Two recent cases out of Ontario’s Superior Court, Papp v Stokes Economic Consulting Inc., (Papp) and Kanak v Riggin, (Kanak), provide guidance to employers on avoiding liability when giving employment references. Although in both Papp and Kanak the employers were cleared of any liability, both cases confirm that employers can be found liable for defamation when providing a negative reference. . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Practice of Law’
Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 received second reading on October 18 and was sent to Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs for further review and possible additional amendments.
Before the Bill received second reading, three draft regulations for public consultation were tabled at the Ontario Regulatory Registry to support the implementation of the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act amendments under Bill 148. In addition, as part of the employment and labour standards review that brought about the changes found in Bill 148, the Ontario government is seeking public input to help make workplaces . . . [more]
This blogpost addresses a second shortcoming in the foundational framing and materials for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s unfolding Dialogue on Licensing. In Part 1, I argued that the initial arguments and subsequent materials that have framed the Dialogue do not provide a clear or compelling demonstration of a ‘need for change’ in the current system for licensing of lawyers in Ontario. In this Part 2, I argue that a further shortcoming is a failure to adequately acknowledge the relevance of the ongoing inaccessibility of justice in Ontario. Proper recognition of access to justice issues could provide the . . . [more]
On September 11, 2017, an amended version of Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 was ordered for second reading and is currently being debated. Amendments to Bill 148 so far include: . . . [more]
With the rise of technology, new programs are being created to predict the outcome of legal cases. These programs are often built on algorithms.
These algorithms generate outcomes by applying the facts of previously decided cases to the facts inputted by users. This means that the quality of the prediction is only as good as the data inputted by both the user and the programmer.
However, these programs should come with a warning. In “Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era” by Professor Daniel Levitin he states:
. . . [more]
GIGO is a famous saying coined by early computer scientists:
This article is by Nora Rock, corporate writer and policy analyst at LAWPRO.
As a child, did you step carefully over every sidewalk crack? Tap each post of the hockey net before settling into the crease? Wear your lucky socks to every law school exam?
Even those of us who scorn superstition rely on routines and rituals for our own protection: we swallow a daily multivitamin, fasten our seatbelts, return our passport to the drawer after a trip. Routines conserve mental energy, allowing us to sidestep day-to-day hazards while saving our intellectual energy for novel or challenging problems.¹
Building routines . . . [more]
“Apps’” (as used herein, means the application of software to create electronic systems, programs, processes, devices, etc., in relation to legal services) are being developed in many locations. They appear to be an important part of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s (LSUC’s) response to the unaffordable legal services problem (“the problem”). It exists because the method of producing legal services dictates that there can be no economies-of-scale in the practice of law, i.e., the cost of production cannot be lowered by greater volumes of production. To gain the necessary economies of scale, support services methods . . . [more]
“I’ve never been more optimistic more excited about where we’re going with technology than I am today. This is just an absolute, I mean, we’re in the middle of a revolution and I think it’s going to completely impact how we deliver legal services. And I actually think that in this space, in the nonprofit legal aid space, we’re going to make great strides in this, and kind of lead the way in many ways.”–IV Ashton
It goes without saying that law school does not teach us how to run an office. For that, I have had to learn on the job, one step at a time. When I founded this firm 2 1/2 years ago, I blocked off Friday afternoons for managing the business end. Of course, the busier I got on the legal side, the more time I needed to spend on business tasks. Thankfully, there is no need to reinvent the wheel and there are many easy solutions out there for sole practitioners – once you find them. For office management and . . . [more]
Five Canadian provinces are increasing the general minimum wage rate October 1, 2017 as follows: Alberta ($13.60), Manitoba ($11.15), Newfoundland and Labrador ($11.00), Ontario ($11.60) and Saskatchewan ($10.96). The general minimum wage rate increase results in corresponding increases to other rates in the respective provinces.
Note that British Columbia’s general minimum wage increased September 15, 2017 to $11.35 per hour. Other provincial minimum wage rates were also adjusted at that time. . . . [more]
A new Practice Direction from Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench reflects increasing acceptance of the fact that litigants without lawyers are no longer an anomaly in civil litigation. The notice sets out that contested motions and applications involving at least one self-representing litigant must be set for a case management conference before a contested hearing takes place. This is already the norm for contested motions in the Family Division of the Court of Queen’s Bench, regardless whether there is a self-represented party, but is new in the Civil Division.
Other than the procedural change, two specific aspects of the . . . [more]
We’ve made great advances in recent years in Canada in examining mental health in the legal profession, and prior, in law school.
In large part this can be attributed to Orlando da Silva, former President of the Ontario Bar Association, who used his term as the head of the largest legal organization in Ontario to bring attention to his own personal plights. Da Silva was awarded the Law Society Medal last year for these contributions.
Similar conversations are occurring south of the border as well. One of the most prominent ones is a new series on Above the Law called . . . [more]