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Archive for November, 2009

Brand Promise – It’s Not a Bag of Hair

Conventional wisdom is that law firm web sites should contain a list of major deals the firm has worked on. I’ve always thought that was wrong – but didn’t really understand why until this morning.

I attended a TechAlliance breakfast club seminar where Nick Hall of Hall Associates ( @hallassociates ) spoke about Brand Promise.

One of the examples he used was a hairdresser. The brand experience a good hairdresser provides is confidence – not a haircut. Confidence that the hairdresser uses her/his expertise to make the customer look and thus feel good. That results in loyal customers who will . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Author Melanie Bueckert Discusses Employee Monitoring Law

I’ve never pre-ordered a textbook until Melanie Bueckert’s “The Law of Employee Monitoring in Canada.”

This is no slight to Melanie’s fantastic background, but I didn’t expect much. Though there are exceptions, many privacy texts tend to be thin on substance, perhaps because the domain is evolving so quickly.

Given I had set my expectations low, I was delighted when I received Melanie’s text last month and discovered it included a thorough and deep discussion of the law of employee monitoring in Canada. This led me to introduce myself to Melanie, who is Legal Research Counsel at the Manitoba Court . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading, Substantive Law, Technology

LCO: Modernizing the Provincial Offences Act Consultation Paper

A heads up for those interested in the Law Commission of Ontario’s Modernization of the Provincial Offences Act project. The Consultation Paper is scheduled for release early next week. It lists about 20 issues on which we want people’s views: should we address this issue? And if so, what should we recommend? We also want to know if there are issues we missed.

We were aware of the Streamlining Paper emanating from the MAG Working Group and tried to avoid duplication of issues. We’ll do the same with Bill 212 which recently received second reading, although it addresses only a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Trusts and Estates Practitioners Need to Be Aware of Family Law Act

Cross posted at

There is a fantastic article by John Harvey at page 12 in the October 26 issue of Law Times. (Sorry I can’t give you a public link – unfortunately it is locked up for Law Times subscribers – they can access it in the Law Times Digital Edition here.

While written for Ontario lawyers as it references the Ontario Family Law Act (FLA), the risk issues the article highlights are equally applicable to lawyers in other provinces and territories.

The article has some great comments and quotes from Lorne Wolfson of Torkin Manes . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Identity Theft New Criminal Code Offences

Bill S-4: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (identity theft and related misconduct) came into force on October 22, creating a number of new offences in relation to identity theft and impersonation. As ever, the best way to acquaint yourself with the new provisions is by reading the excellent legislative summary provided by the Library of Parliament.

New offences include the following:

  • identity theft (new Code section 402.2(1)) -:- knowingly obtaining or possessing “another person’s identity information in circumstances giving rise to a reasonable inference that the information is intended to be used to commit an indictable offence .
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

The Myth of Work Life Balance in Law

I am totally exhausted after a day involving a chambers application, client meetings, attempting to settle a high conflict matter likely headed to litigation despite all efforts and then coming home to two children under four with a husband out of town. And, Monday is my day to post on Slaw …

Which leads to me to a little rumination on the ethereal promise of work life balance in the context of private practice law. I am with Jordan Furlong, whom I met coincidentally for the first time in person at a CBA Work Life Balance function, that we . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2009

Each year Technorati, the online service that indexes blogs throughout the Internet, dives deep to look at the world of blogs, bloggers and blogging in its annual State of the Blogosphere. This year Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra presented it as his keynote to the popular BlogWorld 2009 in Las Vegas in October. His assessment:

“The state of the blogosphere is strong.”

The report itself is published as a five-part series (plus introduction) with lots of easy-to-read graphs giving the overview of statistical findings:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

Dealing With Digital Assets After Death

The New York Times had an interesting blog entry the other day about how one should plan to have one’s digital assets dealt with after death.

The author is not talking about bank or brokerage accounts accessed by electronic means, but about one’s PayPal account, or eBay, or Second Life virtual/real estate, etc — social media assets, as it were — or just personal information that one might not want to survive one’s own ability to control it.

Is this something we should be concerned about in Canada? What would you recommend? Or do most people really have to care . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Every week, I travel the world [wide web] in search of interesting new biotech developments. This week, a smattering of stories from Canada, the U.S. and China are worth noting:

In Canada (and presumably elsewhere as well) Merck put out a country-specific press release announcing the closing of its merger with Schering-Plough. Merck calls Canada “an integral part of the company’s expanded global presence.”

In the U.S., Congress decided that the shutdown of (Canada’s) Chalk River reactor was a warning, and passed a bill to stimulate domestic production of medical isotopes. About 60% of the U.S. supply had . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Bring Rain to the Desert

Law firms are deserts of positive feedback. At so many of our law firms no news is good news and critical feedback is the only kind going around.

As a lawyer coach I am a woman with a mission: To help make our law firms better places to work. One of the most powerful tools for accomplishing this is something called positive acknowledgement.

Positive acknowledgement is about giving the gift our attention by recognizing when someone has done something well. Positive acknowledgement works when you notice someone’s strengths or what they have accomplished and you tell them that you have . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Honourable Frank Iacobucci on Residential Schools

Notes from a keynote speech by Justice Iacobucci at the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) Fall Conference.

Grew up in the East End of Vancouver, where there was lots of diversity of people from many backgrounds. Justice Iacobucci noted that he entered the law exactly 50 years ago, in 1959, when he graduated from UBC. There wasn’t a lot of visible minorities in the profession back then. There also wasn’t a lot of “funny names” in it back then. He recalls that when he told by one of his undergraduate professors that he wanted to do law that . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Forging a Global Privacy Standard

Over the last week, privacy regulators from around the world have been meeting in Madrid at the 31st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. Canada’s own Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, has not surprisingly had a prominent role in the conference, chairing a plenary session on internet privacy. She was also a speaker at another plenary session on moving towards a global privacy framework. The private sector have been involved in the discussions and it appears that there is growing consensus that the global economy and global internet necessitate global (or at least globally compatible) privacy standards. I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous