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Archive for August, 2015

Life Beyond the Law Firm: An Interview With Tech Entrepreneur Greg Smith

When lawyer-turned-entrepreneur Greg Smith quit practicing law to start tech company Thinkific, he quickly learned that following his dream was going to take more hard work and a lot more risk than anything he’d encountered before.

Many lawyers find the business world beyond their law firm more enticing than the business of law. I recently asked Greg to share how his legal experience has influenced his foray into the entrepreneurial realm.

Q. What spurred you to leave the comforts of a big law firm and start a tech company?

I loved practicing law at both firms I worked with. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Minimum Wage on the Rise – Changes in Alberta and Ontario Could Be Just the Beginning

Just over one month ago, under the leadership of Premier Rachel Notley, the Albertan government announced that, effective October 1, 2015, minimum wage would increase in the province from $10.20 to $11.20 per hour. The increase is the first step for Premier Notley’s NDP in their quest to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018, a promise that was made repeatedly during the NDP’s 2015 provincial campaign. The changes will end Alberta’s reign as the jurisdiction with the lowest minimum wage in the country.

Interestingly, on the same day that Alberta’s minimum wage will increase, Ontario’s minimum . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Do More With Less – CBALC

Last week I had the pleasure of attending part of the Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference in Calgary. In addition to connecting with friends and colleagues, exploring the other vendors in the marketplace and chatting with people about law librarians and the value we bring to the legal community, I attended some of the excellent programming offered.

With my personal focus on process improvement, the session that caught my eye on August 14 was:

FRIDAY AUGUST 14 — 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Whether you are in a private practice,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law

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.


Linking for Law School Electronic Case Books
Shaunna Mireau

Thanks to Sooin Kim, Faculty Services Librarian with the Bora Laskin Law Library, University of Toronto there is another type of link creation tool to share. Thess tools are made for a specific purpose – to assist with building links to material that will be used at law schools. …


How to Avoid a Dead Cell Phone When Travelling . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Are We There Yet? the Marketing Value of Good Signage

I spend a lot of time in law firm offices. Besides having one of the best collections of law firm mugs in Canada, I also have an extensive set of first impressions. There are the firms that clutter up their coat closets with stuff they don’t want visitors to see—which the visitors see when they hang up their coats, of course. There are the firms that have lots of firm literature displayed in their reception area—but it’s printed on everyday printer paper and it’s curling over, making it look both old and invisible. There are the firms with expensive art . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Ontario Lawyers: Rule 48 Transition Toolkit Helps You Avoid Administrative Dismissal Claims

Effective January 1, 2015, a new Rule 48.14 brought significant changes to the administrative dismissal regime in Ontario. After several hundred claims and almost $10 million in claims costs in three and a half years, LAWPRO is happy to see old Rules 48.14 and 48.15 revoked.

While the new rule may help stem the tide of claims, the changed deadlines, processes and transition provisions introduce new claims risks that may trap the unwary lawyer. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Back to the Future of Law Libraries

Scott Frey, Reference Librarian, at the Western State College of Law, Fullerton, California, has written a nice Delorean free article that takes a look at the future of law libraries from the perspective of law librarian’s opinions from the past. It’s called, “A History of the Future of Law Libraries: Lessons in Forecasting from Law Librarians” Predictions of the Past,’ and was published in the June issue of AALL Spectrum.

Frey drops us back a hundred years ago to 1915 and then moves up to the present day citing a number of interesting predictions from law . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

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. BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog 2. First Reference Talks 3. Double Aspect 4. Youth and Work 5. Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode

BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog
How Much is it Worth if You Can’t Drive Your Ferrari?

If you own a Ferrari . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Federal Court of Canada Issues New Case Management Practice Notice Affecting IP Litigation

The Federal Court recently issued a practice notice entitled Notice to the Parties and to the Profession – Case Management: Increased Proportionality in Complex Litigation before the Federal Court. The notice affects all complex litigation before the Court, including intellectual property matters. The notice is designed to achieve increased proportionality in Federal Court proceedings, and introduce efficiencies which should save litigants both time and money. The changes should also make it easier for an action to reach trial within two (2) years from the filing of the Statement of Claim, an objective communicated in a previous notice from the . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Directive for Change, Straight From the Chief

This past weekend Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin addressed CBA members at the legal conference in Calgary, Alberta. A complete copy of the speech is available here via National Magazine, and my live broadcast via Periscope is available here.

She addressed her continuing concerns about access to justice, but focused on the change already underway in the profession. She told a lawyer joke, which she admittedly refrains from doing,

“How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?”, it goes. The answer, “What’s change?”

I prefer the response to the question, “How many psychiatrists does it take

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On one Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe.

Summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted, so you know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (July 10 – August 12, 2015 inclusive).


Charter (Québec): Discrimination; Two-Step Process
Quebec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Bombardier Inc. (Bombardier Aerospace Training Center), 2015 SCC 39 (35625) July 23, 2015 . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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) : Le temps passé sous garde avant la détermination de la peine de l’adolescent doit être crédité à l’ensemble de l’ordonnance de placement sous garde et surveillance en vertu de l’article 42 (2) n) de la Loi sur le système de justice pénale pour adolescents et non à

. . . [more]
Posted in: Summaries Sunday