Syria. The scale of displacement, destruction, violence, and victimhood is unprecedented by all standards. The UN refugee organisation UNHCR tells us that 6.5 million people are internally displaced and that there are over 5 million people who have fled Syria to other countries. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported in March this year that the war had killed 465.000 people; current estimates are at over half a million. Statistics from UN Habitat say that 760.000 housing units have been destroyed, that 50% of the hospitals don’t function; the numbers are probably much higher. I have talked to credible . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Practice of Law’
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
- 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.
It is all part . . . [more]
On November 1, 2017, the Ontario government tabled Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017, which would, if enacted, create the Cannabis Act, 2017 to provide the provincial framework for the upcoming federal Bill C-45, Cannabis Act that will legalize cannabis in Canada in July 1, 2018. . . . [more]
OK, I’m going to talk about AI and unauthorized practice in just a second, but first…
Who can resist those stories with the teen genius? The wunderkind trope. That Dutch teen with the Boomy McBoomface contraption setting out to heal our polluted oceans. That Mark Zuckerberg fella circa 2004, with the other face thingy.
Who is not in awe of an uncalloused mind lit by bedazzling precociousness and disarmingly naive ambition?
This post originally appeared on the OsgoodePD Blog.
Technology has had a fundamental effect on most professions. It has standardized and simplified processes, removed labour intensive elements, and increased efficiency of how products and services are developed and sold. Most importantly, it has made it necessary for those in the profession to adapt and change who does the work, what the work is, and how the work is done.
Law and the practice of law has, in many ways, remained relatively untouched. That is until now!
Yes, computers and email have transformed how lawyers communicate and do their work, . . . [more]
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]
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]