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Canadian Judicial Council Annual Report

The Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) has just released its 2012-2013 Annual Report, aussi disponible en français, naturellement.

The Report noted the publication during the year of three informational documents related to the role of technology:

Judicial conduct, one of the key concerns of the CJC, will be the subject of review:

In the coming months, Council will consider how best to engage stakeholders and other Canadians to explore all and any appropriate avenues

. . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading

Practice Pitfalls: Franchise Law

In the September 2010 issue of LAWPRO Magazine, we asked our claims counsel about what they feel are the biggest malpractice hazards in each area of law based on the claims files they work on every day. Here is an excerpt from that article dealing with franchise law. Click here to read the full article “Practice Pitfalls”.

Acting for franchisors can be particularly risky for lawyers, warns LAWPRO Claims Counsel Anna Reggio. Although some franchisors are large multinationals, many are small and relatively unsophisticated businesses.

One area of risk involves the onerous disclosure requirements imposed upon a franchisor by the . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Jordan Furlong on Emerging Law Librarian Roles

Law librarians, law practitioners, and others interested in thoughts on the future of law practice will be interested in a provocative new piece by Jordan Furlong: The Future is Now: Eight Emerging Roles for Law Librarians. It appears in the July 2013 issue of Thomson Reuters’s Practice Innovations.

Jordan offers thoughts on new potential opportunities for law librarians and knowledge management professionals—often themselves librarians by training—in new law firm models that he foresees developing in response to multi-factored legal market disruptions. He suggests,

Starting now, law librarians and KM personnel have the opportunity to integrate themselves into the

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Reading: Recommended

Ten Specific Strategies for Avoiding Communication-Based Claims

Problems with lawyer-client communication are the number-one cause of claims reported to LAWPRO. The way to prevent these claims sounds simple enough: Remind lawyers to communicate better with their clients.

However, appeals to “communicate better” can seem vague − or even a little “touchy-feely”. Need specifics? Consider the following list of practical strategies. These ten tips were chosen from Tim Lemieux’s article “Is anyone listening? Preventing communications claims” which appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

To communicate better:

  • Meet with the client yourself (don’t just rely on a clerk’s intake meeting notes).
  • Remember that the . . . [more]
  • Posted in: Reading: Recommended

    Shout-Out to SCOTUSblog

    Today’s conclusion of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) 2012-2013 session calendar— after a burst of some high-profile opinions—is an opportune occasion for a reminder of the fantastic resource that is SCOTUSblog. The site’s been around since the relatively early days of blogs—2002—and it has been discussed or referenced on this blog a few times. Indeed, a Google search for “SCOTUS” returns SCOTUSblog before it does the home for SCOTUS itself:

    SCOTUSblog can be seen as a superb example of an excellent public resource supported by commercial partners, including a legal publisher. It started small and rather . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

    Snarks and Boojums

    One of the perqs (?) of writing for traditional, paper, law journals is the author’s offprint. One of the problems of writing for those journals is what to do with most of those offprints if one wants to keep one’s friends who aren’t compelled to accept one. They (the offprints, not the friends) aren’t as convenient as the old-style paper matchbooks for levelling off-kilter restaurant tables and the like.

    I received, this morning, 3 packages which, when opened and emptied, yielded an about 14″ (about 35.56 cm) stack of offprints containing my recent too-long article “Factual Causation in Negligence After . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading

    Older Law Society of Upper Canada CPD Materials Now Available Online Free of Charge

    Ontario lawyers might be familiar with the Law Society of Upper Canada’s AccessCLE service, which is a database that provides electronic PDF access to papers and materials from LSUC events since 2004. Previously this service was pay-for-view.

    However, the Law Society just announced that articles older than 18 months are now free of charge! Articles newer than the 18 month time frame will still be available on a pay-per-view basis, at costs ranging from $25.00 to $35.00 per article. Lawyers outside Ontario can access all these articles as well.

    AccessCLE allows you to conduct a full text search, preview the . . . [more]

    Posted in: Reading: Recommended

    The Virtual Estate: Are You Talking About This With Your Will Clients?

    CBC news recently reported that the average Canadian spent over 41 hours online each month in the fourth quarter of 2012, and that Canadians are the world’s second-heaviest users of the internet (just behind Americans). While there is a great deal of variety when it comes to the nature of this online activity, there is no question that a substantial proportion of it leads to the creation of property that has value – whether it’s objective, measurable commercial value, or simply personal value.

    In his article “The legal status of virtual goods” in the May 31 edition of the Lawyers . . . [more]

    Posted in: Reading: Recommended

    The Future Is Now

    With today’s release of The Future of Legal Services in Canada: Trends and Issues, the consultation phase of the CBA’s Legal Futures Initiative begins.

    Trends and Issues puts data and insight from original research commissioned by the CBA into a single document meant to provide an overview of major challenges facing the profession. The report – and the questions it raises – form a starting point for discussions and further consultations with stakeholders in the legal services industry.

    We’ve been showing you bits of those papers here, and on the interim Futures website, for the last seven weeks. If . . . [more]

    Posted in: Announcements, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading, Reading: Recommended, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

    Conflicts Tune-Up: 5 Steps to Avoiding Conflict of Interest Claims

    Every so often, a case about a lawyer removed from a matter or reprimanded for acting while in an “obvious” conflict of interest pops up in the media. These cases make all of us (or at least they should) shake our heads in dismay: Surely everybody knows how to avoid a conflict – don’t they?

    LAWPRO claims experience makes it clear that lawyers don’t always accurately identify conflicts… or that sometimes they decide to be wilfully blind. Consider the following a brief primer on how to tune-up your conflict of interest avoidance systems.

    There are three typical scenarios that lead . . . [more]

    Posted in: Reading: Recommended

    Scholarly Exchange on Eric v. Lola

    There’s some good stuff happening over on Osgoode Hall Law School’s IFLS blog, which is managed by the impressive Sonia Lawrence. I’m referring to a “roundtable” discussion about the recent Supreme Court of Canada case Quebec (Attorney General) v. A, 2013 SCC 5, otherwise known as Eric v. Lola. The old song says “whatever Lola wants, Lola gets” — but not this time. The majority of the court supported the exclusion of de facto spouses from the provisions of the Civil Code governing spousal support and division of property, making Québec (yet again) unique among the provinces. This, . . . [more]

    Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

    Inadequate Investigation/Discovery Now the #1 Cause of Claims

    The devil – as they say – is in the details.

    And it’s the details that appear to be creating issues for lawyers when it comes to the principal underlying cause of LAWPRO claims.

    Back in 1998, “inadequate discovery of fact or inadequate investigation” was the fifth most common cause of a claim when we looked at the top five reasons a claim was made against a lawyer.

    Since then the claims cause of “inadequate investigation” has climbed steadily upwards to the number one spot: By 2011, this category of errors had more than doubled in frequency. Moreover, claims resulting . . . [more]

    Posted in: Reading: Recommended