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Archive for May, 2015

The Future of Legal Practice and Technology for Law Professors

One of my pet peeves is when people throw around the word “technology” as a catch all to mean anything that can or will involve a computer. A common pattern is “In X number of years, this task will be replaced by TECHNOLOGY.” The speakers very rarely get into specifics as to when technology they mean. Personally, I like to amuse myself by replacing “technology” in these statements with “magic fairies.” Actually, I think fairies are more likely to exist than some technology that is universally adopted and solves myriad problems.

If you’re like me, you probably feel like the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

E-Learning for Lawyers, Explained

Online courses, webinars and other digital media open up a wide range of convenient, cost-effective training options for busy professionals. But there are a lot of options. Myriad combinations of technology, platforms, content and classrooms sometimes make the selection of a course as challenging as learning new subject matter.

Holly MacDonald of
Spark + Co.

How can you tell which choice is right for you? I interviewed e-learning strategist Holly MacDonald to find out. Macdonald is the driving force behind Canadian e-learning innovation consultancy Spark + Co, where she creates strategies and program development for clients including Fortune 100 . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology

Lean and Efficient

Alberta has new government. 21 days post-election, this is not news, but I am certain that there are Slawyers who are wondering what a new government in Alberta actually means. From the news release post swearing in of Premier Notley and her cabinet:

The new Cabinet is lean and efficient, and is firmly focused on solving the challenges that face Alberta. The newly sworn-in Ministers will partner with Alberta’s job creators – in energy, forestry, agriculture, high-tech, tourism and small business – to grow and diversify our economy.

I am delighted that Premier Notley did not significantly amalgamate or restructure . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

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.

Technology

Stop Inappropriate Gmail Messages From Going Out With Undo Send
Dan Pinnington

Many of us have sent angry or nasty comments in a Gmail email, only to regret it moments after hitting Send – or you remember that you didn’t attach the attachment you referenced in the email (hate with that happens!). …

Research

Don’t Assume Too Much
Shaunna Mireau

A post from the daily blog from Harvard Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Reading: Learning, Lounging and Escaping

I did it. I read a hundred books (#100Books) on my sabbatical. The whole list can be found here. Why did I do it? I set off to read 100 books because I felt I could and I should.

As lawyers, we spend so much of our time reading but so little time reading books. I can remember years when I’m not sure if I read a single book outside of work. Even as a law professor, I would only read two or three books of fiction a year. As a law student, I took a course called “Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics, Miscellaneous

New LAWPRO Resource for Wills & Estates Lawyers: A Malpractice Claims Fact Sheet

With such a large amount of claims prevention information available in LAWPRO Magazine articles and practicePRO resources, we had the idea to create simple fact sheets to help lawyers in their day-to-day practice and as well as CPD providers, who could use them developing their program material or as handouts. The latest in our series of “malpractice claims fact sheets” covers wills & estates law.

The sheets includes quick claims facts, the main causes of claims against lawyers, hot topics in the particular areas of law, tips for avoiding claims and links to practicePRO resources.

We are also developing . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Of Google Indexing the Twitter Firehose and Implications for SEO and Lawyers Who Tweet

I probably won’t be making it to the Chicago Bar Association’s CLE on “How To… Get the Most Out of Twitter” tomorrow. But that’s not to say that I wouldn’t have been choked to miss Catherine Reach’s tweet mentioning it. Mostly that’s because there was something else she linked to which caught my attention: Kevin O’Keefe’s post from last Thursday heralding that “Twitter is teaming up with Google to bring Twitter’s real-time content to Google’s search results.

So there it is. Google and Twitter are getting friendly (once more). And just when you thought Mobilegeddon was . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology, Technology: Internet

Learning and Technology in the Law School Classroom

Teaching The Digital Caveman: Rethinking The Use Of Classroom Technology In Law School” is an article written by James B. Levy, Associate Professor at Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center. In it Levy provides a great overview of the impact of technology and its effect on the science of learning in the law school classroom including examining our assumptions about so-called “digital natives.”

He outlines his paper as follows:

This article begins in Part II with a short history of modern classroom technology, why it has routinely failed to work as promised and the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Technology

Ontario Ministry of Labour Blitz

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour made headlines last week when they began an annual blitz on potentially abusive employers. The purpose was to target employers who take advantage of workers by failing to adhere to the requirements outlined in the Employment Standards Act. The targeted industries, according to the Ministry, include fitness and recreation, restaurants and janitorial services. The Ministry’s goal is to hold employers accountable for respecting employee entitlements such as minimum wage, eating periods and overtime pay.

The crackdown comes on the heels of amendments to the Employment Standards Act that came into force recently. The amendments, which stem . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

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. Ontario Condo Law Blog  2. Youth and Work 3. Michael Geist  4. Combat Sports Law  5. Rule of Law

Ontario Condo Law Blog
A reasonably prudent director

Condo directors in Ontario are expected to exercise a certain degree of attentiveness, caution and prudence while carrying out their duties. This . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Robots and the Law

In my previous posting, Automation in the Legal Market, I discussed the issue of automation vs. augmentation, where I touched upon the issue of the potential changes that might flow from the entry of IBM Watson into the legal sphere with the ROSS search engine. While the issue of automation is one that has been discussed from time to time over the last few years, there has been an explosion of articles in the last while that have addressed the automation and artificial intelligence (AI) robots, either directly or tangentially.

On LinkedIn, Patrick DiDomenico published a posting entitled . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

A Meaningful Mediation Avoiding Remedial Costs

The issue of remedial costs, previously discussed here, posed one of the few checks on the growing power of insurance companies in Ontario for motor vehicle collisions.

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released its decision in Ross v. Bacchus, reversing the trial judge’s award of remedial costs against the insurer for failing to comply with its obligations under the Insurance Act. Justice Doherty stated,

[51] Insurers, like any other defendant, are entitled to take cases to trial. When an insurer rejects a plaintiff’s offer and proceeds to trial, the insurer risks both a higher damage award

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