Canada’s online legal magazine.

Are We Trying to Close the Barn Door After the Ship Has Sailed?

The concept of knowledge management can expand to encompass many things. Theoretically it includes influence over the social aspects of the organization, such as ways people relate to each other, as well as managing explicit information in the form of written information. Practically it is often carried out by staff in a particular department with varying degrees of influence, who may not be involved in the wider workings of the organization. This means that some of the most important ways people in an organization communicate and transfer knowledge are difficult for knowledge management staff to change.

Many knowledge management programs . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Laws That Politicians Are NOT Bound By

I’ve seen complaints suggesting emails from those running in the federal election are spam. But CASL specifically exempts political emails from the definition of spam. A recent review of political emails by a mail service provider showed that they are not even trying to comply with the spirit of CASL – such as having unsubscribe mechanisms and contact information.

It’s never been clear to me why those making laws think they deserve to be exempted from many laws they think business need to follow. Perhaps if they applied more laws to themselves some laws might be a lot more user . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Making Tough on Crime Count

Budgets have no bottoms. Promises know no bounds. No baby has gone un-kissed. It must be Federal election time in Canada.

With political pandering at a fever pitch and politicians tripping over themselves to promise the earth, moon and stars to an election-weary electorate, it is an ideal time to exercise some wish-list thinking when it comes to criminal justice reform.

For all the bumps and bruises suffered by the ruling Conservatives at least one aspect of their message continues to garner broad popular support – ‘tough-on-crime’. With the outlier exception of legalizing marijuana, only the most suicidal politician would . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. Grande National Leasing Inc. v Vaccarello, 2015 ONSC 5463

[36] The defendant in this case was not represented at trial. The plaintiff had the assistance of a paralegal. Although it can often be frustrating for a trial judge to deal with an unrepresented litigant, it is a reality every trial judge faces often, particularly in the Small Claims Court. Sometimes when . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

From LegaltechTO BYOD Risk Management Strategies and Pitfalls

One of the many excellent presentations that I attended at Legaltech TO on September 24 focused on a couple of ways to deal with BYOD in legal. Steve Heck, Regional CIO at Microsoft Canada offered the ‘make everything securely accessible from any device’ option. Eugene Cipparone, Director, Professional Support at Goodmans LLP offered that firm’s strategy which I will sum up here as ‘educate and enable’.

Both of these perspectives have value. On one hand, mobile devices are only used to access what is secured by two factor authentication on the web. Because the content resides and can be used . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology

Coaching Competence

“Top singers and athletes have coaches. Should you?”

A few weeks ago, this question entered my Twitter feed through a reference to a 2011 New Yorker article titled “Personal Best”, authored by surgeon Atul Gawande. It caught my attention and sparked a thought: how might lawyers benefit from coaching?

Gawande’s article provides a compelling account of how coaches can help professionals improve performance. Among other things, Gawande discusses how a coach helped him bring down his post-surgery complication rate. He also explores the increasing use of teacher-coaching programs across the United States. Gawande writes that “coaching done well may be . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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.


I Don’t Know
Garry Wise

They may be the three most difficult words for certain professionals to utter. The mere temptation to speak them aloud has even been known (among some, it is rumoured), to dredge up sweaty palms, blinding pillars of ego and fortress-thick walls of denial. I don’t know. …


Search Tips That Will Get You Better Google Results*
Dan Pinnington

It is amazing how Google . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Day-to-Day Stresses and Challenges of Being a Lawyer

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

A sole practitioner and single mom is locked in a room in her house. Her young autistic son, outside the room, has put a chair up against the door to prevent it from opening. There is a lot of yelling and screaming. She calls 911 and the police arrive. One of the constables happens to be her client – adding to her embarrassment. He talks to her through the window from outside and, eventually, the dust settles. But like any other day, she still has to go . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Restoring Previous Versions of Files in Windows

I don’t usually write “how-to” posts, but I wasn’t aware of this restore feature in Windows and thought others might find it useful. Last week I accidentally saved a file and ended up replacing another file in the process. This can easily happen when you click on ‘Save’ instead of ‘Save As’ for example. In my case I was exporting a file from a software application and saving it to a directory on our network drive.

Normally the file is exported and then saved over a template or place-holder file. Usually not a problem: easy to do and maintains consistent . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

When the Publishers Won’t Play Ball

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have raised an issue of great concern in Sub-Saharan Africa. The most effective anti-venom used there to treat cases of snakebite, Fav-Afrique , is no longer being produced by the manufacturer, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi. The existing batches will run out in 2016. Even if another company took up production, it would be two years before replacements would be available. The company says it is no longer profitable to make the drug.

Why am I writing about this in a law blog? In a way it follows on from my previous blog which outlined my case . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from sixty 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 Sourcery  2. Michael Geist 3. Administrative Law Matters  4. Michael Spratt  5. Pierre Roy & Associes

Legal Sourcery
Finding Legislative Intent (Tip of the Week)

Erica Anderson, Research Librarian at the Ontario Legislative Library, and Susan Barker, Digital Services and Reference Librarian at the Bora Laskin Law Library, . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix