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Archive for October, 2010

Should Legal Education Be Taking Lessons From the Khan Academy?

The Khan Academy represents a new way to learn. It’s a YouTube-based video library consisting of over 1,800 videos on topics ranging from math, science, the humanities and other topics. Sal Khan, an MIT graduate, Harvard MBA and ex-hedge fund manager, singlehandedly delivers each of the lessons. His videos have more than 22 million views and are viewed more than 70,000 times per day – more than the combined courseware provided by both MIT and Stanford. For an idea of what a typical lesson looks like, take a look at Khan’s lessons on DNA or solving linear equations.

His . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology: Internet

Recours du Vendeur À Tempérament: L’hypothèse Hypothécaire

[Under the Québec Civil Code, an instalment sale is a sale on credit by which the seller reserves ownership of the property until full payment of the sale price. Even though a debate has been going on as to whether this constitutes a security, one should keep in mind that the seller does not have any hypothecary rights. As owner, he does not need any such right to repossess the sold property in case of default. Paradoxically however, in instances where the seller wishes to reclaim the object of the sale from the buyer in default, the Québec RPMRR demands . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Cost of Justice – Weighing the Costs of Fair and Effective Resolution to Legal Problems

Equal access to a civil and family justice system that can uphold rights and fairly and effectively resolve disputes is a fundamental and far-reaching component of democratic societies. It influences our lives every day via contracts and credit situations, the ownership and distribution of property, family relationships and their breakdown, personal injury, benefit entitlements, human rights, and various corporate arrangements.

At the most basic level, the civil justice system exists to provide people with access to knowledge about their rights, and if necessary to a means of enforcing them (Civil Justice Advisory Group, 2005, p.20).

Although the civil . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Personal Learning Network – Not Just for Students

Last week when I wrote about Students and the New Personal Learning Environments, the topic of students now contacting experts directly came up. One major component of students’ Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is the Personal Learning Network (PLN).

The new social networking tools allow students to more easily find, connect and interact with experts and other students from around the world learning about the same topics. Educator Wendy Drexler, who presented last week’s video, wrote and produced this Common Craft-inspired video a year earlier (December 2008):

Asking others about what they know and looking for expertise within our . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

“My Legal Briefcase” Offers Help Re Small Claims Court

With Small Claims Court in Ontario now able to deal with claims of up to $25,000, the actions aren’t so “small” anymore. And the increase in the number of people affected by the generous cut-off has spawned a variety of self-help websites and businesses.

For an example of a pro bono self-help site, check out the series of seven videos on the Small Claims Court by lawyer James Morton, part of an initiative by the Advancement of Legal Education and Research Trust (ALERT), the charitable arm of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA).

My Legal Briefcase is a brand new . . . [more]

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

Getting From Surviving to Thriving

Ever feel like you were falling behind in all the important areas of your life? As the pace of work shifts into high gear in September it is all too easy to get trapped in survival mode – just working to make it through each day and pushing aside your own personal priorities and objectives. 

I have had many lawyers tell me they feel they are failing at both their jobs in life – as parents and as lawyers. These professionals are men and women from different firms and different parts of Canada. One thing I know for sure is . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

OBA Online Video Library

The Ontario Bar Association (OBA) is creating an online video library to help educate the public about the justice system in the province. The videos cover the basics of the civil litigation process.

The library is created by the charitable arm of the OBA, The Advancement of Legal Education and Research Trust (ALERT). The civil litigation videos feature James Morton, a Toronto lawyer with Steinberg Hope Morton & Israel LLP and adjunct faculty at Osgoode, who blogs at Mortons Musings.

The press release from the OBA can be seen here. The entire libary can be viewed on . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

UofT Prof Receives Trudeau Foundation Fellowship

Sujit Choudhry of the University of Toronto was recently awarded the Trudeau Foundation Fellowship. Fellows are selected based on their research achievements, creativity and social commitment.

Choudhry is a constitutional law professor who has had increased profile in Canada in recent years working as intervenor in a number of cases and commenting in the media on public affairs issues. In the UofT press release Choudhry indicates he will use the $225,000 provided by the award to develop post-conflict constitution-making.

An interview with The Globe can be seen here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Miscellaneous

Sex Discrimination in Insurance Rates

A legal advisor to the European Court of Justice has advised that it is illegal to charge different premiums to women and men for life insurance and car insurance, merely because women live longer and have fewer accidents.

The differences are not inherent in women and men, and therefore are discriminatory.

This advice is not binding on anyone, but the ECJ usually goes along with its advisors.

Does this make sense to you? or is it just too politically correct for words? . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Precedent a-List: New Site for Lawyer Announcements and Career Postings

Further kudos to Melissa Kluger and her staff at Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style. I remain impressed with the ongoing quality and content of her magazine (note of disclosure: I know Melissa from when she was a law-school student and I believe my firm also advertises in the magazine).

It seems they have also now launched The Precedent A-List, a site for lawyer announcements and career postings.

As stated in their news release:

The site will be devoted to career announcements — such as who has made a move, made partner or gone in-house —

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law

A Living Wage Policy at City Hall

Esquimalt may join New Westminster in adopting a living wage policy for all employees. That would make it only the second municipality in the country to take the step.

The Tyee story linked above, outlines how it was not an easy sell in New West., but in the end has been a popular choice. Councellor Jaime McEvoy says municipalities pay their executives well, and always look carefully at the salaries for councilors and mayors, but

It’s only for the group of people at the bottom that we don’t worry about what they’re making or how they’re doing.

The living wage . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Note Re: Adoption of the McGill Guide by Saskatchewan Courts

The following is a guest post from Eva Warden, Citations Editor at the McGill Law Journal:

“Please note that adoption of the McGill Guide to Uniform Legal Citation by Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal and Court of Queen’s Bench is not specific to the 7th edition. Only new additions to the list of institutions that have officially adopted the Guide were consulted prior to the publication of the 7th edition, and although the SKQB and SKCA have adopted previous editions, their adoption of the 7th edition is still pending until the courts review and approve all changes. Until they do so, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous