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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Two-Minute Engagement

A recent piece in University Affairs profiles Toronto lawyer Arshia Tabrizi and his academic community engagement start-up, Vidoyen. The name, the article explains, blends “video” and “doyen.” But I’m not sure how many Deans, if any, are on the roster: The site does, though, boast “academics, scholars, experts and thought leaders.”

The site features two-minute video mini-expositions falling in a range of categories. In a quick look through the categories, I don’t see any law professors or practitioners, other than Mr. Tabrizi himself. The slate of advisors includes Former Mayor David Miller and David Cohn, the Director of News . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Sports Arbitration – Contesting Olympic Judging Decisions

Most of you will have heard of the controversial figure skating win of Russian teenager Adelina Sotnikova who won the Olympic gold medal last week beating out Yuna Kim of South Korea, despite many stylistic errors and fumbles. Many media outlets and fans were surprised to say the least at what appeared to be clear favoritism on the part of the Russian judge. The South Korean Olympic Committee has already sent a protest letter to the International Skating Union, and a petition is posted on calling for more accountability in sports judging.

But what legal recourses do athletes have . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

An Anti-Spam Legislation Consent Request

You may already have been peppered with these—I’m not the person most tightly in the loop—but I thought you’d like to see what one of the big firms is doing by way of compliance with Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation. This arrived by email, allowing for an email reply. And there’s also a companion version on the Blakes website: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Marketing

In Heenan’s Wake – Lessons?

From my discussions with insiders, it appears that the carnage from the dissolution of Heenan Blaikie continues as professional administrative staff (IT, HR, marketing, support staff, etc. ) are left in limbo as to what will happen to those not moving with the mass exodus of lawyers to other law firms.

There have been allegations that the dissolution was not managed well by the firm’s executive team. From the descriptions I have heard, it very much seems like an “every man/woman for his/herself” situation with panicked lawyers desperately calling around for a job while support staff were left to watch . . . [more]

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

Have You Ever Suffered From Formitis?

Formitis [form – eye – tis] To cling blindly and unwaveringly to a document while ignoring reality.

OK – I made that up – but lawyers and clients often get frustrated when the other party to a document steadfastly refuses to change something that makes no sense. It may be presented as a standard form they can’t change, or that their corporate policy dictates that form be used, or they may be reluctant to get legal or senior business advice. On the other hand, the person resisting the change may just be lazy and not want to deal with it. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Requiem for Heenan Blaikie

Listening to Roy Heenan give his spin on the demise of his law firm, I couldn’t help but hear the strains of Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend” in my head.

It will be some time before the full back story of this debacle will be known. But in my view, Heenan Blaikie died from a combination of greed, poor management and failed leadership wrapped together in an antiquated business structure ill-suited to “more for less” client demands in a marketplace gradually filling with non-traditional competitors.

As I have said repeatedly, the Canadian legal profession is now entering the . . . [more]

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

The Legacy of Phoenix Sinclair

Phoenix Victoria Hope Sinclair was born in Winnipeg on April 23, 2000. She was apprehended by child welfare authorities at birth, and spent her life in and out of the care of her parents. She died at Fisher River on June 11, 2005 but her death was not discovered until the winter of 2006. Her mother and her mother’s partner were charged and convicted of first-degree murder and are serving life sentences.

In March 2011, an inquiry was called under The Manitoba Evidence Act to look into:

  • the child welfare services provided or not provided to Phoenix and her
  • . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Shadow Stabbing

“Adjectives on the typewriter, he moves his words like a prize fight-er.”

I cannot proclaim to understand the meaning of the Cake song Shadow Stabbing but I do love that line. It seems particularly appropriate for a thought that has long percolated in my head regarding online communication, that being that context is so often lost. I have found it in contributing to this blog and in other online fora. How many times have you written an email with several points to which the response you receive only addresses one of those points. Or, if you engage in blogging or . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Does a Generational Divide Hamper Change in Legal Services?

My class at University of Ottawa Law is now over. But the thoughts provoked in class hopefully are not. U of O has, probably more so than other Ontario law schools, a social justice/access to justice bent and I have been critical of the CBA’s recent Reaching Equal Justice Report mostly because it is unrealistic and provides little hope for change. So it was interesting for me to see two presentations by students that focussed on ideas that should have been part of that CBA Report.

One student presented ways in which gamification could be used in legal services. It . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Law Student Week, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Ontario’s Minimum Wage Debate and Advisory Panel’s Final Report

The Minimum Wage Advisory Panel’s final report was tabled with the Ontario government on Monday January 27, 2014. The report points out that the minimum wage is not solely a statistical or economic debate, it is also a benchmark, “a wage floor” that establishes a bare minimum for society. While the minimum wage cannot do it alone—child care, affordable housing, tax credits and tax exemptions are also essential—it is also a key component of any realistic anti-poverty strategy, no matter how blunt or inefficient it might be. . . . [more]

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

Sochi Olympics – Social Media for Personal Use Only

The limitations and restrictions regarding social media use during the 2014 Winter Olympics Games continue to be controversial. While the International Olympic Committee (“IOC”) has eased up on their social media restrictions over the years, the IOC guidelines are fairly similar to the guidelines provided for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

(So no apparent extra control over social media as compared to prior Olympics – unlike allegations that participants and athletes will face the most invasive and massive surveillance ever, including monitoring of all communications, and allegations that it is the most corrupt Olympics in history. )

Take . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous