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This Week’s Biotech Highlights

This week saw an unusually large amount of biotech deal activity in Canada, so you should check out the Monday Deal Review for all those details; but in between all the transactions, there were some interesting concepts to think about:

REMS: The FDA has, increasingly often, been imposing Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies when it approves new drugs. REMS restrict the way new drugs can be distributed, administered and/or promoted. When the program was first introduced, common wisdom said that REMS were to be avoided at all costs, but lately some advantages have become apparent:

  • Way back in June, we
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Introducing practicePRO’s AvoidAClaim Blog

I’m very pleased to have practicePRO venturing into the blogosphere with the AvoidAClaim blog – AvoidAClaim has a narrow and specific focus: helping lawyers avoid legal malpractice claims.

In conjunction with practicePRO’s website,, AvoidAClaim will provide risk management, claims prevention and law practice management information to help lawyers proactively take steps to avoid legal malpractice claims, and to help them grow successful and thriving law practices.

I will be writing the majority of the posts on the AvoidAClaim blog, but from time to time there will be content from other LAWPRO staff, and other leaders in . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC

I am a new Board Member of the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia. Learning about CLEBC has been an interesting and eye opening experience. I have relied upon CLEBC materials in writing this post.

What is CLEBC?

The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia is a respected and relied upon source of continuing professional education for British Columbia lawyers and their support staff. The Mission of CLEBC is to strengthen the ability of the legal profession to serve the public by providing high quality, accessible, and comprehensive educational resources in a financially viable manner.

CLEBC is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Google Social Search

Google Social Search has now launched. An experiment from Google Labs, Social Search is one of four experimental options you can add to your regular search settings. (You may select only one of the four.)

From the Features page:

Google Social Search is an experimental feature that enables you to find relevant public web content from people in your social circle, when you’re signed in to your Google Account. For example, search for [ restaurants ], and restaurant reviews by your friends and other contacts may appear more prominently in your results.

I ran the suggested search — “restaurants” . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet

Women’s Law Association of Ontario – 90th Anniversary Gala

Speaking of anniversaries, I am currently doing work with the Women’s Law Association of Ontario, and thought others might be interested in their upcoming 90th Anniversary Gala at the Royal York Hotel on Thursday, November 26. The Right Honourable Madam Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin will be the special guest for the evening. Everyone is welcome: members and non-members; men and women. A link to the registration form is below the fold.

The Women’s Law Association of Ontario is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing issues and causes relevant to women in the legal profession through education and awareness programs. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Precedent Magazine Celebrates 2nd Anniversary

Congratulations to Melissa Kruger, Publisher and Editor of the magazine Precedent: The new rules of law and style. Precedent magazine recently celebrated its second anniversary in real style with the invitation-only party Dressed to Bill, featuring a fashion show with new looks modeled by ten stylish lawyers. Precedent is an independent magazine aimed at young lawyers (aged 25-40) and distributed for free to over 20,000 lawyers and law students across Ontario.

You may recall Precedent started life over three years ago as a blog. The website has maintained its “bloggy” roots with additional blog posts and columns. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Freedom — Another Reason to Switch to Apple

If you’re reading this, you’re on the internet. And it’s probably a good bet that you’re on the internet a lot — continuously, indeed, if you’re like me. This is by now unavoidable at the office and, it seems, unavoidable at the “office in your pocket,” whether BlackBerry or iPhone or some other portal to the work world.

But I’ve got a winking modem at home and a honking great (and beautiful) desktop computer sitting on my desk that glows like a persistent fire in the hearth, ready to answer my every question in millions upon millions of vibrant colours. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Google Street View Privacy Concerns Go to ETHI Committee

Simon Fodden predicted that the privacy complaints would begin once Google Maps Street View was launched. The maps have proven popular in Canada, with over 150 million views of other countries by Canadians in 2009 alone.

Google recognizes privacy concerns, but claims to address them through their collection and processing approach:

  • public access images, no different than what would normally be seen walking down the street
  • not in real time, so images can be months old before going live
  • blurring of license plates and faces
  • allowing removal requests, through the “Report a Problem” option in the bottom-left of all images
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Supreme Court Judgment on Fiduciary Obligation

The Supreme Court has just released its judgment in the case of Galambos v. Perez, 2009 SCC 48 (CanLII). The opinion of the court was written by Cromwell J., his second[1. His first was R. v. Godin, 2009 SCC 26 (CanLII)], I believe, since his installation on the court, and concurred in by all eight other members of the court.

This judgment might be of special interest to the bar as it deals with relations between a bookkeeper for a small firm and the bankrupt firm. Essentially, the bookkeeper and de facto office manager loaned large sums . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Friday Fillip

Followers of the fillip will know I often like to get away from words on this weekly indulgence, and this is one of those times. The simple offering today is a video of a woman doing sand animation. This is not quite the same sand art that you might find a Tibetan Buddhist monk or a Navajo shaman doing, though there’s a kinship here, perhaps. This is story telling achieved by forming and reforming images in sand on a light tray as you watch the ebb and flow from above.

But seeing is understanding. So take a look at this . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Office

I read this a few days ago now, but it has been on my mind ever since. It is an attempt to take what “The Office” has to say about workplace dynamics at least somewhat seriously. Not being well-versed in management theory, I’m not sure how good this thinking is, but it is provocative. It is The Gervais Principle, or The Office According to “The Office”.

The Office is not a random series of cynical gags aimed at momentarily alleviating the existential despair of low-level grunts. It is a fully-realized theory of management that falsifies 83.8% of the business

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Social Media & Business Productivity

The lines in the sand seem firmly drawn when it comes to social media blocking. Some firms have taken the view that accessing websites such as Facebook during work hours is an attack on business productivity, and have locked down access. Detractors identify the fact that any personal smart phone can access these sites, and that blocking is not only ineffective, but is taking young lawyers ‘off-grid’ and restricting their ability to communicate with peers and business contacts.

So who’s right? Unfortunately, the answer may be everyone.

The Case for Lockdown

Let’s start this piece by facing facts. Having worked . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing