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Mandatory CPD Survives Its Day in Court

Since 2012, practising lawyers in Manitoba have been required to complete 12 hours of continuing professional development programming annually and to report on those activities as part of the annual Member’s Report. Failure to do so, pursuant to Law Society Rule 2-81.1(12) may result in issuance of a warning letter from the Law Society CEO, advising the member to comply within 60 days or face automatic suspension until the requirements have been met.

Recently, a long-time member of The Law Society of Manitoba challenged those provisions as being outside the statutory authority of The Law Society, and as lacking in . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD

Chatting in Secret

The Intercept has an article entitled Chatting in Secret While We’re All Being Watched that’s a good read for anyone interested in how to keep communications private. It was written by Micah Lee, who works with Glenn Greenwald to ensure their communications with Edward Snowden are private.

Even if you don’t want to read the detailed technical instructions on how to go about it, at least read the first part of the article that explains at a high level how communications can be intercepted, and the steps needed to stop that risk.

Communicating in secret is not easy. It takes . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology

The Law Society Tribunal and Self-Regulation

Is the World as We Know it Coming to an End?

Each year, the Law Society of Upper Canada has an awards ceremony at which very worthy lawyers and paralegals are honoured. Hearing about the contributions and professional lives of the award recipients is inspiring and underscores the value of our professions to the society that we serve.

There was a whimsical theme in some of the speeches this year. By way of good-natured self-deprecation, one recipient described receiving the call from the Treasurer telling him that he had been awarded the Law Society Medal. He said that his first . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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. Governing Council of the University of Toronto v CUPE Local 3902, Unit 1, 2015 CanLII 38167 (ON LA)

The parties agreed upon two new and important provisions that would provide tuition and bursary funding. There provisions were part of a Memorandum that was rejected in February. Data was then exchanged, modifications ensued and the University accepted the union’s counteroffer leading to . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Legal Innovations: A Few of Our Favorite Things

Innovation means different things to different people – to some, it’s about a small tweak that makes a big difference; to others, it’s a complete disruption in the force.

In Canada, the discussion about legal innovation has lately become bogged down in the debate over alternative business structures (ABS). But that’s not where innovation begins or ends.

On July 23, Friedrich Blase of Thomson Reuters and Natalie McFarlane of LawLignment will host a CBAFutureschat to discuss favourite legal innovations – just what do you define as a legal innovation? What tools make your business model possible? What innovations have you . . . [more]

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

SCC to Rule on Dismissal Without Cause Regime Under the Canada Labour Code.

Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. was thought to put to rest the long-standing debate among adjudicators of whether federally regulated employers can dismiss an employee without just cause if they meet certain criteria (Part III of the the Canada Labour Code (“the Code”) provides protection in the form of reinstatement for employees dismissed “without just cause”).

In January of this year, the Court of Appeal upheld the Federal Court’s decision to allow an application for judicial review concluding that the adjudicator unreasonably found that the law permits only dismissals for cause.

The Federal Court criticized the adjudicator’s reliance . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Legaltech® Coming to Toronto

There are many ways to stay up to date with technology specific to the legal environment. One of my favourite methods is to see technology in action and talk to the people who create it. I get significant benefit from immersing myself in legal technology events. Lucky for me, especially with the disadvantageous (for me) Canada-US exchange rate, Legaltech® is coming to Toronto in September.

Slawyers, including me, have attended Legaltech® New York and the ABATechshow and written about what we have learned. This September 23 and 24, I will be writing from the Toronto show. Slaw is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

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.

Research

Use Multiple Browsers and Compare Content
Shaunna Mireau

Today’s tip is a reminder that web delivered content may display or act differently depending on your browser and the size of your browser window. If it is possible in your organization, use more than one web browser. …

Practice

ScanSnap Is a Snap!!!!
David Bilinsky

Continuing with the theme of technology that just works, I would be remiss if I . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Small Claims Court Awards $2,500 in Damages and $5,300 in Costs

The Courts of Justice Act in Ontario contains a provision which limits the award of legal costs in Small Claims Court to 15 per cent of the amount claimed unless “the court considers it necessary in the interests of justice to penalize a party or a party’s representative for unreasonable behavior in the proceeding.”

This provision makes it impossible for many lawyers to litigate cases in Small Claims Court in a cost effective manner. In short, the amount of fees that will be charged to the client will be disproportionate to the amount of the potential overall recovery.

In a . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law

Know When to Fold ‘Em

“Know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away.”
(Lyrics by Kenny Rogers)

We are not all meant to work together. There, I’ve said it. Some of us just work more productively together than others. Anyone in the professional services field for any reasonable length of time, can attest to a client relationship that just didn’t work. There are a myriad of reasons: You were on a different wave length, didn’t communicate well, didn’t understand each other, couldn’t work efficiently, or had different expectations of each of other … and so on.

There comes a time – at least . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

What Do Title Insurers Expect From Lawyers?

This article first appeared in LAWPRO’s July 2015 real estate webzine “Bringing critical thinking to real estate deals.”

Still relatively new in Canada, title insurance is not fully understood by many consumers. Even certain less-sophisticated lenders lack detailed knowledge of the product. The responsibility for explaining title insurance to those who purchase it – and for supporting insureds in obtaining coverage that suits their needs – falls squarely on lawyers’ shoulders.

Lawyers are also responsible for communicating accurately with the proposed insurer about the details of a real estate transaction, the property to be purchased, and the expectations and needs . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The Lyon Declaration: Advocating for Access to Information

The third issue of the IFLA* Law Libraries Section** Newsletter came out last month. It includes a nice report on last summer’s IFLA conference in Lyon, France, which is worth reviewing to get a sense of what’s front of mind in international law libraries. However, what I wanted to draw your attention to is the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development drafted by IFLA and “a number of strategic partners in the library and development communities” and launched at the conference.

“The declaration calls upon the members of the United Nations to make an international commitment to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information