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It’s the 6 D’s Not the ‘60’s: Machine Processing and the Legal Profession

The legal profession should be on notice: the computers are coming.”

Ryan McClead, over on the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, has just finished up a great series of posts called, “The Exponential Law Firm.”* He’s also gathered these posts into a single paper with the added subtitle, “An Exploration of the Technological in Law Practice.”

He begins by attempting to answer the question, “What do we sell?” He frames this question in terms of what lawyers and law firms think they sell and what their clients expect when they seek . . . [more]

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

Some Thoughts on Legal Technology and the Amish

For my vacation this summer I traveled to Amish country in Ohio where we were given a tour of an Amish furniture manufacturing business and welcomed into an Amish home for a meal. It was a thought provoking and humbling experience to see a community that has so successfully and for so long decided how it wants to live and refused to accept the idea that the way the rest of society lives is inevitable. It made me think about the ways the legal community approaches technology and how technological change can be handled.

I had never had exposure to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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 sixty 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. Rule of Law  2. Double Aspect 3. Blogue du CRL  4. Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer’s Blog  5. Canadian Legal History Blog

Rule of Law
Supreme Court of Canada Strikes down British Columbia’s Court Hearing Fees!

I don’t use exclamation marks often. This may be the first one . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Journalistic Independence on ISIS and the Effects on Foreign Policy

The Prime Minister decided this week to send Canadian aircraft to Iraq and possibly to Syria to strike ISIS targets in these countries. The attacks will be exclusively by air and will not involve land troops. The motion is expected to be debated in Parliament tomorrow.

The threats posed by ISIS is certainly unique, and is not easily solved. Nobody suggests that these airstrikes alone will eliminate the problem. Opposition groups have already rejected the plan, indicating that the case for such involvement has not been properly presented. The self-defence basis and humanitarian grounds for doing so have already been . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Les requérants, qui ont omis d’invoquer en première instance l’inconstitutionnalité de la Loi sur la responsabilisation des contrevenants à l’égard des victimes, laquelle prévoit notamment l’imposition de suramendes compensatoires, ne pourront le faire en appel.

Intitulé : R. c. Cloud, 2014 QCCA 1680
Juridiction : Cour . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at

This week’s summaries concern:
Securities Regulation / Civil Rights / Police / Criminal Law / Courts

Walton v. Alberta Securities Commission et al. 2014 ABCA 273
Securities Regulation
Summary: The Alberta Securities Commission, in a decision reported as Re Holtby, 2013 ABASC 45, found G. Walton, B. Holtby, Burdeyney, Randy Kowalchuk and Shepert (the appellants) culpable of insider . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Library Associations Call for Better Services for Prisoners

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) and the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD) recently wrote a joint letter to top federal government officials to uphold the fundamental right of people who are incarcerated to read, learn, and access information:

Literacy and the prison library play an important role inside institutions as well as in reintegration planning. The prison library has the opportunity to mirror the outside world and help prepare the incarcerated person for release.

People serving their sentences have not given up the right to learn and to access information, including legal information. Inmates should therefore have access

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

The Eyes Have It

There has been a fair bit of discussion recently about the pros and cons on online dispute resolution (ODR).

Using technology to help people resolve disputes does have many advantages. It can increase access to justice –both collaborative (mediation) and adjudicative (arbitration). It can be faster and cheaper than other options.

The availability of ODR tools is an important factor in consumer confidence for electronic commerce. People are simply more willing to buy things online if they know there is a way to resolve problems.

But there is one inherent problem with many ODR systems. You can’t look your opponent . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The Friday Fillip: Emergent Orange

Emergent phenomena aren’t really predictable. They’re the result of the interaction of complex forces that don’t combine in a simple or linear fashion. So you don’t know what you’ll get until it arrives.

Certainly no one predicted — or could predict — that the combination of a large number of online photographs would be a formless blur of orange. Jim Bumgardner, “a senior nerd at Disney Interactive Labs,” happened to be puzzled when his summations of a lot of Flickr photos all produced this bronzy, beigey orange each and every time. Since his original observation way back in 2005, . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Orders Made by Director Under the AODA

Despite concerns from many that the government was lagging in its enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) has been issuing orders to comply with the Act, particularly the section 14 requirement to produce and file an accessibility report with the directorate.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Content Marketing: 
More Smoke and Mirrors or a Real Opportunity?

Let me start with a confession: I detest marketing terminology. Like any jargon, it obscures meaning. My clients hate it too: they roll their eyes and start looking at their smart phones whenever anyone talks about content channels, verticals, or market segmentation. So when the term “content marketing” came into play, I could feel my lip curl. So now it’s ‘content creation’, rather than writing? That reminds me of when the term ‘data entry’ came into vogue: as one frazzled HR manager commented, “No matter what you call it, it’s still typing.”

Today, law firms and their marketing departments are . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Osgoode Digital Commons

This announcement from Louis Mirando was posted via the CALL listserv earlier today:

The Osgoode Hall Law School Library is pleased to announce the official launch of the Osgoode Digital Commons (, the Osgoode Hall Law School’s official, open-access institutional repository. The launch was part of the Osgoode Research Celebration held held today as the first official event of the Osgoode @ 125 celebrations to mark the School’s 125th anniversary.

With the launch of its Digital Commons, Osgoode has become the first law school in Canada to provide free online access to its legal scholarship. The Osgoode

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information