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Archive for August, 2015

Crafting Your Message

Whether you are drafting a message to your boss, a client or prospect there are a number of key elements you should consider in order to get your point across and ensure that the recipient will understand what it is you are trying to convey. Obviously, depending on the message, the amount of time needed to develop will vary, however, the basics will stay the same.

For this post let’s stick with broader messages, where you need to convey an idea. To start with, you need to understand that messages are not necessarily “facts” no matter how they are presented. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Thursday Thinkpiece: Zaidi on Jobs in the Canadian Legal Marketplace

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.

Jobs in the Canadian Legal Marketplace: A Resource for Students and Professionals

By Kamaal Zaidi © 2015 Friesen Press. Reprinted with permission.

Excerpts from the Introduction and Chapters 1-2, 4-6


Are you looking for a job in the legal profession? This book will help you achieve your goal if you have recently . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

ODR and the Digital Divide Scarecrow

As many Slaw readers have probably heard, last April, the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario engaged in a Public consultation to explore the possibility of offering an online system for traffic and other infractions. As stated on the Ministry’s website, “Ontario is exploring a new approach that could make the process of disputing certain infractions — like traffic matters — faster, easier and more convenient”.

We would wager that, to most citizens, a “faster, easier and more efficient” system sounds pretty good. However, opponents of the proposed “Online Administrative Monetary Penalty System” (or AMP) . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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. Wyllie v Larche, 2015 ONSC 4747

[79] Mr. Wyllie’s entitlement under the Canada Labour Code is to payment in lieu of notice and to severance pay. He was paid two weeks remuneration in lieu of notice. He was additionally entitled to receive severance pay. Severance pay is distinct from payment in lieu of notice. If an employer decides to provide working . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Asleep at the Wheel

In 1987, those roseate times before social media and Google searches, Dr. James Billington was appointed the United States’ Librarian of Congress. The appointment did not bode well. My voice was part of the outcry over the fact that at a crucial juncture for the role of libraries in the world, a person was taking the helm who was neither a librarian nor an information professional. The New York Times, which I had always viewed as the sage voice of national reason, opined that the job was too big for a librarian. It called for a scholar like Dr. Billington. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Moral Outrage and Social Media: The Perfect Storm

Cecil the Lion has dominated world headlines since the announcement of his killing at the hands of American dentist Walter Palmer. Cecil’s death has brought the controversial practice of trophy hunting, the serious issue of poaching and the concerns of the animal conservation movement into the spotlight.

The outcry has been especially prevalent on social media, where news is amplified and extended at rapid pace. Lawyers representing clients accused of criminal, defamatory or regulatory transgressions are often wary of how online attention can remain focused on an issue long after traditional outlets have moved on.

When social norms and trust . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

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.


Deep Links to CanLII
Shaunna Mireau

To continue the theme from the last couple of weeks, Today’s Tip is about linking in to CanLII. The tips for WestlawNext Canada and LexisNexis Canada have been about linking to a specific source within the services and that makes sense for CanLII as well. Stable, predictable, readable URLs are one of the truly wonderful things about CanLII. …


Windows 10? Whatever… . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Law Schools and the Future of Indigenous Law in Canada

The recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have presented Canadian society with a set of urgent ‘calls to action.’ Two in particular require a response from the law schools, Recommendations 27 and 28, quoted in full at the end of this blog post – although, as I argue below, our concern should extend between the particular terms of those recommendations.

Law schools are earnestly considering what they ought to do to respond to those calls. At least four schools (Lakehead, Thompson Rivers, Ottawa (Common Law) and my own, UVic) have posted preliminary responses on their websites. Individual scholars (such . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

Ontario WSIB Takes to Social Media!

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has taken to Twitter in an attempt to reach the province’s young workers. The Board has launched a Twitter contest challenging workers between the ages of 15 and 24 to tag a photo of themselves practicing safety on the job with the hashtag #practicesafework.

The timing of the contest is strategic. With many young workers seeking summer employment, the number of new workers is on the rise. Research conducted by the Institute for Work and Health indicates that rates of workplace injury are higher amongst both young workers, and workers on their . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Informed, Documented Plea Instructions Protect You From Claims

Though the rate of malpractice claims flowing from criminal cases is lower than in other areas of law, the number of claims in this area is on the rise of late, and for many of the same reasons we see in other areas. The most important cause? Issues with lawyer-client communication.

An area of particular vulnerability to error is the plea conversation. Consider the lawyer’s and the client’s different perspectives on the client’s account of the facts: . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

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. Environmental Law & Litigation  2. Clicklaw Blog 3. Slater Vecchio Connected  4. The Stream  5. Vincent Gautrais

Environmental Law & Litigation
Citizens have some success against quarry, but…

Citizens Against Melrose Quarry must feel a bit like Groundhog Day all over again. They won, sort of, but are now . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

When Bloggers Get Appointed to the Bench

In 2015, practitioners in all types of firms blog. It’s a necessity of modern practice these days, and most have come around to understanding the importance of some social media presence.

If you don’t create your online footprint, someone else will for you – usually a disgruntled client.

One of the prerequisites to being appointed to the bench though is that you have to be a lawyer, usually for a good number of years. Although we’ve seen blogging lawyers appointed to the bench in recent years, and Slaw is one of the few sites where we’ve had guest judge bloggers, . . . [more]

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