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Archive for April, 2015

The Unasked Issue in the Benchers’ Election

Our non-Ontario readers will be thrilled that in an hour the polls close and you won’t have interminable discussions about Ontario’s election and its implications. This post responds to and builds on Mitch’s prescient post from 18 months ago, and Alice Woolley and Alan Cliff’s posts which dealt with the Ontario Benchers’ Election which wraps up today at 5 PM

My focus isn’t on the substantive issues that Alice focused on yesterday but rather on an underlying governance issue that no-one appears to be talking about. It’s about convocations, cabinets and the tyranny of geography

What are the most . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Legislation

26 Months’ Notice Awarded to Dependent Contractors

In Keenan v Canac Kitchens, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice concluded that two workers were owed termination notice by their employer because they were not independent contractors as the employer tried to argue, but rather dependent contractors as the evidence showed. Therefore, the employer did owe them termination notice. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Thursday Thinkpiece: Chatterjee on Anonymity and De-Identifying Family Case Law

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Balancing Privacy and the Open Court Principle of Family Law: Does De-Identifying Case Law Protect Anonymity?

Sujoy Chatterjee
Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies, Volume 23 (2014)

Excerpt: pp 97-103

[Footnotes omitted. They can be found in the original via the link above]

Analyzing the Open Court Principle

The open court principle is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Bencher Elections – the Challenge to Self-Regulations Legitimacy

Prior to the election of Law Society of Upper Canada benchers on April 30, 2015, the Ontario Trial Lawyers’ Association posted on its website a list of benchers who opposed the introduction of Alternative Business Structures. The website stated: “OTLA urges all association members and other eligible licensed lawyer to vote for the following candidates opposed to ABS” (OTLA Bencher Election Voting Guide). At the time some commentators, including me, were quite critical of the OTLA for this approach (“ABS issue dominating bencher vote”)

In this column I want to expand on those criticisms. Not because . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

The Relevant Lawyer – New Book From ABA Publishing

Later this week the American Bar Association will publish The Relevant Lawyer: Reimagining the Future of the Legal Profession, a collection of essays on the future of the profession. It includes two chapters written by members of Slaw.

Details of how to get the book itself are here. We’ll publish a full review in Slaw shortly.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading, Reading: Recommended

Share and Share Alike

In this new sharing economy, we are sharing our homes through services like Airbnb, sharing our cars through services like Uber and sharing our meals through social dining services like EatWith.

Those with ideas, whether original or crowd-sourced share them and ask that we support the implementation of those ideas by sharing our dollars through crowd funding.

Day to day, we share our lives through Facebook, our photos through Instagram, what we’ve read through links on Twitter, our CVs through LinkedIn and our music through SoundCloud.

It makes me wonder: What’s next? What’s left that’s not already been shared? . . . [more]

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

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. R. v. Ram, 2015 ONCJ 200

[1] A judge commencing a trial knows little or nothing about the case and relies on counsel to present evidence and submissions. This essential aspect of our adversarial system means it is inappropriate, not to mention difficult, for the judge to second guess the conduct of counsel during the trial. In fact, a good judge . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Book Review: Bernie Mayer, “The Conflict Paradox – Seven Dilemmas at the Core of Disputes”

The more conflict escalates, the more human beings tend to characterize the issues as black or white, right or wrong, good or bad. The sad truth is that with more intensity, our thinking becomes less complex and we are less able to see all of the possibilities and to engage effectively. We are attracted to polarities, probably for their simplicity, bit life is not binary – it is complex and full of grey.

In his new book, “The Conflict Paradox – Seven Dilemmas at the Core of Disputes” (2015, Jossey-Bass), Bernie Mayer explores the mystery of this complexity in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Harvard Law’s Perma.cc Wins 2015 Webby Award for Best Law-Related Website

Perma.cc, a service invented by the Harvard Law School Library that helps organizations create an archive of permanent links for web citations, has won the 2015 Webby Award in the category of best law-related website.

Perma.cc is supported by some 60 law libraries and was developed to deal with the problem of link rot, the growing problem of broken or dead hyperlinks.

The Webby Awards recognize outstanding achievement in websites, online film and video, mobile and apps, and interactive advertising and media. There are numerous categories, ranging from activism to sports.

The Awards are presented by the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

Use Your Words

Nostalgia title for this post – I can’t tell you the number of times I said to the now grown, employed and, after this evening, all moved out on their own, Mireau Giggles, “Use your words”. Actually, it wasn’t too often come to think of it, but as you read the phrase you may hear your mother or fathers voice. Use your words is a more recent theme as well. Yesterday, I was delighted to share some tips for deploying knowledge management initiatives in mid-sized law firms with a group of engaged participants from the BCLMA KM Subsection. My presentation . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Information Management

Be Careful of Being Too Critical of the Trial Judge

In an appeal, everyone who has lost a case has sometimes felt the urge to viscerally complain about some aspect of the decision.

A recent decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal reminds us of the importance of making tempered criticism of the trial judge. Overstated criticism can even affect the overall credibility of an argument. In Dunkin Brands Canada Ltd. v. Bertico Inc., the Court of Appeal began its reasons with a dissection of the language used by the appellant in the factum, referring to “gross errors of law”, evidence that was “almost completely ignored” and “blatant” mistakes . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

LSUC’s Vexing Voting Scheme

As a recent call, I first approached this year’s LSUC bencher election with a kind of trepidation that I remember from student politics. But while the stakes have grown and the candidates improved, the voting system itself feels like a step in the wrong direction. Under this system, each voter may vote for up to 40 candidates from a pool of 95. While a few seats are filled based on the votes cast in each region, most benchers are chosen by voters across the province as a whole. This process burdens voters, hinders meaningful choices, and makes campaigning more . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous