Canada’s online legal magazine.

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.

PROFESSIONS : La seule délivrance de lentilles ophtalmiques au Québec par une entreprise de Vancouver, comme c’est le cas en l’espèce, ne peut constituer une contravention à l’article 16 et au premier alinéa de l’article 25 de la Loi sur l’optométrie ni un exercice illégal au Québec de l’optométrie.

Intitulé . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Role of Arbitrator Disclosure in International Arbitration

There is a very natural human tendency to claim the game is rigged when one loses.

“The referee was obviously biased against us,” the coach says, explaining the team’s loss.

Donald Trump kept complaining that the Republican Party primary rules were rigged against him, even though he was winning.

So, too, in arbitration, when the losing party seeks to overturn an unfavourable award. This is particularly evident in international arbitration, where there is no right of appeal. Also, in some domestic arbitration cases, where appeals are increasingly limited.

In these situations, lack of jurisdiction or arbitrator bias may be the . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The Oppression of Legal Technology?

I hate talking about “legal technology.”

I mean, I love talking about the possibilities and advantages that specific types of technology can offer, but I hate it when the various types of tools and programs are reduced to a single, amorphous entity. When we do that, it’s too easy to reduce it to just “good” or “bad”. To “useful” or “hype”. Soon it becomes a choice that people must make: are you pro or con legal technology? And then we start to make assumptions about the types of people that fall into each camp and make broad claims about them. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Unlimited Copying Versus Legal Publishing

In John Willinsky’s, Scholarly Publishing Has Its Napster Moment, it’s clear that unlimited “napster”-like copying was a challenge to academic publishing, and notably to some of the large academic publishing houses that dominate legal publishing.

The situations are similar, and worldwide legal publishing seems just as concentrated, as noted by Gary Rodrigues. It’s not, however, clear if the risks are the same in the legal-publishing world, or if they apply to (law-)books.

The Common Bits

Legal publishing starts out very similarly to academic publishing, with an author who is paid for the work he does, but not for . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

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 de Grood, 2016 ABQB 294

[129] Each of the three experts concludes that Mr. de Grood did appreciate the nature and quality of his acts in stabbing his victims but did not know, or appreciate, that his behaviour was morally wrong as he was acting under a delusion that he was being threatened at the time. Having reviewed all . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Working Towards a Next-Generation Environmental Assessment Law for Canada

Environmental Assessment (EA) is a critical part of our repertoire of environmental law tools, designed to allow us to “look before we leap” into activities with potentially significant effects on the environment. A massive overhaul of Canada’s Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in 2012 resulted in the elimination of over three thousand assessments of proposed projects and activities, reduced public involvement in environmental decision-making and weakened environmental protection. EA processes and decisions have been increasingly subject to lawsuits, criticism and protests, with the target of dissent being either the project (say, Kinder Morgan’s controversial proposed oil sands pipeline) or the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Highlights From the 2016 LMA P3 Conference

The Legal Marketing Association recently hosted its annual conference on project management, process improvement and pricing (P3) in Chicago. Billed as a forum where innovative practice management approaches are shared, the event continues to showcase progressive ideas and practical experiences from firms transforming the business of law.

It’s wise to take any presentation of best practices with a proverbial grain of salt. But you also have to give credit to those who proactively invest in new ideas and risk failure. That’s something we don’t see enough of in law.

Here are some of the ideas heard at this year’s P3 . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Think Again – Avoiding Communication Pitfalls

Nothing causes trouble in legal practice quite like communication failures. As Ian Hu from LAWPRO reminded us in his Slaw post last month, communication are the number one source of malpractice claims.

Honing proactive and effective communication skills has significant positive implications for everything from delegation, to the quality of your legal work, to your marketing and business development efforts.

With this in mind, focusing on improving your communication practices at work is probably one of the best investments you can make in your career. Where to start is quite simple, with your thoughts.

I work with many lawyers on . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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

Get Your Pronouns Right
Neil Guthrie

It’s astonishing how many people have trouble with personal pronouns. Perhaps like Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, they think it’s somehow inelegant to say me – so the heroine of that classic book says ‘A girl like I’. But (between you and me) that’s wrong: it should be ‘A girl like me’, of course. Others, faced with the . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Law of Limitations, 3rd Edition

We are excited to announce the recent publication, by Lexis-Nexis Canada Inc., of The Law of Limitations, Third Edition. The first two editions were written prior to the coming into force of the Limitations Act, 2002, so this new edition is the first to cover cases decided under the new Ontario regime.

Although Ontario cases receive the most coverage, the scope of the text is Canada-wide. Since publication of the second edition, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia have fundamentally reformed their limitations regimes, and this edition brings readers up-to-date on the related jurisprudence.

The third . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Predicting Revenue

Often when someone takes over a new position where they are responsible for, dare I say it, the sales funnel, one of their goals is to predict revenue. Most firms try to predict revenue, albeit with different levels of success. Some firms use a backlogs or potentials method for proposal tracking, others ask the professionals to maintain a rolling 12 month projection, and others may simply set a target hoping for the best. One thing is for sure, targeting revenue in professional services is different than for products but a level of predictability is still required.

Companies that sell widgets . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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. Michael Spratt  2. BC Liquor Law 3. Vancouver Immigration Blog  4. Canadian Securities Law  5. FamilyLLB

Michael Spratt
An Open Letter to Chief Bordeleau

Dear Chief Charles Bordeleau, It happened again. A factually guilty man was acquitted of all charges because your police officers failed to follow even the . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix