Canada’s online legal magazine.

Cloud Computing: It’s All Good – or Mostly Good

A ZDNet article entitled Cloud computing: Four reasons why companies are choosing public over private or hybrid clouds makes a case for the value of the public cloud.

The reasons:

  • Innovation comes as standard with the public cloud
  • Flexibility provides a business advantage
  • External providers are the experts in secure provision
  • CIOs can direct more attention to business change

This is all good – or mostly good.

The caveat is that the use of the cloud can fail if a business adopts the cloud without thinking it through from the perspectives of mission criticality, security, privacy, and continuity. If a . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. R v CMG, 2016 ABQB 368

[33] I reject the argument that the accused is afforded any protection in the case at bar under s. 13 of the Charter or s. 5(2) of the Canada Evidence Act, RSC 1985, c C-5 [CEA]. Sections 13 of the Charter and 5(2) of the CEA are treated as offering the same . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Reforming the Judicial Discipline Process: Putting the Public in the Public Interest

Over the summer, Justice Canada engaged in a low-key consultation on “Judicial Discipline Process Reform”, releasing a bland discussion paper appropriately-titled “Possibilities for Further Reform of the Federal Judicial Discipline Process”. The title is at once both misleading and accurate. It is in part misleading because there have been no significant changes to the federal judicial discipline process as set out in the Judges Act since that statute was enacted in 1971. It is accurate because the Justice Canada consultation comes on the heels of reforms enacted by the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) in 2015 after . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Be the Change

It may be 2016 but lawyers still fax like its 1989. This is pathetic, and it’s time that we embrace technological change. Every other industry has moved on, and so should we.

In Ontario, the Ministry of the Attorney General is trying to implement change. On their website, they state that:

[W]e are implementing a comprehensive strategy to build Better Justice Together by:

  • making sure court processes are faster and the justice system is easier to navigate

  • building an integrated system that allows justice partners and participants to better share and access the information they need…

While we wait for . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Take the Sting Out of Tough Feedback

“You have a tendency to step on people’s toes when you’re leading a team. Instead of engaging them, you run them over in your effort to get the job done.” Delivered from a manager at my first job as a lifeguard, the feedback disconfirmed every perception I had of my fledgling leadership skills.

It stung. But my supervisor was right, and she was right to tell me. She pointed out how people reacted to my behaviour and how it affected my performance. I needed the job, which meant I couldn’t avoid my manager. So I adapted.

A recent post on . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Launching the BC Family Innovation Lab Website

In many previous Slaw posts I have mentioned my keen interest in justice reform – particularly for families. With a small group of like-minded folks in BC, I have been lucky enough to be involved in forming and nurturing the BC Family Justice Innovation Lab. Today, we are excited to formally launch the Lab’s new website and blog at www.bcfamilyinnovationlab.ca.

The Lab is a unique innovation platform for nurturing initiatives designed to improve resilience and well-being of families and their children who are experiencing transition, including separation and divorce. It uses a systemic human-centred design approach putting . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

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 research and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

The Importance of Editing and Proof-Reading
Neil Guthrie

You’ve drafted a client piece – now what? Heed the words of Samuel Johnson: ‘What is written without effort is generally read without pleasure.’ In other words, go back and edit; your text could always use some polishing. …

Practice

Build the Team!
Sandra Bekhor

There’s a lot of teamwork that goes on in a law office. . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Sailboats and Project Management

I love to race sailboats.

(To an outsider, a sailboat race usually falls somewhere between incomprehensible and watching-paint-dry boring. Trust me – it’s very, very different when you’re on the boat!)

I’ve raced everything from one-person dinghies to a 45-footer (14 meters) we owned until my wife noted she preferred adventures that didn’t involve frigid Pacific Northwest water. Currently, three buddies and I share a couple of Etchells-class boats – fast, fun, cheap, and easily sailed with two to four people per boat. We race them Thursday nights against other Etchells’ and similarly sized boats.


An Etchells – not ours . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Tenant Owing Over $50,000 in Arrears Evicted

A panel of 3 Divisional Court Judges has dismissed the appeal of a tenant who owed over $50,000 in rent and who was nearly 3 years in default on her rent payments.

After her initial default the tenant entered into a mediated agreement under which she had to make certain payments, failing which her tenancy would terminate. Not surprisingly, the tenant defaulted on the mediated agreement and failed to make any payments at all over the following 20 months.

The tenant appealed the eviction order and successfully had her own appeal adjourned one time. She tried to have the hearing . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

A Look at How One Firm Is Trying Alternative Fee Arrangements for Litigation

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

In recent years more focus has turned to alternative fee arrangements as a way to offer clients more predictable costs and affordable legal services. Hughes Amys LLP, based out of Hamilton and Toronto, offers alternative fee arrangements which have proven successful for them. Here is a look at how they’ve done it.

“We’ve been doing alternative fee arrangements for over 20 years,” says managing partner William (Bill) S. Chalmers. “In the early days it was a blended rate, where the client would pay one hourly rate regardless . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Smart Contracts?

Click to view full-sized image. Image source: pricewaterhousecoopers

People have long used technology to help them make and carry out their contracts. Even an old-fashioned vending machine offers goods to the public, understands an order for particular goods, recognizes execution by the buyer through the deposit of the appropriate payment, and delivers the goods.

However, we do not usually think of the vending machine as smart or its implied contract of sale to be a smart contract. Apparently we need to see a computer to attach that label. A smart contract these days is generally considered a contract the performance . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

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 seventy 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. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog  2. Global Workplace Insider 3. Combat Sports Law Blog  4. Clio Blog  5. Canadian Immigration Law Blog

University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog
What is Section 91?

Dear Sir or Madam: Today we write to you regarding the emergence of section . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix