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Archive for October, 2010

The Friday Fillip

    I’m forever blowing bubbles,
    Pretty bubbles in the air.
    They fly so high,
    Nearly reach the sky,
    Then like my dreams,
    They fade and die.

    James Kendis, James Brockman and Nat Vincent – 1919

I refer, of course, to the unfortunate Officer Bubbles, the Toronto police officer who has become something of a celebrity because of, among other things, his lawsuit against YouTube for publishing cartoons of his response during the G20 meeting to a protester who blew soap bubbles in his direction. For those three of you who missed the fuss, the Toronto Star has the story and a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Your Call Is Important to Us

“When it comes to customer service,” James Surowiecki noted in an insightful New Yorker column last month, “it seems people are unhappy no matter what side of the counter they’re on.” Surowiecki’s article describes how the only ones more miserable than those who provide front-line customer service these days are those who receive it: neither the buyer nor the seller values or enjoys the post-transaction relationship. 

The reason is pretty simple: during the recession (and, Surowiecki points out, even more so during the boom that preceded it), companies slashed customer service because it was little more than a cost center . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Using Doodle for Motion Scheduling

The Practice Directions for the Toronto Region states,

Parties must consult with each other to select a return date convenient to all parties and which will permit all parties to file all necessary materials and conduct any examinations before the return date. At the time of booking, a realistic estimate of the time required by all parties for argument must be provided.
[emphasis added]

Most other regions have similar guidelines on consultation for scheduling.

Finding a single date when all counsel are available, and then also securing that date from the Trial Scheduling Office, can be challenging, especially when there . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Office Technology

A Gifted Approach to Client Appreciation and Holiday-Giving

Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah or another cause for celebration that triggers you to pause, over-eat, connect with loved ones, the winter holiday is a blessing. It also reminds us to stop and appreciate our clients, especially if we haven’t done so during the year. 

A few years back I was working on a project and my law firm client retained a well-known Vancouver design firm. On the eve of Thanksgiving, all of us on the project received pumpkin pies with a note of appreciation attached. Simple and sweet. It was their strategy to offer a memorable token of appreciation during . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Labour Standards Reciprocal Enforcement Agreements

On September 29, 2010, new legislation allows Quebec to enter into reciprocal agreements with other Canadian provinces and territories to enforce the payment of wages and other moneys owed to local employees of Quebec-based organizations, as laid out in the other jurisdictions’ respective employment standards legislation.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Service Descriptions in an Outsourcing

Linking Service Descriptions to the Economic Model

It is trite to say that in any outsourcing transaction, the service description is critical to the deal. The services are, after all, the essence of the outsourcing regardless of the impetus for doing the outsourcing in the first place (such as cost reduction, technology improvement, business transformation, and so on). The service descriptions are used to establish the framework for the economic model and the base fees that will have to be paid by the business owner. These service descriptions are key for establishing what the service provider must do for the . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

As earlier promised, a somewhat delayed post on legal project management (LPM).

The recent Ark Group master class on LPM, by Steven B. Levy of Lexician and Patrick Lamb of the Valorem Law Group, was a good overview of the topic, with Steven drawing on his experiences at Microsoft and from his book, with Patrick providing a law firm perspective based on the approach in his daily practice. The session certainly reinforced the points in Steven’s book and provided useful context and comfort for implementing LPM. In addition to both the various theoretical and practical ideas presented, . . . [more]

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

Intermediary Liability

I am wondering about the current Canadian rules on intermediary liability, if any — mainly for online intermediaries.

I note the provision of Quebec law (An Act to establish a legal framework for information technology, R.S.Q. c. C-1.1, s. 22.):

A service provider […] is not responsible for the activities engaged in by a service user […]

However, the service provider may incur responsibility, particularly if, upon becoming aware that the documents are being used for an illicit activity, or of circumstances that make such a use apparent, the service provider does not act promptly to block

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law