Canada’s online legal magazine.

Fear and Machine Learning: AI and Legal Practice

In late September leaders from legal, business and technology gathered in New Orleans at Clio Con, also know as the Clio Cloud Conference.* Andrew Arruda, ‎CEO and Co-Founder of ROSS Intelligence, delivered a talk called, “Artificial Intelligence and the Law: Science Fiction or Science Fact?

Arruda sets out to clarify some of the misconceptions that surround artificial intelligence and demonstrate how AI is currently being used. He provides examples of AI inside and outside of the legal environment and concludes that if it’s working elsewhere it can work for law too. He then talks . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

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. Canadian Appeals Monitor  2. The Court 3. Eloïse Gratton  4. AvoidAClaim  5. Michael Geist

Canadian Appeals Monitor
Policyholders stay tuned: final word on the LEG 2/96 defective workmanship exclusion yet to come

As we reported here, the BC Court of Appeal in Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc. v. Allianz Global . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Make Lawyers Smarter, Not Dumber, or Worse, With AI

This might be one of the more important things you read. It’s purpose is to direct you to a submission to the Law Society of NSW Future of Law & Innovation in the Profession (FLIP) Commission of Inquiry. Robyn Bradey is a mental health consultant to the Law Society, NSW Legal Aid and other organisations. Her submission is among the many excellent videos to download. This one should be compulsory viewing for every lawyer, and their management teams.

Robyn is testament to the benefits of a culture of diversity, and the foresight of those driving FLIP which also saw . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Modified Causation in Workers Compensation

Causation in law is a legal fiction. The philosophical underpinnings behind compensation in tort law require some finding of fault, in order to restore the party to their original position. The but-for test used to evaluate these claims is the compromise the law has developed to hold someone accountable for harm suffered by another party.

However, not all forms of compensation in law are administrated by tort law. Injuries suffered by workers as part of the workforce, in particular, have been carved out into a no-fault regime, specifically for the purpose of resolving these issues more efficiently, more effectively, and . . . [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.

RESPONSABILITÉ : L’ex-ministre Le Hir a été négligent lors de la rédaction d’un article dans lequel il associe le demandeur, un avocat et promoteur immobilier, à la mafia et au crime organisé, car il n’a effectué aucune démarche ni aucune vérification pour s’assurer de la véracité des sources sur lesquelles . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law Receives 2016 SABA Diversity Award

The Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law (CAMWL) was founded in 2013 by Muslim women in the legal community who were brought together by their commitment to social justice. Since then, through its public education, direct advocacy, and law reform initiatives, CAMWL has endeavoured to help shape a legal profession that is responsive to our collective obligation to promote substantive justice and equality.

On November 14, 2016, CAMWL was honoured to receive the 2016 Diversity Award from the South Asian Bar Association. What follows are the remarks delivered that night by CAMWL co-founding member, Fathima Cader.

*****

SABA 2016 . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Path From Print to Web Has Just Become Much Shorter

If you have print assets that you want to publish on the web, until now you had two options. The first one: the scanned material is OCR-ed, the text is then extracted into an editable text format (Word or XML), formatting and structure are applied throughout, and then the document is converted to a web-friendly format, like HTML. This is an expensive process even if done offshore. The second option: you can simply publish an OCR-ed scanned PDF file and accept that it will be clumsily rendered, not interactive, somewhat searchable, and in the case of large documents, your browser . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Québec’s New Signage Laws Comes Into Force on November 24, 2016

Last May we wrote about upcoming amendments to the Charter of the French Language regarding signage in French and trademarks. The amendments received public consultations from May 4 to June 18, 2016. On November 9, 2016, final amendments to the Charter under Regulation respecting the language of commerce and business and the Regulation defining the scope of the expression “markedly predominant” for the purposes of Charter of the French language were published and registered in the Gazette officielle du Québec. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

A Natural Experiment With Intellectual Property’s Original Intent Reaches a Milestone

In 2001, I and an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia started an intellectual property experiment with the original intent of this area of law. I didn’t think of it that way at the time, but now that fifteen years have passed and the results of this imagined experiment could be said to be in, I want to set it out here in those terms (warning: unabashed hubris to follow). What we set in motion in 2001 and have worked on steadily since then is a piece of software. I sketched out workflow and wrote the words, while . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Protecting the Free Speech of Charities in Canada

Over the years there have been periodic calls for the modernization of Canadian laws regarding the involvement of charities in public debate and public policy development, activities labeled by the Canada Revenue Agency as “political activities.” While legally charities in Canada must devote all of their resources to “charitable activities carried on by the organization itself,” since 1986 section 149.1(6.2) of the Income Tax Act has clarified that a small amount of political activity will be deemed to be charitable (10% of total resources according to current CRA policy), provided that those political activities are “ancillary and incidental to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Should Digital Marketing Be Important to Lawyers?

2016 has seen a continued focus on digital strategy in the Canadian legal market. Legal industry professionals have been late adopters of digital processes. However, the continued disruption in the Canadian legal market has placed pressure on law firms to find new ways to increase brand awareness and to meet client expectations. So what do law firms need to implement digital policies that improve their bottom line and the client experience? Information and a thorough understanding of client needs.

For the second year in a row, fSquared Marketing has gathered data on the Canadian legal market, to help law firms . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Impending Importance of Patent Office Procedures to Canadian Patent Litigation?

A recent decision of the Federal Court explicitly and repeatedly criticized a lottery ticket patentee for taking a “remarkable” “breathtaking” position on construction in an infringement action that was “entirely opposite” with prior representations to the Canadian Patent Office. At the same time, the court refused any inference of a “greater presumption of validity” because the patent had withstood 12 protests over 13 years brought by the impeacher/alleged infringer, and surprisingly (although reluctantly) accepted the patentee’s “new” construction approach in any event. The court found Scientific Games’ patent for lottery ticket codes to be obvious, ambiguous and not infringed by . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property