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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

The Chronic Pain of Using Brain Imaging in Legal Proceedings

Aside from a robust knowledge in anatomy and physiology or radiation physics, there’s not much I can use my background in nuclear medicine technology in the practice of law. Which is why in 2009 I noted here the growing and emerging use of diagnostic imaging in sentencing and trials.

Since that time there has been quite a bit of developments in diagnostic imaging and its use in medico-legal work. One of the newest developments is its use for chronic pain. The economic costs of chronic pain are estimated to be over $600 billion in the U.S. Part of the challenge . . . [more]

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

Privacy Information: Cookieless Identification and Tracking of Devices

This blog post is entirely written by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, for First Reference Talks. Christina is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Western Ontario with a focus on privacy law.

On August 21, 2017, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released an informative piece regarding cookieless identification and tracking of devices. Interestingly, there is a new technique called, “fingerprinting”, which can work to enable website operators, advertising companies, and other organizations to track users – even when they clear their cookies. The document explains the implications and what people can do to protect their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet

Asking the Right Questions at the 2017 Isaac Pitblado Lectures

It is said that change is the one constant in life. While personally, I’ve no reason to doubt the truth of that statement, as a member of the legal profession for the past 20(+) years, I sometimes have questioned whether others in the profession would argue against it. We are a profession reliant upon precedent, adept at identifying and avoiding risk and often, slow to adapt to the changing world around us.

Taking on this inherent resistance to new ways of lawyering, I’ve heard Jordan Furlong ask his audiences some variant of the question: If you weren’t already doing it . . . [more]

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

Crossing Borders With Digital Devices

Lots of lawyers have been worried about having their digital devices inspected at the U.S. border in recent years, and more so under the current administration – but there are other countries that are not generally trusted either.

The New York City Bar Association has issued an ethics opinion telling lawyers they need to take special steps to protect confidential and privileged client information in such circumstances – possibly including using ‘burner’ phones or laptops (ones with no confidential info, and that the owner can burn or otherwise just throw away after coming back from the country in question).

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Artificial Intelligence and the Legal Profession

Artificial Intelligence is going to have a disruptive effect on the legal profession. The question is how soon, how much, and what areas of law come first. This kind of disruptive change builds up slowly, but once it hits a tipping point, it happens quickly.

Futurist Richard Worzel wrote an article titled Three Things You Need to Know About Artificial Intelligence that is worth a read. Here are some excerpts:

Every once in while, something happens that tosses a huge rock into the pond of human affairs. Such rocks include things like the discovery of fire, the invention of the . . . [more]

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

Regulating the Future Flows of Big Data Overseas

The relevance of big data and artificial intelligence transcends process improvements in law alone, and will increasingly become the a significant subject matter within law. The impetus for this will be the increased reliance that private industries place on the collection, use and disclosure of consumer information.

Ramona Pringle of the CBC recently stated,

There was a time that oil companies ruled the globe, but “black gold” is no longer the world’s most valuable resource — it’s been surpassed by data.

“Data is clearly the new oil,” says Jonathan Taplin, director emeritus of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and

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

British Columbia Human Rights Commission Coming Back After 15 Years

On August 4, 2017, the newly elected NDP government announced that they will “re-establish a human rights commission to fight inequality and discrimination in all its forms.” . . . [more]

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

A Few Good Practice Habits: Examination for Discovery

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

An examination for discovery often marks the point in which you really sink your teeth into a case. The parties and opposing counsel come to a face-to-face meeting, and key evidence comes out, warts and all. Much of the exploration in an examination for discovery will uniquely depend on the specific witness and the answers that are drawn out. But some answers call for a habitual, routine response. Here are some good practice habits to use at examinations for discovery and avoid malpractice claims.

 

Your Notes: . . . [more]

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

Company That Released Result of Employee’s Drug Test Contravened Privacy Law

Written by Cristina Lavecchia, Editor, First Reference Inc.

An employee working for a an international trucking company that is considered a federally regulated employer alleged that while his accident claim was active with a provincial workers’ compensation board (WCB), his employer informed the WCB, without his knowledge and consent, that he had tested positive in a drug test.

According to the employer, they were required to disclose this information by law. However, the WCB and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada both affirmed that the circumstances in this case did not require the employer to make such a . . . [more]

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

New Report: Parenting Assessments and Their Use in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia

The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family has just released a new report on parenting assessments, prepared by Calgary articled student and UBC graduate, Zoe Suche. These assessments, also called “custody and access reports” and “bilateral assessments,” are usually requested when the views and opinions of an independent expert are needed to help separated parents or the court determine the parenting arrangements that are in the best interests of minor children. The report uses a mixed methodology of case law research and interviews with assessors, and examines practice and procedure in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

Ms . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Public Hearings on Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act

The Ontario Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs met from July 10 to July 14, 2017 (we were informed that hearings are continuing to July 21, 2017, Hamilton is today and Toronto closes the tour tomorrow) to consider and hold public hearings on Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. The Bill amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and makes related amendments to other Acts. The government wanted to be sure that there are no unintended consequences because the changes in the Bill contain complex policies. . . . [more]

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

Modernizing the Law of Wills in the UK – Should Canada Follow Suit?

The UK Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) has just notified its members as follows:

The UK Law Commission has on 13 July 2017 published its new consultation paper, “Making a Will”. The paper sets out the case for reform of this largely Victorian area of the law, makes provisional proposals and asks questions. Based on estimates that 40% of people who die every year haven’t made a will the Commission wants to make sure that the law around wills is working for everyone. It believes that the law of wills can do more to protect the vulnerable . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice