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May a Plaintiff Compel a Defendant’s Lawyer to Identify His/her Client?

A U.S. court has ordered a lawyer for a defendant in a defamation action to identify his client. Could this be done in Canada? Is it routine? I know that there is Canadian case law on requiring Internet intermediaries to identify users, for both civil and criminal proceedings. I am not aware that lawyers can be required to do so – but maybe that is just because i am no barrister.

The lawyer claimed attorney-client privilege in refusing to answer. If a lawyer shows up in a court proceeding on behalf of a ‘John Doe’ client, is the identity of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Building an Unbundling Practice – Making It Practical!

Lots of posts on “unbundling” recently. There seems to be (dare I say it) a movement in support of new business models for the delivery of legal services – including unbundling. By now we are familiar with the (long) list of benefits to the public, lawyers, courts and judges (1). But how can lawyers begin to shift their practices in this direction? I have two new practical tools to share with you:

  • An Unbundling Toolkit for Lawyers and Paralegals (version 1.0); and
  • The BC Family Unbundling Roster

The Toolkit version 1.0

During the surveys and interviews with family lawyers and . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

A Response Based on Alice Woolley’s Important “Defending Rapists”

Dear Alice,

I suspect I’m going to regret breaking yet another of my New Year Resolutions so soon in the year but, since none of your CALE colleagues seem inclined to discuss this topic with you, here, I will.

But maybe not where and how you expected. I may be a dinosaur. I’m not that much of a dinosaur.

You wrote:

“Which means that we have to be incredibly clear and careful about articulating and enforcing the ethical boundaries on defence lawyers in sexual assault cases.”

I would modify that statement, slightly, because of its succinctness,as a reminder to all . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Peggy’s New Gig

Before Siri and Alexa etc, there was Peggy. Back in the 1990’s, she told users of a pioneering practice management system (PMS) when they had an appointment. I found her most useful when I was distracted on the phone, or otherwise missed a visual reminder on the screen. She just did one task, but did it very well. In an English accent, she simply announced “Sorry to interrupt, but you have an appointment soon”

A more recent woman in my life is Amy Ingram from x.ai. She introduced herself to me about a year ago when I tried to make . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

10 Things to Watch for at the Intersection of Tech and Law in 2017

  1. CASL, Canada’s anti-spam legislation, has been with us since July 2014. It’s a terrible piece of legislation for many reasons. In July 2017 a private right of action becomes effective that will allow anyone who receives spam as defined by CASL to sue the sender. CASL sets out statutory damages, so the complainant does not have to prove any damages. Class actions will no doubt be launched. The sad part is that breaches of CASL are to a large extent breaches of the very technical requirements of the statute, rather than the sending of what most people would call spam.
. . . [more]
Posted in: 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. R v Magoon, 2016 ABCA 412

[51] The trial judge was alive to these concerns and applied the framework described by Moldaver J in Hart. In assessing the probative value of Magoon’s Mr. Big statements, the trial judge considered all the circumstances in which the statements were made. She noted, in particular, the nature and extent of the inducements offered, . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Technologizing Access to Justice

Last month, Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ) and Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General hosted The Final Pitch of the Ontario Access to Justice Challenge. The Challenge sought to “foster the growth and success of startups that are developing products, technologies, processes, and solutions that have a direct positive impact on access to justice in Ontario.” The Challenge began last summer with 29 startups that were ultimately narrowed down to a top five that received a range of incubation supports from LIZ including advisors, workshops and mentorship opportunities.

I had the honour of being one of four judges . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Should Law Firms Institute “20% Time”?

Most law firms hope to exist for many decades to come. But most law firms’ focus their energy on meeting quarterly or yearly targets.

But research shows that companies pay a steep price for not extending their gaze beyond the next 3-12 months. These companies tend to have significantly lower growth over the long-term.

One way that firms can increase their long-term longevity is through instituting “20% time”. In the book Drive, Daniel H Pink writes that “20% time” refers to the percentage of working time that employees are encouraged to work on any project that they wanted.

Google . . . [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 research, writing, and practice.

Research & Writing

Finding Labour Arbitration Decisions
Susannah Tredwell

One difficulty with finding labour arbitration decisions is a lack of uniformity in the style of cause; sometimes the union’s name may be fully spelled out, other times it may be abbreviated, or it may be omitted altogether and the name of the griever used. As a result, it can be faster to find a decision by searching by arbitrator’s name . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Should Judges Be Appointed or Elected?

Ben Franklin thought that judges should be elected. He thought that the voting public would select the best person for the job. See page 455, Benjamin Franklin, An American Life by Walter Isaacson.

Judges are appointed in Canada. In the U.S.A. federal court judges are appointed. Some U.S.A. states elect judges. Many years ago a Denver lawyer told me that Colorado lawyers prefer to elect judges because it tends to make the judges accountable and responsible. In Canada supreme court judges are appointed until age 75. Some appointed judges act irresponsibly. For example, when I was practicing law in New . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Why Short-Sightedness May Cost Marijuana Dispensaries a Fortune

The Federal Government has indicated that it intends to table recreational marijuana legislation by the spring of 2017. As we all know, politicians never break promises or deadlines. Even if the legislation is tabled in the spring it is widely anticipated that the changes will not be implemented overnight, with some predicting that the Canadian recreational marijuana market may not be fully open and legal until as late as 2019.

 

The recent release of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation’s report has created significant buzz about many aspects of what Canada’s new legislation regarding recreational marijuana may . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

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 seventy 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. Legal Sourcery  2. Excess Copyright 3. AvoidAClaim  4. Canadian Legal History Blog  5. Slater Vecchio Connected

Legal Sourcery
Holiday Reading List 2016 – Part 2

Melanie’s Reading List: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders — Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix