January, 2017 Archives – Slaw
Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for January, 2017

Technologizing Access to Justice

Last month, Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ) and Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General hosted The Final Pitch of the Ontario Access to Justice Challenge. The Challenge sought to “foster the growth and success of startups that are developing products, technologies, processes, and solutions that have a direct positive impact on access to justice in Ontario.” The Challenge began last summer with 29 startups that were ultimately narrowed down to a top five that received a range of incubation supports from LIZ including advisors, workshops and mentorship opportunities.

I had the honour of being one of four judges . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Should Law Firms Institute “20% Time”?

Most law firms hope to exist for many decades to come. But most law firms’ focus their energy on meeting quarterly or yearly targets.

But research shows that companies pay a steep price for not extending their gaze beyond the next 3-12 months. These companies tend to have significantly lower growth over the long-term.

One way that firms can increase their long-term longevity is through instituting “20% time”. In the book Drive, Daniel H Pink writes that “20% time” refers to the percentage of working time that employees are encouraged to work on any project that they wanted.

Google . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

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

Finding Labour Arbitration Decisions
Susannah Tredwell

One difficulty with finding labour arbitration decisions is a lack of uniformity in the style of cause; sometimes the union’s name may be fully spelled out, other times it may be abbreviated, or it may be omitted altogether and the name of the griever used. As a result, it can be faster to find a decision by searching by arbitrator’s name . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Should Judges Be Appointed or Elected?

Ben Franklin thought that judges should be elected. He thought that the voting public would select the best person for the job. See page 455, Benjamin Franklin, An American Life by Walter Isaacson.

Judges are appointed in Canada. In the U.S.A. federal court judges are appointed. Some U.S.A. states elect judges. Many years ago a Denver lawyer told me that Colorado lawyers prefer to elect judges because it tends to make the judges accountable and responsible. In Canada supreme court judges are appointed until age 75. Some appointed judges act irresponsibly. For example, when I was practicing law in New . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Why Short-Sightedness May Cost Marijuana Dispensaries a Fortune

The Federal Government has indicated that it intends to table recreational marijuana legislation by the spring of 2017. As we all know, politicians never break promises or deadlines. Even if the legislation is tabled in the spring it is widely anticipated that the changes will not be implemented overnight, with some predicting that the Canadian recreational marijuana market may not be fully open and legal until as late as 2019.

 

The recent release of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation’s report has created significant buzz about many aspects of what Canada’s new legislation regarding recreational marijuana may . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

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 Sourcery  2. Excess Copyright 3. AvoidAClaim  4. Canadian Legal History Blog  5. Slater Vecchio Connected

Legal Sourcery
Holiday Reading List 2016 – Part 2

Melanie’s Reading List: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders — Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The 5 Technology Trends Lawyers Should Pay Attention to in 2017 and Beyond

As technology continues to play a larger role in our everyday lives, lawyers should be attuned to issues borne from new advancements, and the legal implications that may arise. However, for many lawyers who do not come from a tech background, simply knowing which of countless technology issues they should familiarize themselves with can seem daunting. To assist you in better knowing where to start, here are the five technology issues all lawyer should be mindful of in 2017 and beyond:

1. Legal Automation

Up until now, law firms had not appeared to seriously take steps to automate legal processes . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Thrill Is Gone: Sardonicism ‘R Us, Part Un

This post contains some parting, case-specific, comments on Canadian common law judicial reasoning for interested Canadian lawyers (or those interested for other reasons) to ponder, related to a few Canadian reasons for judgment delivered late in 2016.

It’s not my job or real concern any more, unless it’s at a friend’s request or for other good reason. Whether it ought to remain any part of my concern is something I don’t plan to ponder very much in 2017. If I do, though, it’ll be only after I’ve had much Macallan 25, or the equivalent, at somebody else’s expense and as . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Burke v. Watson & Barnard (A Firm), 2016 BCCA 439

AREAS OF LAW: Negligence; Duty of care; Proximity; Cooper v. Hobart; No reasonable cause of action

~A small number of decisions in other Canadian courts of first instance are not enough to establish a category of cases in which a duty of care has previously been recognized, for the purposes of a Cooper v. Hobart analysis.~

BACKGROUND:

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday