Canada’s online legal magazine.

Influencing Organizational Culture Through Office Design

“I must be on the wrong floor.” When I walked into the new Vancouver office of Miller Thomson LLP, I thought I’d pressed the wrong elevator button and ended up in a high tech firm. Two receptionists were perched on barstools at a circular, high-top station, rather than behind a long desk. I could see past them into an open-office area where lawyers and staff were working side by side. The whole floor was filled with sunlight. To my relief, I spied the wall of bound legal texts and realized that I had indeed arrived at my destination.

Office design . . . [more]

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

Minorities Given Preferential Access to Cannabis Business Licenses Under D.C. Law

The Council of the District of Columbia has passed a law which gives minority-owned companies preferential access to cannabis business licenses.

The emergency legislation modifies a section of the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1999 to provide that that

“a certified business enterprise (as defined in the Small, Local, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Development and Assistance Act of 2005) shall be awarded a preference equal to 20 points or 7.5 percent of the available points, whichever is more.”

The law was sponsored by council member Robert White who said the law is necessary in order to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Three Reasons Why Statutes Require Interpretation (Using IP Examples)

I am currently writing a book on Statutory Interpretation, to be published in late 2018 by Lexis Nexis. Enough books have been written on the topic both in Canada and elsewhere, so why do I feel the need to add another? For one thing, existing literature on the subject spends far too little time (if at all) on two fundamental questions: (1) why do statutes need to be interpreted and (2) what is the appropriate institutional role for the judiciary? In my opinion, we can not understand how to approach the task of interpretation without answering these two questions. More . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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.

Technology

LinkedIn Dos and Don’ts for New Lawyers
Dan Pinnington

With over 467 million users in more than 200 countries (including at least a 1 million in the law practice industry) and web traffic that ranks it as the 24th most visited site on the planet, LinkedIn is the social networking tool of choice for professionals. Regardless of whether they trying to find new lawyer, or looking for you specifically, . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

A Model Open Access Journal Publication Agreement

There’s a relatively new online journal focusing on open access and scholarly communication called The Idealis. The Idealis was introduced in April this year and as Lee Skallerup Bessette put it, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, it’s a “resource for librarians looking for high-quality, open-access library and information science research.”

Each week their team of experts, led by founding editors Stacy Konkiel and Nicky Agate, work to “liberate research” by recruiting the “very best scholarly communication literature from across the Web, working with authors to make their research available, ensuring that librarians are connected to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Economies of Southeast Asia and Effects in Canada

China’s life expectancy in 1949 was 36 and in 2012 it was 75. Literacy was 20% in 1949 and it was 90% in 2012. See page 151 of Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos.
China and several other Asian nations experienced an “economic takeoff” in the latter part of the 20th Century that has changed the world.
China with a population of 1.4 billion is the largest economy in southeast Asia.
Here in New Brunswick at Fredericton High School there are 400 foreign students (about 25% of all students) mostly from China. A friend in Toronto told me that there . . . [more]
Posted in: Legal 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. Library Boy 2. The Factum 3. Combat Sports Law 4. Legal Feeds 5. Risk Management & Crisis Response

Library Boy
Podcast Interviews With Finalists for 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of May 13, 2017 entitled Vote . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Disability Changes Coming to the Family Law Act

In 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada held in S (DB) v G (SR) stated,

60 No child support analysis should ever lose sight of the fact that support is the right of the child…

While this is trite law, the concept still comes up in unique circumstances such as with a disabled adult child who may have an entitlement to support under the Divorce Act, but would not under Ontario’s Family Law Act.

This distinction was explained in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Jason Vivian v. Nicole Courtney et al. in 2011,

[25] When

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Le juge de première instance n’a pas erré ne retenant pas la peine de 10 ans d’emprisonnement suggérée par la poursuite car, à la lumière de la jurisprudence, de telles peines, qui s’approchent de la peine maximale de 14 ans, sont réservées à des fraudes de plusieurs . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

What Technology Will Do to Law Practice (And It’s Not What You Think)

The conventional wisdom is that technology will make law practice more efficient. It will commoditize some lawyers and give super powers to others. In either case, it will improve “access to justice.” This view is based on one universal bias in the legal and near-legal community: that law and justice have inherent value and are necessary for all aspects of the society to function properly.

This belief has spread to the near-legal community such as law practice technology vendors. All of their products are designed to increase the efficiency of lawyers or of the legal process or to serve lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Information Paywalls and Information Rights: The Link Between News Story and Research Article

Lauren Maggio, Laura Moorhead, Juan Alperin, and I recently blogged a small study on the relationship between health journalism and biomedical research in the digital age of growing open access to research. We scraped those news stories in 2016 that had “cancer” in their headlines and included a link to a research article. The good news is that 67,236 news stories on cancer had such links to 11,523 different journal articles. Since the access to research articles in the days of printed newspapers, as much as I miss that era (having recently cut the paper tie), was essentially zero, this . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing