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Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On one Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe.

Summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted (so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with) (Nov. 13 – Dec. 10, 2014 inclusive).

Appeals

Contracts: Honest Performance
Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71 (35380) Nov. 13, 2014
“A summary of the principles … (1) There is a general organizing principle of good faith that underlies many . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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) : Reconnu coupable de possession d’une arme à feu prohibée, le requérant se voit imposer un sursis de peine après que le tribunal eut déclaré inconstitutionnelle la peine minimale de un an prévue à l’article 95 (2) a) C.Cr. tel qu’il existait le 21 août 2007, soit au . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Friday Fillip: Sans Everything

One winter day, not too long ago, I found myself at the edge of a small bay on Lake Ontario. The night had been still and so the bay had frozen as smooth as if Zambonied. There was no snow on the ice. Prompted by some childhood impulse, I picked up a smooth stone from the shore and fired it to slide out along the frozen surface. To my amazement the ice sang under the caress of the stone. Disbelieving, I tried it again. And again. Each time an uncanny sound returned to me, something like the whine of a . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Familiar Complaints: The State of the Legal Profession in Israel

There are too many lawyers. Too many law schools. The bar exam is too easy. The Law Society should fail more applicants. Such statements are familiar in Canada but they are also heard in Israel where I am spending part of the year as a Visiting Scholar at the David Weiner Centre for Lawyers’ Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a Visiting Professor at the Halbert Center for Canadian Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

When I was much younger, I worked for a year in the Israeli court system as a law clerk so I know something about . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Refusal to Cooperate in Accommodation Process Prevented Reinstatement

Employees must participate in their employer’s accommodation process, even where that process has not produced satisfactory results. In the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal case of Perera v. St. Albert Day Care Society, Theresa Perera found this out the hard way when, due to a disabling injury, she refused to perform the work she was assigned and her employer terminated her for insubordination. However, the tribunal found Perera’s injury was a factor in the termination, and therefore the termination was discriminatory. Nonetheless, the insubordination made reinstatement impossible
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

“And the Winner Is….” What Place Should Award Nominations Have in Your Marketing Efforts?

As I write, awards season is in full swing: gala dinners at glitzy venues, grip ‘n’ grin photographs, grateful recipients thanking their mothers. Is this annual ritual just an ego boost for a few and a waste of time—and money—for many? Or can it produce results beyond those fleeting 15 minutes of fame?

Law firms receive many solicitations for award nominations. Legal publishers create awards events to augment dwindling advertising revenues, exhorting you to nominate clients or colleagues. Charitable organizations want you to help them acknowledge the contributions of volunteers and donors as part of their fundraising efforts. Local institutions . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Smartphone vs Tablet vs Phablet vs ???

I recently traded in my iPad for a Nexus 9. It has made me look at the phone/tablet thing a bit differently.

When I had an Android phone and an iPad, they felt like very different devices, each with a different role. But now that my tablet and phone work the same, and seamlessly share information, they don’t seem so different anymore. For example, if I make a note on google keep, it instantly shows up on the other device.

The only real difference is the size of the screen, and that the tablet can’t make phone calls or send . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Setting Up Virtual Teams for Success: Expert Advice

In a recent survey of 1,700 knowledge workers, 79% of respondents indicated that they always or frequently work in dispersed virtual teams. The trend is echoed in law firms of all sizes, as business operations are reconfigured for greater efficiency and individuals seek increased flexibility in work arrangements.

Author and speaker Keith Ferrazzi published practical tips to set virtual teams up for success in the December 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review. Based on my experience working with groups in multiple law offices and time zones, his advice rings true.

Ferrazzi says that virtual teams should focus on . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading, 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. Bank of Nova Scotia v. Diemer, 2014 ONCA 851

[1] The public nature of an insolvency which juxtaposes a debtor’s financial hardship with a claim for significant legal compensation focuses attention on the cost of legal services.

[2] This appeal involves a motion judge’s refusal to approve legal fees of $255,955 that were requested by a court appointed receiver on behalf . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Who Is the Inventor?

Enthusiastic entrepreneurs consult with patent agents about the protection of their new product. Often a successful team for an entrepreneurial business includes someone with technical skills, someone with marketing skills, someone providing business direction as well, of course, with one of more persons providing financial backing. Often all want to be named as inventors on a patent application. A key question which comes up is to identify who are the inventors.

That question was answered by the Federal Court in Drexan Energy Systems Inc. v. Canada (Commissioner of Patents) 2014 FC 887, a case where four people worked together on . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

TR ProView Ebook Platform

This December, Carswell migrated their eReference Library collection to the Thomson Reuters ProView platform. I was able to see this process purely from the content user perspective as the library team did all of the preparation, communication, and implementation for our side as the client partner in the vendor client relationship. Today, I had an opportunity to use one of the texts that my firm has access to through this new interface.

I like the clean and intuitive experience of using ProView content via a browser.

There are a couple of features that are interesting:

  • the expanding chapter outline that
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

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 technology, research and practice.

Technology

Avoid Data Disasters by Properly Ejecting USB Devices Before You Remove Them*
Dan Pinnington

How many of you take the time to “eject” your USB devices before you remove them? I know some of you didn’t raise your hand. Does it really matter? Yes it does. Why? Because you can end up with corrupt data if you yank a device out while data is still being written to it… . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday