August, 2015 Archives – Slaw
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Archive for August, 2015

Adjudicators and Term Limits

Adjudicators who are appointed by cabinet order (variously referred to as Order in Council (OIC) or Governor in Council (GIC) appointees) have very little job security, beyond the term of their appointment. Historically, a reappointment was never guaranteed and the reasons for not being renewed in your position were not provided. The difficulty with a non-transparent system of renewal is that no one (including the adjudicator) knows the reason for a non-renewal.

Ontario instituted a new process for reappointments (or renewals) in 2006. The major reform was to limit appointments to ten years, subject to the recommendation of the Tribunal . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Does Copyright Apply to Chicken Sandwiches or Cheerleading Uniforms?

Lately the news has been too full of weighty stuff like elections, the Ashley Madison hack, stock markets, and the Chinese economy.

So today’s post is a bit lighter.

Courts in the United States have recently decided whether copyright applies to chicken sandwiches and to cheerleading uniforms. They decided that it applies to one – but not to the other.

If you guessed it doesn’t apply to the chicken sandwich, you got it right. In the US Court of Appeals the parties were fighting over rights to a sandwich consisting of a fried chicken breast topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

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. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company v High Park Medical & Rehabilitation Centre Ltd, 2015 ONSC 5169

[9] Finally, I note that in my endorsement, I limited the parties to three pages of submissions on costs. I also required the defendants to deliver a Costs Outline for comparison purposes. I expressly directed that case law was not to be provided but that . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Quality in Legal and Professional Publishing

“Quality”. It’s one of those nouns and/or adjectives that everyone uses to describe their own output standards but for the most part is applied to whatever level – high, medium or low, that they are willing and/or able to offer. In many respects, though, that’s a good and desirable thing as more often than not there are no objective standards of quality such as those of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In any case, sensibly, the word should be preceded by “optimum”, “appropriate” or suchlike as quality cannot be divorced from competence, price, speed, brand . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Of Late Summer Updates: Lavaboom Deadpools as Tutanota Rises

As the end to our summer doldrums draws close, I’m dusting off my RSS feeds and finding some updates on a topic that I touched on earlier this year: the webmail encryption services coming out of Germany.

Back in March I wrote Of German Email Encryption Tool Tutanota and Other PETs, which mentioned a number of new players in the Privacy Enhancing Technologies space that seemingly could make lawyers better at client confidentiality. Not a bad thing, eh?

In a breach-a-day world even lawyers without a particular passion for technology issues are beginning to take note of email encryption. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

Computing Opportunities

One of the things that drives me crazy is the sure knowledge that there are things that would benefit me that I don’t take advantage of. An expiry date on a fuel discount coupon, a limited time offer that I decide to late to accept, seat sales that I miss the deadline for.

Sometimes we miss efficiency opportunities because we don’t think hard enough about how something that we are doing will be re-done or repeated. For example, some not too old precedents that I recently unearthed had *** rather than a programmed form field wherever text needed to be . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

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

Use Colour
Shaunna Mireau

Today’s research tip is more about research output than gathering. Do not be afraid to use colour to add visual clues to your research output. Using coloured text or tables is not appropriate for pleadings of course, but why not present your client with some visual clues in your opinions? …

Practice

Health Care Practioners: Please Don’t Keep Notes About Your Patients’ Discussions With Their . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Claims for Damage Caused by Tenants Fall Under Exclusive Jurisdiction of Landlord Board

A recent Ontario decision has affirmed the principle that all claims for damage caused by a tenant during a tenancy must proceed before the Landlord and Tenant Board (the “Board”) and not in the Superior or Small Claims courts.

After about a six year tenancy, the tenant fell behind on rent. The landlord brought an application to evict the tenant. The tenant vacated the unit shortly after being served with the application materials and did not attend the eviction hearing.

As part of the eviction hearing the landlord sought arrears of rent, including hydro arrears. The Board terminated the tenancy . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law

Wade Into Windows 10

The latest Windows operating system has started rolling out. Unsurprisingly, reactions to its new update method and privacy functions are mixed. If you were on Windows 7 like most lawyers, it will be an easy upgrade and – despite the negative early chatter – worth taking advantage of the free upgrade.

The Upgrade and Updates

If you have any version of Windows other than Enterprise or Windows RT, you can get the new operating system free. You may have been invited to register for a copy, in which case you’ll get a notification e-mail. You can also just grab . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Litigation Malpractice Claims Fact Sheet


Created to coincide with the release of our Rule 48.14 Transition Toolkit, the litigation claims fact sheet is the latest in practicePRO’s series of fact sheets. They 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. The sheets can also be used as program inserts in their own right.

The other fact sheets released so far are for criminal law, wills & estates and real estate. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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. Excess Copyright 2. All About Information 3. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog 4. Avoid A Claim 5. SOQUIJ

Excess Copyright
Canada at the TPP? The Time to Talk is Precisely During an Election

Michael Geist has just posted an important blog, following his important column in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

“Failure Is Not an Option.”

“Failure is not an option.”

Mission Control spoke those famous words in the quest to save the crew of Apollo 13, at least if you believe what you see in the movies. We remember that phrase – and believe in it – because the project team did not fail.

How do we deal with incipient project failure in the world of legal projects, however? It’s instructive to explore some of the difference – and similarities – between our projects and Apollo 13’s return from the moon.

Recognition of Impending Doom

Few project failures are as easy to recognize as Apollo . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law