Canada’s online legal magazine.

Of Late Summer Updates: Lavaboom Deadpools as Tutanota Rises

As the end to our summer doldrums draws close, I’m dusting off my RSS feeds and finding some updates on a topic that I touched on earlier this year: the webmail encryption services coming out of Germany.

Back in March I wrote Of German Email Encryption Tool Tutanota and Other PETs, which mentioned a number of new players in the Privacy Enhancing Technologies space that seemingly could make lawyers better at client confidentiality. Not a bad thing, eh?

In a breach-a-day world even lawyers without a particular passion for technology issues are beginning to take note of email encryption. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

Computing Opportunities

One of the things that drives me crazy is the sure knowledge that there are things that would benefit me that I don’t take advantage of. An expiry date on a fuel discount coupon, a limited time offer that I decide to late to accept, seat sales that I miss the deadline for.

Sometimes we miss efficiency opportunities because we don’t think hard enough about how something that we are doing will be re-done or repeated. For example, some not too old precedents that I recently unearthed had *** rather than a programmed form field wherever text needed to be . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

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.


Use Colour
Shaunna Mireau

Today’s research tip is more about research output than gathering. Do not be afraid to use colour to add visual clues to your research output. Using coloured text or tables is not appropriate for pleadings of course, but why not present your client with some visual clues in your opinions? …


Health Care Practioners: Please Don’t Keep Notes About Your Patients’ Discussions With Their . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Claims for Damage Caused by Tenants Fall Under Exclusive Jurisdiction of Landlord Board

A recent Ontario decision has affirmed the principle that all claims for damage caused by a tenant during a tenancy must proceed before the Landlord and Tenant Board (the “Board”) and not in the Superior or Small Claims courts.

After about a six year tenancy, the tenant fell behind on rent. The landlord brought an application to evict the tenant. The tenant vacated the unit shortly after being served with the application materials and did not attend the eviction hearing.

As part of the eviction hearing the landlord sought arrears of rent, including hydro arrears. The Board terminated the tenancy . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law

Wade Into Windows 10

The latest Windows operating system has started rolling out. Unsurprisingly, reactions to its new update method and privacy functions are mixed. If you were on Windows 7 like most lawyers, it will be an easy upgrade and – despite the negative early chatter – worth taking advantage of the free upgrade.

The Upgrade and Updates

If you have any version of Windows other than Enterprise or Windows RT, you can get the new operating system free. You may have been invited to register for a copy, in which case you’ll get a notification e-mail. You can also just grab . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Litigation Malpractice Claims Fact Sheet

Created to coincide with the release of our Rule 48.14 Transition Toolkit, the litigation claims fact sheet is the latest in practicePRO’s series of fact sheets. They includes quick claims facts, the main causes of claims against lawyers, hot topics in the particular areas of law, tips for avoiding claims and links to practicePRO resources. The sheets can also be used as program inserts in their own right.

The other fact sheets released so far are for criminal law, wills & estates and real estate. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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. Excess Copyright 2. All About Information 3. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog 4. Avoid A Claim 5. SOQUIJ

Excess Copyright
Canada at the TPP? The Time to Talk is Precisely During an Election

Michael Geist has just posted an important blog, following his important column in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

“Failure Is Not an Option.”

“Failure is not an option.”

Mission Control spoke those famous words in the quest to save the crew of Apollo 13, at least if you believe what you see in the movies. We remember that phrase – and believe in it – because the project team did not fail.

How do we deal with incipient project failure in the world of legal projects, however? It’s instructive to explore some of the difference – and similarities – between our projects and Apollo 13’s return from the moon.

Recognition of Impending Doom

Few project failures are as easy to recognize as Apollo . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Humanizing the Cry for Access to Justice

The Chief Justice’s speech in Calgary, which I mentioned here last week, illustrated that despite all of our efforts to address access to justice the problem is getting worse, not better:

The cry for access to justice is rising from what was once a dull murmer to a crescendo.

She noted that the courts and government share some of the responsibility for the solution, but lawyers play an important role too, especially in pressuring these other actors to take action.

The Canadian Bar Association launched a campaign in Calgary, #whataboutalex, to humanize the struggle for access to justice. Kim Covert . . . [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.

FISCALITÉ : Uber Canada inc. échoue dans sa tentative d’obtenir l’entiercement des éléments de preuve recueillis par l’ARQ lors d’une enquête relative à des infractions pénales qu’elle aurait commises.

Intitulé : Uber Canada inc. c. Agence du revenu du Québec, 2015 QCCS 3453
Juridiction : Cour supérieure (C.S.), Montréal, 500-36-007636-155 . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Ashley Madison Hack: A Golden Age for Divorce Lawyers or a Golden Opportunity to Reconsider Monogamy?

One of my favourite Valentine’s Day cartoons shows a lawyer dumping a box of randomly-addressed cards into a mailbox hoping to drum up some business for himself. The Ashley Madison hack is that in real life, and what a surprise it is!

Heads have already begun to roll; the ever-reliable BuzzFeed reports that Josh Duggar (yes, that Duggar) has confessed to a membership and has published staff rapporteur Ellen Cushing’s blow by blow confrontation, via text, with her cheating ex. The revelations, of course, don’t stop there. The Canadian Press, in an article posted on CBC’s website, says . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Friday Fillip: Finding Out

For the next while the Friday Fillip will be a chapter in a serialized crime novel, usually followed by a reference you might like to pursue. Both this chapter of the book and the whole story up to this point can be had as PDF files. You may also subscribe to have chapters delivered to you by email.


Chapter 25
Finding Out

Dominic Archer looked to be one of the hearty sort — tall, plump, rubicund, moving with a bounce. His bald head shone under the spots in the motorhome like an outsize incandescent

. . . [more]
Posted in: The Friday Fillip