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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

The Future of Lawyer Licensing: In Defense of an LPP-Like Program for Articling

Knowledge is fundamentally what the professions offer. As we transform from a print-based society to a technology-based Internet society, the role of the profession will change.

In “The Future of the Professions”, Richard and Daniel Suskind define knowledge as having particular characteristics. Its use by one does not diminish what is left for others. It can be turned into machine-processable bits. It is difficult to prevent non-payers from using it. For now knowledge resides in the heads of professionals, in books, in systems of their institutions. However, this is at odds with how knowledge is shared in a technology-Internet based . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Rethinking the Role of Professional Membership Organizations

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is quoted as saying the only thing that is constant is change.” As lawyers, we often resist the tides of changes, by resting on the comfort of status quo and the notion that stare decisis is written in stone.

The Court in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) recognized that the doctrine of precedent is fundamental to our legal system, as it provides some certainty, but stated at para 44,

However, stare decisis is not a straitjacket that condemns the law to stasis.

Changing societal contexts and shifts in our understanding of the law have allowed the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Right to Terminate Group Benefits at 65 on the Road to a Successful Challenge

The number of workers over the age of 65 has risen significantly in recent years. The increasing number of older employees who choose to remain in the workplace, combined with the elimination of mandatory retirement across Canada, has put into question the issue of the termination of benefits after an employee reaches the age of 65.

While most employers routinely terminate benefits at age 65, the changing workforce demographic has created a demand for benefits coverage for older workers. However, providing benefits to employees past the age of 65 can be difficult because insurers either will not provide the coverage, . . . [more]

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

Should Mandatory CLE Require Technology in Particular?

Some states in the US, notably now including North Carolina and Florida, require that part of one’s mandatory continuing legal education include education on techology. Florida’s rule requires three hours over three years – so an hour a year, but if one took a three-hour course (which might be a more useful format than three one-hour sessions), one could fulfill the duty. At least in NC, their annual requirement is 12 hours, same as in Ontario.

This is all in the context of the ABA’s Professional Conduct rules – adopted in many states – that expressly requires competence in matters . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law, ulc_ecomm_list

The Future of Lawyer Licensing in Ontario – Consultation on Four Options

On May 24, 2018, the Law Society of Ontario released a consultation paper to launch the second phase of its comprehensive analysis of the lawyer licensing process. Developed by the Professional Development and Competence Committee, the document outlines possible options for a long-term appropriate and sustainable licensing system for lawyer licensing candidates in Ontario.

The consultation paper follows last year’s Dialogue on Licensing, which looked at the realities, challenges and opportunities of lawyer licensing in the province. Throughout the Dialogue, the Law Society heard a wide range of views from lawyers, licensing candidates, law students, academics and legal organizations, highlighting . . . [more]

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

Published Criteria for Reasonable Accommodation Under Quebec’s Face Covering Law

On May 9, 2018, the Quebec government published its criteria for reasonable accommodation under an Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality and, in particular, to provide a framework for requests for accommodations on religious grounds in certain bodies (the Act, previously Bill 62) that requires among other things, Quebecers to leave their faces uncovered in order to provide or receive public services.

Under the Act, employees and members of public bodies and certain other bodies, as well as elected persons, must exercise their functions with their face uncovered. In addition, persons who request a service from one of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Gmail Confidential for Lawyers

Law month, Google released new features for its paying customers of Gmail, including Gmail Confidential Mode. The initial announcement stated,

Today, we’re introducing a new approach to information protection: Gmail confidential mode. With confidential mode, it’s possible to protect sensitive content in your emails by creating expiration dates or revoking previously sent messages. Because you can require additional authentication via text message to view an email, it’s also possible to protect data even if a recipient’s email account has been hijacked while the message is active.

Built-in Information Rights Management (IRM) controls also allow you to remove the option

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Public Holiday Pay Calculations Will Change (Again) Effective July 1, 2018

On May 7, 2018, the Ontario government filed Ontario Regulation 375/18 under the Employment Standards Act, to change temporarily how public holiday is to be paid and calculated. In essence, the government is reverting back to the old formula that was in place before the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) came into force January 1, 2018. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

New, Extended and More Flexible Statutory Leaves in British Columbia

On April 12, 2018, the British Columbia government granted third reading to Bill 6, Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2018 to better support working families by providing new, extended and more flexible maternity, parental and compassionate care leaves. The Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent. Specifically, when enacted, the Bill will: . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Universal Pharmacare in Canada

The federal Standing Committee on Health is recommending a single-payer, universal prescription drug plan for Canada. The recommendation came in its report Pharmacare Now: Prescription Medicine Coverage for all Canadians (in PDF), tabled in the House of Commons on April 18, 2018. . . . [more]

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

Hipster Antitrust’s Potential to Make Competition Law Sexy Again

A renewed scrutiny of corporate governance was inevitable in light of the current political climate and the backdrop of the recent recession and notable market failures.

This revisionist approach towards competition law expands the scrutiny beyond notions of consumer welfare standards into non-traditional economic considerations like fairness, underemployment, income inequality, wealth concentration and broader social contexts. Derisively referred to as “Hipster Antitrust,” it finds its modern roots in America in the 1978 text The Antitrust Paradox by Robert Bork, which has already influenced American competition law. Hipster Axntitrust would go further and reconsider historical assumptions in a new information economy . . . [more]

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

AODA: Improving Accessibility Standards for Employment

The Ontario government is updating the accessible employment standards to make employment more accessible to people with disabilities. Consequently, the Employment Standards Development Committee would like to get interested stakeholders and the public’s feedback on the initial recommendations to the 2018 Review of the Employment Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

The following is the Employment Standards Development Committee’s initial advice and recommendations on the initial proposed Employment Standards, itemized and organized by focus area, and some thoughts. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation