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Archive for November, 2013

Cybercourts, ODR and Cyberjustice: What Does It All Mean?

Two years ago, almost to the day, Simon Fodden contacted us to write a bimonthly column on online dispute resolution (ODR). A dozen columns later, and after going through the most important current developments on the topic, we realized that we might have skimmed over the core question that should have preceded all of our previous entries: what is ODR?

Obviously, definitions of ODR are plentiful. However, as is often the case when everyone has his or her own idea of a word’s meaning, definitions are sometimes incompatible. That being said, as explained in a recent paper published by Julio . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

First Moot Competition for Paralegals Students

Paralegals serve an important function in our judicial system, providing cost-effective and professional services for simple and routine matters in litigation. Yet even these matters require a significant amount of advocacy, as paralegals in Ontario conduct complete trials and hearings in small claims court or administrative tribunals.

Paralegal students get some training in advocacy in their educational, and this education is now a mandatory prerequisite to licensing in Ontario. What they don’t usually get is the opportunity to hone and test their advocacy skills in a competition between schools.

Today we completed what was likely the first appellate moot competition  . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

It’s Complicated: Access to Justice & Cost Shifting in Class Actions

The release of five class action decisions penned by Ontario Superior Court Justice Belobaba earlier this month has garnered significant attention in the press and in the profession, and has reignited a debate about cost shifting in class actions. In virtually identical language in Brown v. Canada (Attorney General), Sankar v. Bell Mobility, Crisante v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Dugal v. Manulife and Rosen v. BMO Nesbitt Burns, Justice Belobaba excoriated class action lawyers for over-lawyering certification motions, unnecessarily lengthening the proceedings and generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees and disbursements. The result, he bemoans, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

UK Defamation Act 2013 – Rules for Website Owners

The amendments to the Defamation Act passed in the UK earlier this year will come into force on January 1, 2014. There is a draft regulation on website owners’ liability for defamatory comments posted on their sites. There is quite a back-and-forth process.

Is a scheme like this a good idea for Canada? It is a kind of ‘notice and notice’ system, in which the original poster of the allegedly defamatory statements have to identify themselves (via the website operator) for litigation by the complainant, or the statements are deleted.

Here is Pinsent Mason’s description:

[Website operators have

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, ulc_ecomm_list

The Dependence of Electronic Discovery and Admissibility Upon Electronic Records Management

1. The Conceptual Foundation for the Use of Electronic Records

The concepts and arguments developed below have been facilitated by what I have learned from experts in electronic records management. The following three analogies should be the foundation concepts for all that is written and said about the discovery and admissibility of electronic records:

1. An electronic record (an e-record) is merely an electronic impression upon an electronic storage device, which is but a part of an electronic records management system (an ERMS). An e-record in its ERMS, is like a drop of water in a pool of water. Like . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Google Doodle Honours Doctor Who

As I often do here on Slaw, I’m pointing you to the Google Doodle, which today is an animated game involving all the Doctor Whos from the 50 years of the show’s history — and, of course, an evil Dalek.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

It’s worth it to let the Dalek vaporize a couple of Doctors just to hear the menacing growl, “Exterminate!” . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Magic Bullet or Band-Aid?: LSUC’s “Enhanced” Tribunals Model

It’s been a high profile fall for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s disciplinary system.

With the appeal decision in the notorious Groia case now on reserve, headlines on a different matter have moved to centre stage: a Law Society hearing panel has “exonerated” and “absolved” two Torys lawyers—Beth DeMerchant and Darren Sukonick—of conflict of interest allegations in relation to work done for the Hollinger Group of Companies. While the Law Society has expressed “disappointment” with the result, the cleared lawyers, for their part, are now seeking up to $4 million in costs and disbursements that they say were incurred . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

The Friday Fillip: Three Royal Orgs

I’m a Dr. Who fan. I make this admission (probably an admission against interest) freely and with some pleasure, because “science fiction” — whatever that term might mean — was my introduction to books, libraries and the ecstasy of reading and reading and reading. Of course, when I grew up I “put away childish things” — Mrs. Hill, my grade ten English teacher, said I had to — but not until I’d taken Theodore Sturgeon, Arthur Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Walter Miller, etc. etc. thoroughly on board. So no one was more pleased than I when the Beeb took . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip