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

Archive for June, 2015

Practice Compassion

July 1 and Q3 begin after midnight. I cannot believe that the year is flying by so quickly, again. One strategy that is helping me to maintain focus with my very busy portfolio is to have a theme for the week. These themes are meant as reminders – I guess they are in the spirit of mindfulness – on ways to approach being part of a team/firm/practice/group.

Last month’s theme, it was a good one so it prevailed, was resilience. Picturing Dory from Finding Nemo singing “just keep swimming” was useful and entertaining. As far as resilience goes, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Geographical Scope of the Master Expanding

Masters have been a fixture in the Toronto Court system for many years. For those who are unfamiliar, a Master is an adjudicator who is permitted to hear certain proceedings and make certain Orders. Unlike a Judge who has inherent jurisdiction, the Master takes his/her jurisdiction from statute and the Rules of Civil Procedure.

In municipalities and counties where there are no Masters a Judge hears all matters. As such, in municipalities and counties where there are Masters, the Masters typically lift a heavy burden off of the Judges in those jurisdictions. Indeed, the Toronto Masters carry a heavy . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Integrating the Profession in Experiential Legal Education

Experiential legal education has been the subject of numerous papers, conferences, and innovative curriculum changes in the United States in the past decade. In October 2012 the first National Symposium on Experiential Education in Law was held at Northeastern University in Boston. I attended that symposium, and came away inspired by the topics and discussions.

In June 2014 the Second National Symposium on Experiential Education in Law took place at Elon University in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law and Elon University School of Law hosted the symposium. To my regret, I was unable to attend . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

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.

Research

Say Thank You
Shaunna Mireau

When someone does or says something nice to, for, or about you, it is appropriate to express your gratitude. This holds true for someone who goes out of their way to assist you with your legal research problem. I am not especially advocating a regular contribution to the wine fridge of your local law librarian who helps you all the time – I leave . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Communications Breakdown: When a Lawyer Doesn’t Share

After getting some work done on his cottage, Dale Orlando, partner at McLeish, Orlando LLP in Toronto, had a dispute with the contractor over fees.

“He was doing work that needed to be done but without clearing it with me first,” Orlando says. As a result the project went over budget. “I should have been communicated with before the work was done, not afterwards.”

Imagine going for surgery without the doctor telling you where they will be cutting. That would be unthinkable. Similarly, why should the client allow the lawyer to proceed without knowing what was being done?

Clients need . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Indigenous Law Portal Celebrates Canada’s National Aboriginal Day

National Aboriginal Day was on June 21. The Library of Congress celebrated this event by providing access to Canadian aboriginal law on the Indigenous Law Portal. This is the first time the Indigenous Law Portal has provided coverage that extends beyond the United States.

The Indigenous Law Portal: Canada is organized in three regions: Northern Canada and Arctic, Eastern Canada and Western Canada. The information can also be searched alphabetically or by province. Jennifer Gonzalez has written a nice introductory blog post including information about the origins of Canada’s National Aboriginal Day.

For more information . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Novel Approaches to Sentencing in Occupational Health and Safety Convictions

The Nova Scotia Provincial Court is taking new approaches to dealing with occupational health and safety violations. Recently, it sentenced a company found guilty of breaching Occupational Health and Safety laws to complete community service hours.

The sentence was delivered pursuant to Section 75 of Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, which allows the court to order any number of creative conditions which serve the purpose of “securing the offender’s good conduct and…preventing the offender from repeating the same offence”.

The company’s conviction came after an experienced employee was fatally electrocuted. In determining culpability, the Court found that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Two Factor Belt and Suspenders

Weak passwords are out. Strong passwords are in but may not be enough to protect you. When you use dual or two factor authentication, you add a hurdle to those attempting to get unauthorized access to your law practice information. It doesn’t involve your finger or your face, which are password replacements and not necessarily better. Instead, you supplement your username and password with a one-time code.

You already use two factor authentication in other parts of your life. Probably the most common is the PIN and cash card. You have to have both the card, inserted in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal 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. Double Aspect 2. Entertainment & Media Law Signal 3. AvoidAClaim Blog 4. Barry Sookman 5. Pensions & Benefits Law

Double Aspect
Judges, Lawyers, and Science

It might have looked like an essentially technical matter, but the Supreme Court’s recent decision in R. v. Tatton, 2015 SCC 33 turns out . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

New App Fights Back Against Police Carding

A new smartphone app has been developed to guide and assist members of the public through often difficult and contentious police interactions.

LegalSwipe is a free app, available on both the iTunes and Android markets. It provides step-by-step interactions through a decision tree, prompting the user to ask specific questions such as whether they are under arrest. It then tells the user what they should or should not be doing or saying with these police interactions.

The app is the brainchild of Christien Levien, a law student who completed his articles in criminal law and is currently studying for . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : La défenderesse, grièvement blessée lors d’un accident de route, possédait une expectative raisonnable de vie privée, ce qui inclut les renseignements sur son alcoolémie divulgués par le personnel médical aux policiers qui l’ont escortée à l’hôpital; cette information était confidentielle et il y a lieu d’exclure la . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Friday Fillip: A More or Less Random Run

For the next while the Friday Fillip will be a chapter in a serialized crime novel, usually followed by a reference you might like to pursue. Both this chapter of the book and the whole story up to this point can be had as PDF files. You may also subscribe to have chapters delivered to you by email.


 

MEASURING LIFE
 
Chapter 17
A More or Less Random Run

Mitman drove her electric blue truck.

In the passenger seat Rangel had her head still buried in a couple of files, going over things. And over and over

. . . [more]
Posted in: The Friday Fillip