Canada’s online legal magazine.

AI4A2J

The title of this post stands for Artificial Intelligence for Access to Justice. It sounds a little like buzzword festival. Rest assured however – there is no mention whatsoever of block chain or design thinking further down in the text.

A few months ago we sent out an invitation to industry partners to join Lexum Lab (Lexum’s R&D team) to test a few AI / Deep Learning applications that are in the making. More specifically, Lexum Lab and the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) are collaborating on the development of a link prediction algorithm for law. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Legal Technology

Thomson Reuters Drops High Profile Albeit Marginal Titles

Thomson Reuters is quietly moving out of smaller businesses that do not have opportunities for significant revenue growth. It has really been only a matter of time.

The titles in question are well known in the Canadian legal publishing community for quality content but just don’t cut it from the perspective of the Thomson business model and its expectations of significant growth in the top and bottom line. As of April 1, HAB Press acquired the Lexpert, Canadian Lawyer, Canadian Lawyer InHouse, Canadian Law List, Law Times, Canadian HR Reporter and Canadian Occupational Safety media brands, including the digital, print, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Microsoft Support for Windows 7 Ends Jan 2020

The issue

Microsoft supports its operating systems for only a fixed period of time after that version is replaced. For Windows 7 support ends in January 2020.

Why does it matter?

Microsoft will no longer provide bug fixes or security updates. And no longer provide technical support. Continuing to use Windows 7 after that date thus carries a higher risk of security problems and software incompatibility problems. About 40% of PC’s still use Windows 7, so a lot of computers need to be updated.

What do you need to do about it?

January 2020 sounds like it is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

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. Cook v. Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., 2019 ONSC 2108

[53] My determination that Ms. Cook is entitled to the Balance should not be taken as condoning Ms. Cook’s conduct in this matter. Real estate salespersons owe a fiduciary duty to their clients. They are required to follow a Code of Ethics that includes acting with honesty and integrity and in . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

A Tale of Two Attorneys-General: Jody Wilson-Raybould and Caroline Mulroney

Twice in the last six months, Canadian Attorneys-General have been encouraged to resist the first ministers of their respective governments. Today, federal AG Jody Wilson-Raybould is widely commended for resisting repeated requests from the PM’s office to change tack on the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin (See Patricia Hughes’ comprehensive Slaw post on the affair).

In September of 2018, Ontario AG Caroline Mulroney was called upon to vote against, or resign from, Premier Doug Ford’s government after Ford proposed to invoke section 33 of the Charter. The Superior Court of Justice had found Ford’s plan to reduce the size of Toronto . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Incentivizing New Lawyers to Work in Rural Communities

[In Ontario] About 67% of lawyers are over the age of 40 and about half of all lawyers practise in Metropolitan Toronto. The age skew is similar in other provinces, where a notable percentage of lawyers have been practicing for 20 years or more and are entering the latter stages of their careers. The number of lawyers graduating is increasing, but not enough to offset the bubble of lawyers that will likely retire over the coming decades. (“Small communities struggle to pry lawyers from Canada’s big cities, despite promise of jobs” – Mandy Storey for National Post)

There . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Reforming the Canadian Judicial Council: The Benefit of Expanding the Consultation

In an interview with the National Post on March 31st, Chief Justice Richard Wagner announced that he planned to reform the Canadian Judical Council, saying “everything is on the table”. The Chief Justice also indicated that “he is reaching out to senior judges across the country to garner their views on what changes are needed”. So, an internal review to determine what kind of changes are required to an internal process considering judges’ conduct. Is it enough to consult only with “senior judges”? I suggest not, that a review of the CJC affects anyone who cares about the legal system . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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 practice, research, writing and technology.

Technology

Using Advanced Search on Twitter
Lesha Van Der Bij

A few months ago, I was trying to find an article on AI that I had remembered tweeting. So, I started scrolling through my list of tweets. Even though I am not the most prolific tweeter, it was soon apparent that this was a futile approach. But searching “AI” wasn’t particularly helpful either. …

Research & Writing

Open Access . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Rule of Law Is Declining Globally, Canada Is Not Entirely Without Room for Improvement

An annual highlight in the growing calendar of access to justice activities is the release of the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index. The 2019 Rule of Law Index, which was released in February of this year, provides a comprehensive look at the state of the rule of law in 126 countries around the world. [1] The Index makes an important contribution in the assessment and advancement of the rule of law. In the words of the report, effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small. For many . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. IdeaBlawg  2. ABlawg.ca 3. Michael Spratt 4. Library Boy 5. Canadian occupational health & safety law

IdeaBlawg
Some Thoughts On Property, Privacy, and Criminal Law

I have been spending a good portion of my time outside of my regular duties with mooting competitions and writing a paper.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The Return of Textualism to the Court

Canada has largely been a leader in the use of arbitration for the resolution of disputes. When UNCITRAL finalized and adopted in July 2014 the”United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration“, also known as the “Mauritius Convention on Transparency,” Canada became the second State to ratify it on December 12, 2016. To date, 22 states have signed the Convention, and only 5, including Canada, have ratified it.

Although the focus of this Convention was on arbitrations between an investor and a State and the implementation of the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration, . . . [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.

MUNICIPAL (DROIT) : Le pourvoi en contrôle judiciaire visant à attaquer la légalité et la validité de la décision de l’arrondissement de Montréal-Nord ayant déclaré dangereux un chien de type pitbull qui a mordu 4 enfants et 2 adultes et ayant ordonné son euthanasie est rejeté.

Intitulé : Road to . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday