Canada’s online legal magazine.

Thursday Thinkpiece: In Search of the Ethical Lawyer

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

In Search of the Ethical Lawyer: Stories from the Canadian Legal Profession
© 2016 UBC Press. Paperback version will be available online and in bookstores July 1, 2016.

Author: Micah Rankin is an Assistant Professor at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC.

Editors: Alice Woolley is Professor of Law at the University . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

The “Combo” of Human Touch and Technology

Most ADR practitioners know of the contributions of Carrie Menkel-Meadow [Note 1] to the conflict resolution field. She is a “founder” of the US “ADR” movement and continues to deepen and strengthen our global understanding of the field.

Professor Menkel-Meadow attended the 15th ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) Conference in the Hague in May 2016 and published a helpful commentary on her experience comparing ODR with ADR [Note 2]. She began by suggesting that the modern “ADR movement” grew for three main reasons:

First, what I call ‘quantitative’ ADR – for cheaper, faster and more efficient docket clearing from

. . . [more]
Posted in: Dispute Resolution

What if…2.0

Nearly a year and a half ago, I got a little frustrated with a lack of progress toward increased access to justice and started this What if… list. I looked at the list again today, because lately I’ve been feeling just that way again.

I have been thinking about what is needed to effect the kind of change that is needed. Does A2J need a knight on a white horse riding in from a neighbouring kingdom to set things aright? Though that could make a great movie (I think a younger Al Pacino might play the knight?) it seems an . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Legal Business Development: the Possibility of Optimism

The possibility of optimism, Seth Godin explains…

“Is the glass half full or half empty?

The pessimist sees what’s present today and can only imagine eventual decline. The glass is already half empty and its only going to get worse.

The optimist understands that there’s a difference between today and tomorrow. The glass is half full, with room for more. The vision is based on possibility, the future tense, not the present one.

Pessimists have trouble making room for possibility, and thus possibility has trouble finding room for pessimists.

As soon as we realize that there is a difference between

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing

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. R. v. Saeed, 2016 SCC 24

[1] The common law power of search incident to arrest is an ancient and venerable power. For centuries, it has proved to be an invaluable tool in the hands of the police. Perhaps more than any other search power, it is used by the police on a daily basis to detect, prevent, and solve crimes. . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Is Zealous Advocacy Passé?

“Counsel who are the target of professional vilification by their opponents are not obliged to simply ‘deal with it’. The often misused adage that “a hard fought trial is not a tea party” does not license abusive and unprofessional behaviour towards opposing counsel.” [Emphasis added.]

In Groia v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 471, the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the Law Society Hearing Panel and the Appeal Panel. The Panels found that Mr. Groia’s conduct at trial transcended rudeness and entered the realm of professional misconduct. In particular it was found . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Pick Two Cards. Any Two.

It always amuses me when I see light-hearted references to the rather tedious-sounding Project Management Triangle (alternatively called the Triple Constraint or Iron Triangle). Much fun can be made of the idea that in relation to products, services or outcomes, the choice is of quality, speed or price but only any two out of three can be had. For entertainment purposes it can be applied to restaurants, plumbing services, professional advice, airline travel and the like. However, it makes me wonder about the veracity of the notion and whether or not it is applied or applicable in relation to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal 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 research and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

However
Neil Guthrie

Commonly misused. First, as a conjunction, which it isn’t: The Outside Directors and Officers Liability policy held by the firm on your behalf is set to expire on July 30, 2015, however your assistance is required in advance. Don’t do this. It’s a bad run-on sentence, and just replacing the second comma with a semi-colon doesn’t fix it. Segue to second misuse: . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Buyer Tries Everything to Avoid Paying Commission to Agent

A recent decision of the Divisional Court demonstrates that some people will try anything to avoid paying a commission to their real estate agent.

The buyer was under a representation contract with an agent. During that time the buyer and his wife found a house that they liked through an open house on the same street that they currently lived on.

The buyer emailed his agent to tell him that they had found a house that they had liked and that although the list price was $439,900 they were able to get it for only $430,000. The buyer went on . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Peer-to-Peer Rentals: Entering the Sharing Economy

Peer-to-peer rental networking sites, such as Airbnb and VRBO, provide homeowners with the tools with which to rent out all or part of their properties on a short-term basis. Homeowners may wish to rent out their properties occasionally in order to supplement their income, or they may have purchased the property entirely for income purposes. On its face, this seems like a simple way for a homeowner to make additional income. Only it is not that simple.

Although there is an almost infinite variety of types of rentals facilitated by peer-to-peer rental sites (rooms, apartments within homes, entire homes, condominium . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

[Book Review] Visualizing Law in the Age of the Digital Baroque: Arabesques and Entanglements

Visualizing Law in the Age of the Digital Baroque: Arabesques and Entanglements. By Richard K. Sherwin. New York, N.Y. : Routledge, 2011. 256 p. ISBN: 978-0-415-61293-7 (Paperback) $42.95.

“We love the image and we hate it. We crave its enhancement and fear its deceit.” (p. 31)

Everywhere we look these days we are confronted with a continuous cascade of images. These visual expressions are often trying to persuade us to purchase some product, support a cause, or alert us to an upcoming event. We regularly see actual and simulated representations and are prepared to accept what we see as . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

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. David Whelan  2. IPilogue 3. Legal Sourcery  4. Slater Vecchio Connected  5. Entertainment & Media Law Signal

David Whelan
Closing a Law Library

The Justice minister in the Northwest Territories has announced they are closing, through defunding, the courthouse law library. Not surprisingly, that has caused negative reactions from . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix