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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

A Definite Yes!

One of my 2016 New Year’s resolutions was to start with “Yes.” Happily, every so often an opportunity comes around that makes saying “Yes!” the only logical response.

The Law Society of Manitoba’s annual Lawyers for Literacy event is just such an opportunity. Each year for the past 5 years, lawyers and Law Society staff have signed on to spend the better part of a Saturday reading to children at West Broadway Youth Outreach (“WBYO”). As well as reading to kids, participating lawyers raise pledges to support the work of WBYO and donate books and toys for use in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

AODA New January 2017 Compliance Deadlines

Large and small organizations in the private and non-profit sectors have a new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance deadline coming up on January 1, 2017.

1) Large organizations (50+ employees)

Starting January 1, 2016, provincially regulated organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario must work to comply with the design for public spaces standards under the built-environment to address barriers impeding access to outdoor public spaces by persons with disabilities, but not those barriers inside buildings. This task must be completed by January 1, 2017.

This standard covers a variety of public spaces such as exterior . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Interactive Model Code of Professional Conduct – a New Resource for Mobile Lawyers, Academic Researchers and Others

I am very pleased to let you know that the Federation of Law Societies of Canada has launched the Interactive Model Code of Professional Conduct, a new free online tool that links the provisions in the Federation’s Model Code to the matching or related rules of professional conduct in every law society in Canada.

This interactive tool will allow mobile lawyers, law society staff and leaders, academic researchers and others to quickly and easily find the enforceable rules in every Canadian jurisdiction using the national Model Code as the central reference point. Users will be able to isolate specific . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law as a Human Construct and Why That Matters

“Not only are the professions themselves a human construct, therefore, but so too is the organization of the knowledge that they dispense.” Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind – The Future of The Professions

The knowledge that the legal profession dispenses comes mostly from case law. Case law springs from precedent, creating a body of writing obsessed with the past. This obsession with the past obscures the human author and makes the law appear pre-ordained and sacrosanct rather than a human construct.

Professor Elizabeth Judge explains in “Precedent and the Individual Opinion: Judges Judging Judgments and the Creation of the Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Quebec Construction Corruption Inquiry Final Report Published

The Charbonneau Commission mandated to look into corruption and fraud among the construction industry, unions and government, tabled its final report on November 24, 2015. The report proposes 60 recommendations that lead commissioner of the inquiry, France Charbonneau, called “concrete solutions” to ensure government contracts are fairly managed. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Of Cyberbullying, Digital Citizenship… and Technological Competence?

OK, Canada may be somewhat behind our neighbours when it comes to adopting rules around technological competence for lawyers, but at least “Digital Citizenship” is getting some traction—or at least with respect to standards for children and parents.

On Friday November 13, 2015, while two more states adopted a duty of technology competence into their codes—and while Canadian law societies maintained unanimous silence on such requirements for lawyers—British Columbia’s Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner and Representative for Children and Youth, released Cyberbullying: Empowering Children and Youth To Be Safe Online and Responsible Digital Citizens. The Privacy . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Manitoba Customer Service Accessibility Standard in Force and Other Accessibility News

The Manitoba Customer Service Accessibility Standard (CSAS) under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) came into effect November 1, 2015. The CSAS requires all of Manitoba’s public, private and non-profit organizations with one or more employees that provide goods or services directly to the public or to another organization in Manitoba, to establish and implement measures, policies and practices to remove barriers for access to the goods or services it provides. . . . [more]

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

James Bond, Spectre, and the Surveillance Society

I don’t normally do movie reviews, but Spectre, the latest James Bond movie, has a cautionary tale about the surveillance society that is worth commenting on. It deals with the undemocratic / totalitarian / dystopian aspects of ubiquitous surveillance.

Some reviewers have been critical about the movie, but my view of Bond movies is that they are more about entertainment than plot and character development.

Some elements of the movie are uncomfortably real – like its spin on the five eyes network . After I saw it I wondered what Ed Snowden would think. This is what Wikipedia has to . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Miscellaneous

Justice Minister Trudeau on a Constitutional Bill of Rights

Later this week, Justin Trudeau will be sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada. Although he was elected on his own accord, with a platform and a style that is uniquely his, it’s no surprise that his surname evokes memories reminiscent of his father and former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

One of Prime Minister P.E. Trudeau’s most enduring legal legacies is obviously the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter continues to be the strongest symbol of Canadian identity among the public.

Constitutional reform is unlikely to feature prominently on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s immediate agenda, as he was . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Jurisprudential Aether, Something in the Water, or Something in the Air?

When the Supreme Court of Canada says “X” in 2007, and repeats “X” in 2011 adding explicitly that “X does not mean Y but means Z”, it is reasonable to assume (is it not?) that, once word of what was said in 2007 and repeated in 2011 spreads through the Canadian “jurisprudential aether”, however long that takes, the judges of the lower courts in Canada will pay attention.

It’s always worth quoting this reminder about pecking orders in the Canadian judicial universe:

[51] Any legal system which has a judicial appeals process inherently creates a pecking order for the judiciary

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Finding a Lawyer in a Law Thick World

“We live in a law thick world. To secure a benefit or avoid a loss in this world, we often find that we must somehow use the law. This is as true for global corporations as it is for ordinary individuals…” Noel Semple in Legal Services Regulations at the Crossroads

“Using the law” often requires people to hire lawyers. But, how do people go about finding a lawyer?

Although the Internet has drastically changed how people buy services, choosing a lawyer still necessitates a significant investment in time and resources. Semple remarks in his book that “both quality and price . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of Banality, #ELXN42 and John Oliver Baiting Charges Under the Elections Act

It’s late in the evening at this moment, and all reports indicate a Liberal majority will form Canada’s next government. But 24 hours ago there was still plenty of uncertainty and spectacle left in this race.

If you missed the awkward clips of Mulcair coming off as “Paul Giammati’s uncle reading a rhyming dictionary”, of Trudeau’s talent for falling down stairs (on purpose), or of Harper “murdering” a cover of Sweet Caroline and coming of as a body snatcher you can catch last night’s spectacle here. Be warned there is nothing remotely SFW on the other side of that . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous