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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Who’s Watching the Spies?

Much of the debate following the shootings in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu has turned on whether or not increased surveillance by Canadian law enforcement and intelligence agencies could have prevented the actions of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau. Then comes the follow-up: Must we adopt stronger measures and would they put our civil liberties at risk?

To be clear, this has nothing to do with the recent tabling of Bill C-44, drafted months ago. For reasons well explained by Craig Forcese, these measures aim primarily to assist CSIS in obtaining warrants for overseas investigations and to help protect the identity . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Sponsorship and Sincerity

I recently attended a workshop that was sponsored by several law firms, major corporations and large organizations. The event and the law firms will remain anonymous (for obvious reasons), but the sponsorship implied trust, integrity and commitment by the business community to a contemporary organizational issue.

Event attendees participated in a productive discussion; some were clients of the firms whose logos were included on the promotional material and some would probably be good clients for those firms to have.

There was just one problem. None of the law firms who sponsored the workshop had sent a representative to participate in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Marketing

Employers Requiring Disclaimers in Employees’ Social Media Posts

In the USA, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) oversees not just unionized workplaces but many others too. Among the issues attracting its attention these days are social media policies of employers. As one might expect, the NLRB protects free speech by employees, especially where employee rights and relations with employers are concerned.

However, the Board has recently confirmed that employers may require employees to disclaim speaking for the employer on the employees’ social media sites. The risk that employers could get in trouble for ideas otherwise imputable to them was considered a valid reason for such disclaimers. However, disclaimers . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, ulc_ecomm_list

The Honourable Louise Arbour Inducted Into Canada’s Walk of Fame

On Saturday The Honourable Louise Arbour‘s star was unveiled on Canada’s Walk of Fame along with those of the other inductees The Band, Jeff Healey, Rachel McAdams, Ryan Reynolds and Hayley Wickenheiser.

From her bio included with her webpage:

The Honourable Louise Arbour is currently a jurist in residence at Borden Ladner Gervais providing strategic advice to lawyers of the Litigation Group, in particular on issues pertaining to international disputes. Her great legal mind,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

14th Century Legislation, as Amended.

A distinguished Ontario litigator I know has made it a personal rule never to cite a case that was reported before the year he was called to the bar.

The British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond might want to enquire whether any of the lawyers he likes to retain harbour any such sentiments. Last week Mr Hammond appeared to entertain the thought of laying charges of treason against Britons who go to fight in Syria and Iraq.

The law of treason dates back to an English statute of 1351.

Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators in the gun powder plot were convicted . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of #HeForShe Feminism and the Autumnal Equinox

During an autumnal equinox the Sun spends about an equal time above and below the horizon at all points of the Earth. September 23 is the date for this year’s equinox. For the rest of 2014, the northern hemisphere will pine the loss of sunlight as the other half of the globe rejoices its gain. For a brief period during equinox, however, we are all equals. At least in this single, solar respect.

In most other departments, that simple, elegant equality does not resolve tidily. Not on any day of the year, in fact. Once you’re on the ground, inside . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Scotland’s Question of Clarity

There is much that is familiar in watching how Scotland’s vote will unfold today.

Fuelling the sense of déjà vu for Canadians is the arc of the story. It begins with the No forces way ahead in the polls, until suddenly both camps are neck and neck. Panic takes over in the “nation’s” capital, followed by improvisation, vague promises of more devolved powers, and not-so-subtle threats about what it will all mean for the shared currency and the breakaway state’s place in the larger common market (their EU to our NAFTA).

And yet, in spite of all the similarities, something . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of Judicial Notice and the Big Lebowski

Last week, Doug Jasinski graced my post with a comment challenging my interest in how different media like blogs and Wikipedia articles find their way into judgments.

His question: “Do 20-year old slacker movies count as different media?”

I don’t presume, Doug, that you really expected (or wanted) my take on this, but I’m prepared to share it anyway. Doug raised an interesting article from Business Insider which talks about a Texas Supreme Court decision citing the Big Lebowski. The reasons for judgment in Kinney v. Barnes, a freedom of speech injunction matter, were released on August 29, . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Making a Mark

From time to time, in each of our lives, someone enters and makes an indelible mark upon us. I’ve written here previously about some of those who have left marks on my life and influenced my career choices; another such person is Allan Fineblit, Q.C.

Allan is the outgoing CEO of The Law Society of Manitoba. He’s been the CEO of the Law Society of Manitoba (“LSM”) for some 16 years, through most of my years at the bar.

When I worked at the LSM, he was my boss. Nearly annually, I would sit down with him for a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Medieval Work Tools

I will turn 44 soon. I’m officially middle aged and mid-career. It has slowly – and I mean slowly – occurred to me that it’s time to update some of the old-school work tools that I use on a regular basis.

Buy a watch with a bigger face. I was used to relying on my delicate dress watch. But after visiting the Shinola flagship store in Detroit a few weeks ago, I realized that the reason why I like their watches so much is because the faces are so big. And I can read them.

Use the voice dictation software . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of Velocipede Factories and 128 More Great Hipster Business Ideas

Full disclosure: It still feels like summer out here in BC, and I have not been keeping up on my usual law reading. A whimsical mood has set in. While I will try to link this next bit to the practice of law… well, I can’t promise to be convincing.

I’m always very interested to see how different media, such as blogs or Wikipedia articles, find their way as authorities into reasons for judgment. Earlier this year I popped a comment up on CanLII Connects about what might be the first Canadian judgment to cite a law blog for its . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous