May, 2016 Archives – Slaw
Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for May, 2016

License to ILL

Inter-library loan (ILL) is one of the oldest forms of sharing collections in libraries. Cooperative collection development arrangements have existed since time immemorial. As each library has focused on building collections to meet the needs of their primary patrons, they have relied on other libraries for the ad hoc, out-of-scope user requests for books and journal articles.They either initiate ILLs formally via OCLC or another network or informally by calling, emailing, or otherwise contacting librarians at other institutions who own or have access to the needed item. Everyone ILLs. It is expected and needed. Librarians have a license to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Emerging Tech – Potentially Awesome and a Privacy Quagmire

I attended an event last night where Duncan Stewart of Deloitte talked about their TMT predictions for 2016.

It reinforced for me that the future of tech and what it will do for us is potentially awesome. But also at the same time the amount of information that is being collected and stored about each of us is staggering. That creates real privacy challenges, and real possibilities for abuse. And because the information is there, there is a tendency for government and business alike to want to use it.

One scary aspect is that the more we get used . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Global Legal Publishing – a Bad Idea?

In Canada and elsewhere, we have seen a seemingly endless series of reorganizations in the multinational legal publishing houses. The pattern is one characterized by the acquisition of smaller legal publishing houses, followed by serial changes in their reporting lines, and ending with their disappearance altogether, as old established brands are dropped and replaced by the corporate brand. These changes are attempts to conceal a sad truth – that “global legal publishing” has proven to be a bit of a bust. Was it a bad business idea in the first place, or merely a good idea that was overwhelmed by . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

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. Ursa Ventures Ltd v Edmonton (City), 2016 ABCA 135

[32] It is clear that the chambers judge considered this affidavit of records in the context of this lawsuit. He looked at its nature (a sworn affidavit) and the allegations in the pleadings. He was aware of the timing of the affidavit (within weeks of the three-year time limit). He balanced these . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Media and the Law: Where Are the Law Journalists?

Where are the specialized law journalists in Canada? Can you name one? The media has left a gaping hole, leaving lawyers to fill the vacuum, to editorialize on the new cases, and to defend the legal system.

We can’t complain. This is our duty. However, in a time, where most people can name all Kardashians but can’t name the nine Supreme Court of Canada judges, we have a problem.

Paul Wells writes in In Search of the Ethical Lawyer: Stories from the Canadian Legal Profession, edited by Adam Dodek and Alice Woolley, that it’s not wickedness that has brought an . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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 research and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

–Ice, –Ise, –Ize
Neil Guthrie

Verb endings: a small but tricky point. If you’re from the USA, the practice (noun) of law is practiced (verb) by lawyers. If you’re from the UK, the practice is practised. Here in Canada, we see both verb forms – but preferred usage (by me, anyway) is to go British. …

Practice

How to Take a Free, Simple, and Great . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Panel of Judges Rule Landlord Must Keep Tenant Until Death

A panel of 3 Divisional Court judges have overturned a ruling of the Landlord and Tenant Board (“LLTB”) and have ruled that a landlord is prohibited from terminating the tenancy relationship with his tenant until she dies.

The landlord and tenant are brother and sister. In 2006 they entered into a tenancy agreement which permitted the sister to live in the brother’s basement for the rest of her life in exchange for $500 per month in rent. The written tenancy agreement explicitly stated that the tenancy was not for a fixed term.

In 2014 the brother attempted to terminate the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Client Seminars: Please Don’t Wing It

I wasn’t planning on writing about best practices in client seminars this month, but two bits of disparate information made me reconsider. First, BTI’s research summarized in the April 6 Mad Clientist blog indicates that the largest 30 firms in the world are diverting budget from general audience events, seminars and webinars to fund strategic, highly-targeted client development initiatives. These initiatives can and should include customized programming for clients. [1] Second, a legal marketing colleague shared a somewhat surprising client seminar planning experience: on the eve of the seminar, very little lawyer-side preparation had been done, despite his cajoling, stalking . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Cross Border Selection of Lawyers – Issues to Consider

When you shop for a contractor for a home renovation, you are often reminded about the need to ensure your contractor has third party liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance – just in case.

Do you ask that same question when you shop for a lawyer outside of Canada? Do you remember to ask if the foreign lawyer carries professional liability insurance? And do you know what his/her coverage is? Imagine this. A 40-year-old client’s husband dies in a plane crash in the United States, the result of alleged negligence by air traffic controllers who fail to identify a storm . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Cashless but Not Lawless

Pundits have been predicting the cashless society for a long time, perhaps even longer than the paperless office. Nonetheless the evidence is mounting that we are getting closer (at least to the former). The Section of Business Law of the American Bar Association ran a program at its spring meeting in Montreal this year on the possible disappearance of cash and the legal consequences.

Here are some of the highlights of presentations by Ed Morse of Creighton University, who presided, Denis Rice of Arnold and Porter, Jillian Friedman of the National Bank of Canada, and Erin Fonté of Dykema 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 seventy 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. Combat Sports Law  2. Pierre Roy & Associés  3. Global Workplace Insider  4. SOQUIJ  5. First Reference Talks

Combat Sports Law
McGregor v. Mayweather – A Fight That Can Only Take Place in a Courtroom

After a tabloid suggested UFC fighter Conor McGregor and presently retired boxer Floyd Mayweather . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

We Are All Worrying About the Wrong Thing

While lawyers in Canada were debating whether licensed paralegals should have a limited role in family law, and before that contemplating entity-based regulation, alternative business structures, and the articling crisis, change was already happening without them.

This week the century-old American law firm, BakerHostetler, announced they have hired their first digital lawyer, ROSS, the artificial intelligence system based on IBM’s Watson. What can ROSS do for this firm, one of the largest in the country?

According to the ROSS website, it can provide a highly relevant answer to a question posed in natural language. You don’t get thousands . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Office Technology