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Archive for January, 2011

Test the LPM Waters

Legal project management. Three words that are appearing together in sequence more and more often. I got a tip from a colleague recently about Onit. What is Onit?

Onit is a light-weight project management and business collaboration tool for legal and business professionals.

I signed up for an Onit account to gather information about what legal project management would look like on a day to day basis using a software tool. I learned a little more than I bargained for. The Onit website offers some good arguments for implementing an LPM structure over the provision of legal services under . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Confidentiality Obligations in Outsourcing Agreements

Confidentiality obligations are a fundamental part of all outsourcing agreements. As part of an outsourcing transaction, the customer and the service provider each agree to make Confidential Information available to the other but subject, in each case, to the limitations on use, disclosure and retention that are agreed to in the contract. Unfortunately, customers and service providers don’t always get it right and the parties sometimes find, after signing the agreement, that information intended to be kept confidential need not be or that information intended to be freely available is subject to unwelcome restrictions that limit its usability. In this . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

Sigh 2

The problems aren’t always caused by unrepresented litigants.

  • The Attorney General of Canada v. Maria Valde, 2011 ONSC 328
  • “In the Matter of an Application pursuant to section 29 of the Extradition Act for an order committing the Respondent to await the Minister’s decision on whether the Respondent should be surrendered to the Republic of Hungary”
  • [1] The Republic of Hungary seeks the extradition of Maria Valde a.k.a. Maria Ramsay to face charges for conduct considered criminal in Canada, namely fraud. For the reasons that follow, I dismiss the application.
  • [7] The test for committal
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions


I’ve set out excerpts from just-released reasons. The words in square brackets are my comments.

Farrell v. The General of the Salvation Army, 2011 ONSC 317

  • [2] The Plaintiff’s Amended Statement of Claim (“the Claim”) comprises 226 pages and 2,589 paragraphs, some incorrectly numbered. The Claim names 62 Defendants but contains repetitions of some of them. The claims against eight of the Defendants have been dismissed.[1] There are currently claims against only 13 Defendants.
  • [3] The damage claim is $1,030,681,760. The Claim arises from alleged experiences the Plaintiff had during an 18 month stay at the Hope Shelter, an
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

KM and Crowd Accelerated Innovation

I read with great interest a recent article by Chris Anderson in Wired Features how video on YouTube is having the unexpected effect of allowing people to learn–and innovate–at an accelerated rate. He gives the example of people learning from one another how to dance, developing skills previously unheard of. Take for example the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers:

According to Anderson, many of these dancers were self-taught through Internet video, bringing together tricks and moves previously unknown in dance. Part of this is accelerated learning and innovation, he says, comes from people sharing what they know, so that others who . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

LawPivot: Crowdsourcing Legal Advice

While Q&A sites have been around for as long as the web, the last year has seen a tremendous surge of innovation in this space. Quora is one of the hottest startups in the valley right now, and has experts in various fields answering questions on everything from “Why is Dropbox more popular than tools with similar functionality?” to “Why is honey dangerous for babies?”.

LawPivot brings the Quora concept to legal advice, allowing companies to confidentially ask legal questions of lawyers that have registered with the site. LawPivot employs a recommendation algorithm that will match . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

The Language of Statutes: A New Book on Statutory Interpretation

If you enjoy worrying the ambiguous spaces in legislation, or shaking your head at the foolishness of those who are wrongheaded about interpretation, you might like Lawrence Solan’s new book, The Language of Statutes, Laws and their Interpretation (University of Chicago Press, 2010, ISBN: 9780226767963—also available as an e-book, including what appears to be a 30-day “rental” for $7). His is a balanced, pragmatic view of statutory interpretation and the role of the courts, welcome, I’d say, in a U.S. climate where otherwise reasonable people can say that judges should simply apply laws mechanically and leave the creativity to . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading

Good Risk Management: Use an “I Am Not Your Lawyer” Letter

On occasion you will meet with people who are connected with a matter but not otherwise your client. For example, where you have met with several people during the creation of a business and will end up acting for the business but not for one or more of the individuals. Or, where you meet with the children of an elderly couple in the course of doing estate planning work. In these cases an “I am not your lawyer” letter can serve to make it crystal clear for which individuals you are and are not acting.

Here is a model “I . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Canadian Forum on Civil Justice Moving to York University

York University is the new home of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice. The Forum is moving to York from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law and will partner with the York Centre for Public Policy & Law (YCPPL) and Osgoode Hall Law School on various socio-legal research initiatives.

“The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice is considered a leader in interdisciplinary research on civil justice,” says Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Professor Lesley Jacobs, who teaches law & society and political science and is the director of the YCPPL. “It is a non-profit, independent, national organization established . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Turkel Commission Report Released

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the release today of the 300-page report by the Turkel Commission, Part 1 of The Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31 May 2010.

The incident is more commonly known in the media as the flotila raid, where Israeli military forces intercepted six ships attempting to break the blockade on the Gaza strip. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law