessions. (Search under Computer and Internet Training, Central Library).

* April Law Day events are now scheduled for Cowichan Valley, Fort St John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Prince George, Terrace, Tri-Cities, Vancouver and Victoria.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Legal Information Online and New Book

* MOSAIC's What's New - Publications page includes updated titles from their Public Legal Education Project for Newcomers:
- A Guide for Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications (available in Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Filipino, French, Persian, Russian, and Spanish) [10pp PDF] 2008
- Family Law [105pp PDF] 2008
- Immigration and Refugee Law [88pp PDF] 2008

* BC Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services Complaint Resolution and the BC Employment Standards Act fact sheet covers the following topics: understanding rights and responsibilities, using the self-help kit, filing a complaint, dispute resolution, investigation, education, mediation, adjudication hearings, determinations and appeals. Also available in Chinese, Filipino, French, Punjabi and Spanish. [2pp PDF] December, 2008

* Family Relations Act Consultation Report Ministry of Attorney General Justice Services Branch, Civil and Family Law Policy Office released Family Relations Act Review:Report of Public Consultations [64 pp. PDF] February 2009

* Department of Justice, Family Violence Initiative new information:
- About Family Violence in Canada provides a summary of research
- The Criminal Law and Managing Children's Behaviour [fact sheet]
- The Family Violence Initiative Youth Site provides resources for either 10 - 12 years old, or 13 years old plus

* Canada’s 40th Parliament in Crisis: What Happened, What’s Next? [podcast] On January 22, 2009 over 100 people gathered at the University of Alberta to attend a panel discussion that addressed the recent political and constitutional turmoil in the House of Commons. Presented by the Centre for Constitutional Studies, the Legal Resource Centre of Alberta, the Department of Political Science, and the Department of History & Classics, the discussion was recorded as a podcast.

* Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court by Harvey Brownstone, ECW Press, 2009
Written by a sitting Ontario family court judge in layman’s language, this book demystifies complex family law concepts and procedures, clearly explains how family court works, and gives parents essential alternatives to resolve their own custody battles and keep their kids out of the often damaging court system. (publisher's blurb)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Legal Information Online Update

* Updated editions of free titles of public legal information

BC Civil Liberties:
- The Arrest Handbook: A Guide to Your Rights Revised 2008
- The Citizenship Handbook: A Guide to Democratic Rights and Responsibilities Revised 2008

Legal Services Society:
- Living Together or Living Apart: Common-Law Relationships, Marriage, Separation, and Divorce 2nd edition, 2008
- Your Welfare Rights: A User’s Guide to BC Employment and Assistance - 2008 update insert to 19th revised edition, 2008

People's Law School:
- Child's Right to Love: Information for Grand parents, Relatives, and Others Close to the Child 3rd edition, 2008
- Learning About the Law 10th edition, 2008
- Working in BC: Your Legal Rights & Responsibilities 5th edition, 2009

* Other reading about legal information and the legal profession

- Pathways to Justice: The Role of Non-Legal Services Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales [Justice Issues Paper 1] June 2007, is part of a series of research papers on Access to Justice and Legal Needs.

- The New Lawyer: How Settlement is Transforming the Practice of Law , by Julie Macfarlane, UBC Press, 2008. Macfarlane contrasts the traditional "zealous advocate" role of the lawyer with an alternative dispute resolution function, explaining that new lawyers may choose either role, or a mix of the two. She outlines how this relates to issues such as the lawyer-client relationship, the role of the law, and legal negotiation norms. [as noted in Courthouse Libraries BC What's New feature Feb. 18, 2009]

- Why Attacks on Judges Deserve More Attention Letter written by Miriam Maisonville, President of the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, in response to a CTV news story about Judge Ellen Gordon. February 23, 2009.

* New Service:
Court Services Online now provides Electronic Filing of Civil Court Documents for registered users to submit electronic court documents on civil cases to BC courts, for a $7 fee. Court Services Online also offers: daily court lists; e-search of civil cases court records; view/print documents; purchase of documents online; and filing assistant. Tutorials are available on the site to explain how the services work.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

LawMatters Project News

* 160 BC public libraries were sent surveys in January regarding legal reference questions. We had a high rate of return on the survey, and we are eagerly anticipating the report of the survey results soon. The report will be used as a benchmark to compare to another survey in 2010, so we can compare levels of legal reference use by the public. In appreciation, we drew the names of 7 participating libraries to receive $100 Amazon.ca gift certificates, and the lucky winners were: Blue River [Thompson Nicola Regional District], Campbell River [Vancouver Island Regional Library], Hastings Branch [Vancouver Public Library], Kerrisdale Branch [Vancouver Public Library], Misson [Fraser Valley Regional Library], Parkgate Branch [North Vancouver District Public Library] and Oyama [Okanagan Regional Library] .

* The updated Law Books for Libraries: Recommended Titles for Public Libraries 2009 list is now available at the LawMatters site, and libraries should receive their 2009 grant letters this week. An updated order form for Free Titles for Libraries is also available on the site.