Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for April, 2012

Online Dispute Resolution – an Update

Attentive readers of this blog know that the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has a working group actively considering online dispute resolution (ODR). The working group has met three times and meets again at the end of May. has had progress reports from time to time, notably here a year ago, and more recently here . It is time for another. I expect that the Canadian delegation, and possibly others, would be interested in your views on the texts that the working group will have before it in May. Comments on this article will come to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Post-Matter Client Service Survey

The following is adapted from practicePRO’s Managing a Better Professional Services Firm, and it and the other Managing booklets are available here.

A post-matter client survey is one of the best ways to collect information about what clients thought about the services you provided to them. Make sure your survey is structured to help you identify specific areas for improvement. Ideally, it should include some open-ended questions.

For major or top-billing clients, consider sending a managing partner or other senior person to meet with clients on an annual basis to review and assess how the relationship is going, . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The Law of the Future

It is perhaps best that I start my first column with a brief introduction about what will feature most visibly in what I write. It will help the reader determine whether to look out for the next one or not.

Our world is more globally volatile than ever; an event in one place quickly has consequences in many other places. It is more connected than ever: people, ideas, and things travel very fast. And it faces a multitude of challenges that are in different ways ‘global’. In such a world good rule systems are important. They enhance stability, trust, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Earth Day 2012 – Celebrating Our Successes, and Rallying for the Future

Today is Earth Day, or as the United Nations calls it, International Mother Earth Day. It was first celebrated in 1970, which also coincided with the founding of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has a webpage highlighting the history of the agency and the role it has played in promoting environmentalism,

It may be hard to imagine that before 1970, a factory could spew black clouds of toxic into the air or dump tons of toxic waste into a nearby stream, and that was perfectly legal. They could not be taken to court to stop

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Ottawa Lawyers Organize Downtown Flash Mob to Celebrate Charter of Rights 30th Anniversary

This had escaped my attention earlier this week.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms last Tuesday, the Canadian Bar Association organized events across Canada such as conferences, mock court sessions for high school students, and flash mobs:

“Lawyers and other members of the legal community in Ottawa celebrated by organizing a flash mob at noon on the busy Sparks Street at Metcalfe, right in front of the Federal Court and a stone’s throw from Parliament Hill. In front of dozens of curious tourists, media cameras, and civil servants on lunch break, legal

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

There Are Three Kinds of Lies….

The full quote is actually, “(t)here are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics”; it is on odd quote to lead off with in a post where I am going to urge you to attend a session on getting, “Behind the Numbers: Statistics for Librarians”, but I believe it is appropriate. The line could be interpreted in several ways, one way to interpret the quote, the positive way, is that understanding statistics allows you to understand a given set of data or information in a multitude of ways, not just: “52% percent of people say blank” that . . . [more]

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

The Friday Fillip: Kidd Some

If you can remember books, you’ll also likely remember book jackets, those slipcovers that help you mark your page, keep sliding off when you try to read in bed, and announce to the world what it is you’re into. Of course, they also hook you into buying the book in the first place — if they’re good enough. And that’s where a man called Chip Kidd comes in: he’s the star of book cover designers.

Bright. Startling. Imaginative. And above all, effective. His efforts wrap the authors’ in just the right judge-stuff.

No surprise then, that in person he’s… well, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Managing Unstaffed Satellite Libraries

Satellite libraries, as the name suggests, are libraries that are adjuncts to a principal library. In law firms, they can vary in size from a bookcase in a hallway to a full-sized library. Satellite libraries may be in the same building as the central library, or they may in a different city or even country. They may or may not have library staff running them. Unstaffed satellite libraries present a greater challenge as they depend on articling students, receptionists, or secretarial staff to do such things as loose-leaf filing and reshelving books.

Why do satellite libraries exist? For satellite libraries . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

You Might Like … Various Virtual Visits to Bugs, GIFs, Hermits, Painters, Dentists, and More

This is a post in a series appearing each Friday, setting out some articles, videos, podcasts and the like that contributors at Slaw are enjoying and that you might find interesting. The articles tend to be longer than blog posts and shorter than books, just right for that stolen half hour on the weekend. It’s also likely that most of them won’t be about law — just right for etc.

Please let us have your recommendations for what we and our readers might like.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: You might like...

Several Counterfeit Canadian Dollar Bank Drafts Negotiated by ON, AB and QC Lawyers

The Royal Bank has advised us that several counterfeit Canadian dollar bank drafts have been negotiated by lawyers (4 in Ontario, 3 in Alberta and 1 in Quebec). These drafts are drawn on RBC transit 05142 003 and are payable to individual lawyers. The subject line on all 8 drafts indicates “Rowland Webster”. They are dated April 12 and 13, 2012, and are in the amount of $325,850. They indicate Royal Bank of Canada, Mississauga ON on the top left corner of the draft. RBC’s investigation indicated that these drafts were given to the lawyer as payment on a debt . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Practice of Law

Employers Need to Control Corporate Domain Names and Social Media Accounts

I sometimes help clients wrestle back domain names and corporate social media accounts from disgruntled ex-employees or other unfriendly parties. All businesses and organizations should keep in mind that these are valuable assets. It is important that they are registered in the business name, and not that of an employee or service provider. 

And if use or control of those accounts resides in an employee who is about to become an ex-employee for whatever reason, make sure that control is passed back at the time the employee leaves.

Otherwise, the disgruntled person with control of those can lock you out, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology