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Archive for December, 2012

Seven New Years Resolutions for a Better Practice

  • I will fire my worst client: This client is the one that calls you almost every day, sends you hourly emails, never has enough for a retainer and bickers about paying your fees. When ending the retainer, make sure you comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • I will book my vacation: Your body and mind need a vacation and some downtime. Grab your calendar and block off two weeks for a vacation. Make sure to coordinate with your spouse/significant other. Under no circumstances do you book anything during those two weeks. Schedule it now and make
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Posted in: Reading: Recommended

À La Recherche Des Livres Perdus, or 50 Ways to Lose Your Books

The Time of Humans

Libraries used to spend hours searching for missing books. We lose books when they get misshelved, mislabeled, mislocated, forgotten in offices, homes, or stolen. When I worked as a searcher, I found satisfaction in figuring out different ways to find lost books and finding them. However, I also know the emotional toll of looking for so many books and more often than not, finding very few. Or discovering that a patron has torn out a chapter from a book or removed contents from a looseleaf binder because they did not want to pay for copies or . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Lawyer Files to Sue Over Sandy Hook Shooting

Last Thursday, Irving Pinsky filed a complaint with the Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. requesting permission to sue the State of Connecticut for $100 million on behalf of a six-year old girl who survived the Sandy Hook school shooting. The young girl heard screaming and gunfire. The claim states,

As a consequence, the claimant-minor child has sustained emotional and psychological trauma and injury, the nature and extent of which are yet to be determined.

The State enjoys general immunity from actions without consent of the Commissioner.

Pinsky claims that Board of Education, Department of Education and Education Commissioner all . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Resolutions to Avoid Criminal Law Claims

  • I will take the time to ensure the client understands my recommendations: Failing to effectively communicate with the client is just as much a claims pitfall in criminal law as in other areas. This could be because of the rushed nature of many “courthouse steps” conversations, or the fact that the lawyer’s years of experience on cases may obscure the fact that the client doesn’t fully understand the course of action the lawyer recommends. There is a risk that clients may later regret their choices and make a claim against the lawyer. To guard against this, be sure to
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Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

Interop Interapps

While putting together the Sinch Online Legal Services Conference (SOLSC) for March 2013, it was obvious that the potential speakers had grown dramatically over the last year or so. However, legal IT consultant Ron Friedmann commented in June 2012 that there has been less than expected online legal service activity since the previous update of his list of online legal services. He said:

About one-half of the firms that offered online services in 2006 no longer do. About an equal number of firms, however, have since created online services.

A reason we have different views of activity may be that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Friday Fillip: Lists (Agendas, Rolls, Inventories, Enumerations, Indices, Catalogues, Et Cetera)

It is that time of year. Having made your wish list, checked it twice, you’ve found out whether you’d been naughty or nice. And now it remains to make your list of New Year’s resolutions.

I’ve been here with the Fillip before, I know. But that was almost two years ago; and besides, a second Fillip about lists makes the beginnings of a list. This year, the New Yorker, unable to resist this invitation to self-reference that a discussion of lists evokes, offers up a hyperlinked list of the Hundred Best Lists of All Time. It proceeds, late-show . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Rob Ford Libel Case Dismissed

In my second post on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in one day, the libel suit against him was just dismissed. Justice Macdonald concluded in Foulidis v. Ford,

[45] The plaintiff must prove four things on the balance of probability to prove a libel in this

(1) That the defendant spoke the words in issue.
(2) That the defendant published the words in issue to one or more third parties.
(3) That the words in issue referred to the plaintiff.
(4) That the words in issue were defamatory of the plaintiff.

The plaintiff has proven the first two and

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Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Factums in the Magder v. Ford Conflicts Case

The conflict of interest case against Toronto mayor Rob Ford was recently one of the most read cases on CanLII, and for good reason. Toronto residents are eager to discover whether the effects of the November 26, 2012 judgement will result in Mayor Ford vacating his office.

The case has currently been appealed. The factum of the respondent was filed earlier this week, and may be of interest. It can be viewed here.

I can only find a partial factum for the appellant, available here, but if there’s a more complete copy please email me so I can . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Two Tech Innovations

From time to time we bring you news of technological developments that, though they have no current or even imminent application to law, are interesting in and of themselves. It’s also the case that today’s novelty can easily become tomorrow’s staple, and we like to do what we can to ensure that our readers are as quick off the blocks as everyone else when it comes to the adoption of nifty new apps and gear. (I understand that the reality where lawyers are concerned looks something like the reverse of the power law graph, and that the long tail of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

You Want Your Day in Court? Time for a Reality Check!

How many times have we heard a person exclaim, “I just want my day in court!”? Often, this is in response to what that person considers to be an insulting settlement proposal or as a result of frustration over delays in resolving a conflict.

Just what does that person mean by their “day in court”? I suggest that it is not as simple as we might think. The phrase “day in court” conjures up different mental images depending on one’s background and the situation.

The traditional definition focuses on a person’s right to be heard in a court hearing or . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Thursday Thinkpiece: Bisgould on Animal Law

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Animals and the Law
by Lesli Bisgould
Toronto: Irwin Law, 2011
Excerpt pp. 279-285

[Footnotes omitted. A PDF file is available with the footnotes included.]

Closing Thoughts

Today’s problems cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them.
— Albert Einstein

What strikes one most about the profound violence . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For the week of December 18 – 25:

  1. R. v. N.S. 2012 SCC 72

    [1] How should the state respond to a witness whose sincerely held religious belief requires her to wear a niqab that covers her face, except for her eyes, while testifying in a criminal proceeding? One response is to say she must always remove her niqab on the ground that the courtroom is a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII