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Deferred Discomfort and the Problem of Justice Reform

Canadians do not have access to justice. Access to justice is of foundational importance to Canadian society; access to justice is essential to the social and economic wellbeing of civil society. The civil justice system is too complex, too slow and too expensive. It is too often incapable of producing just outcomes that are proportional to the problems brought to it or reflective of the needs of the people it is meant to serve. The system is in crisis. The reforms to date are inadequate; change of a fundamental nature is required. An overhaul of the current system is required. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

UNCITRAL’s WGIII on Online Dispute Resolution… a Seemingly Perpetual Tug of War

Between October 20th and 24th, as it does every Autumn, UNCITRAL’s Working group III on Online dispute resolution met to try and finally draft procedural rules for ODR providers. Unlike previous sessions, this year’s was rumoured to be a “make it or break it” meeting. This could be gleaned from the restatement of the directives given to participants in July of 2012 by UNCITRAL:

(a) the Working Group should consider and report back at a future session of the Commission on how the draft rules would respond to the need of developing countries and those facing post-conflict . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Inducement of High-Level Employee May Contribute to a Long Notice Period Award

In Rodgers v. CEVA, although the employee worked with the employer for less than three years, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that the terminated employee should be awarded damages for wrongful dismissal totalling $345,985 representing 14 months' reasonable notice.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Thursday Thinkpiece: Oughtred on Going It Alone

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.

Going it Alone: A Start up Guide for the Sole Practitioner, Second Edition

by Wendy Oughtred © 2014 Canada Law Book. Reprinted with permission.

Excerpt from: Chapter 4: Business Structures [Download the full chapter in PDF]

This chapter is about business styles. In a traditional sense, there are three to choose . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Advice for the Reluctant Delegator

Are you a reluctant delegator?

  • You have tried delegating and have been let down time and time again.
  • You have found that no one does the work as well as you, or the way you want it done.
  • You have concluded that it is just faster and easier to do it yourself.
  • Or by the time you figure out that something could have been delegated it is too late.

On a scale of one to ten, one being you have never delegated a thing in your life, and ten being you are a star delegator, how would you rate yourself? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Listening to Voices From “Outside” on Access to Justice

As Julie Macfarlane noted here last week, it is imperative that those in the legal profession seeking to address issues in access to justice bring a variety of perspectives into the tent, including most importantly, the public whose needs are being addressed.

One of the highlights for me at last week’s Pitblado Lectures was hearing from a number of panelists who are not lawyers in response to the various access to justice-themed presentations delivered by an assortment of judges, academics and lawyers. These panelists’ views were insightful and refreshing and provided a much needed “reality check.”

Dr. Jane Ursel made . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. Javier, 2014 ONCJ 361

[9] The Court in Michael considered the case of an impecunious aboriginal offender who was being sentenced on nine relatively minor summary conviction offences. The cumulative amount of his victim surcharges would have been $900 if no fines had been imposed as part of his sentence. The Court found, however, that as it could choose . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire: Study Proves Children as Young as Two Capable of Lying

Kids lie.

Anyone who doesn’t accept this as a statement of fact either isn’t a parent, or is in for a terrible surprise one day from their cherubic little angel.

It isn’t every kid who is a pathological lying demon-spawn nor do those kids who do have a tendency to gild the lily do so on every occasion but the common mythology that children of a certain age aren’t either capable of, or pre-disposed to, fabrication is just that – a myth.

When a child prevaricates about canine homework consumption, the lie is easily brushed aside. No harm, no foul. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Work and Rework

I’m a fan of Basecamp, a web-based project management tool. It has just the right number of features, it’s simply structured, and, most importantly it’s effective. The same can be said of Rework, a book written by the creators of Basecamp, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

We could learn something from these guys
Fried and Hansson founded a small, Chicago-based web design company called 37signals in 1999. The team soon noticed the need for an online tool that would help people “get work done” without heavy investments in commitments, resources or time. Basecamp became that tool. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading, Reading: Recommended

Australian Decisions With JADE

I am a big fan of LIIs, CanLII, BAILII, CommonLII, WorldLII and as Yul Brynner channelling the King of Siam would say: et cetera et cetera et cetera. AustLII is on my list of happy sources. There is a non-LII alternative for free access to Australian legal judgments that is worth sharing here as well.

BarNet/JADE was recently complimented in a blog post at the International Association of Law Libraries site. JADE which is an acronym for Judgment and Decisions Enhanced was created as a practitioners resource.

A complimentary sign up for the service is painless and the site . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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.

Technology

Protect Your Data by Putting a Password on Your Screensaver*
Dan Pinnington

Activating a password-protected screensaver is a simple and very effective way to prevent an unauthorized person from rifling through the data on a computer or other device that’s been inadvertently left on or lost. All versions of Windows and Apple operating systems allow you to add a password to a screensaver….

Research

When You Can’t Find a . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Practicing With My Girlfriends

I once asked a senior woman lawyer how she was adjusting to working in a small boutique firm after spending most of her career at a large national law firm. She laughed and said the difference wasn’t the number of lawyers but the fact that her new firm had all female partners and mostly female associates. I asked her what difference that made. She summed it up in a way that I immediately understood. She said, “It’s like practicing with my girlfriends.”

Most women (at least those who value having women friends) will understand immediately what that means. Relationships, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law