Canada’s online legal magazine.

Unmet Legal Needs – the Challenge to Legal Practice and to Self-Regulation

Regulation of legal services differs in important ways across the common law world. In Canada, self-regulation is generally[1] the approach. Canadian law societies are authorized by provincial legislatures to decide who can practice law and provide legal services[2]. The substantial majority of the governors of the law societies are lawyers elected by lawyers. In Ontario, paralegal benchers are elected by regulated paralegals.

In England and Wales, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board are the regulators. The majority of the governors of these regulators are not solicitors or barristers.

In the United States, the state . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Augmented Reality, Diminished Privacy, Increased Conflict?

The new “augmented reality” game Pokemon Go has in a few days more downloads than Tindr. Perhaps the age range of the players is wider.

In any event, to augment your reality, the makers (a spinoff from Google) want a LOT of personal information. TechCrunch has the story, or one version of it. Is the reason that the game is not yet available in Canada our privacy laws, notably PIPEDA, which requires (as well as informed consent) that the collection, use and disclosure of PII be reasonable? Can the game maker justify the extent of the information collected by . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

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 and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

Said, Same, Such
Neil Guthrie

I think you’ll agree that ‘said’ (as in ‘the said party’ when you’ve previously referred to that party) is a little fusty-sounding, and has no place in your jazzy client-focused blog post or article. And even in contractual drafting, it sounds more than a little antiquated. Said is an unnecessary archaism: be done with it. …

Practice

Join Team Tile . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Value Gap

Much of the current discourse and activity in our industry seems to be focused on evolving approaches to fees and pricing, budgeting, project management, better leverage of technology, and insourcing/near-shoring/outsourcing. While these are critically important aspects of modernizing law firm service delivery models, is our focus on value – discretely defined as the monetary worth of something – distracting us from thinking about value in a more holistic or integrated way?

I offer some data points based on my own recent experiences. Earlier this month, I attended a client panel discussion featuring four senior-level in-house lawyers representing different segments of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Title Insurance and Recreational Properties: What You Need to Know

This article is by Nora Rock, corporate writer & policy analyst at LAWPRO.

Recreational properties present a unique set of challenges. Here are some issues to keep in mind when obtaining title insurance policies for your clients’ purchases of recreational properties, to help ensure your clients’ interests are protected.

Legal description: If the property was created years ago, the thumbnail description on the PIN may be brief, for instance, “as in instrument 123456,” but the actual description in that instrument can be long and complex. It may have multiple elements: “Firstly,” “Secondly” and more. Older descriptions may not refer . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Growing Legal Tech Market Place

If you’re interested in learning more about the emerging legal tech market place then you might want to take a look at tech.law.stanford.edu. Robert Ambrogi wrote about this resource in May just before it was introduced at the CodeX FutureLaw Conference. He referred to it then as a “curated list of 450 companies changing the way legal is done.” Today tech.law.stanford.edu includes 558 companies in its directory, that’s over 100 new start ups in about a month and a half. An impressive growth rate …

The site organizes things under a handful of broad categories: Document Automation; Practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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. The Factum  2. BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog 3. Library Boy  4. Global Workplace Insider  5. Environmental Law & Litigation

The Factum
Legal Aid BC wins communications awards

LSS publications were big winners in this year’s Communicator Awards! One of the largest international awards to cover excellence . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

From Zen to Chaos and the Long Road Back

People often talk about the intrusion of technology on our lives, particularly in the context of being at work 24/7 as long as you carry a smartphone. For a long time, I took pride in having the discipline to leave work at the office and enjoy my family time. I checked my phone in the evenings, but unless an email was a ‘true” emergency, I didn’t respond to it or think about it until the next morning when I went to the office. I told younger lawyers to train their clients and colleagues not to expect immediate responses from them . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Gladue-Type Sentencing Needed for Blacks in Canada

The controversy over the shootings in Dallas and protests all across the U.S. are not confined to that country alone. The Black Lives Movement is alive and well in Canada, most visibly stopping the Pride Parade last weekend in Toronto to draw attention to their cause.

But what is their cause in Canada, if much of the media attention and high profile incidents are largely American?

Janaya Khan recently articulated some of the issues that Blacks face in Canada. We have an abysmal record when it comes to justice issues related to First Nations, with indicators worse than our American . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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 ) :L’article 2.1 du Règlement sur la prévention des troubles de la paix, de la sécurité et de l’ordre public, et sur l’utilisation du domaine public de la Ville de Montréal, qui impose la communication, au préalable de sa tenue, du lieu exact et de l’itinéraire, le cas . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

“Silly Rules” of Immigration Law

Our beloved Minister McCallum is on yet another tour, meeting with employers and stakeholders in the Atlantic provinces to boost a pilot project: Atlantic Growth Strategy. During the presentation, our Minister indicated, “We are committed to streamlining things, to getting rid of silly rules […]” I supposed I am still shell-shocked from the rhetoric of our previous government but I cannot overstate the change in perspective from our current Minister compared to past Ministers.

Minister McCallum did not elaborate on which of our current immigration rules are the “silly” rules. Based on conversations with clients, I regularly hear, “and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Crucial Patent Experts

Patent cases focus on the expert evidence. In many cases, the key issues of claim construction, the applicability of the prior art and infringement all turn on the evidence provided through the opinions of expert witnesses. There are several interesting issues arising recently in the use of experts in intellectual property cases.

The Federal Court of Appeal has recognized the unique position of expert evidence in patent cases, stating: “the practical reality is that a court nearly always reads a patent through goggles supplied by the experts whom the judge considers to be credible and accurate” and “The skilled reader . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property