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Archive for January, 2017

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, writing, and practice.

Research & Writing

Beginnings and Endings
Neil Guthrie

Openings and closing of business correspondence, that is. My father, an old-fashioned lawyer if there ever was one, once said there are only two ways to start and close a business letter: either Dear Sir/Yours faithfully or Dear Mr So-and-so/Yours truly, depending on one’s level of acquaintance with the recipient. (And not very truly: one is true or one is not, no . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Protecting FinTech Innovation

“FinTech”, the combination of technology and financial services is taking off with numerous startups and established players all trying to optimize, expand and disrupt the industry. The increasing use of mobile technology, cloud services and changing regulations is causing rapid change in the way services are being provided in many areas, including for financial services. Examples including new payment methods, mobile apps, lending and funding systems, such as crowdsourcing platforms, cloud based budgeting, accounting and finance software, and back office processing.

For companies innovating in this space, there are several types of protection being employed to try to maintain a . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Dropping the Ball on a File Transfer: Rule 48 Dangers for Ontario Lawyers

This post is by Ian Hu, claims prevention & praticePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

When a file is transferred from one lawyer to another, one danger is when nothing happens on the file due to a clumsy transfer or missing critical information. A new file that has not been looked at can be a ticking time bomb. Deadlines like limitation periods can pass by unnoticed, and Rule 48 administrative dismissal dates can be discovered too late. The resulting malpractice claim can have lawyers pointing fingers at each other. Consider the following tips whether you’re transferring a file or on the receiving . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Substantive 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 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. Canadian Immigration Law Blog  2. Alcohol & Advocacy 3. Thoughtful Legal Management  4. Double Aspect  5. ABlawg

Canadian Immigration Law Blog
Canada’s New Spousal Sponsorship Forms/Process – The Good, The Bad, and The To-Be-Determined

With the new Spousal Sponsorship Process having been formally rolled out, it is a good . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Indigenous Law at McGill

McGill law has started something new when students return from the winter break. The first-year students are participating in an intensive course on indigenous legal traditions.

Dean Robert Leckey explains in the Montreal Gazette,

It’s a first for us at McGill and possibly a first at any Canadian law faculty. It’s a promising step toward remedying some of the legal system’s wrongs toward indigenous peoples.

Guided by guests as well as by McGill professors, our students are starting the complex process of learning about indigenous peoples’ law. Doing so involves attending to sources of law — and resources for

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Internet Archive Launches Trump Archive

Earlier this week, the Internet Archive, a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library best known for its huge (!) Wayback Machine web archive, launched the Trump Archive.

As a January 5, 2017 blog post explains:

The Trump Archive launches today with 700+ televised speeches, interviews, debates, and other news broadcasts related to President-elect Donald Trump (…)

It includes more than 500 video statements fact checked by FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker covering such controversial topics as immigration, Trump’s tax returns, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and health care.

By providing a free and enduring source for TV news

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

May a Plaintiff Compel a Defendant’s Lawyer to Identify His/her Client?

A U.S. court has ordered a lawyer for a defendant in a defamation action to identify his client. Could this be done in Canada? Is it routine? I know that there is Canadian case law on requiring Internet intermediaries to identify users, for both civil and criminal proceedings. I am not aware that lawyers can be required to do so – but maybe that is just because i am no barrister.

The lawyer claimed attorney-client privilege in refusing to answer. If a lawyer shows up in a court proceeding on behalf of a ‘John Doe’ client, is the identity of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Building an Unbundling Practice – Making It Practical!

Lots of posts on “unbundling” recently. There seems to be (dare I say it) a movement in support of new business models for the delivery of legal services – including unbundling. By now we are familiar with the (long) list of benefits to the public, lawyers, courts and judges (1). But how can lawyers begin to shift their practices in this direction? I have two new practical tools to share with you:

  • An Unbundling Toolkit for Lawyers and Paralegals (version 1.0); and
  • The BC Family Unbundling Roster

The Toolkit version 1.0

During the surveys and interviews with family lawyers and . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

A Response Based on Alice Woolley’s Important “Defending Rapists”

Dear Alice,

I suspect I’m going to regret breaking yet another of my New Year Resolutions so soon in the year but, since none of your CALE colleagues seem inclined to discuss this topic with you, here, I will.

But maybe not where and how you expected. I may be a dinosaur. I’m not that much of a dinosaur.

You wrote:

“Which means that we have to be incredibly clear and careful about articulating and enforcing the ethical boundaries on defence lawyers in sexual assault cases.”

I would modify that statement, slightly, because of its succinctness,as a reminder to all . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Peggy’s New Gig

Before Siri and Alexa etc, there was Peggy. Back in the 1990’s, she told users of a pioneering practice management system (PMS) when they had an appointment. I found her most useful when I was distracted on the phone, or otherwise missed a visual reminder on the screen. She just did one task, but did it very well. In an English accent, she simply announced “Sorry to interrupt, but you have an appointment soon”

A more recent woman in my life is Amy Ingram from x.ai. She introduced herself to me about a year ago when I tried to make . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

10 Things to Watch for at the Intersection of Tech and Law in 2017

  1. CASL, Canada’s anti-spam legislation, has been with us since July 2014. It’s a terrible piece of legislation for many reasons. In July 2017 a private right of action becomes effective that will allow anyone who receives spam as defined by CASL to sue the sender. CASL sets out statutory damages, so the complainant does not have to prove any damages. Class actions will no doubt be launched. The sad part is that breaches of CASL are to a large extent breaches of the very technical requirements of the statute, rather than the sending of what most people would call spam.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

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. R v Magoon, 2016 ABCA 412

[51] The trial judge was alive to these concerns and applied the framework described by Moldaver J in Hart. In assessing the probative value of Magoon’s Mr. Big statements, the trial judge considered all the circumstances in which the statements were made. She noted, in particular, the nature and extent of the inducements offered, . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII