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Archive for ‘Justice Issues’

The Gloomy Future of Access to Family Justice in British Columbia: Outcomes of the Law Society’s 2018 Annual General Meeting

In December 2014, the Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia unanimously agreed to act on the recommendations of its Legal Services Regulatory Framework Task Force and pursue “an amendment to the Legal Profession Act authorizing it to establish and regulate new classes of legal service providers in order to address unmet and underserved legal needs.” The creation of this task force stemmed from the recommendations of the Legal Services Providers Task Force the previous year, which found that “to address unmet and underserved legal needs in our society,” it was necessary “to explore in more detail a liberalization . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

The Need for a Systematic Approach to Provision of Legal Services

Over the past few weeks, @Erin Durant42 has done yeoperson’s service in responding to the anticipated closing of the Pro Bono Legal Help Centres to the extent that the Centres will now be funded for another year.

This is good news, but it also highlights one of the serious problems we have in trying to provide access to justice to those who cannot afford a private lawyer. The past years have seen the springing up of a variety of responses to the lack of access to justice (in the sense of access to legal services), many of them reliant on . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Ten Things About Bitcoin That Lawyers Should Know (On Bitcoin’s Tenth Anniversary)

On October 31, 2008, someone posted a PDF to an encryption newsgroup. The post came from an account named Satoshi Nakamoto.

The PDF contained a text called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” and described what we know today as Bitcoin—the biggest cryptocurrency in the word by market capitalization (about USD$110 billion as of today).

Here are ten things that lawyers should know about Bitcoin.

1. There are no physical Bitcoin coins or banknotes.

Bitcoin is modelled after physical coins and banknotes but it is purely digital. But! Most people still use a physical medium for accessing their bitcoin . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Technology

The Rights and Responsibilities Of Self-Represented Parties in Arbitration

About eight years ago I published a document called The Rights and Responsibilities of Self-Represented Litigants that took rights-based approach to the role of litigants within the justice system and the expectations they should have as to how they will be treated. It was a response to the attitude, common among the bench and bar at the time, that litigants without counsel are irritating interlopers who gum up the finely oiled machine that is the justice system, and was intended to spell out, in a positive way, the expectations such litigants should have as they navigate the justice system.

As . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Empirical Analysis of What to Expect From Kavanaugh’s First Term on U.S. Supreme Court

Now that the very messy and nasty nomination process for US Supreme Court Justice for Brett Kavanaugh has ended, many observers are wondering what kind of judge he will be.

SCOTUSblog, the American blog devoted to all things relating to the United States Supreme Court, has published a statistics-based article on What to expect from Kavanaugh’s first term:

The tense waiting is now over as Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on October 6, 2018. One of the big stories about Kavanaugh has been his low rate of public approval. This low rate of approval was

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

What Was the Second Line at ClioCloud9?

It’s Thursday evening in New Orleans, Oct 4, halfway through the Clio Cloud Conference. Following Jack Newton’s opening keynote it’s easy to tell we’re on the front lines of legal tech. Some solid intel :

  • Lexicata and Clio GrowLos Angeles-based Lexicata — a client intake and CRM tool that’s optimized to work as an integration with Clio — has been acquired by the ambitious British Columbia-based legal tech company and conference host. The move effectively grows the practice management tool beyond its base fitness to deal with active client files and practice management (time keeping, document management,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology: Office Technology

Roadside Drug Screening to Be Tested by Courts

On Wednesday, Ontario’s new government announced a change in policy for cannabis use, indicating that they will allow it to be used anywhere where tobacco is smoked when it is legalized on Oct. 17, 2018, and not restricted to residential homes as previously planned. This move would align the province’s policy with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) set up as the proposed regulator to issue private store licences.

One of the ancillary effects of this is that residents in the province will invariably be consuming cannabis outside of the home, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ticketmast Class Action Over Scalper Action

Earlier this week, the Toronto Star revealed an investigation that Ticketmaster allows use of a web-based tool called Trade Desk to allow scalpers to conduct resales online. The practice effectively provides Ticketmaster a second commission on verified resales,

Reporters from the Star and CBC attended the ticket scalpers conference in Vegas undercover because media were not allowed into sessions where the collaboration between Ticketmaster and scalpers was to be discussed. For months, Ticketmaster has declined interview requests to address these issues. After attending the conference, the Star and the CBC gave Ticketmaster an opportunity to review what their sales people

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

Here Be Unchartered Waters

Introduction

This week has been an unprecedented one in Canadian history, and one that will invariably result in development of novel Charter jurisprudence.

On Sept. 12, 2018, the Ontario legislature introduced Bill 31 – Efficient Local Government Act, 2018 in response to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision on Sept. 10, 2018 that ruled Bill 5 – Better Local Government Act, 2018 was unconstitutional, as it violated the s. 2(b) Charter rights of the candidates in the upcoming municipal election due to the timing of the Bill, and the impact on the voters due to its content.[1] This . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Recent Publications of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family

The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, an independent organization affiliated with the University of Calgary, closed on 31 August 2018. The closure of the Institute is somewhat of a national tragedy, given that it was one of the very few organizations conducting empirical research on family law, justice processes and access to justice in Canada, and was the inevitable result of today’s singularly infelicitous funding climate.

The Institute has conducted some remarkable, innovative and often ground-breaking work over the 31 years of its existence. Highlights include some of the first work on the financial consequences of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Time for an Articling Student Union in Ontario

Tomorrow is Labour Day across Canada, where everyone in the country is provided a statutory holiday under s. 166 of the Canada Labour Code. The federal Interpretation Act, designates in s. 35(1) the first Monday of the September as Labour Day, and every province has employment standards legislation mandating the day as a statutory holiday as well.

The origins of Labour Day go back to March 25, 1872, when the Toronto Typographical Union went on strike for the nine-hour workday, backed by 10,000 workers and 27 unions. The action was characterized as an illegal conspiracy against trade at the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

Significant Costs Can Curb Complex Class Actions

Class proceedings were introduced, in part, to promote access to justice, and continue to play an important role in addressing social wrongs. The Supreme Court of Canada described this in Western Canadian Shopping Centres Inc. v. Dutton as follows,

28 …by allowing fixed litigation costs to be divided over a large number of plaintiffs, class actions improve access to justice by making economical the prosecution of claims that would otherwise be too costly to prosecute individually. Without class actions, the doors of justice remain closed to some plaintiffs, however strong their legal claims. Sharing costs ensures that injuries

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