Canada’s online legal magazine.
Carswell Start-up Guide for Sole Practitioner
LexisNexis Legal Products

The Friday Fillip: Know When (And How) to Fold ‘Em

Folding is fairly nifty.

For one thing, it lets you increase surface area without increasing volume. Which is why radiators are folded into sections or have multiple fins, allowing heat to escape maximally into the surrounding air via convection off the expanded surfaces and why ostriches fold their wings and legs against their bodies at night to cut down on heat loss. Our lungs pack a lot of oxygen transferring surface — 2,400 kilometres of airways! — into a comparatively modest volume thanks to a kind of folding. And our “little grey cells” find themselves on folds surrounding unfolded . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Thinkpiece Thursday: Dufraimont on the Principled Approach to Evidence

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

REALIZING THE POTENTIAL OF THE PRINCIPLED APPROACH TO EVIDENCE
Lisa Dufraimont
(2013) 39 Queen’s Law Journal 11-39

Excerpt: Part II

[Footnotes omitted. They are in the original that is available via the link on the title above.]

II. Evidence Principles Versus Evidence Rules

The adoption of the principled approach represents a move away . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Shocking Communications With a Job Applicant Cost Employer $8,000 in Damages

When an employer denied a job candidate’s application with a text message saying, “I don’t hire foreners I keep the white man working" (his spelling not mine!), the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal had no trouble finding that the job applicant experienced discrimination on the basis of race, color and place of origin.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Are Faster Horses Our Future?

When I sat down to write this post, it was going in a whole different direction. Given the hot topics of innovation and the future of the legal industry, I was thinking I might add to the growing discussions around the recommendations of the CBA Futures Report (see here, here and here).

Then, about half way down the social media rabbit hole I was following as part of my “blog research”, I came across this interview (thanks @karenskinner) with Alex Novarese, editor-in-Chief of Legal Business, discussing the future of the legal industry in the UK. In the interview . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

#CALLFuture – Canadian Association of Law Libraries Twitter Chat Tomorrow

You are invited to participate in a Chat via Twitter being hosted tomorrow by the Canadian Law Libraries. It will take place from 12 – 1 pm EST.

We are using the CBA Futures report as our jumping-off point. The questions outlined below will be posted by the @CALLACBD Twitter account and we will be using the hashtag #CALLFuture to identify tweets from the discussion.

Please join us!

CALL/ACBD is very pleased to welcome Fred Headon, Past-President of the Canadian Bar Association and Chair of the CBA Legal Futures Initiative, who will be joining us for the first part of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

11th Annual UVic Law Student Technology Survey

You have to admire Rich McCue’s curiosity and generosity. For the 11th year, the UVic educational technologist and systems administrator has surveyed the law school’s incoming students on their technology use in terms of hardware, software and habits, and shared the results online.

Rich has drafted the results up nicely with helpful graphs, and also identified implications of the results: both suggestions for profs and faculties, and ideas for future surveys.

Here’s the executive summary:

  •  Smartphones: 100% of incoming law students surveyed own “Smartphones” that can browse the internet (up from 96% last year and 50% four years ago), with
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Managing the Transition Through Change

There are two kinds of change – change you want and change you don’t want. That’s an oversimplification, of course, but, according to Tom Meier, an HR consultant speaking at a conference I recently attended, how we manage the transition through change depends very much on whether we view it as a desirable or undesirable change.

Meier laid out a helpful framework for transitioning through significant change – whether it’s a job change or change in the environment in which you work. He said there are four stages in the change process:

  1. Denial
  2. Resistance
  3. Exploration
  4. Commitment

In the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Businesses Relying More on Mobile – Is Blackberry Still in the Game?

A BMO poll released today shows the unsurprising result that the business world is becoming more reliant on mobile technology.

Lawyers were early adopters of Blackberries, for which email was the killer app. At our firm there are only a handful of lawyers still using Blackberries. The rest of us are split between iPhones and Android. While Windows phones are technically as good as the others, they just can’t seem to gain ground.

Blackberry has not given up, though. It just launched a new phone called the Passport. Blackberry has moved from touting email as its killer feature to touting . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Tweeter or Twitter? Teaching a Federation Approved Legal Ethics Course

This summer I again provided the Federation of Law Societies with the syllabus for my legal ethics course. The Federation requested the syllabus for, presumably, the purpose of verifying that the University of Calgary’s course complies with the Ethics and Professionalism Competency as set out in Table B of the Federation’s Implementation Report for the Approved Law Degree. As it did the past two summers fulfilling the Federation’s request left me feeling both uneasy and uncertain.

Uncertain because I am not sure what the Federation wants to do with the syllabus. Are they simply ascertaining that it is a stand-alone . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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. Last, 2009 SCC 45, [2009] 3 SCR 146

[1] The Crown enjoys a large discretion in deciding to include more than one count in an indictment (s. 591(1) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46). On an application to sever a multi-count indictment, the overarching criteria are the interests of justice. This appeal raises the issue of whether . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Trust Imperative: Part II

Last week, I published the first half of an interview with Aneil Mishra, Ph.D.. Mishra is a respected author and business school professor who studies the link between trustworthiness, leadership and organizational performance. He discussed the four main qualities of trustworthy leaders – reliability, openness, competence and compassion – and his latest research regarding which of these qualities might matter most in the current economy.

The interview concludes this week with a discussion of how law firm leaders can build trust within their organizations and how this can create competitive advantage in an era when trust in leadership seems to . . . [more]

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

Virtual Museum of Canada

A recent Canada Gazette Part II shared a Statutory Instrument proclaiming the sections 200-204 of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 in force as of September 30, 2014, among other things. These particular sections of the act move responsibility for the Virtual Museum of Canada to the Canadian Museum of History.

The news release informs subscribers of that Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) will cease publishing the virtualmuseum.ca Newsletter. Subscriptions will will not be transferred over to the museum. Folks who want info on the latest trends in museums and technology are encouraged to subscribe to the CHIN Newsletter (recent . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information