Canada’s online legal magazine.

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

The 5 Technology Trends Lawyers Should Pay Attention to in 2017 and Beyond

As technology continues to play a larger role in our everyday lives, lawyers should be attuned to issues borne from new advancements, and the legal implications that may arise. However, for many lawyers who do not come from a tech background, simply knowing which of countless technology issues they should familiarize themselves with can seem daunting. To assist you in better knowing where to start, here are the five technology issues all lawyer should be mindful of in 2017 and beyond:

1. Legal Automation

Up until now, law firms had not appeared to seriously take steps to automate legal processes . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Thrill Is Gone: Sardonicism ‘R Us, Part Un

This post contains some parting, case-specific, comments on Canadian common law judicial reasoning for interested Canadian lawyers (or those interested for other reasons) to ponder, related to a few Canadian reasons for judgment delivered late in 2016.

It’s not my job or real concern any more, unless it’s at a friend’s request or for other good reason. Whether it ought to remain any part of my concern is something I don’t plan to ponder very much in 2017. If I do, though, it’ll be only after I’ve had much Macallan 25, or the equivalent, at somebody else’s expense and as . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Burke v. Watson & Barnard (A Firm), 2016 BCCA 439

AREAS OF LAW: Negligence; Duty of care; Proximity; Cooper v. Hobart; No reasonable cause of action

~A small number of decisions in other Canadian courts of first instance are not enough to establish a category of cases in which a duty of care has previously been recognized, for the purposes of a Cooper v. Hobart analysis.~

BACKGROUND:

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Defending Rapists

Lawyers who defend people accused of sexual assault tend to be subject to one of two narratives in popular conversations, particularly on social media:

The critical narrative: Sexual assault is a violent and under reported crime. Our criminal justice system further victimizes complainants by treating their claims with unwarranted skepticism, and by degrading them both during the investigation of the crime and during the trial of the accused. Lawyers who represent an accused in sexual assault cases engage in morally suspect conduct, except in those (rare) cases where the accused is factually innocent. They directly participate in the victimization . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Impending Importance of Patent Office Procedures to Canadian Patent Litigation?

A recent decision of the Federal Court[1] 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 . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Police Access to Recordings of in-Home Computer “assistants”

A lot of people now have computers they can talk to and get answers from – Siri, Alexa, Cortona, etc – not to mention interactive talking dolls.

A man in Arkansas was recently charged with murdering another man in his home. The accused person had a number of such devices in his home, including an Echo device made by Amazon. While the device is set up to activate itself when addressed in a particular way, or by name, sometimes they record in other circumstances.

The police have asked Amazon to turn over any recording made during the relevant period. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Resilience

Resilience is the ability to adapt or ‘bounce back’ from negative experiences such as criticism, rejection or significant sources of stress arising from family issues, health problems and, as lawyers, all of the stressful elements that we face everyday in the workplace.

While each of us is born with a certain degree of resiliency, environmental factors can also influence our ability to move past difficult life experiences and recover more quickly. As a result, some people are highly resilient while others are not, if at all. Unfortunately, studies have shown that lawyers overall have low levels of resilience which likely . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Why Face Time Matters More Than Ever

No, not the Face Time app on your iPhone, “face time” as in one-on-one meetings with direct reports and others in your firm.

As organizations pursue efficiency by automating processes, collecting loads of data and creating “lean” teams, more of us are deliberately disengaging from our work.

And we often blame management when things don’t improve. Bad management, to be exact. A 2014 Gallup poll showed that companies fail to hire proper management 82% of the time. Ouch.

What exactly makes a “good” manager? Harvard Business Review recently published a summary of research done in studies of knowledge-based . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

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.

Practice

3 Reasons to Embrace Uncertainty in 2017
Jackie Porter

It seems there is never a shortage of bad news going around. 2016 has certainly had its share. Brexit, the unexpected presidency of Donald Trump, corporate restructures, not to mention turbulent financial markets. Most people approach the New Year with excitement and hope. However, what happens after the first bit of bad news hits your world? Whether its job loss, . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Delay in Adjudicator Appointments: Crisis, What Crisis?

In 2016, there was a small flurry of concern about the delays in appointments of judges by the federal government. In early December, the Ontario Auditor General highlighted delays in the appointments of Order in Council appointees (adjudicative, regulatory and advisory positions) of up to 16 months. This did not receive much, if any, media attention. The impacts on the administration of justice and on access to justice as a result of delays in appointing of adjudicators can be significant.

There are 3,647 appointees in Ontario (as of July 2016). Of these, there are 47 adjudicative and regulatory entities that . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution