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Archive for ‘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

Pink Shirt Day

Did you wear a pink shirt today? Today (February 25) is Pink Shirt Day in Canada, a day devoted to promoting collective action against bullying in our schools, communities and online. The origins of the day, as described by the Globe and Mail, are as follows:

The tradition of wearing pink shirts emerged in September, 2007, after a Nova Scotia high-school student was targeted with homophobic insults for wearing a pink shirt to school. Two Grade 12 students, Travis Price and David Shepherd, organized their schoolmates to wear pink in solidarity.

My favourite #PinkShirtDay tweet was from Manitoba’s Minister . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

5 Benefits of a Social Media Sabbatical

Have you ever wanted to cease and desist from all social media communication? I have. And I did. Here’s what happened…

…well, actually, nothing happened. Despite dire warnings from bloggers proclaiming the “10 online activities you must do every day to build a valuable personal brand”, nothing bad actually happened. In fact, my business grew.

The benefits of a social media sabbatical

  1. Rest. Being somewhat introverted, I can only handle so much social activity online or off. By the end of December, I felt beleaguered by the pressure to maintain a constant social media presence.
  1. Regained control over my
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Marketing

Do We Really Want New Voices at the Table?

Then let’s make the effort to find them and vote for them.

It’s election season at law societies across Canada

In the coming months, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario lawyers will elect the governors of their respective law societies and some change is inevitable. In Ontario, 17 of 40 incumbents are not running so the prospect of substantial change is very real. But whether it is a change of make-up or merely a change of bodies could depend entirely on the efforts voting lawyers put into learning about the candidates.

Quebec has a very long election season – opening . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Oscar Awards Databases

Film nerds can get all their Oscar-related facts from a series of databases supplied by the Margaret Herrick Library, the research library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Among the library’s many goodies are:

Enjoy tonight’s Awards show. Go . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous