Canada’s online legal magazine.
Rogers OutRank
Canadian Bar Association

Our Lips Are Sealed

The Go-Go’s in their 1981 hit song Our Lips Are Sealed sang that they had no secrets to reveal. How lucky for them. The rest of us in society encounter secrets in a multitude of circumstances. We are taught from a young age that disclosing secrets is not only bad for the person whose secret we keep but equally for the one disclosing. In a society and profession where reputation is key, being trustworthy can either make you or break you.

When and if secrets are revealed typically depends on the parties in the know. In a professional context, it . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week

6 Steps for Small Firm Spring Cleaning

As I sit and write this column it is a warm 11 degrees in Victoria and the flowers are starting to bloom. While I realize that my colleagues in many parts of the country are still buried in snow, our thoughts on the west coast are starting to turn to spring. At this time of year I engage in an annual exercise that began when I ran my small law office and continues to this day with my consulting firm. That practice is spring-cleaning and it is a simple process that I recommend to all of my clients. While each . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

Sivia v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), 2014 BCCA 79


Areas of law: Motor Vehicles; Legislation; Constitutional law; Charter of Rights-

-Provisions in Motor Vehicle Act establishing automatic roadside prohibition regime for motorists registering a failure on an approved screening device infringing s. 8 of Charter (unreasonable search and seizure) and not salvageable under s.1

Background: The petitioners were motorists who had received 90-day roadside driving prohibitions (”IRP”) under provisions in the Motor Vehicle Act (“MVA”) establishing an automatic roadside prohibition regime (“ARP”) after they had either refused to supply a sample of breath, or having . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Faillite : Il n’y a aucune raison d’importer en droit canadien le concept américain de «contribution substantielle», l’article 11.52(1)c) de la Loi sur les arrangements avec les créanciers des compagnies permettant à une partie de requérir une sûreté afin de garantir les honoraires professionnels d’intervenants faisant preuve d’une participation efficace au processus de restructuration. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

When I Stopped Vomiting, I Learned to Hate Teraview

Technology, particularly legal technology is supposed to make the delivery of legal services more convenient. However, sometimes lawyers get in the way and muck things up. Teraview is a perfect example.

Back in the day, anyone could walk into the local registry office and register any document they wanted. Since the mid-1980s registration documents were not witnessed, nor were signatures checked. The system was one of openness and accessibility.

Then along came Teraview – which allowed registration from anywhere in Canada via the internet. A seemingly great idea that would make real estate transactions faster and smoother. However, everyone forgot . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Australian Study Highlights Big Bang for the Buck of Law Libraries

A number of Australian library associations including the Australian Law Library Association released a study earlier this month that highlights the big 5-to-1 bang for the buck from resources invested in government, law firm and organizational libraries.

In fact, every one dollar investment in special libraries such as law firm libraries brings 5.43 dollars in return to their organization, according to the study commissioned by the associations.

From the press release:

“ALIA [Australian Library and Information Association] Executive Director Sue McKerracher said, ‘Working in the library and information sector, we all recognise the value of special libraries. What

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Thursday Thinkpiece

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.

Royal Succession and the Canadian Crown as a Corporation Sole: A Critique of Canada’s Succession to the Throne Act, 2013
Philippe Lagassé and James W.J. Bowden
Constitutional Forum constitutionnel Volume 23, Number 1, 2014

(Excerpt: pp. 19, 20)

I. The Canadian Crown as Corporation Sole

. . . .

Perpetuity and seamless succession, . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Solving the High Cost of the “Review” Stage of Electronic Discovery

This article provides more details on the following comment that I posted (April 10th) to Dan Pinnington’s article of April 8th, “Ontario Judge Strongly Pushes for Greater Use of Technology in Courts and Orders E-Trial”:

My Comment, excerpted:
Make the preparation work of a lawyer making production comparable to that of an accountant. The client doesn’t give the accountant 100,000+ records and say, ‘here, you make up our financial records and then do the audit.’ The litigation lawyer should be able to work the same way, by combining the searching and reviewing into one act.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Upcoming Law Student Week

This year, as we have done for a few years in the past, Slaw will each day in the coming week host a number of student essays written for Professor Adam Dodek’s first year course in Legal Ethics at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law. As Professor Dodek has said here before:

I have found that our students have great perspectives on these issues because they were so recently members of that ridiculous term that only lawyers use: “lay people”. While law school is certainly a socialization process for the legal profession, law students have not been fully

. . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements, Law Student Week

Teaching ODR… Whose Job Is It?

A few months ago, a subscriber to John Gregory’s listserv (which every IT law enthusiast should subscribe to) sent a message regarding how the impact of IT on the legal profession was being taught (or rather wasn’t being taught) in Universities across the country.

Of course, that very question has preoccupied lawyers and legal scholars alike for two decades with regard to IT law, i.e. whether it should be treated as a subject in and of itself (in which case it usually isn’t a mandatory class, meaning that students can go through law school without hearing the word “Internet” . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution