Canada’s online legal magazine.
CPAC Beyond Politics
Osgoode Professional LLM

Rethinking the Way a Court Formats and Publishes Its Judgments

If you could change the way a court formatted or published its judgments, what changes would you recommend? XML? Typography? Are there any courts whose judgments you think are better (looking) than the rest? Or are there any ongoing initiatives or helpful products/sources in this area you’d like to point out? I would be grateful for your comments, tips, etc. Thanks! . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Interesting Take on the Duty to Accommodate

An employer can do nothing and still meet its duty to accommodate, so long as it turns out that the employer could not have accommodated the complainant without undue hardship. This was the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in the recent case, Canada (Human Rights Commission) v. Canada (Attorney General).
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Do Less Marketing

That headline sounds like heresy coming from someone who runs a legal marketing agency for a living, but hear me out.

Try as I might to remain benevolently immature until the end of my days, there are some telltale markers of adulthood (nay, perhaps even middle-age) creeping into my subconscious of late. There are external indicia of course – one’s offspring earnestly advising how fat and bald you are, strangers calling you “sir” straight to your face with nary a hint of sarcasm – but I purposely adopt a stance of willful blindness regarding those. No, what I notice now . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Clio Conference More Than Food Trucks and Yoga

When my company started working with Clio back in 2008, I had a gut feeling they were onto something. But frankly, I never would have predicted the immense success this cloud-based software start-up would see over the next six years. Even without my admitted bias, I think most would agree that today, Clio has evolved into a major player in the legal software sector and one of the most engaged companies within the North American legal community. And by many accounts, they’re also the brains behind one of the most unconventional and enjoyable legal conferences we’ve seen to date. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Miscellaneous

If You Think Our Red Tape Is Bad…

We often get frustrated with seemingly unnecessary red tape and arbitrary rules – but every once in a while we run across requirements from other countries that are mind boggling. For those who have never encountered this, it goes something like this.

A government agency or business in a country your client does business in requires a copy of a document. If they were here, they may not need that document in the first place, but even if they do it would be a simple manner of scanning and emailing a pdf.

But no, they require a notarial copy – . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Verdict a Victory for Defamed Professor and Defamed Justice System

In June a jury awarded my uOttawa colleague Professor Joanne St. Lewis a stunning $350,000 verdict in her defamation lawsuit against blogger and former University of Ottawa professor Denis Rancourt. The jury’s verdict not only vindicated St. Lewis but also the entire justice system because the defendant had impugned the integrity of most of the judges who participated in the proceedings and the integrity of the Canadian justice system.

Let me be transparent in exposing my connections to the dramatis personae and my own biases about the case. Professor St. Lewis is a colleague whom I consider a friend and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Experience: A Young Lawyer Carves Her Own Path

When Carli van Maurik shares her practice philosophy with other lawyers, she’s usually met with one of two responses: raised eyebrows or enthusiastic support.

Carli van Maurik

Thankfully, most colleagues fall into the latter category.

Ms. van Maurik is a lawyer with the British Columbia business law firm Whiteboard Law. She’s based in Victoria, where she honed her legal skills at one of the city’s well known firms before branching out to follow her entrepreneurial instincts.

Most lawyers eventually narrow the focus of their practice or notice that clients could be better served by a different approach. But not . . . [more]

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

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. Yetman v. Marzec, 2014 ONSC 4624

[9] The overarching answer to these three factors comes about by asking the question: Why did this trial, which generated the significant costs claimed, occur?

[10] The Defendant driver, Mr. Marzec, did not participate. The Statutory Third Party denies coverage to that driver, an issue that has not yet been determined. The Statutory Third Party’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

“Sympathies” Alone Insufficient to Form Terrorist Plot

An Ontario pathologist who was arrested on terrorism charges was acquitted today in R. v. Sher.

Dr. Khurrum Sher, a graduate of McGill University who was working at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital in St. Thomas, Ont., visited the home of his co-accused on July 20, 2010. During this visit, his host and another guest engaged in a protracted discussion about violent terrorist activity.

The accused was present throughout the discussion, did not appear to vigorously object to their plans, and at its conclusion appears to pledge his allegiance to them. He was friends with the host of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Habits and Shortcuts

My Dad, a big old gruff softie farmer from central Alberta hates (is terribly afraid of) mice. Squeeks like one when he sees them indoors, the sweetheart. I dislike the mouse that is attached to my computer when I have to take my hands off of the keyboard to use it to engage functions in software. This personality quirk is so well known in my firm that people will send me keyboard shortcuts, bless them.

Josette McEachern, Field Law’s Library Manager sent me this MS Excel tip today:

To insert a row Cntrl Shft =
To delete a row

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, 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.

Technology

Use One or More Commas for a Short Pause When Dialing Phone Number Extensions
Dan Pinnington

If you frequently dial someone who has an extension, it can be frustrating to wait for the main phone number to connect before you can to enter the extension number, if you can even remember it. As Canadians, we frequently have to enter a number to select English or French before we can . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday