Canada’s online legal magazine.

Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls…

I was updating my LinkedIn profile recently. I realized I recently reached a “tipping point” where I have been a lawyer longer than I have not. Reflecting on my demi-career, it strikes me how law firms have changed very little since I started my traineeship in 1993. Sure, there are new technologies available in the lawyers’ toolkit, but the way lawyers think about, and interact with, technology has hardly changed at all.

The lawyer’s main tools are word processing software for drafting documents and email for communication. This represents a technological advance, but barely. In some ways, I see regression. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Evaluation Time for Unbundled Family Law Legal Services in BC

Back in January, BC lawyers received a host of new resources supporting unbundled legal service. Our organization helped launch the Family Law Unbundling Roster along with a toolkit for lawyers explaining why they should join. Unbundling is well described here.

Since then, conversations and buzz about unbundling has been doing the rounds here in BC and elsewhere:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

A Path to Inclusive Technology

Advanced technology is considered the new panacea for improving access to the legal system. It’s great that many people find advanced technology helpful, but no matter how helpful technology may be, it cannot help everyone. Last October 18th, TAG facilitated a day-long symposium that introduced draft guidelines with the goal of encouraging providers to ensure that their technology is inclusive.

Using technology in the legal system is hardly new (especially if we recognize that the telephone is a form of technology), but the proliferation now seems a daily event. There is no doubt that advanced technology can . . . [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. Law of Work 2. ABlawg.ca 3. Social Media for Law Firms 4. Employment and Human Rights Law in Canada 5. Canadian Securities Law

Law of Work
Job Boards are Rampant with Illegal Job Ads. Should Anything be Done?

Hat-tip to lawyer Jeff Dutton at @DuttonHRLaw for noting . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Redesigning the Law Firm Before Redesigning the Culture

There are a number of ways to make the workplace safer in occupational health and safety theory, using the hierarchy of hazard controls.

The first approach is to introduce engineering controls and administrative changes. These systemic modifications are usually more cost-effective and have a bigger impact, because they will remove the harm in the workplace to begin with. The next approach is the use of personal protective equipment. With the right equipment, workers can minimize the impact of harms to them in the workplace. Finally, occupational health and safety will look to training, which can help foster better awareness . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

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) : Un arrêt des procédures est ordonné dans le cas de l’accusé, compte tenu du délai déraisonnable écoulé avant qu’il ne subisse son deuxième procès pour meurtre au premier degré et tentative de meurtre; en outre, le tribunal rend la poursuite imputable du délai découlant de son retard . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

2017 Law via the Internet Conference Call for Papers

The organizers of the 2017 Law via the Internet conference have posted a call for submissions.

The event takes place at the Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey, October 19-21, 2017.

The conference brings together people from the Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) from different countries and continents that together form the Free Access to Law Movement.

The submission deadline for abstracts is July 30, 2017. Organizers are looking for papers on the following topics:

  • Development and Implementation of Standards for Preserving and Presenting Legal Information
  • New Initiatives in Free Access to Law
  • Technical initiatives and developments in
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet

Delay and Access to Justice: The Never Ending Story

“Fresh justice is the sweetest”, Sir Francis Bacon, 1618

“..we may look forward to a near future when our courts will be swift and certain agents of Justice”, Dean Roscoe Pound, 1906

“Our system…has come to tolerate excessive delays”, SCC majority in R. v. Jordan, 2016

Delay in court or tribunal proceedings has been an issue at least since the Magna Carta of 1215, when King John promised that “to no man will we sell, to no man deny, or delay right or justice”. Over 800 years later, the Supreme Court of Canada has revisited the issue of delay . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Employee Suffering From Alcoholism Reinstated After Unjust Termination

Written wholly by Cristina Lavecchia, Editor at First Reference

The issue in this matter was whether or not the employee was terminated for just cause. It was the employer’s position that it properly terminated the employee for just cause. That is, the employee was absent without leave for a four-week period, the employer attempted to contact the employee to no avail, and the employee failed to contact the employer or provide any information of a medical nature to explain his absence. The Arbitrator in this matter, however, did not quite agree with the employer. In essence, the Arbitrator expressed that . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Thursday Thinkpiece: Siskind and McMurray on Social Media Marketing

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.

THE LAWYERS GUIDE TO MARKETING ON THE INTERNET

Gregory H. Siskind and Deborah McMurray

© 2017 American Bar Association. All rights reserved. Slaw readers can receive a 10% discount on purchase of this book. Use the discount code LGTMARKETING at checkout; this offer is valid from 5/1-8/31.

Excerpt: Chapter 11, pgs. 137 – . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Protecting Your Confidential Intellectual Property Information in Court

A key feature of litigation is the disclosure of relevant information and documents prior to trial through the process of discovery. For Canadian intellectual property proceedings, most of which take place in the Federal Court, disclosure of confidential materials is the norm, and confidentiality orders are typically obtained to keep sensitive information out of the public record and out of the hands of competitors. A couple of years ago, one judge commented that in intellectual property cases, confidentiality orders are “almost always granted as a matter of course” (see 2015 FC 403).

Confidential information that is often the subject . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Self Driving Cars – Privacy Points to Ponder

Cars collect a significant amount of information about our driving. That data will increase dramatically as we move to autonomous vehicles – and with more data comes more ways to use it.

This information can be used now to find fault in an accident or convict us of driving offences. Some insurance companies offer discounts if we share that data with them and they decide we are a safe driver.

Cars increasingly rely on electronic systems for safety features, and self driving cars are coming. They will increasingly collect and store data about not just the car itself but also . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology