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Archive for July, 2016

Stress and Solutions: An Update From the Lawyers Assistance Program of B.C.

Derek Lacroix, QC has been at the helm of the Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia (LAPBC) since December, 1996. LAPBC provides confidential outreach, education, support and referrals to distressed members of the bar. Their clients and volunteers include judges, lawyers, articling students, paralegals, legal assistants, support staff and other members of the legal community.

How have the stresses, issues or crises that LAPBC assists with changed in recent years?

The nature of the issues has changed, as has the range. Take alcohol addiction for example. We saw a lot of severe crises associated with substance abuse and addiction in . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Of Merit and Diversity in Judicial Appointments

With Justice Cromwell’s surprise decision to resign this September, the Federal Liberals promising reform of Supreme Court appointments, and recent media discussion around the political edges of judicial appointments, The Law Society of BC yesterday offered recommendations to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould promoting four core principles for the judicial appointment process. They are: “transparency; judicial independence; merit and diversity; and public participation.”

The July 18, 2016 announcement references the report from a recently formed subcommittee of the Law Society of BC’s Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee, titled “Principles for the Appointment of Justices to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

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

Note Up Legislation, Not Just Case Law
Susannah Tredwell

My tip follows up on Bronwyn’s recent tip about noting up case law. Noting up legislation allows you to see how courts have interpreted a specific piece of legislation; generally the court refers to a section or sections of an act or regulation rather than the entire thing. The fact that legislation is constantly changing does . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Court Rules Tribunal Required to Consider Lesser Penalties in Case of Mortgage Broker License Revocation

The Ontario Divisional Court has overturned a decision of the Financial Services Tribunal in which the Tribunal revoked a mortgage brokers license because the Tribunal failed to give sufficient consideration to lesser penalties before revoking the license.

On two separate occasions the broker registered a mortgage against the matrimonial home of a client and his wife, at the request of the client. The client also happened to be a registered mortgage broker.

The broker did not speak to the wife nor did he witness her signature on the mortgage documents. Instead, he simply trusted his client that she had in . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

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. Legal Feeds  2. Double Aspect 3. Michael Geist  4. Henry J Chang’s Canada-US Immigration Blog  5. Avoid A Claim

Legal Feeds
Lakehead law grads hit hiring obstacle

As Lakehead University’s first round of law grads hit the job market this year, it seems they’re coming up against some barriers . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Teaching Technology to Law Students

Anyone teaching technology to law students might be interested in this new special interest group curated by CALI’s Executive Director John Mayer: Teaching Technology to Law Students.

The site is developing a syllabi commons, a list of software, websites and resources, a collection of articles and videos about teaching tech in law schools, and a list of courses that will be taught this fall.

It has an American focus but looks like it will contain useful information for anyone teaching in this area. If you’re interested in learning more contact John Mayer (jmayer@cali.org) to join the Tech-For-Law-Students . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Locating Foreign Civil Codes

[from https://www.senat.fr/ – on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Code Napoléon in 2004]

One of the frequently asked foreign and comparative law research questions is how to find a country’s civil code. A researcher might not know they need a civil code, but they often do. A civil code is the key to accessing all types of private law for many civil law jurisdictions. Modeled after the Code Napoléon or Code civil des Français (1804), a civil code usually contains laws relating to personal status, contracts, torts, “delict”, “obligations”, real and personal property, inheritance and succession, marriage, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Preserving Your Legal Rights Against Pokemon Go

As of this afternoon, Pokemon Go has officially arrived in Canada. The number of downloads for the augmented reality game were so high that they crashed the app’s servers.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the introduction of this real-time in-public game has created  concerns around trespass, robbery, and even murder.

Pokemon hunting has resulted in police being alerted on suspicious behaviour, only to find people walking in circles staring at their phones. These hapless players have also been targeted by criminals based on their blind meandering. At least one attempted murder suspect has been apprehended due to the Pokemon . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

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. It’s a summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted, so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with (June 9 – July 15, 2016 inclusive).

Appeals

Class Actions: Jurisdiction
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP v. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, 2016 SCC 30 (36087)

The fourth Van Breda factor promotes certainty by premising the determination of when

. . . [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 : L’accusé est reconnu coupable de fraude pour avoir encaissé un chèque émis par son employeur, une municipalité, afin de rembourser sa cotisation professionnelle qu’il n’a jamais payée à l’Ordre des urbanistes du Québec

Intitulé : R. c. Blackburn, 2016 QCCQ 4482
Juridiction : Cour du Québec, Chambre . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Long Tale of 2 Systems

The article, “7 Reasons Why European Cities Are Going To Beat U.S. Cities As Hubs For Innovation” reminded me of two cities: Toronto and Sydney. These cities had quite a few legal IT commonalities starting 30 years ago:

  • Both had 5 out of the 10 largest law firms standardise on lawyer-friendly graphical user interfaces (GUI) years before the rest of the legal world got it,
  • By democratising access to computers, a community of lawyers interested in lawyer-enhancing IT bloomed, and cross-pollinated each other from across the world,
  • Toronto was first out of the blocks with Peter Hart’s Legalware
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

5 Questions About Digital Copyright Law

Much has happened with copyright law over the past few years. New amendments to modernize the Copyright Act for the internet age were added in 2012. As well there have been several court cases interpreting the impact of digital technologies on copyright doctrine. It is now possible to speak of “digital copyright” as an area of law. In the newly released book Digital Copyright Law published by Irwin Law, I track and analyze these developments. Below I discuss 5 prominent issues which are raised by these changes and that are elaborated upon in the book:

1. What is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property