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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Does the Proposed 25% LSO Fee Reduction Make Any Sense?

The last six months have been a challenge for everyone. The impacts of the pandemic have differed but no one has been spared. Lawyers and paralegals are no different. We have all been affected, in varying degrees and in varying ways. For many of us, the fact that we provide professional services rather produce goods or provide retail services has helped as many professional services need not be provided in person. Remote work has been possible for many. But some have been particularly affected.

The incomes of those who are employed, whether in business, government, larger firms or otherwise, have . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

10 Legal Writing Tips for Law Students

Legal writing is typically about persuasion. You are usually trying to persuade your reader about your thesis, your ideas, your arguments, your client’s case, etc. So how do you do it? Legal writing is an art and a science. Different people approach it differently. However, in our view, there are some commonalities for what makes legal writing effective – what makes it persuasive.

With the start of a new academic year, and the introduction of legal writing to incoming law students, we again had the opportunity to put our minds to what makes legal writing “good”, and how to approach . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Miscellaneous

When Law Doesn’t Work: Outlier Theory

When I was articling, eons ago, I came across a judge who smoked in court, made off-hand comments affecting his decisions without any evidentiary basis (“everyone knows what a second hand Lincoln costs”) and made sexist comments towards me (“bring this young lady into my chambers”). He was well-known in the particular legal community (I was merely “visiting” on a discovery issue) and no one thought there was a way to contain him. Indeed, as I sat in the courtroom waiting my turn, I was warned about him. I think of this judge as an “outlier”, beyond the reach of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What We Already Knew About Shameful COVID-19 Hotspots

Without exhausting the list of populations where the coronavirus has found an enthusiastic home in Canada, there are two that have led to much tutting and promises to reform: the elderly living in long-term care homes (where sometimes younger people with certain challenges also live) and migrant workers employed on farms. But we already knew the conditions in these settings left much to be be desired. Nevertheless, in both cases, the rules and laws governing regulatory oversight have told us what happens when those responsible lose sight of the human reality and when those responsible for implementing the law fail . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Constitutionality of Interprovincial/Territorial Boundary Closures (Part I)

Efforts to respond to and get under control the coronavirus pandemic have led to government actions that many people would be unlikely to accept in less dire times. Many of these have been at the provincial and municipal levels with emergency measures that have restricted a wide range of business, social and recreational activities that we had previously taken for granted. Another set of restrictions have been in relation to whether we can visit other provinces. Some provinces closed their boundaries early in the pandemic and some are now restricting who can enter provinces as they open their business, social . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

KM-as-a-Service

Knowledge management (KM) professionals know that there are several elements that will make or break the success of a KM initiative. One such element is mostly humans: Will the lawyers in your organization actually adopt the industry leading enterprise search system that you are spending big bucks on?

At the same time, anyone who has a close or remote encounter with the law in Canada has CanLII.org open on one or several devices. The site, heavily used by Canadian lawyers, is a good example of a widespread adoption of technology by the legal profession and the judiciary. Also, if you . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous

Reopening Society: Thoughts on Some Legal Questions

Yesterday (April 27, 2020), the Ford government released “A Framework for Reopening our Province“, a three-stage process that is likely to be applicable until a vaccine is available. The Framework is based on some important principles and it includes on-going reassessment and review to ensure the spread of COVID-19 has not recurred. With this Framework in mind, as well as steps already taken elsewhere, it is worth considering the kinds of legal questions that might arise as we seek to reopen our society fully. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Covid-19 Tech and Security Resources

For every good deed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic (such as telcos not charging for long distance or data overages) there is someone trying to take advantage of it.

It’s not just people buying all the hand sanitizer they can get and reselling it online for a profit. Bad actors have been sending malware and phishing attempts disguised as Covid-19 emails.

At the same time, more people than ever before are working remotely. IT departments are scrambling to set people up who have not worked remotely before, and to scale up to support larger numbers. Some businesses are revisiting . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Who Owns Your Data? Is That Even the Right Question?

Who owns your data is actually the wrong question to ask. The better question is what are others able to do with information about you?

You may have heard the saying “data is the new oil”. Various kinds of data can indeed be valuable and useful. Where that goes off the rails is when that data is about you. While privacy laws have a notion of consent or reasonable use for information that is connected to us personally, it’s not always that simple.

This issue gets complicated and messy. Here are some things to ponder:

  • Cars know increasing

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Federal Accessible Transportation Regulation

The federal Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR) was registered under the federal Accessible Canada Act (ACA) on June 25, 2019. Most provisions of the ATPDR will come into force on June 25, 2020, while other more complex requirements (i.e., self-serve kiosks) will be phased in over three years (June 25, 2020, June 25, 2021 and June 25, 2022). This is the only accessibility standard currently registered under the ACA. . . . [more]

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

The Wondrous World of Creating Constitutional Law

Senator Mike Duffy is suing the Senate for the pay he lost when he was suspended from the Senate. His lawsuit raises the constitutional issue of parliamentary immunity, on the basis of which Justice Sally Gomery of the Ontario Superior Court dismissed his claim. Duffy’s appeal is based on the loss of Senate immunity if it has engaged in wrongdoing, as the Senate did, he says, in taking its direction from the executive (Prime Minister Stephen Harper). (For this story, see The National Post).

For no particular reason whatsoever, this case made me think about how so much of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Oaths, Affirmations and Eagle Feathers

The front page story in The Globe and Mail a day or two ago about the option of using eagle feathers in swearing oaths or making affirmation in courts in Alberta, where they have been available for some time now, got me thinking about the process of swearing or affirming before testifying in court more generally.

The rules around swearing oaths and affirming seem simple: the purpose is to bring home to the witness the importance of telling the truth. For some people, it is necessary to do that by swearing on a religious book, for others, who have no . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous