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A Tool for Finding Trite Law

Every once in a while a lawyer will ask a law librarian to find the source that establishes that a point of law is well established. Personally, I hate getting these questions. It is frequently time consuming and difficult to find a reputable, cite-able source for something everybody knows.

Sometimes the best method to answer these question is searching cases for the phrase “trite law” in proximity with keywords for an issue. There is a new website in development that does just that. Check out WellSettled.com. Thanks to Bob Ambrogi at his LawSites blog for sharing this service. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.

Technology

Create an if Found Lockscreen Message on Your Portable Devices
Dan Pinnington

I know your smartphone and iPad already have their device access passwords enabled (meaning anyone picking up your device can’t access the information on it without punching in a password). And if they don’t – sit down right now and turn the access password on. Otherwise the information on the device is accessible to anyone that happens . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Adjudicators’ Neutrality and Political Participation

The Ontario election is over and municipal elections are on the horizon. The Ontario election was a heated one and included the rare participation of police officers in the election campaign. Police officers have a “voice” outside of the institution of policing, since they are unionized. Adjudicators in the justice system do not have this external “voice”. (Although there are organizations of adjudicators, their main focus is continuing education and skills development). Adjudicators, like judges, are restricted from active participation in elections, even though they (like police officers) can have an interest in the outcome. Unlike judges, adjudicators (in Ontario) . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Northern Gateway: Approval Without First Nations Consent Violates International Law

There has been much debate about the federal government’s decision on June 17th to give a green light to the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline project. And there is obviously much more ahead. This will certainly be a summer of discontent in the communities along the pipeline’s proposed route and elsewhere in British Columbia and across Canada; with plans for rallies, protests and blockades already coming together. There is much to come in the courts as well, with several legal challenges already underway and others soon to follow.

There is, to say the least, much fodder for both protests and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

#Cbafutureschat Recap: Lawyers Learning to Play With Others

No matter the sport – from soccer to debate club – a team will get nowhere if all its players are specialists in the same position.

But just as there’s no “I” in team, there’s no team in a law firm – not one that can, to stretch that sporting analogy just a little bit further, cover all the bases, so to speak. That is in part due to the regulatory framework under which lawyers work, of course.

Still, there is growing recognition that it might be helpful for lawyers to work in tandem with professionals such as accountants, real . . . [more]

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

Conflicts Rules Leave Room for (Careful) Collegiality

Consulting with more experienced colleagues to confirm that you’re on the right track in resolving a problem is natural and commendable in any profession. Working in isolation is inefficient, and leads to preventable errors. Without access to information about others’ experience, we’re forced to make our own mistakes. For this reason, sole practitioners are routinely encouraged to seek out mentors and advisers from among the broader bar.

But what if every time a colleague outside your firm asked for your opinion on a legal issue, you became conflicted out of representing any party whose interests were opposed to those of . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Edward Snowden Tells the Legal Profession That Protecting Client Confidentiality Now Requires Encryption

From Saturday’s Guardian – here is the complete transcript.

The NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has urged lawyers, journalists, doctors, accountants, priests and others with a duty to protect confidentiality to upgrade security in the wake of the spy surveillance revelations.

Snowden said professionals were failing in their obligations to their clients, sources, patients and parishioners in what he described as a new and challenging world.

No matter how careful you are from that point on, no matter how sophisticated your source, journalists have to be sure that they make no mistakes at all in the very beginning to the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Office Technology

More Summer School: Managing Legal Resources in the Semantic Web

Today I’m daydreaming of Italy …

The district of Ravenna lies in the north east of Italy, some 80 km (50 miles) from Bologna, the regional capital of Emilia Romagna. Ravenna is the second largest commune as per land area in Italy.”

If you need a good excuse to travel to Italy this may be the perfect opportunity.

The Summer School LEX programme is taking place in Ravena the first week of September. This is “an intensive 6-day, 8-hour-a-day program, that requires participants’ total dedication and intellectual commitment.”

  • September 1-2: Basic Module (an introduction to XML web technologies
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from sixty recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. PierreRoy & Associés  2. Canadian Securities Law 3. Henry J. Chang’s Canada-US Immigration Blog  4. The Court  5. BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog

PierreRoy & Associés
Déclarer faillite dans le cours d’une proposition de consommateur

Question : Je suis présentement en proposition de consommateur, mais ma situation . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Become a Five-Tools Project Manager

Baseball scouts dream of finding up-and-coming five-tools players. These rising stars hit for power, hit for average, speed around the bases, throw accurately, and field their positions well. Every position player in the major leagues has solid grades on at least a few of these tools, but only a handful have mastered all five.

Legal Project Management, as well, has five tools, each corresponding to one of the five areas you can manage:

  • Manage the project, starting with the project charter.
  • Manage the client, starting with the Conditions of Satisfaction.
  • Manage time, starting with the Off Switch.
  • Manage money, starting
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Of Woodsheds and Clients’ Social Media Habits

Here’s another post under the “social media law” umbrella—this time about what intelligible advice, if any, lawyers can bank on when it comes to directing their own clients to “clean up” social media accounts. It’s not the first time this has been canvassed here on Slaw, as John Gregory’s post from earlier this year attests, but since I recently prepared materials for a webinar on social media as evidence, and in the course of that started a trial run of X1 Social Discovery (which is what the Department of Justice, RCMP, and at least two major Canadian law firms are . . . [more]

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

Slaying the Internal Giants to Maximize Your Career

At the heart of ancient Palestine is the region known as the Shephelah, a series of ridges and valleys connecting the Judaean Mountains to the east with the wide, flat expanse of the Mediterranean plain. It is an area of breathtaking beauty, home to vineyards and wheat fields and forests of sycamore and terebinth. It is also of great strategic importance.

This is how Malcolm Gladwell begins his new book, released last fall, David and Goliath.

The Shephelah, Gladwell notes, was where John Hyrcanus of the Maccabees fought the Seleucid Empire (he calls “Syria”), before forcibly converting the inhabitants . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice