Canada’s online legal magazine.

Access to the Civil Justice System in Canada Is a Concern According to Data From the 2016 World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

According to the most recent World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, Canada ranks 12th overall out of 113 countries included in the survey. Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands rank 1st to 5th, respectively. Canada’s overall index score of 0.81 is tied with the UK and Australia. The US ranks 18th overall. Ranking 12th out of 113 puts Canada near the top of the global ranking. Canada ranks 9th out of 24 European and North American countries and 12th out of 36 high income countries, above the median in . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Who Will You Nominate for the 2016 Clawbies?

It’s December, and you know what that means: it’s Clawbies season! That’s right, it’s time to start nominating blogs for the 11th annual Canadian Law Blog Awards.

As always, you can get all the details over at clawbies.ca, but here’s the short version of what you need to know:

  • Nominate up to 3 of your favourite Canadian law blogs, podcasts, or video blogs via a blog post or Twitter (be sure to tag your nomination tweets with #clawbies2016).
  • Don’t nominate your own blog (really). By nominating others, your own blog will be automatically considered!
  • Nominations are open until
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Proposed Nova Scotia Accessibility Legislation

On November 2, 2016, the Nova Scotia government proposed accessibility legislation to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Nova Scotians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of everyday life by promoting and encouraging the prevention, reduction and removal of barriers.

Moreover, the government intends to help make Nova Scotia a more accessible and inclusive place to live and work. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Prospecting

Everyone gets excited when a new client comes on board. Once they are signed, keeping them and providing excellent experience is a must. But how do you get that client to sign in the first place?

Winning new business in a competitive legal industry is not easy. There is a lot of money involved and often a lot of emotion in the decision. We know that today clients are buying value more than ever, they want total solutions and they are willing to select individuals best suited to resolve the issues at hand rather than staying with a firm they . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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. Royal Bank of Canada v. Trang, 2016 SCC 50

[1] This appeal raises the issue of the proper interpretation of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, S.C. 2000, c. 5 (“PIPEDA”). The Royal Bank of Canada (“RBC”) is a judgment creditor of Phat Trang and Phuong Trang (“the Trangs”) and seeks a sheriff’s sale of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

What Can We Do With Big Data? Problems and Products

In late October, I attended the 12th Annual Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession conference. I have been attending this conference on and off since its inception, and this was absolutely the best so far. Which is really interesting: as Joshua Fireman, co-chair, noted “We still have things to talk about!”

One of those things, if not the biggest thing, is the continuing changing landscape of legal technology and how law firms can and should be using it. In particular, the emergence of “big data” remains a promise and a worry.

Big Data – Problems and Products

Intro . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The KF Modification: A Canadian Approach to Organizing and Understanding Law

Anyone who has studied law will have used a library at some point in their studies. If you studied at an American or Canadian university, it is likely that the library’s print collections were physically organized on the shelves using the Library of Congress Classification system (LCC), a subject-based classification scheme using a letter or combination of letters to represent a broad subject (eg, D for History, DA for British history, DC for French history) and a number between 1 and 9999 to represent a narrower topic within that subject (eg, DA 445 for the Stuart Restoration, 1660-1688, or . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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 research, writing, and practice.

Technology

Passwords – as Painless as Possible
Law Society of Saskatchewan Library

Passwords are a necessary evil if you use a computer and the Internet for almost anything these days. A typical user has to remember 19 passwords on average, and a whopping 80% of us use the same password for multiple online accounts. …

Research & Writing

Comma Conundrums
Neil Guthrie

The humble comma seems to baffle many. Space . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Dropping the Ball on a File Transfer: Rule 48 Danger for Ontario Lawyers

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

When a file is transferred from one lawyer to another, one danger is when nothing happens on the file due to a clumsy transfer or missing critical information. A new file that has not been looked at can be a ticking time bomb. Deadlines like limitation periods can pass by unnoticed, and Rule 48 administrative dismissal dates can be discovered too late. The resulting malpractice claim can have lawyers pointing fingers at each other. Consider the following tips whether you’re transferring a file or on the receiving . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

How Black Is the AI Black Box?

It’s always interesting to me how things can sometimes coalesce and synchronize around an idea. For example, I’ve been thinking about a comment that Nicole Shanahan made in a recent collection of presentations delivered at Codex, the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. She was talking about “lawyering in the AI age” and touched on “predictive policing” where the computer is used to predict human behaviour. Based on her experience with how algorithms and data work Shanahan characterizes this as “not really a rational goal.”

However, she notes, there are products on the market today and, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

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 seventy 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. Vincent Gautrais  2. Slater Vecchio Connected 3. Legal Post  4. Blogue du CRL  5. Western Canada Business Litigation Blog

Vincent Gautrais
Le consommateur numérique: une protection à la hauteur de la confiance?

Le présent ouvrage rassemble les textes des conférences prononcées lors du colloque intitulé « Le consommateur numérique . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Stepping Up for Diversity: Law Societies Must Begin to Address the Challenges Faced by Racialized Lawyers and Paralegals

Law Societies have a lot on their plates these days: ABS, access to justice, advertising, articling . . . and that’s only the first letter of the alphabet! It is critical that the work of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Working Group on the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees not get lost in all this regulatory alphabet soup. The report is important. It is groundbreaking. It is also controversial. And it is necessary. This report will be debated by Ontario’s benchers on December 2nd. The Law Society of Upper Canada has a real opportunity to exercise strong . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics