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Archive for October, 2017

Good Old Hyperlinks

By the time I was figuring out my stance on artificial intelligence, the legal tech talk had already moved on to blockchain. So I decided to write about something even more outdated – hyperlinks.

Links are the backbone of (legal) information systems

In research information systems we use citation information heavily. In the legal field, the cited-citing connections allow us to group documents into smaller universes. This feature of legal information is being exploited by virtually all providers for use in hyperlinking, to create citators, to provide the ability to note-up documents, and to rank search results. Citations can be . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Quebec’s Religious Neutrality of the State Bill Passed

An amended version of Bill 62, An Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality and, in particular, to provide a framework for religious accommodation requests in certain bodies to foster respect for religious neutrality of the state and aimed in particular to frame requests for religious accommodations in certain organizations passed third reading on October 18, 2017, with a vote of 66-51. It is now awaiting royal assent to become law. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

On the LSUC Dialogue on Licensing, Pt 2: Where Is Access to Justice?

This blogpost addresses a second shortcoming in the foundational framing and materials for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s unfolding Dialogue on Licensing. In Part 1, I argued that the initial arguments and subsequent materials that have framed the Dialogue do not provide a clear or compelling demonstration of a ‘need for change’ in the current system for licensing of lawyers in Ontario. In this Part 2, I argue that a further shortcoming is a failure to adequately acknowledge the relevance of the ongoing inaccessibility of justice in Ontario. Proper recognition of access to justice issues could provide the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Revisiting the Case for Project Management in Legal Practice

I hesitate to write further about project management in legal practice because there has been so much said about it, but I just finished my exam to be a “Project Management Professional” (PMP), and I want to share some thoughts on why it’s a good fit for legal practice and how it fits into legal information work.

There are many “projects” in law offices or libraries—offices get moved, IT systems get upgraded, and new systems generally get rolled out periodically, but those kinds of projects are not the reason I think it’s worth talking about project management in legal practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Zheng v Your New Car Calgary Inc, 2015 ABQB 121

[17] The Plaintiff refers to Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71 (CanLII), 2014 Carswell Alta 2046 (S.C.C.), Spartek Systems Inc. v. Brown, 2014 Carswell Alta 1496, (Q.B.), and Tirecraft ( supra). Bhasin deals with the duty of good faith in contractual dealings. The latter two cases provide some guidelines . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

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.

Practice

New Lawyers: Document All Client Interactions
Ian Hu

New lawyers, I hope this tip will follow you well for your whole career. Begin doing this now and do it every time, to the point where it becomes a habit. It will both help your practice and protect you in the event of a malpractice claim. …

Research & Writing

Keep Your Cultural References Current and Universal
Neil Guthrie

This

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Technology Remains an Afterthought for Many Within the Legal System

Back in late September, the Court of the Future Network, in partnership with the Institut des hautes études sur la justice and the Cyberjustice Laboratory, organised its annual Court tour which – this year – took place in California, home of Silicon Valley and many technological innovators. For this very reason, the tour took a technological turn and focussed on some of the key technological issues confronting courts, such as:

  • The paperless courtroom: digital documents and evidence display
  • Cyber security
  • Immersive video-conferencing
  • Integrated courtroom management
  • Social media for courts
  • Remote interpreting
  • Online Dispute Resolution and Artificial Intelligence

The purpose of . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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.Environmental Law and Litigation 2. Startup Source 3. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog 4. Eloise Gratton 5. Barry Sookman

Environmental Law and Litigation
Teck Coal Fined $1,425,000

On October 5, 2017 Teck Coal Limited (“Teck”) in British Columbia court pled guilty to three counts of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Are Components of Competence

What does it mean to be a lawyer?

Is it to possess an encyclopedic knowledge the law? To use this knowledge to make money? Is being a lawyer simply just another way to make money (as some who correctly identify the lack of business skills among lawyers as one of the major challenges for innovation or reform point out)?

What differentiates the law from other businesses are the professional responsibilities imposed on a lawyer, through the Model Code of Professional Conduct and its implemented versions across Canada. Some of these responsibilities, such as the duty to the court and to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues

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.

VENTE : La somme à laquelle les acheteurs de pièces de navire ont droit en raison d’un bris prématuré causé par un vice caché est limitée à 78 900 $; en outre, c’est le régime de la responsabilité délictuelle de la common law qui s’applique au contrat visant la fourniture . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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 (August 24 –October 13, 2017 inclusive).

Appeals

Aboriginal Law: Document Retention/Destruction
Canada (Attorney General) v. Fontaine, 2017 SCC 47 (37037)

The Indian Residential Schools Settlement records can be destroyed. Interpreting the Agreement is a question of mixed fact . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Compliment or Sexual Harassment: Where Do You Draw the Line?

Written wholly by Doug Macleod Employment and labour lawyer at MacLeod Law on First Reference Talks

Despite a number of legislative initiatives that are intended to reduce and ultimately eliminate sexual harassment in society, sexual harassment continues to be a problem in Ontario’s workplaces.

One of the more nuanced areas of sexual harassment law is what kind of language a male can direct towards a woman in the workplace. Sometimes there is a fine line between complimenting a female co-worker and sexually harassing her.

An occasional non-sexualized compliment is usually not a problem but a comment of a sexual nature . . . [more]

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