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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Alberta Employment and Labour Law Reforms Passed

On June 7, 2017, outside of House sitting, Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act received royal assent. This means effective January 1, 2018, most of the new rules updating employment and labour law in union and non-union Alberta workplaces will come into force. Other provisions will come into effect when the Act receives Royal Assent. However, the youth employment provisions which will only come into effect on proclamation and will probably be at a later date to allow consultations on the regulations defining hazardous and light work. The essential services changes come into force effective May 25, 2017. The . . . [more]

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

LexisNexis Seeks to Turn Lawyers Into Data Analysts

We often discuss here on Slaw the future of legal publishers, especially in a digital era. Although some of them have tinkered in-house with their own technological and big data solutions, none have independently brought anything revolutionary to the market to date.

Instead, what we might expect is that these legal powerhouses will either partner up with startups, such as with Thomson Reuters and Blue J Legal last year, or will simply purchase them outright.

In some ways, these patterns are not unique. Quicklaw was first created by the late Hugh Lawford at Queen’s University in 1973. Steven McMurray . . . [more]

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

Ontario Labour Relations Act Reforms Underway

On June 1, 2017, Bill 148, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 was tabled in legislature. The measures amend the Labour Relations Act and include some of the following:

1. Union certification

  • Establish card-based union certification rather than voting, for the temporary-help agency industry, the building services sector and home-care and community services industry.
  • Make the following changes to the union certification process:
    • Eliminating certain conditions for remedial union certification-allowing unions to more easily get certified when an employer engages in misconduct that contravenes the LRA;
    • Making access to first contract arbitration easier, and also adding an intensive mediation component
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Upcoming Alberta Employment and Labour Law Changes

After a recent review of Alberta’s employment law, the Alberta government tabled Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act on May 24, 2017 to make a number of significant amendments to the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code. If enacted, the majority of changes will take effect January 1, 2018.

Both the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code have not been significantly updated in almost 30 years and according to the Alberta government, the nature of work and family life have changed a lot since then. . . . [more]

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

Ontario Employment Standards Act Reforms Underway

This article was updated June 1, 2017

On May 30, 2017, the Ontario government decided to move forward with some of the 173 recommendations from the Changing Workplace Review final report which includes broad ranging amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.

At the same time, the government also announced that they will be increasing the minimum wage effective January 1, 2018, which was not included in the report. . . . [more]

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

Build Good Practice Habits and Avoid Malpractice Claims: The New Lawyer

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

You are just beginning to build the habits that can help or hinder your practice in the long term. Consistency in how you deliver service – from the questions you ask at intake to the steps you take when the client leaves the office – is one of the foundations to protect yourself against malpractice claims. Simple procedures like asking the right questions by following an intake form and calendaring and tickling deadlines and court dates as soon as you know them are hallmarks of good practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Changing Workplaces Review Final Report: Sweeping Changes to Ontario Employment Law Coming

On May 23, 2017, the Government of Ontario released the Changing Workplaces Review final report by authors C. Michael Mitchell and John C. Murray. It contains 173 recommendations that recommend significant changes to Ontario employment law aiming to create better workplaces with decent working conditions and widespread compliance with the law. The authors consulted with workers, unions and businesses for two years on a wide range of work-related issues. This was the first independent review in Canada to consider specific legislative changes to both employment standards and labour relations in a single manner.

The following is a brief overview of . . . [more]

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

Reflections on Technology Changes in Real Estate Practice

This article is by Maurizio Romanin, President & CEO, LawyerDoneDeal Corp. & Nora Rock, Corporate Writer & Policy Analyst, LawPRO.

Facilitating transfers of real estate has been the bread-and-butter of thousands of Ontario lawyers for generations. Despite occasional market wobbles, real estate business has helped firms to flourish in communities of all sizes, often supporting the delivery of family, estates, commercial and even criminal law services. Healthy real estate practices support both lawyers’ own families and access to justice for their neighbours. But there is danger in taking the bread-and- butter work of one’s practice for granted, and in forgetting . . . [more]

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

Avoiding Limitation Period Pitfalls

This article is by Jordan Nichols, claims counsel at LAWPRO.

It is one of a lawyer’s worst nightmares: missing a limitation period. It can be a very easy mistake to make and yet the consequences can be enormous.

There are numerous “pitfalls” that can lead to missed limitation periods and other limitation period problems. Some of these pitfalls are relatively easy to avoid whereas others can trip up even the most skilled and careful of lawyers.

The following is an overview of some of the more common limitation period pitfalls that lawyers encounter and some tips on how to avoid . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

Evaluation Time for Unbundled Family Law Legal Services in BC

Back in January, BC lawyers received a host of new resources supporting unbundled legal service. Our organization helped launch the Family Law Unbundling Roster along with a toolkit for lawyers explaining why they should join. Unbundling is well described here.

Since then, conversations and buzz about unbundling has been doing the rounds here in BC and elsewhere:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Redesigning the Law Firm Before Redesigning the Culture

There are a number of ways to make the workplace safer in occupational health and safety theory, using the hierarchy of hazard controls.

The first approach is to introduce engineering controls and administrative changes. These systemic modifications are usually more cost-effective and have a bigger impact, because they will remove the harm in the workplace to begin with. The next approach is the use of personal protective equipment. With the right equipment, workers can minimize the impact of harms to them in the workplace. Finally, occupational health and safety will look to training, which can help foster better awareness . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

May Lawyers Accept Payment in Bitcoin?

A U.S. colleague with a technology practice was recently asked to take payment for her legal services in Bitcoin. She is not sure she has the right to do so.

What about in Canada? Would any law society here slow such payment? Do payments have to be more subject to regulation via known financial institutions? Certainly the rules about trust accounts demand traditional accounting. Why would a general payment with a digital currency be a problem, though? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Office Technology, ulc_ecomm_list