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Archive for ‘Justice Issues’

When Bloggers Get Appointed to the Bench

In 2015, practitioners in all types of firms blog. It’s a necessity of modern practice these days, and most have come around to understanding the importance of some social media presence.

If you don’t create your online footprint, someone else will for you – usually a disgruntled client.

One of the prerequisites to being appointed to the bench though is that you have to be a lawyer, usually for a good number of years. Although we’ve seen blogging lawyers appointed to the bench in recent years, and Slaw is one of the few sites where we’ve had guest judge bloggers, . . . [more]

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

Drama at the Quebec Bar Escalates Into Legal Action

The suspended Bâtonnière of the Quebec Bar Association, Lu Chan Khuong, has filed a lawsuit against the association and its administrators to overturn the suspension and reinstate her until the court determines whether the association’s board of directors had the right to relieve her of her duty. (Find the background here on Slaw.) Khuong is also seeking $95,000 in damages. . . . [more]

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

Legal Health Checks for Employment Law

The CBA’s Legal Health Checks, which has been previously mentioned by  here, just released two new checklists in employment law.

One is for hiring for small businesses, and covers contentious issues such as employee/contractor distinctions and employment standards. The other is geared towards workers, and covers the law for non-unionized employees, and covers employment contracts, discrimination and harassment and wrongful dismissal.

Obtaining accurate legal information remains a challenge for the public, and efforts by our legal organizations to make this information more readily accessible is part of our professional mandate.

These checklists are also . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

Options for Implementing Carter: One Lawyer’s Unique Perspective on the Landmark SCC Decision

I recently read a national post article by Dr. Will Johnston. In addition to being a family physician, Dr. Johnston is an anti-euthanasia activist. His article suggests that members of the judiciary would be better positioned to judge whether or not a person is competent to make a life-ending decision than members of the medical profession. I believe there is merit to Dr. Johnston’s point but I do not know if the model Dr. Johnston is proposing would be an appropriate one. Members of the judiciary may have similar issues in making competency. This is because, for the most part, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Cultural Shift Observed Post-Hryniak

The SCC’s decision in Hryniak v. Mauldin last year was expected to foster a cultural shift on the effective use of judicial resources, in particular in areas like Toronto where courts are cluttered with arguably needless motions. Justice Karakatsanis stated,

[2] Increasingly, there is recognition that a culture shift is required in order to create an environment promoting timely and affordable access to the civil justice system… [3] Summary judgment motions provide one such opportunity…

[5] To that end, I conclude that summary judgment rules must be interpreted broadly, favouring proportionality and fair access to the affordable, timely and just

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Therapeutic Interventions and the Alienated Child: Whose Interests Are We Serving, and How Are We Serving Them?

I’ve just finished writing a paper on alienated and estranged children for an recent seminar provided by the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, their tenth Biennial Family Law Conference. The paper’s subject matter has lingered with me, in particular certain concerns about the therapeutic options available to the court once alienation has been established.

I will assume that readers have at least a passing familiarity with the concept of parental alienation. Very briefly, a child’s relationship with a parent can be damaged, sometimes severed, as a result of the behaviour of the rejected parent, the behaviour of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Bad Idea: Don’t Google How to Rob a Bank

Why Googling about how to rob a bank is not recommended is just one item in the June 2015 issue of the U.S. bulletin Connected.

The bulletin, which covers news about the impact of new social media on courts, is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

It is a great place to find out about how courts are trying to adapt to the world of Facebooking judges, tweeting witnesses, Instagramming lawyers, and jury members doing their own research on the Internet. Most items are American but they have . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology: Internet

Drama at the Quebec Bar Association: Bencher Suspended After Shoplifting Allegations

On July 3, 2015, Quebec lawyers found out that the recently elected (63% of votes) bencher of the Quebec Bar Association, Me Lu Chan Khuong, was suspended with pay from her duties by the board of directors of said association. . . . [more]

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

Advancing the Rule of Law

It’s that time of year again – The Law Society of Manitoba is calling for nominations for the Richard J. Scott Award, an honour presented annually to “an individual who advances the rule of law through advocacy, litigation, teaching, research or writing.”

Richard Scott is Manitoba’s longest serving Chief Justice, having been appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench in 1985 and elevated to Associate Chief Justice later that same year, and then promoted to Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal in 1990. He retired from the Bench in 2013 and has since returned to legal practice as counsel . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Other Legal Professionals

Love may be the answer, but it may not be in the form of a lawyer.

As the legal profession struggles to reinvent itself and restructure how services are being provided, other legal professionals are being created in parallel. The State of Washington recently licensed its first batch of “Limited License Legal Technicians (LLLTs),” the first of its type in the country, though several states have already indicated they may follow their lead.

The Washington State Bar Association defines LLLTs as individuals who,

…are trained and licensed to advise and assist people going through divorce, child custody and other family

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

LawNow Special Report: Self Represented-Litigants

In the most recent issue of LawNow, a publication of the Centre For Public Legal Education Alberta, there is a “Special Report” on self-represented litigants.

It includes 3 articles:

What Self–Represented Litigants (Actually) Want by Sarah Burton, a lawyer with the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre in Calgary: “Countless reports, working groups, and studies have asked this question, and reached diverse and creative conclusions. However, these papers often share one critical failing: none of them actually ask SRLs what they think. Enter the Self-Represented Litigants Project (Dr. Julie Macfarlane, “The National Self-Represented Litigants Project: Identifying and Meeting . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

New App Fights Back Against Police Carding

A new smartphone app has been developed to guide and assist members of the public through often difficult and contentious police interactions.

LegalSwipe is a free app, available on both the iTunes and Android markets. It provides step-by-step interactions through a decision tree, prompting the user to ask specific questions such as whether they are under arrest. It then tells the user what they should or should not be doing or saying with these police interactions.

The app is the brainchild of Christien Levien, a law student who completed his articles in criminal law and is currently studying for . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology