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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

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

Influencing Organizational Culture Through Office Design

“I must be on the wrong floor.” When I walked into the new Vancouver office of Miller Thomson LLP, I thought I’d pressed the wrong elevator button and ended up in a high tech firm. Two receptionists were perched on barstools at a circular, high-top station, rather than behind a long desk. I could see past them into an open-office area where lawyers and staff were working side by side. The whole floor was filled with sunlight. To my relief, I spied the wall of bound legal texts and realized that I had indeed arrived at my destination.

Office design . . . [more]

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

A Simple Habit to Avoid Missing Deadlines

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

Here at Claims Prevention & practicePRO we often talk about “baby steps”. The big idea is taking baby steps can help make you a more effective lawyer. There isn’t necessarily One Big Thing that will magically turn you into a great lawyer. This idea is explored in Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business. The book explains that a good habit is made up of four key elements: (1) a cue which triggers a response; (2) a routine . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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

Fifth Bibliography on Access to Justice From National Self-Represented Litigants Project

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) has published Version 5 of its Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography.

From the description on the NSRLP website:

“Version 5 of the Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography includes over
100 summaries on access-to-justice material in the Canadian, American,
and International context. Our latest updated Version 5 contains a
specific section dedicated to unbundling and legal coaching, reflecting
the increasing attention being given to these areas (…)”

The NSRLP, which flows out of the work conducted by Dr. Julie Macfarlane, Faculty of Law of the University of Windsor, describes itself as a clearinghouse . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Lessons Learned in Criminal Law

I recently read Adam Dodek’s post for Slaw entitled “Letter to A Future Lawyer” where he provides some great words of advice to those being called to the bar. The piece reminded me of a document that I kept on my laptop during my articling that was titled ‘Lessons Learned.” As I fumbled through some of the various procedural mazes of the courthouse, my goal was to only make each mistake once. For the last seven years I have learned a lot more, and here are my best seven tips for those lawyers joining the ranks.

1. Be . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

Bachelor in Paradise and the Issue Over Consent

Last week, news reports exploded about the television show Bachelor in Paradise, a reality show about contestants finding love. It was alleged that one of the contestants was too drunk to consent to a sexual encounter with another contestant. The whole thing was caught on tape, and soon after the tape was viewed production was halted. TMZ reports that the contestant’s boyfriend believed “she was way too drunk to give consent, and strongly believes producers and medical staffers should have intervened.”

The news story is highly controversial and has dominated headlines. The headlines have hit a nerve, and have sparked . . . [more]

Posted in: 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