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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Women, Wisdom and Wall Street

What’s it like to be the only woman in the room during corporate board meetings? Or the first woman to chair a financial regulation authority in the midst of an economic crisis? Last week, three groundbreaking leaders – all lawyers by training – came together to talk about their experiences as women affecting change in a male dominated industry.

The event was hosted by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Moderated by Ron Suskind, a journalist and leader of the Center’s Project for Public Narrative, the panel featured:

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

Build, Buy or Bury

You are running a business, let’s call it a legal practice, and you have a problem. You are spending too much time dealing with a small irritation. The irritation could be just about anything, but let’s say the issue is that your invoicing system doesn’t connect with your contact management system. “System” may be too strong a word for many. Essentially, when you issue an invoice for your services, the bill doesn’t automatically show up in the file where you keep other details about the same client. As a result, each time you issue a bill, you have to remember . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Unasked Issue in the Benchers’ Election

Our non-Ontario readers will be thrilled that in an hour the polls close and you won’t have interminable discussions about Ontario’s election and its implications. This post responds to and builds on Mitch’s prescient post from 18 months ago, and Alice Woolley and Alan Cliff’s posts which dealt with the Ontario Benchers’ Election which wraps up today at 5 PM

My focus isn’t on the substantive issues that Alice focused on yesterday but rather on an underlying governance issue that no-one appears to be talking about. It’s about convocations, cabinets and the tyranny of geography

What are the most . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Legislation

LSUC’s Vexing Voting Scheme

As a recent call, I first approached this year’s LSUC bencher election with a kind of trepidation that I remember from student politics. But while the stakes have grown and the candidates improved, the voting system itself feels like a step in the wrong direction. Under this system, each voter may vote for up to 40 candidates from a pool of 95. While a few seats are filled based on the votes cast in each region, most benchers are chosen by voters across the province as a whole. This process burdens voters, hinders meaningful choices, and makes campaigning more . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Old Wine in New Bottles

Borrowing a well-worn title for this post seemed appropriate. I trust Milton Freidman, Noam Chomsky, the Pacific Lutheran University Wind Ensemble, or the countless others who have used the title before me won’t mind.

I’m spending my Saturday cleaning up and organizing a 4-year accumulation of papers, ideas, knick-knacks and other items that have marked my time at CanLII. To keep me company, I needed to select just the right musical mix and I’m very happy to have set the dial on Songza’s “funky” mood channel. The music offers the ideal groove for the act of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Federal Budget 2015–16: Measures of Interest to Employers

Federal Minister of Finance Joe Oliver tabled Economic Action Plan 2015 (Budget 2015–16) on April 21, 2015. The Canadian government’s balanced budget proposes a low-tax plan for jobs, growth and security, and projects a surplus of $1.4 billion in 2015–16. There are no individual tax rate or tax bracket changes in this budget. Highlights of the budget of interest to employers and payroll specialists include the following.

Modernizing the Canada Labour Code

Budget 2015 proposes to introduce amendments to the Canada Labour Code (CLC), which applies to federally regulated employers. These amendments would:

  • Add protections for paid and unpaid interns,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Exploring the #LSBencher Twitter Stats

Those actively following or engaging with bencher election activities on Twitter will recognize this hashtag. It’s been pretty exciting to watch and be a part of. In the past week (April 10th-16th), 158 different contributors issued nearly 600 tweets and retweets with the #LSBencher hashtag. These tweets reached an estimated 266,000 people and appeared in user timelines an estimated 620,000 times. That’s huge!! Right?

Well, not necessarily.

Nearly 100 of the tweets came from three people.

Nearly one-third of the timeline views are attributable to three people, and nearly one-half are attributable to 6 people.

  . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Tax Season Reveals Opportunities for Improvement

Tax season often illuminates financial management philosophies we could – and should – revisit. For me, reviewing revenue and expenses has illustrated a year’s worth of daily activities that really added up. Here are some considerations to check on a regular basis.

Start with structure
Many professionals still practice without a clear financial goal for the year. My wise accountant once distilled the goal-setting process down to these questions:

  1. How much revenue do you want to earn and why?
  2. What percentage of that revenue will you invest in your practice and why?
  3. How much money do you need to manage
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Of Lowest Common Denominators, Government Surveillance and the Uncumberbatchable Task of Fighting Apathy

Merciless epithets are just one reason to watch last night’s episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver — the primary being his face-to-face interview with Edward Snowden. “Uncumberbatchable” was the six syllable term Oliver coined in his warm-up act to describe the uncharming Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is apparently so bereft of likeability that not even the gifted character actor Benedict Cumberbatch can (by Oliver’s review) imbue his character with any grace. But the searing candescence of Oliver’s satire—and his Assange put-down is certainly putting the Twittersphere in stitches—is just an invitation to treat. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Addressing Sexual Violence and Harassment in Workplaces

On March 6, 2015, the Ontario government published its action plan aimed at addressing sexual violence and harassment in the province. “It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment” recommends changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to deal with workplace sexual harassment prevention and training. . . . [more]

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

Memory, Politics and the Monument to Victims of Communism

Monuments are our memories rendered in stone. Those memories are a contested amalgam of memory, history, identity, politics and the power to publicly replicate that vision. This is made powerfully evident by the discussions related to the establishment of a Monument to the Victims of Communism to be established in the Judicial Precinct of our National Capital. Its location, in front of the Supreme Court of Canada building, will convey the message that the most important element of our national and legal history is one that is not about Canadian state action, did not take place on Canadian soil and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

March Is Fraud Prevention Month – Let’s Be Careful Out There

Let’s be careful out there.  We have all received fraudulent emails or phone calls. To reduce the chances of being a victim, here is a Global News article on the Top 10 scams to watch out for this Fraud Prevention Month, and Tips to Protect Yourself from Fraud from the Competition Bureau.

MasterCard offers the following tips for credit card security:

Today 88% of face-to-face transactions in Canada are Chip & PIN or contactless, and thanks to the layers of security built into the MasterCard network, Chip & PIN and contactless are safe and fraud rates for Canadian face-to-face . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous