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Archive for February, 2017

Reduce the Distraction From the ‘Casino in Your Pocket’

This article is by Tim Lemieux, Claims Prevention & Stakeholder Relations Coordinator at LAWPRO.

In the early days of email, one of the common bits of productivity advice was “turn off your inbox notifications.” The “You’ve Got Mail” sound or pop-up was a constant source of distraction while trying to get work done. Even with the advent of smartphones that advice was still mostly good enough. The phone meant you could check email everywhere you went, but the distraction was still limited to emails and texts from friends and clients. Jump forward to 2017, and we’re all carrying around what . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

Someday We’ll Find It, the Rainbow Connection

The quotation below contains the first paragraph and part of the conclusion of an article with the title of this post. You will find that article on the University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog, here.

One might assume that LGBT rights in Canada were worse the further one delves back into our history. This would be incorrect. While LGBT rights in 1867 were nowhere near what they are today, it’s important to note that things actually got a lot worse before they got better.

To those of our readers in law school, legal professions, politics, and others

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

Machines Regulating Humans: Will Algorithms Become Law?

Benjamin Alarie, Osler Chair in Business Law at the University of Toronto and CEO of Blue J Legal, gave a lunch time presentation at Osgoode Hall Law School last Tuesday. This session was based on the paper “Regulation by Machine” co-written with Anthony Niblett and Albert Yoon delivered at the 30th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS 2016), Barcelona, Spain. [3]

The paper looks at how the process of machine learning could be used to improve the regulation of human activity. This idea is contrary to the usual and “preoccupied” view that legal scholars have . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

The Future of Law and “Intelligent” Technologies: Prophecies, Technologies and Opportunities – Part 1

Career prophets have been announcing the demise of the legal profession for decades already. According to some, the traditional lawyer will soon follow the way of telephone operators, bank clerks and travel agents. Recently, the prophecies have taken a new turn. While outsourcing, offshoring, legal Taylorism—all previous threats of course remain, we are now being forewarned about a new source of disruption: “intelligent software” in law. Once again, prophets insist that those who are not already into it are laggards, and by now we should all know what will happen to them.

In this post, I address the deployment of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, 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 more than 80 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. Welcome to the Food Court 2. Éloïse Gratton 3. Labour Pains 4. David Whelan 5. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada

Welcome to the Food Court
S2E4 – Gerald Chan on Food Crime

We’ve got Gerald Chan from Stockwoods LLP this episode and we’re talking about . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Systemic Racism as a Basis for Excluding Evidence

Introduction

The existence of racism in our legal system is no surprise.

David Tanovich has written extensively how the Charter has still largely been ineffective in addressing racism in the criminal justice system. Faisal Mirza has explained how mandatory minimum sentences disproportionate affect black Canadians, and he wrote this in 2001, before the additional sentences added in 2009.

We can go even further back to 1993, and the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System, which described a widespread and prevalent prejudice against blacks as follows:

First what we are dealing with at root, and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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) : Reconnu coupable sous trois chefs de trafic d’influence, de fabrication de faux et de recyclage des produits de la criminalité à la suite de son implication dans le scandale des commandites, Jacques Corriveau est condamné à quatre ans de pénitencier et à une amende compensatoire de 1  . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

#Research4Refugees: A Cross-Canada Law Student Effort

An inspiring event began late last week and rose to a crescendo on Saturday: the law student-driven Research-a-thon for Refugees. The 12-hour distributed pro bono legal research marathon was kickstarted in a whirlwind of spark of initiative, quick communication, outreach, collaborative effort, and perhaps a bit of collective consciousness.

The goal of #Research4Refugees was to produce a collaboratively researched document for a Canadian NGO, focusing on interpretation and application of the US-Canada safe third country agreement for arriving refugees, on a project managed by the NGO. The Canada-wide event took place on Saturday in classrooms and libraries of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Lawyers & Limelight

The chaos south of the border has pushed many immigration & refugee issues into the limelight. Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to reporters from CBC, Law Times, Winnipeg Free Press, the Canadian Press and Metro News. They have asked for quotes on various topics, radio interviews and even one request for a TV interview at a time I was unavailable. For this post, I will not get into all the substantive issues of Trump’s Executive Orders and how they may impact Canada. Instead, I want to review my recent experiences with the Canadian media . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

Publicly Funded Consumer ODR Is Now a Reality in Quebec

Ever since we started this regular column back in 2012, we’ve been defending a basic thesis: for consumer online dispute resolution (ODR) to succeed, it needs to be publicly funded and retailers need to be given a clear incentive to take part. This is the thesis we aimed to test when, on October 7th of 2016, the Cyberjustice Laboratory (the “Lab”), in collaboration with Quebec’ consumer protection agency (the Office de la protection du consommateur or “OPC”), and the ministère de la Justice du Québec, decided to launched a pilot project around the Lab’s Platform to Assist in . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Data From Pacemaker Used in Prosecution

A man in Ohio was charged with arson and insurance fraud after data from his pacemaker did not support his story about how his house burned down.

The evidence from the pacemaker was taken on a warrant.

A lawyer from the Electronic Frontier Foundation is quoted in the ABA story at the link as saying that privacy interests in one’s health information were “eroded” by the decision. The statement suggests that privacy should override the state’s interest in prosecution.

Do you agree? Or is the need for a warrant enough protection for privacy relating to medical devices, as it is . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Despite Settlement Breach, an Award of Compensation Not Warranted

Written by Cristina Lavecchia, paralegal, editor at First Reference

An Applicant recently went before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal), alleging that the Respondent failed to pay settlement monies owed to him per the schedule agreed to in Minutes of Settlement. The Applicant sought full payment of the general damages amount agreed to in the settlement and a further $1,000 for the harm caused by the breach. Although the Tribunal found there to be a contravention of settlement, it deemed that the delay in receiving the monies was relatively minor, and therefore an award of compensation was not warranted. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions