Canada’s online legal magazine.

The ABCs of Client Classification

How can you save time and money marketing your law firm? Drop a few clients.

Yes, drop. Some lawyers are better than others at saying no to taking on certain clients. Some groups can more easily spell out the criteria for their ideal client than others. And some firms are better than others about enforcing client intake policies. But very few lawyers, practice groups, or firms have committed to regularly culling their client lists for The Clients Who Aren’t Worth the Trouble.

But how do you know who those clients are? That’s where client classification comes in. Classifying your clients . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Cars and the Data They Share

Anyone interested in cars and the data they will increasingly collect should read the article in the November Automobile magazine titled The Big Data Boom – How the race to monetize the connected car will drive change in the auto industry.

It talks about how much data might be generated (4,000 GB per day), how that sheer volume will be handled, and how it might be monetized. And the challenges of cybersecurity and privacy.

Auto makers are well aware of the privacy issues. Challenges will include how to deal with privacy laws that vary dramatically around the world. Will . . . [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. Lloyd, 2016 SCC 13

[1] Parliament has the power to proscribe conduct as criminal and determine the punishment for it, and judges have the duty to apply the laws Parliament adopts on punishment to offenders. But individuals are also entitled to receive, and judges have a duty to impose, sentences that are constitutional having regard to the circumstances of . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Women Know Who the Predators Are

In the past few years, sexual harassment allegations against several high-profile media executives have generated significant discussion, including on social media. Last week’s New York Times story titled “Decades of Sexual Harassment Accusations Against Harvey Weinstein” is no exception. My Twitter feed was alight with comments and commentary moments after the story was published. A couple of tweets in particular grabbed my attention:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Ethics

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, writing, and practice.


Check the Source Law (Not the Consolidation)
Susannah Tredwell

If you’re having difficulty finding the amendments made to an act by another act, make sure you’re consulting the original act rather than the consolidation. Consolidations generally omit amendments to other acts. …


Just How Frequently Is That?
Neil Guthrie

Bi– H.W. Fowler refers in Modern English Usage to the ‘misshapen brood’ of bi– words that are . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Equustek, Blockchain and Uncensorable Search

This summer, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in the Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc. matter. As you may have read, one of the major concerns with the decision is that it has the potential to open the door for a new type of censorship on the Internet. For instance, this EFF article on the decision is named “Top Canadian Court Permits Worldwide Internet Censorship”.

For the purpose of this post, I don’t need to take a stand and tell you if I think this case was rightly or wrongly decided. That said, it’s fair to assume . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Need to Weave an Accessible Web of Legislation

Great post by John Sheridan over on VoxPopuli blog: “Deeply Intertwingled Laws.”

He starts off with this comment:

“There is no other form of written texts quite like legislation, nor a form so suited to the web. In retrospect, readers of legislation had been waiting a long time for a hypertext system, such as the web, to be invented.”

Sheridan is currently the Digital Director for the National Archives of the United Kingdom and led the team that brought us the “official home” for UK legislation from 1237 the present.

Anyone who has done any legislative history . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

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 more than 80 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. The Court 2. Eva Chan  3. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog 4. National Security Law 5.Vancouver Immigration Law Blog

The Court
SCC Interveners Order Raises Questions Ahead of Trinity Western Hearing

By this point, it is a virtual certainty that the outcome of the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Stand by Me – if You Have Standing

As the old song goes, we all need somebody to lean on. However, we can’t always have somebody to stand with – or against – us. In administrative law matters, there are two aspects of standing. One is the ability of a decision making body to participate in or commence judicial review proceedings. The other, which is the focus of this article, is the ability of individuals or corporation to appear before a tribunal or in judicial review proceedings.

One of the fundamental tenets of natural justice and procedural fairness is the right to a hearing, whatever form that might . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

Mobilizing the Legal Corps in Puerto Rico

When disaster strikes, other professions have formalized organizations to assist with the response and recovery that follows. Physicians have Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), and engineers have Engineers Without Borders. As a former disaster management professional and first responder, a career in law sometimes feels geographically limiting.

Lawyers are notoriously apt to stick within borders, and to a certain extent there are constraints to the portability in law. However, my humanitarian work overseas, and the implementation of Sphere Principles, was one of my first exposures to real-world implementation of international law, and one of the roads that eventually . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

MUNICIPAL (DROIT) : La Ville de Québec ne pouvait officiellement encourager le demandeur à poursuivre son projet de construction nécessitant une dérogation mineure alors que ses représentants autorisés, de façon occulte, poursuivaient un processus décisionnel pour empêcher sa réalisation; dans ces circonstances, elle est condamnée à payer à ce dernier . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Generalism and Access to Justice: Jack of All Trades, Master of None?

The rise of specialization is among the biggest changes in the practice of law over the past hundred years. Most lawyers and paralegals are increasingly able to focus on a smaller number of legal niches. That is good news, for practitioners and also for clients. However, I will suggest here that generalist legal professionalism has an enduring role in fostering access to justice.

Specialization and Generalism Defined

Consider all of the different types of legal need experienced by Canadian individuals, corporations, and state entities within a year. The list would include everything from drafting a will to structuring a merger . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics