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Archive for March, 2014

Employee Refuses to Admit Any Disability – Employer Still Liable!

I am a firm believer that when an employer is aware that an employeee suffers from a physical or mental disability, it must take all steps to accommodate them to the point of undue hardship. It’s settled law and it’s the right thing to do morally. I have coached clients on countless occassions to ask questions about potential disabilities and not just ignore an employee’s potential issues just because they aren’t bringing them to the fore and not focus only on performance management or discipline.

However, what happens when you do ask all the questions and the employee denies having . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Microsoft Setting a Precedent for Cloud Provider Access to Data

Earlier this month Microsoft’s privacy policies became the focal point of a controversy about the right of cloud providers to access their customer’s data. The controversy, and Microsoft’s subsequent response, may create a precedent that will influence terms of service for cloud providers going forward.

Briefly, the controversy erupted when it was revealed that, in the process of investigating a potential leak from one of its employees, Microsoft accessed the Hotmail inbox of a blogger that it suspected was the recipient of the leaked, internal Microsoft documents. While Microsoft was within its rights to do so under its terms of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

How Law Firms Can Increase Their Online Banking Safety

Many law firms manage their trust and regular bank accounts on the Internet, and some firms have the ability to initiate various banking transactions online, including account transfers and wiring funds. While the convenience and efficiency of online banking are huge benefits, the downside is that online banking exposes you to security risks. The steps outlined below will help law firms to understand, address and reduce online banking risks – for both your firm and personal accounts.

Know and understand the terms of your banking agreements: As a starting point, carefully read your bank account and electronic banking services agreements. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

New Law Librarians’ Institute – Ottawa, June 8-12, 2014

Registration is now open for the 2014 edition of the New Law Librarians’ Institute. This is an intensive, week-long program aimed at developing skills in the key competencies of law librarianship developed and presented by the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.

The program will feature expert instruction from leading law librarians and law professors, small class size, a mix of lectures and practical sessions, hands on sessions, and valuable take-home materials. This year the Institute will be held at the Brian Dickson Law Library, University of Ottawa with accommodation in the university’s residences.

Despite the name, this program . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

“Why Is the Law Society Donating to Political Parties?”: Some Answers and Questions

“Why is the ‪@LawsocietyLSUC donating to political parties? Why is my membership fee used to support the Conservatives.” This tweet by Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Michael Spratt caught my eye on an otherwise slow Tuesday in February. It had never crossed my mind that the Law Society might be in business of making political donations. The concept seemed strange, if not a bit troubling.

The tweet linked to an article published in the Law Times just over a week earlier on February 10, 2014. Although mostly detailing Elections Ontario data about donations made by law firms to political parties, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

New Privacy Policies at Microsoft

Those of us who keep our confidential information in the Cloud will be pleased with the announcement last week by Microsoft General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Brad Smith that “effective immediately” Microsoft will no longer inspect their customers’ private content.

The change is to be included in Microsoft’s Terms of Service and will be binding on Microsoft.

The new policy is the result of criticism of Microsoft over its investigators accessing Hotmail content in connection with alleged theft of Microsoft’s intellectual property.

Although, according to Smith, Microsoft was lawfully entitled under its terms of service . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

When Political Disputes Turn Legal

Albert Einstein once said that politics was more difficult than physics. His comment arose in the context of why humans could discover atomic power but could not properly find the means to control it.

Control in politics is illusory. And sometimes when things get out of control the disputes end up in courts.

The Premier of Ontario threatened legal action today against Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak for his statements over the gas plant scandal. The comments are apparently repeated on the party’s website and campaign materials, outside of the legislature where they would normally be protected by privilege.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

Areas of law: Insurance law; Subrogation; Income replacement plan; Statutory exceptions ~The Insurance Act’s provisions excluding subrogation in cases where the insured receives income continuation or replacement payments apply where the party paying the benefits is an insurer under an insurance contract, but do not extend to employers ~
Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Authentication vs Hearsay

The Ontario Court of Justice recently had occasion to consider the different grounds on which documentary evidence might be admitted or not admitted into evidence in a criminal case, in HMQ v Mondor.

Mr. Mondor was charged with accessing child pornography via a web site. The police had reconstituted the web site in order to trace certain purchases to the accused. As a result, the electronic records they used were not business records of the seller of the pornography for the purposes of s. 30 of the Canada Evidence Act. The Crown looked instead to what both it and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list