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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

Riverview Law Sees the World Through EY

The recent announcement of EY’s proposed acquisition of one hundred percent of the shares in Riverview Law (closing at the end of August, 2018) has elicited a number of different responses around the globe all speculating on what this transaction means for the future of legal services? Was this a lifeline to Riverview Law? Will clients really want legal and accounting to be done by the same firm? Aren’t the Big Four just marginally less clunky than Biglaw? Will BigLaw be worried? Some of those comments are here.

But like all fast-breaking stories, there is some fog. So it’s . . . [more]

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

List of Fastcase 50 Legal Innovators for 2018

Fastcase, an American-based provider of electronic versions of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions), has unveiled its list of Fastcase 50 winners for the year 2018.

“Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions.

Simon Fodden, the founder of Slaw.ca, was recognized as one of the Fastcase 50 in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

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

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

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

Artificial Intelligence: What Is AI and Will It Really Replace Lawyers?

This article appeared in the February 2018 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

If you scanned social media or the headlines in many online or print-based newspapers or magazines published in 2017, you were pretty much guaranteed to see posts and articles on artificial intelligence (AI).

Most of these articles suggest that AI is in the process of fundamentally changing our lives at work, home and play. And if you believe the comments in these articles, the good news is that we will have more free time to enjoy virtual-reality worlds and have our self-driving cars take us around the countryside. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Deloitte Class Action Indicative of Legal Future

Earlier this year, Justice Perell approved a replacement class representative in Sondhi v. Deloitte Management Services LP on a motion for what has already been an exhausting certification process in a class proceeding.

The matter involves a class, who although technically are lawyers, have not been considered as such by their employer or the parties procuring their services. These members typically consist of younger lawyers and new graduates who have been unable to otherwise find employment as lawyers in a traditional context.

I do know many of these young lawyers. I know that they are bright and talented, and would . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Cryptocurrencies, Discovery and Financial Statements

One of a family lawyer’s main duties is to have their client’s back when it comes to financial consequences of marriage and separation, whether it’s a cohabitation agreement, a trial, or an application to vary support because of a change of circumstances. Reasonable precautions to probe and investigate the parties’ financial affairs, including investments and business activities, are almost always required. And sometimes proactive measures are needed to protect assets pending distribution by agreement or court order.

The law has evolved, both substantively and procedurally, to equip lawyers with a variety of tools to ensure honest financial disclosure—from simple financial . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Perspectives on the Future of Law – How the Professional Should Respond to Major Disruptions

This article appeared in the February 2018 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

The legal profession is in the midst of significant change, and is headed into a period where there will be even greater change. These changes are driven by disruptions that alter the very nature of how traditional legal services have been performed and provided to clients for decades. These disruptions include:

  • access to justice
  • client empowerment
  • technology
  • alternative legal service providers

This article will give some insights into these disruptors and suggest how members of the legal profession can respond to them.

What is a non-lawyer?

To start, a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Beyond the Bitcoin Crash: Ontario Law Lays a Foundation for Enforceable Smart Contracts

The not-so-smart money has pushed the price of a Bitcoin well above US$6,000. The crash is inevitable. The first-mover “cryptocurrency” is based on an inefficient proof of work model designed for anonymous transactions on a public network. The next generation of blockhain developers, like those working on the Ethereum platform, are less interested in the ideology of anonymous transactions than the practicality of efficient business applications. Corporate adopters like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance have already noted the pace of migration from anonymous public blockchain networks to a combination of public and permissioned private networks. Since “altcoin” currencies are not . . . [more]

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

British Columbia Law Institute Blog Series on Financing Litigation

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) recently published a Study Paper on Financing Litigation that looks at six financing models that have emerged both in Canada and internationally that can help litigants pay for litigation:

  • Unbundled legal services
  • Third-party litigation funding
  • Alternative fee arrangements
  • Crowdfunding
  • Legal expense insurance
  • Publicly funded litigation funds

The Institute has started a 6-part blog series on the topic. Each blog post will showcase one of the financing models.

Two posts have appeared so far.

The first post is on Unbundled Legal Services. The second is on Third-Party Litigation Funding.

It is all part . . . [more]

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