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Archive for March, 2015

CALL Measuring for What Matters

I have been absent from Slaw for a couple of months while I wrapped up an extended stint as a student in the Villanova University Master Certificate in Six Sigma program. I have finished the part of my learning that requires a university ID number. I have not lost my interest in continued learning in the area of defining, measuring, analysing, improving and controlling the processes that help my organization give excellent client service. Like many Slaw readers, I look forward to the next educative moment – which is just around the corner!

This May, I am looking forward to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

How Courtroom Innovations Help Self-Represented Litigants

The Toronto Star posted an interesting story this past weekend discussing how courtroom innovations in New York, the U.K. and Windsor, Ontario are helping self-represented litigants navigate the legal waters.

You can read the story here.

There is a complete absence of mention of what is being done in Toronto. If the answer is “nothing”, then perhaps we should all be looking at what can be done. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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 technology, research and practice.


Get the Music You Want for Every Mood or Occasion From Songza*
Dan Pinnington

There are loads of music streaming sites on the web. One of the best is It suggests different playlists for the mood you are in and it has playlists for every conceivable music type. There is a Music Concierge that will give you options like Brand New Music, Working to a Beat, Working (no . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

We Have Other Practice Areas?

It happens all the time in organizations, people get so busy doing their own work they stop hearing what other people in the company are working on. Although understandable to some extent, there are two really big issues that can arise because of it – both of which affect your clients.

We are all trying to get more revenue out of the clients we already have. Unfortunately we know that too many people only focus on the work they do for a client and we fail to learn as much as we can about the client. This has been discussed . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Of German Email Encryption Tool Tutanota and Other PETs

I’ve written updates before on encryption for communications and why the legal profession should be interested in tools and trends like encrypted ephemeral messaging, Edward Snowden’s warnings for legal professionals, and the upcoming Chrome extension for end-to-end email encryption.

Much of the whys and wherefores around encryption and Privacy Enhancing Technologies (“PETs”) and their place in legal practice are part of a broader conversation around lawyers’ digital competency — such as what Amy Salyzyn often writes about here on Slaw. This in turn engages the larger topic of internet security (and for a general background see this . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Internet

Is This the Job You Want?

On the face of it, interviewing should not be all that difficult – particularly for lawyers. As members of a profession who primarily make their living either writing or speaking, the idea that having a conversation about your interests and abilities in your own profession sounds both logical and easy.

But throw the words “job interview” into the mix and a whole new paradigm emerges. With seemingly so much at stake, job interviews take on a new meaning for people who ordinarily would not shy away from talking about the field they have chosen and the background that they bring. . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Terminating for Cause? Prove It!

In January 2015, the Ontario Superior Court provided another example of how, as an employer, if you’re going to terminate an employee for cause, you better have a good case backed by solid evidence. The case, Partridge v. Botony Dental Corporation, 2015 ONSC 343 (CanLII), is a relatively simple one. The employee, a dental hygenist, Ms. Lee Partridge, was terminated for cause by her employer, Botony Dental Corporation, after 7 years of employment. On her record of employment and in defence, the Employer alleged versions of the following grounds for termination:

[35] […]

  1. Partridge chose to reject her

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Lex Machina: Bringing Analytics to Law

Peter Neufield is a J.D. student at the Osgoode Hall Law School and the current features editor of the IPOsgoode blog IPilogue. He’s posted a short interview with Owen Byrd, Chief Evangelist & General Counsel at Lex Machina. Lex Machina started life in 2010 as a partnership between Stanford University’s Computer Science Department and the Law School with some great support from a number of “tech companies and law firms.”

During the interview Byrd describes Lex Machina’s approach as similar to the story told in the Michael Lewis book Moneyball. This is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

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. Environmental Law and Litigation  2. Clio Blog 3. Law of Work  4. Slater Vecchio Connected  5. FamilyLLB

Environmental Law and Litigation
Another court refuses to impose minimum environmental fines

Another Ontario court has waived the unreasonably high minimum environmental fines for relatively minor offences that the Environmental Protection Act . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

State Trials, Honorary Protestants, and the Red River, Highlight the 2015 Osgoode Society List

The Osgoode Society has announced the fall line up of new titles in its series of original writings on Canadian Legal History. This year the Society will publish two titles with the University of Toronto Press and one with the McGill Queens University Press.

Security and the Limits of Toleration in War and Peace: Canadian State Trials, Volume IV, 1914-1939, edited by Barry WrightEric Tucker and Susan Binnie, published by the University of Toronto Press.

This latest in the collection of State Trials series looks at the legal issues raised by the repression of dissent from the outset of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

National Security Still Doesn’t Trump Personal Privacy

How far does the legitimate scope of governmental power reach, in a time of technology and enhanced concerns of personal privacy?

Following the attacks on Canadian Parliament on October 22, 2014, the proper balance between national security concerns and personal privacy and liberties is of foremost concern for many citizens. The Federal government has responded, in part, by the introduction of Bill C-51, which has itself spurned considerable controversy.

National security and law enforcement concerns are not exclusive to our jurisdiction. At the Fourth Annual UCLA Cyber Crimes Moot this weekend, competitors from across the country considered the constitutional implications . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

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

This week’s summaries concern:
Criminal Law – Contempt

R. v. Salah (G.) et al. 2015 ONCA 23
Criminal Law
Summary: C.R. told her friends that Parish was a paedophile. Parish allegedly decided to silence C.R. by setting fire to her home. Parish assembled a team to execute the plan, two to set the fire (McDowell and S.C.) and . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday