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Canadian Lawyers Making a Difference in Cambodia

Cambodia is slowly recovering from the barbarism of the Khmer Rouge regime and the subsequent civil war that devastated the nation during the last quarter of the twentieth century. The current authoritarian government has been in power for nearly three decades. Basic constitutional freedoms of speech, the press and assembly are not fully guaranteed . Corruption is debilitating and rampant in the political, judicial and economic systems: Cambodia has the dubious distinction of being viewed by investors as Southeast Asia’s most corrupt country and the 17th most corrupt in the world. Politically motivated prosecutions and detention of political opponents, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Legal Business Development: Is a Lack of Confidence Holding You Back?

Confidence. Do you have it? Sure, there are times that your confidence has been shaken… but deep down, are you confident in yourself and your ability? And how important is confidence to your success as a lawyer, a community leader or a parent? A new book by journalists Katty Kay (BBC News) and Claire Shipman (Good Morning America) sheds some light on the subject in… Confidence Code.

Shipman explains in a short TV segment for ABC News, that you can transform yourself from a worrier to a warrior… We can create more confidence by creating better habits. In . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

CASL Software Provisions & CRTC Interpretation

In addition to the anti spam provisions of CASL, it contains provisions against malware starting in January 2015. It imposes disclosure and consent requirements for software providers in certain situations.

Unfortunately, those provisions are perhaps more ill-advised and unclear than the anti-spam provisions. They have the potential to make life difficult for software companies, create additional record keeping responsibilities where none are needed, and could even hurt Canadian consumers if foreign software developers simply don’t sell their products in Canada to avoid compliance.

The IT law bar is collectively scratching their heads trying to understand what the provisions mean in . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

New CEO of the Law Society of Manitoba

The Law Society of Manitoba late last week announced to its members the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer. C. Kristin Dangerfield will replace Allan Fineblit, Q.C. as CEO when he retires at the end of this month.

Ms Dangerfield, who will assume the post on November 1, 2014, is well known both to Manitoba lawyers and lawyers across the country. She has served as Senior General Counsel to The Law Society since 2002, and before that she was General Counsel for several years. She has practiced law in Manitoba since 1983.

Kris volunteers on the national stage with . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Markers Along the Way

Looking at events with a long-term perspective has been a primary strength of library professionals from time immemorial. Preserve the intellectual heritage of the past, protect the information of the future: that has been one of the profession’s purposes. It is a perspective that is seldom fashionable. Change, constant change, is now part of our daily expectations. As former United States President Dwight D. Eishhower supposedly once said, things today are more like they are now than ever. (Someone else said if first, but the image of President Eisenhower pontificating is a pleasant one.) The pace of change in 2014 . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Myers v. Peel County Board of Education, [1981] 2 SCR 21, 1981 CanLII 27 (SCC)

MCINTYRE J.—This appeal concerns an accident suffered by a fifteen year old boy in attempting a dismount from the rings in a gymnastic class at his high school. At trial the defendants (the school authorities) were found negligent, as was the plaintiff, the division of liability . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Sponsorship and Sincerity

I recently attended a workshop that was sponsored by several law firms, major corporations and large organizations. The event and the law firms will remain anonymous (for obvious reasons), but the sponsorship implied trust, integrity and commitment by the business community to a contemporary organizational issue.

Event attendees participated in a productive discussion; some were clients of the firms whose logos were included on the promotional material and some would probably be good clients for those firms to have.

There was just one problem. None of the law firms who sponsored the workshop had sent a representative to participate in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Marketing

The Importance of Happiness

When I was young I sang in a choir, still do for that matter. One year we performed the Happiness song (YouTube).Perhaps that long ago practice of articulating what happiness is made me particularly receptive to the message from Sunny Grosso this morning. Sunny was invited to Edmonton to talk about Delivering Happiness for the Edmonton Public Library’s Forward Thinking Speaker Series (EPL: 2014 Library of the Year).

My objective in attending was to learn how to inspire passion and purpose in my organization. As someone involved in process improvement, my work should have a direct, positive impact . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.

Technology
How to Use Google to Search With a Specific Website*
Dan Pinnington

The search functionality on many websites is dismal, and in sometimes it is non-existent. If you are looking for something on a specific website and can’t find it, don’t despair, Google comes to the rescue….

Research
Watch Your Email
Shaunna Mireau

Jack Newton posted an excellent email tip on Slaw way back in February 2013. He suggested . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

A Godless Charter and Law Society?

If the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were being drafted today, should there be a reference to God in its opening line as there is now: “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law”? Assuming that the Charter’s s. 2(a) declaration of “freedom of conscience and religion” includes freedom to be an atheist or agnostic, doesn’t that opening line put atheists and doubters in conflict with Canada’s founding?

Also, we spend coins that are based upon the existence of God. Whereas all American coins state, “In God We Trust,” all . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Missing or Wrong Inventors?

Occasionally, patent applications are filed or issued identifying the wrong inventors, or the allegedly wrong inventors. This can arise due to inadvertence at the time of filing or from disputes between inventors, claimed inventors and owners of the intellectual property.

All patent applications must identify the inventor or inventors of the invention being claimed. This is typically done in the petition for the patent or equivalent under the international Patent Cooperation Treaty rules at the time of filing.

The identity of the inventors is important because ownership of the patent flows from the inventors, usually through an employment arrangement or . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Employers Requiring Disclaimers in Employees’ Social Media Posts

In the USA, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) oversees not just unionized workplaces but many others too. Among the issues attracting its attention these days are social media policies of employers. As one might expect, the NLRB protects free speech by employees, especially where employee rights and relations with employers are concerned.

However, the Board has recently confirmed that employers may require employees to disclaim speaking for the employer on the employees’ social media sites. The risk that employers could get in trouble for ideas otherwise imputable to them was considered a valid reason for such disclaimers. However, disclaimers . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, ulc_ecomm_list