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Archive for September, 2012

Drop the Hard Drive, Take the Laptop

Lawyers who work on international matters may face the challenge of taking their client information across borders. In fact, any lawyer using a laptop may find herself balancing productivity with the risk of unintentional access to client data while on the road. One way to avoid this is to use a clean laptop. The concept has been mentioned on Slaw before (see here and here, for example) but how do you create a clean laptop?

One method that is mentioned is to use a second laptop, one that is installed (or re-imaged) with a clean operating system on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Zen of Petard Hoisting and Maintenance

Hot-shot appellate counsel will tell you to lead with your best argument.

Appellate judges will tell you to get to the point immediately.

Assume, for arguments’ sake – the assumption is easier because you’re assuming that the law is what the law is – that the principles for causation are the same for omissions as they are for commissions: for negligence which is a failure to act as well as negligence which is an action.

Let’s do a small thought experiment. You won’t need a pen or paper, or any electronic equivalent. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

An Employer’s Obligations With Regard to Suicide

September 10, 2012 marked the World Suicide Prevention Day, which aims to promote worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. Ahead of this day, an interesting article was published in France entitled “La prévention du suicide est aussi l’affaire de l’entreprise”.

According to the article and the expert interviewed, employers have a responsibility with regard to suicide prevention, especially given that the workplace can often have a direct influence on one’s private life. Moreover, a poor organization of work, contradictory directives and a lack of social dialogue can lead to suicidal acts. The article cites one example of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

CanLII Adds 1,600 Decisions to Supreme Court of Canada Database

CanLII has added 1,600 Supreme Court of Canada cases, bringing the total of SCC opinions to 9,000 and taking the scope of the SCC database back to 1907. As the press release (soon to be available on the CanLII blog) says:

As with all Canadian court and tribunal decisions available on CanLII (over 1M and growing at a rate of over 2,000 per week), these decisions are fully integrated and cross-linked to any subsequent case on CanLII in which they are referenced.

This is not yet true with respect to earlier Supreme Court decisions on CanLII, which are . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Publishing

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of September 1 – 8.

1. Legal Aid Ontario v. Gertler 2012 ONSC 5000

[1] This is a motion brought by the defendants pursuant to Rule 34 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 194 (the “Rules”). The defendants seek an order and directions with respect to the cross-examination of certain witnesses put forward by the plaintiff in response to a pending motion brought by the defendants for an order dismissing the plaintiff’s action (the “Pending Motion”). . . .

2. Moore v. Bertuzzi . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Finding the Law, R.I. P.

When I went to work for Professor Morris Cohen at Harvard Law School in 1978 to serve as Deputy Director of the Library, he talked with me about joining him as co-author of How to Find the Law, the West Hornbook on legal bibliography and legal research that had already passed through seven editions. It was a standard work. Edition seven had a variety of authors writing individual chapters, with Morris both writing and serving as general editor. Now he wished a more cohesive approach, with the two of us as principal authors, relying on others to check us,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Tenant Who Has Been Evicted From 6 Homes in 7 Years to Face Fraud Charges

Nina Willis has been evicted from 6 homes in the past 7 years. She is probably the perfect example of what Justice Matlow was thinking when he noted the:

growing practice by unscrupulous residential tenants to manipulate the law improperly, and often dishonestly, to enable them to remain in their rented premises for long periods of time without having to pay rent to their landlords.

Justice Matlow called for reform of Ontario’s residential tenancy laws. In the case of Nina Willis, Ontario’s residential tenancy laws were not able to protect the landlords she abused over the past 7 years. However, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies

Gartner’s 2012 Hype cycle was revealed last month. It is interesting to watch the trends as technologies emerge and are discussed and adopted. As you might expect, “big data” is climbing the peak of inflated expectations.

Check out the graph:

Read the Gartner news release. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

What Dropbox Two Factor Authentication Means to You

Dropbox has had more than its fair share of security issues over the last year, prompting many lawyers and technologists to advise against using the service, to employ additional layers of security, or to suggest alternative services such as Box. Despite all headwinds, Dropbox continues to be a widely-used service among lawyers, and is one of the fastest-growing cloud-based services anywhere.

To help address its perceived (and real) security issues, Dropbox has introduced two-factor authentication, a security update that it describes as “optional but highly recommended.”

I recently wrote about the benefits of two-factor authentication, and, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Abramovich Trial Decision

Judgment in the biggest trial in UK history was rendered on 31 August after being reserved for seven months. The claim by Boris Berezovsky against Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich (owner of the Chelsea football club) for damages of $5 billion was dismissed.

In part Berezovksy claimed that Abramovich used intimidatory threats to coerce Berezovsky into selling his interest in the Sibneft oil company at a price that was substantially undervalued. He also alleged that Abramovich breached a shareholders’ agreement concerning an aluminum business RusAl, causing damages.

Here is an executive summary of the judgment.

There was apparently little or no . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Making a First Impression: The Role of Opening Statements in Hearings

You only get one chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes. A recent study has confirmed that first impressions are persistent and can be difficult to overcome. The opening statement of the adjudicator and of the parties at the beginning of a hearing is that first impression and will often set the tone for the entire proceeding.

In crafting any communication, the first question to answer is, “who is your audience?” In many cases there are primary and secondary audiences. For an adjudicator, the primary audience is the parties to the dispute. The secondary audience for the . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution