Canada’s online legal magazine.
Carswell Start-up Guide for Sole Practitioner
LexisNexis Legal Products

Clio Announces “Next” UI at User Conference

For many legal software companies, major announcements and product enhancements have traditionally been saved up for release at ABA Techshow or LTNY. But with the advent of their own user conference last year, Clio looks to be borrowing from the tech sector (think Apple or Google) and utilizing their own annual event for these types of product releases.

This morning’s opening of the Clio Cloud Conference showcased two new such announcements, namely: a revamp of the product’s UI, dubbed Clio Next; and the release of the company’s new smartphone app for Android.

Clio Next updates include:

  • A revamp of
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Manage Malpractice Risk by Recognizing Cultural Diversity

In the social realm, cultural differences can be awkward for those on both sides; but in the context of legal services, cross cultural
misunderstandings and other culture-related factors can occasionally lead to malpractice claims against lawyers. The good news: claims with a cultural component are easily preventable as they tend to reflect certain recurring themes.

One category of claims arises where a lawyer is unfamiliar with the culture of his or her client or is not comfortable asking questions about culture, and so makes false assumptions or ill-advised communication “adjustments” that lead to misunderstandings and mistakes.

In a subset of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Lawyers, Learn to Code With This Free eBook

If you’ve been thinking about learning how to do some coding, or want to learn more about the software that powers the applications you use everyday, then you’ll be interested in this eBook by V. David Zvenyach: “Coding for Lawyers.” Zvenyach is the General Counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia and considers himself an “accomplished armchair coder.” He also insists that “Lawyers can code. In fact,” he says,

“… if you’re a lawyer, the truth is that it’s easier than you think. I am a lawyer, and a coder. In the course

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

CPD and the Futures Report

The CBA Futures Report was released last week. The final topic in this wide-ranging report was legal education: law school, pre-call training, and CPD. The entire report is interesting, but the legal education section is especially interesting to me.

It’s impossible to argue with the most of the statements the report; many of the recommendations are music to my ears; for example, that lawyers should engage in life-long learning.

Legal education issues have received such a lot of attention recently, particularly issues of affordability, whether legal education makes new lawyers practice-ready, or whether all or part of an undergrad degree . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

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. National Magazine Blog  2. Canadian Privacy Law Blog 3. Library Boy  4. DroitDu.net  5. Thoughtful Legal Management

National Magazine Blog
Don’t stop believing

If someone told you that you could be unbelievably happy practising law, would you believe it? I’d understand if you said no: You’ve probably heard lots . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The Trouble With Kerning and Spacing

Writing clearly and concisely is a goal that often eludes lawyers, especially when writing factums.

Justice Barbier of the United States District Court Eastern District of Louisiana ruled on a motion on Sept. 15, 2014 in the complex litigation surrounding the BP oil spill, In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010.

Although denying the motion, Justice Barbier commented on the response by BP, in particular in their formatting:

…the Court must address the format of BP’s opposition memorandum.

The briefing order allowed BP’s counsel to file a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT: Une enseignante ayant exploité sexuellement un adolescent doit être punie comme le serait un professeur ayant eu les mêmes gestes envers une élève; en l’espèce, il y a lieu de condamner l’accusée, reconnue coupable notamment d’agression sexuelle à l’endroit d’un élève de 15 ans, à 20 mois de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at cases.slaw.ca.

This week’s summaries concern:
Civil Rights / Constitutional Law / Statutes / Trade Regulation

R. v. P.C. 2014 ONCA 577
Civil Rights
Summary: The accused, a young offender at the time, was tried by a judge and jury and found guilty of manslaughter. The accused wished to appeal his conviction, but lacked the resources to retain counsel. He . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Cyberbullying, Social Media Networks and Sentencing: The Alberta Court of Appeal Strikes a Hard Blow in R v Mackie

How should the courts determine appropriate sentences for online predators who victimize vulnerable children through various forms of cyberbullying? This was the question put squarely to the Alberta Court of Appeal in R v Mackie 2014 ABCA 221.

Background

Statistics Canada reported this summer that the traditional crime rate in Canada fell 8% from 2012 to 2013, reaching its lowest level since 1969. But this general decline in crime rates overshadows a disturbing countertrend – the rise in online crimes against children.

Crimes constituting sexual violations against children increased 6% from 2012. In particular, the crime of using a . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues

The Friday Fillip: Venom and Vanity

Here’s an incongruity — at least it seems so to me.

The world’s most expensive substance is used in one of the most trivial ways possible.

The substance? Botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox. The BBC says it costs £100 trillion (C$182 trillion) per kilo — yes, that’s trillion. And people buy it to inject into their faces so that (they think) we won’t think they’re as old as they really are. Moreover, a third branch in the incongruity (if such things can have a tertium quid) is the fact that gram for gram it’s the deadliest substance . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Parlez-Vous Français? How to Practice Your French, and Other Foreign Language Immersion Tips

I’ve been trying to prepare for the IFLA conference in Lyon, France for months. IFLA is the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and I don’t recall ever attending one of their meetings. But I thought this year, it’s in France, and in Lyon. My first name is Lyonette – it’s fate! And the IFLA Law Libraries Section has been offering great sessions on authentication of and access to digital legal information (such as official gazettes) in various regions of the world. I could look forward to immersing myself in French culture, speaking French, and learning about new developments . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

American Association of Law Libraries Report on Access to Justice

The debate about how to improve access to justice most often discusses what lawyers and court institutions can do.

There is another potential player: law libraries. In Canada, a few law libraries offer legal information services to the general public. But there does not seem to be much coordination of these efforts or much analysis of the contributions law libraries can and should be making.

South of the border, the attempt to address this question appears to have been more ambitious, though there is still a long way to go.

For example, the American Association of Law Libraries recently . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research