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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Of Learning to Re-Think the CBA

We have 11 days left to re-think the Canadian Bar Association. No pressure at all. But if you want to help, put on your rethinking cap.

I don’t represent or speak for the CBA in any way, but last Friday I did take part in a “Re-Think” session held at a Richmond airport hotel. I at least feel sufficiently authorized to draw attention to the work being done—which is nothing less than a stem-to-stern review and, if necessary, a redefinition of what the CBA does.

The room was filled with a few dozen people: dedicated members of our . . . [more]

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

Recommind to Host Canadian eDiscovery Socials

As you can see from the latest banner on the top of Slaw, Recommind Inc. is set to host a series of eDiscovery Socials in June. The company has arranged for three of their senior thinkers to come to Toronto (June 17th), Calgary (June 24th) and Montreal (June 25th) to discuss everything from big data trends and advanced analytics to new methods for targeted document review.

It’s also worth noting that these events are intended to be networking events and not a sales spiel. The goal is simply to connect with professionals in Canadian firms that are either facing difficult . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Do Real Names Lead to Civility?

It has long been thought that using real names in Internet comments increases the civility of the comments. Here is a large-scale study purporting to demonstrate that this is true.

Anonymity and Online Commenting: The Broken Windows Effect and the End of Drive-by Commenting

The abstract:

In this study we ask how regulations about commenter identity affect the quantity and quality of discussion on commenting fora. In December 2013, the Huffington Post changed the rules for its comment forums to require participants to authenticate their accounts through Facebook. This enabled a large-scale ‘before and after’ analysis. We collected over 42m

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, ulc_ecomm_list

Lean and Efficient

Alberta has new government. 21 days post-election, this is not news, but I am certain that there are Slawyers who are wondering what a new government in Alberta actually means. From the news release post swearing in of Premier Notley and her cabinet:

The new Cabinet is lean and efficient, and is firmly focused on solving the challenges that face Alberta. The newly sworn-in Ministers will partner with Alberta’s job creators – in energy, forestry, agriculture, high-tech, tourism and small business – to grow and diversify our economy.

I am delighted that Premier Notley did not significantly amalgamate or restructure . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Reading: Learning, Lounging and Escaping

I did it. I read a hundred books (#100Books) on my sabbatical. The whole list can be found here. Why did I do it? I set off to read 100 books because I felt I could and I should.

As lawyers, we spend so much of our time reading but so little time reading books. I can remember years when I’m not sure if I read a single book outside of work. Even as a law professor, I would only read two or three books of fiction a year. As a law student, I took a course called “Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics, 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