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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Linguist Tongue-Lashes Jurist

One of the things I enjoy about reading the Language Log, a cooperative blog by academic linguists, is the ease with which some of the authors slip into high dudgeon. (I suppose I might be like that, too, if my subject were language, in which everyone is an expert.) The latest target of Geoff Pullum’s indignation is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, who, it turns out, doesn’t know his active from his passive, when it comes to voice.

The offending passage occurred in the judge’s dissent in Jones v. United States 526 U.S. 227 (1999) where Kennedy is interpreting a . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Study on Impact of Intervenors at Supreme Court of Canada

University of Toronto law professors Ben Alarie and Andrew Green have posted a draft of a new paper to the Social Science Research Network.

The paper is entitled Interventions at the Supreme Court of Canada: Accuracy, Affiliation, and Acceptance:

“Do interveners matter? Under Chief Justice McLachlin the Supreme Court of Canada has allowed an average of 176 interventions per calendar year and interveners have cumulatively made submissions in half of the cases heard by the Court. This level of activity suggests that interveners are doing something. But what is it that they are doing?”

“In the abstract, there are

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Successful Hiring in a Law Firm

It’s trite to say, but a truism nonetheless that the inherent success or lack thereof of a law firm lies in its people. The way a firm manages human resources determines its ability to attract, retain and motivate the talent necessary to be the superior and profitable organisation it seeks to be.

I recently read Who, authored by Randy Street and Geoff Smart. Geoff Smart is the son of Brad Smart, who wrote the seminal book Topgrading on how to recruit, hire and keep the right people for the right job to get excellent results.

The authors state their . . . [more]

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

University of Montreal’s Cyberjustice Project

Word came down recently that the University of Montreal’s Centre de recherche en droit public won a six million dollar grant “to create a research infrastructure in which to develop different software solutions to the many problems currently plaguing the justice system.” You can read the CRDP announcement here. The Cyberjustice Laboratory project will comprise a research facility, a “virtual courtroom” and a “transportable courtroom” housed at McGill University. The project is headed by Professor Karim Benyekhlef, Director of the CRDP, and by Nicolas Vermeys, Associate Director of the project.

The chart below will give you some idea of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Technology

Google Mobile GPS Services With Crowdsourcing

Just like Google’s Street View feature, which followed a Canadian launch after being tested in the American market, Google introduced this month traffic levels for major Canadian cities after almost three years of use in the U.S. In the past week the service was extended from mobile devices to web browsing as well. has offered much more limited traffic features for several years, but nothing even close to the level of detail or interactivity provided by Google.

Late this summer Google had expanded the service to include arterial roads, which was a major complaint among American users. They also . . . [more]

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

Metadata as Record

Tip of the hat to my friend and partner Stan Freedman, the Supreme Court of Arizona en banc this week held that if a public entity maintains a public record in an electronic format, then the electronic version, including any embedded metadata, is subject to disclosure under our public records laws.

The case involved an employment discrimination action by a Phoenix policeman David Lake who suspected that there had been some backdating or manipulation of his employee file. He moved to see access to the metadata.

As the Phoenix paper reported:

A suspicious Lake requested the metadata from the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

USA Border Searches of Laptops..

♫ Everyone has a secret
But can they keep it
Oh no they can’t…♫

Lyrics and music by: Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, recorded by Maroon 5.

The CBA has released: Laptop Searches at the Border: What the Revised U.S. Guidelines Say on their PracticeLink web page.

As they state:

For the frequent business traveller, it bears repeating: U.S. Customs officers have the authority to search and detain any device capable of storing electronic information for any reason; they can examine the electronic device without the traveller present; they can copy from the device or “detain” the device; . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Introducing practicePRO’s AvoidAClaim Blog

I’m very pleased to have practicePRO venturing into the blogosphere with the AvoidAClaim blog – AvoidAClaim has a narrow and specific focus: helping lawyers avoid legal malpractice claims.

In conjunction with practicePRO’s website,, AvoidAClaim will provide risk management, claims prevention and law practice management information to help lawyers proactively take steps to avoid legal malpractice claims, and to help them grow successful and thriving law practices.

I will be writing the majority of the posts on the AvoidAClaim blog, but from time to time there will be content from other LAWPRO staff, and other leaders in . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Supreme Court Judgment on Fiduciary Obligation

The Supreme Court has just released its judgment in the case of Galambos v. Perez, 2009 SCC 48 (CanLII). The opinion of the court was written by Cromwell J., his second[1. His first was R. v. Godin, 2009 SCC 26 (CanLII)], I believe, since his installation on the court, and concurred in by all eight other members of the court.

This judgment might be of special interest to the bar as it deals with relations between a bookkeeper for a small firm and the bankrupt firm. Essentially, the bookkeeper and de facto office manager loaned large sums . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Report on Canadian Common Law Degree Requirements

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada Task Force on the Canadian Common Law Degree has submitted its final report [PDF]. According to the Report:

The Federation appointed this Task Force in June 2007 to review the existing academic requirements for entry to bar admission programs and to recommend any modifications that might be necessary.

The Report recommends, among other things, that the law societies across the country adopt a “uniform national requirement for entry to their bar admission programs.” The proposed national standard comprises requirements that direct themselves at Canadian law schools, effectively controlling aspects of the curriculum of . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

InnovAction Awards 2009 Winners

I just noticed we never mentioned the latest InnovAction Awards winner announced in September! This year’s winner is New Family Organization created by Irit Rosenblum in Israel.

From InnovAction:

Irit Rosenblum broke fresh ground defending a universal right to family as intrinsic to the practice of law. Rosenblum pioneered a new sphere of legal rights surrounding the family based on the conviction that the rights to marry, divorce, have children, bequeath and inherit assets, and conduct family life are human rights and must be attainable to all regardless of faith, nationality, sexual orientation or status. She founded New Family to

. . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law