Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

A Tale of Two (ODR) Projects

There are two ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) pilot projects currently in BC. One is aimed at family law cases and the other is aimed at low-value civil claims. Both involve using online dispute resolution technologies to demonstrate how ODR can be used to bridge distances and solve disputes between parties.
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Being Management-Side Labour and Employment Lawyer…

First of all, I’d like to thank Simon Fodden for inviting me to contribute to the site. It really is an honour to be able to contribute to such a well-rounded and popular blog.

Like my colleague Genevieve Lay (who also blogs on the site), I am a labour and employment lawyer at Ogilvy Renault LLP in Montreal. As a firm, we generally only represent employers. In thinking about how to introduce myself to the Slaw.ca community with my first post, I thought it best to talk about what I do and why I do it. Part of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Local Information Sharing – QR on Lawyers’ Cards, Bump

There’s been something of a buzz lately among the law marketing crowd about putting QR codes on business cards — typically on the back, because they are ugly. (See, e.g. Shatterbox, Larry Bodine, ABA Journal.) It’s taken a while for this technology to percolate down to lawyers:these pixelated squares have been around for a few years now and mentioned more than once on Slaw: QR Code; Possibilities of Barcodes; QR Codes & Mobile Marketing. The thought is that a contact need only snap a photograph of your QR code to be provided with whatever . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

White Paper on Mandatory Land Title E-Filing in BC

Following the first phase announcement of mandatory e-filing for certain BC land title documents that came on March 11th, Dye & Durham has developed and issued a new white paper discussing many of the issues to be faced by BC lawyers and notaries during the upcoming transition period.

The paper outlines the planning background behind the LTSA’s move toward mandatory e-filing, current usage rates of the EFS, training received by BC lawyers (only 4 in 10 surveyed), and the evolving digital role for BC Registry Agents.

As the author of the paper (and full disclosure, a client of ours), Dye . . . [more]

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

Dealing With Difficult Judges

The latest edition of LAWPRO’s webzine has a number of articles specifically for litigators. One of them is an excellent paper from Justice Carole Curtis called Dealing with Difficult Judges.

Litigators of all stripes will find helpful reminders and suggestions on such topics as knowing your judge, planning strategy in advance, avoiding ‘head butting’, and protecting the record, your client and your reputation.

Justice Curtis alse describes the categories of difficult judges, and attempts to answer the question of the frustrated litigator: what does the judge want? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading

Data Vulnerabilities for Apple and Dropbox

As those who read me will know, I’m a big fan of Apple products, the proud user of an iPhone. And I think Dropbox is a cloud with silver on the outside and on the lining. In the last couple of days I’ve learned about vulnerabilities for each that make me realize again how exposed my data are and make me more determined to learn about — and use — encryption.

About a month ago I wrote about a German politician who was alarmed at the detailed nature and the duration of the data kept by his service provider ( . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Office Technology

Lawyers’ Self Governance Under Threat?

I was surprised to learn, browsing through Bencher election material, that in the UK solicitors have lost the right of exclusive self-governance.

According to candidate Graeme Mew in the UK, self-governance of the profession has been “severely limited”. Solicitors in England & Wales, who used to be regulated by their Law Society, are now regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (“SRA”) which is overseen by a Legal Services Board (“LSB”). It is appointed by the government. According to Mew, “The obvious concern is that the governance of the profession will be influenced by government objectives which, in the UK, currently . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Law Might Be Code

Larry Lessig is famous for, among many other things, his dictum that “Code is law,” meaning that code in both legal and computer senses is a means of social control. Turns out, unsurprisingly, that people at his former home of Stanford University are working to see if they can actually make laws into computer code.

The wonderfully named Hammurabi Project from Stanford’s Center for Computers and Law is converting a few patches of U.S. legislation into machine readable C# in an attempt to express the logic and relationships of those provisions in a way that might allow facts . . . [more]

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

LinkedIn Tips and Tricks

The features on professional networking site LinkedIn change frequently, so it is worth spending some time periodically to update your profile.

Earlier this month I attended the AIIP (Association of Independent Information Professionals) annual conference. I took a bit of extra time to attend one of the pre-conference workshops put on by Scott Brown, owner of Social Information Group, on using LinkedIn. It was good to have a current, detailed look at the network and its current features.

Allow me to share a few things I learned:

  • some of the formatting options are hidden under unrelated sections in
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

Does Sugar Cause Cancer?

In this New York Times article, Gary Taubes joins two apparently well established medical facts:

  • sugar causes liver fat, and consequently insulin resistance, resulting in elevated insulin levels
  • insulin encourages the growth of cancerous tumours

Would this relationship be a basis for legal action? The Canadian sugar industry ships $800 million worth annually. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

The Plague of Email Disclaimers

The topic has entered my ken a couple of times recently from unconnected sources (here at the ABA TechShow and in the Economist), so I figure the time may be ripe to do something about the plague of verbiage that infects the bottoms of many emails sent by “important” firms and people. I’m talking about the disclaimers that tell the recipient — often in 8 point type — that the email may contain privileged information, is meant only for the person to whom it is addressed, and should be eaten if it winds up in the wrong hands.

Although . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Justice on a Full Stomach

A new study of Israeli judges reported on recently in the Globe and Mail strongly suggests that if you’re a prisoner looking for leniency, you may want to wait until His Honour has finished his cream cheese and lox.

Researchers studied 1112 rulings by Israeli judges presiding over parole hearings. At the opening of the court session, 65% of rulings favoured the prisoner but the chance of a favourable ruling dropped nearly to zero by the end of the morning session. Amazingly, after the lunch break favourable prisoner rulings jumped back to the 65% level before beginning a steady decline . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law