February, 2015 Archives – Slaw
Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for February, 2015

Family Justice 3.2: Empowering Families to Address the Sequelae of Separation

In this note, I propose a model of family justice that’s less of a model of family justice than it is a model of family-centred social services, and places primary responsibility for post-separation decision-making on the family itself. Unlike my two previous posts on the subject, Family Justice 3.0 and Family Justice 3.1, this model does propose a fundamental restructuring of how we approach family law disputes. This proposal draws from my thinking on the changes in perception that can flow from conceiving of family law dispute resolution as “family restructuring”, assumes that family wellbeing is a basic . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Friday Fillip: Through a Window Slowly

Duncan probably had it right: “There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face.”

It’s where we live — or where we are seen to live — and that’s the point of it, I suppose: communication. All those incredibly numerous and tiny muscles sculpting cheeks and lips, nuancing the skin around the orbits, telling our tales, often whether we like it or no. (The Latin proverb is “Vultus est index animi”: the face is the index of the mind, where “index” means informer or spy.)

This . . . vulnerability may be one of the reasons . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Purpose of a Law School?

A profession is a vocation founded on specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply objective counsel and service to others (1).

Today in North America a person can become a legal professional by graduating from an accredited law school.

What kind of educational training should be offered at a law school?

I submit that law students must become familiar with basic legal concepts by taking courses such as contracts, criminal law, constitutional law, property, torts, statutes, administrative law, evidence, practice, professional conduct, wills and trusts, company law, labour law, legal research, etc.

Legal encyclopedia list over 150 . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Supreme Court Confirms Right to Strike Constitutionally Protected

For some, this decision took a long time to arrive.

The Supreme Court of Canada in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v Saskatchewan confirmed once and for all that the right to strike is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This landmark decision strikes down Saskatchewan’s essential services legislation, which prevented a wide range of public sector employees from striking. This decision does not conclude that all essential services legislation that imposes limits on strike action will be unconstitutional; however, it will have an impact on the future of labour relations across Canada. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Drink From the Garden Hose

Social media is a coursing flow of data and information. Twitter’s own output is known as the firehose for obvious reasons. You can tap into that volume to monitor an event or person, making the flow more manageable. To do so, you need to understand what you are looking for and how to avoid missing it.

There are some basic ways to follow a topic on Twitter. The most common is the hashtag – placing a pound sign # in front of a term – and Twitter converts those into a clickable link. Hashtags have a few drawbacks. First, everyone . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Pink Shirt Day

Did you wear a pink shirt today? Today (February 25) is Pink Shirt Day in Canada, a day devoted to promoting collective action against bullying in our schools, communities and online. The origins of the day, as described by the Globe and Mail, are as follows:

The tradition of wearing pink shirts emerged in September, 2007, after a Nova Scotia high-school student was targeted with homophobic insults for wearing a pink shirt to school. Two Grade 12 students, Travis Price and David Shepherd, organized their schoolmates to wear pink in solidarity.

My favourite #PinkShirtDay tweet was from Manitoba’s Minister . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Smartwatches Still in the Running

I’ve written about smartwatches before. So far they have not been selling as fast as some expected. The marketplace still hasn’t sorted out the right combinations of features and price.

Apple’s iWatch is arriving in April. It will no doubt sell well – if for no other reason than it’s an Apple product.

The first real smartwatch was the Pebble, which broke Kickstarter records in 2012. They announced a new version of it yesterday, called the “Pebble Time”. They launched a new Kickstarter project yesterday morning – but this time just to take pre-orders at a discount for May . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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. Iannarella v. Corbett, 2015 ONCA 110

[114] In my view, the improper use of the surveillance evidence gave rise to a form of trial by ambush. This came about because the trial judge did not require the defence to comply with the Rules in relation to the disclosure of the surveillance evidence and the provision of particulars. The trial judge did . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Legal Business Development: When Is It Time to Get Excited?

How many times have you heard…“Don’t get too excited… You don’t want to be disappointed.” I bet, a lot!

When is it time to get excited about a new case or new project? When the client says they’re moving forward or when they sign the engagement letter or when you receive the check? In my book… all of the above!

The other day I was coaching a client and he shared with me that his client said they would be moving forward on the project. My client said cautiously that he always waits to see the check before he believes . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

5 Benefits of a Social Media Sabbatical

Have you ever wanted to cease and desist from all social media communication? I have. And I did. Here’s what happened…

…well, actually, nothing happened. Despite dire warnings from bloggers proclaiming the “10 online activities you must do every day to build a valuable personal brand”, nothing bad actually happened. In fact, my business grew.

The benefits of a social media sabbatical

  1. Rest. Being somewhat introverted, I can only handle so much social activity online or off. By the end of December, I felt beleaguered by the pressure to maintain a constant social media presence.
  1. Regained control over my
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Marketing

Of Social Media Evidence Capture and WebPreserver

Vancouver is already headquarters to big names in the legal SaaS and social media software markets. Both Clio and Hootsuite are homegrown. For a couple of years I suspected that one of these—or perhaps an enterprising partner relying on the market reach and platform of one of these companies—would come along to knit legal and social media together in a product that served the unique needs of lawyers.

The unique need, to state it succinctly, is for an easy-to-use browser-based tool that captures posts (incriminating Facebook admissions, credibility destroying tweets, etc.) and preserves them with “evidentiary quality” . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

Do We Really Want New Voices at the Table?

Then let’s make the effort to find them and vote for them.

It’s election season at law societies across Canada

In the coming months, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario lawyers will elect the governors of their respective law societies and some change is inevitable. In Ontario, 17 of 40 incumbents are not running so the prospect of substantial change is very real. But whether it is a change of make-up or merely a change of bodies could depend entirely on the efforts voting lawyers put into learning about the candidates.

Quebec has a very long election season – opening . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous