Canada’s online legal magazine.

Quantifying the Value of Legal Information

[Download the accompanying spreadsheet here]

Quantifying the value of legal information is difficult: the most valuable commodity in a law firm is the knowledge in the minds of the people who work there, and in the written information firms produce and acquire that elucidates their work. In the event of a bankruptcy, it’s possible that the only assets left to settle debts is the art on the walls, because the value can’t be recovered from the people’s heads when they leave — I always look at the art in law firms. The value of this information is more . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Ontario Employment Standards Act Reforms Underway

This article was updated June 1, 2017

On May 30, 2017, the Ontario government decided to move forward with some of the 173 recommendations from the Changing Workplace Review final report which includes broad ranging amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.

At the same time, the government also announced that they will be increasing the minimum wage effective January 1, 2018, which was not included in the report. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ransomware – Fix It Before You Wanna Cry

The WannaCry ransomware attack of almost 3 weeks ago may be a fading memory – but we can’t forget how important it is to protect our computer systems. This is true no matter what kind of business or organization you are.

This video does a good job of summarizing what happened.

The bottom line is that there are some basic things everyone needs to do to reduce the chances of ransomware or malware affecting us. Unfortunately not everyone does these simple things.

They include:

  • Keeping software and patches up to date
  • Upgrade operating systems before support ends (that means you
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Beyond Outreach: Evolving Legal Aid at Halton Community Legal Service

In an interview for a recent Law Times article[1] I expressed the view that one of the main objectives of the legal health check-up (LHC) approach is to establish outreach in order to identify people with unexpressed legal need and to provide pathways along which people can travel to obtain help with legal problems. I have written about this in previous reports[2] The intermediary – clinic partnerships and the legal health check-up questionnaire are the means of identifying unmet legal need and the working relationships between the legal clinic and community groups are the pathways to justice. The . . . [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. Brake v. PJ-M2R Restaurant Inc., 2017 ONCA 402

[119] Since the employment income that Ms. Brake earned during her statutory entitlement period is not deductible from the damages award, the trial judge ought to have determined her statutory entitlement period and identified which items of employment income were attributable to that period and which were attributable to the Balance of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Multichannel Communication

Companies have stories to tell, pitches to make and information to be shared. Using a “multichannel communication” program sounds pretty cool, but what is it? Is this new? And what channels are available?

To understand multichannel communication, it is important to appreciate that there are different ways of sharing information – push, passive and interactive. Email and social are great ways to push content, whereas as passive methods such as an intranet or posters require people have to seek your content. In person, either through meetings or tools such as YouTube Live, allow for interaction which generally offer the most . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Nova Scotia Human Rights Board Orders Employee Insurance Plan to Cover Medical Marijuana Expenses

A recent decision out of Nova Scotia has ordered an employee insurance plan to cover medical marijuana expenses.

Gordon “Wayne” Skinner was an elevator mechanic who developed both physical and mental disabilities as a result of an on-the-job motor vehicle accident in August, 2010. The accident left Wayne unable to work and qualified him for permanent impairment and extended earnings replacement benefits.

For the two years following the accident Wayne attempted to treat his disabilities exclusively through narcotic and non-narcotic pain medication and anti-depressants without success.

In 2012, Wayne obtained a prescription and license to consume medical cannabis. Wayne found . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

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, writing, and practice.

Technology

Adding Personal Notes to Outlook Email Messages
Law Society of Saskatchewan

A question I have been asked numerous times is how to add personal notes, annotations, additional information or comments to an email that you have sent or received. There are numerous imperfect ways to add notes to email messages received or sent but no perfect method. For now, we can only pick one or two imperfect workarounds and . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Build Good Practice Habits and Avoid Malpractice Claims: The New Lawyer

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

You are just beginning to build the habits that can help or hinder your practice in the long term. Consistency in how you deliver service – from the questions you ask at intake to the steps you take when the client leaves the office – is one of the foundations to protect yourself against malpractice claims. Simple procedures like asking the right questions by following an intake form and calendaring and tickling deadlines and court dates as soon as you know them are hallmarks of good practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

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 more than 80 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. Off the Shelf 2. Legal Sourcery 3. Condo Adviser 4. Slater Vecchio Connected 5. Canadian Securities Law

Off the Shelf
Summer access to Quicklaw

All personal student Quicklaw accounts will be deactivated by LexisNexis from June 1 until August 31. During this period you may access both

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

No Longer Is It Possible to Be Both a Good Lawyer and a Good Bencher

The longstanding massive damage and misery being caused by the unaffordable legal services problem (the “accesses to justice” (A2J) problem) compels this conclusion: the problems of law societies are now such that they need an agency that performs a civil service function—one to serve all of Canada’s law societies. The A2J problem has victimized the majority of society for years. It shows that: (1) law societies are the “lynch pin” of the justice system—when they fail, it fails; and that, (2) law societies’ major problems: (a) will be national; (b) require national solutions; and, (c) will be problems for which . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Cross Examining the Artificial Intelligence

As much as I’m an enthusiast for technology, including artificial intelligence, I find that my energies are far more productive discussing the limitations, challenges, and pitfalls of blinding embracing technology in law. It’s only through these discussions that we can use the technology intelligently.

Most of the use of artificial intelligence to this date has been in developing predictive techniques in law, but the possibilities of this technology is only beginning to be explored. Although copyright law may pose some barriers to AI development, machine learning could also be the key to better data security.

The applications in . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology