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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

In-Person Conferences: Will You Show Up?

I have been told the CBA Immigration section is the most active of all the sections within the CBA. For years, the highlight for this section has been the CBA Immigration Law Conference where we regularly see 400 to 500 practitioners descent into a Canadian city to discuss recent policy & program updates from IRCC & CBSA. We review significant caselaw and hear from the lawyers who argued those cases, including lawyers from the Department of Justice who offer their perspective, and we opine (sometimes with vigor) on all the changes we would like adopted. I have been attending these . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Office Technology

Factors to Consider When Bringing Your Next Civil Motion

“A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit”. – George Herbert

In Dalquee v Gandhi, 2022 ONSC 3521, the defendant brought a motion to strike the claim of the plaintiffs, without leave to amend. The relief was granted in part. The claim was struck. However, Justice Myers granted leave to the plaintiffs to deliver a fresh as amended statement of claim.

In reaching his decision, Justice Myers noted factors to consider when bringing a motion:

  • Civil litigation is about money. It is expensive and fraught with risk.
  • If the plaintiffs chose to draft the claim on
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Commentary on the LSO Competence Task Force Report

On May 26, 2022, Convocation is considering recommendations from the Competence Task Force. The key recommendations are outlined below:

  • Effective January 2024, all licensees who are designating as sole practitioners for the first time would be required to take a practice essentials course comprised of practical training on foundational practice and business management topics.
  • The Rules of Professional Conduct and the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines be amended to adopt the commentary regarding technological competence included in the Model Code of Professional Conduct.
  • The Certified Specialist Program be wound up, effective September 1, 2022, with:
    1. current Certified Specialists able to use
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

How Successful Law Firms Really Work

A book has come along that every lawyer who wishes to run a firm at its peak should not only have on his/her shelf but it should be well-thumbed, stained from coffee spills, its cover torn from constant use and sits on the corner of their desk within arm's reach for quick reference. I am speaking of "How Successful Law Firms Really Work" by David L. Ginsberg and Robert A. Feisee, published by the American Bar Association, Law Practice Division
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Are the Courts Slip-Sliding Away?

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

♫ Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip sliding away… ♫

Lyrics, Music and Recorded by Paul Simon.

Something extraordinary is taking place in Ontario.

Family law lawyer Russell Alexander of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Law Lawyers of Toronto and six other locations in Ontario, Canada has started an online petition on entitled: “Petition to Amend the Requirement For In Person Court Attendances.”

What are they petitioning for, you ask? Good question:

“We, the undersigned lawyers and paralegals who practise family law, hereby petition . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Litigator and Mental Health – a Must Read Article by Chief Justice Strathy of Ontario

In “The Litigator and Mental Health“, Chief Justice Strathy writes about mental health in our profession and what we can do to improve it. Unfortunately, practicing law can be damaging to one’s mental health. In fact, there is a strong correlation between traditional markers of success in the law and depression in lawyers.

One of the recommendations, Justice Strathy makes is eradicating the myth of the “fearless gladiator”. The fearless gladiator powers through long work hours with pride, never breaking emotionally, never taking time off, focuses exclusively on work, and has a stay-at-home spouse to take care of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Helpful Tips for Preparing Motions in the Court

Motions are a common in civil litigation. Despite this, it is still easy to make mistakes. Below are some helpful tips to consider when bringing a motion:

  • Before bringing the motion consider whether it is really worth it to bring the motion (consider the upside and downside, e.g. costs to the client, court time, looking unreasonable). See if the issue can be resolved by telephone or a case conference.
  • Narrow down the issues for the motion. Be focused. If you can consent on some parts in advance with opposing counsel, then do it.
  • Be clear on the relief that you
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Alberta Law Firm Discriminated Against Employee

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, published by First Reference Inc.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but in reading the decision Smorhay v Goodfellow Law, 2021 AHRC 170 (CanLII), one wonders how the employer did not foresee serious problems on the horizon. Corinne Smorhay was a legal assistant. She had worked in law offices before but had no construction law experience. Despite this, a headhunter recommended her to Goodfellow Law, a construction law firm that needed a secretary who could hit the ground running. When she was the only applicant who showed up for the interview, she got the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Should Law Firms Adopt a 4-Day Work Week?

With remote working becoming more popular, many companies are trying a 4-day work week. Even, some countries, such as Belgium and Iceland, are experimenting with a shortened workweek.

In the Forbes’ article, “Iceland Tried A Shortened Workweek And It Was An Overwhelming Success“, author Jack Kelly writes that between 2015 to 2019, Iceland conducted test cases of a 35-to-36-hour workweek. The study found that:

  • Productivity and service provision remained the same or improved across the majority of trial workplaces.
  • Worker well-being dramatically increased across a range of indicators, from perceived stress and burnout, to health and work-life balance.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Helpful Tips for Using CaseLines: Straight From the Court

CaseLines is being used in most court proceedings in Ontario. It is a technology that many counsel struggle with using. In the decision Bowman v Uwaifo, 2022 ONSC 678, Justice Myers provides advice on using CaseLines.

Below, I have summarized his recommendations in point form.

  1. Know the CaseLines page number for all documents uploaded to the platform. Counsel and litigants are expected to refer the court to documents using the page numbering in CaseLines. “All you have to do is tell the judge, ‘please go to page A100 or B-1-189’ and the judge can open the correct page
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Helpful Tips for Preparing Summary Judgment Motions – Basaraba v Bridal Image Inc.

In Basaraba v Bridal Image Inc., 2021 ONSC 8038, the defendants brought a motion for summary judgment to have a “slip and fall” case dismissed. The defendants lost the motion. In writing his decision, Justice Dunphy provided guidance on best practices for motions, as set out below:

  • To convince a court to hear a partial summary judgment motion, the party must show:

(i) Demonstrate that dividing the determination of this case into several parts will prove cheaper for the parties;

(ii) Show how partial summary judgment will get the parties’ case in and out of the court system more . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

What Do We Have the Right to Expect of Lawyers’ Conduct?

Do we have the right to expect lawyers to conduct themselves “better” or at a “higher plane” than ordinary mortals [😉] (that is, everybody else)? Or, put another way, do we have the right to impose on them what we, and perhaps others, consider to be acceptable behaviour?

Three recent situations involving lawyers make me wonder whether we do. I’m thinking of the expectations some people — I think mostly women — have who believe lawyers have an obligation to represent someone accused of sexual assault and the complainants in a particular way (focusing on the example of Marie . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law