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Archive for January, 2013

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 January 1 – 8:

  1. Meads v. Meads 2012 ABQB 571

    [1] This Court has developed a new awareness and understanding of a category of vexatious litigant. As we shall see, while there is often a lack of homogeneity, and some individuals or groups have no name or special identity, they (by their own admission or by descriptions given by others) often fall into

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

Practicing Lawyers as Law School Faculty

Yesterday marked the start of the winter term for University Students. It also marked the start of the teaching term for some of my colleagues who offer their practical experience to law students by acting as Sessional Instructors. Many practicing lawyers give their time to this worthy activity.

At the University of Alberta Law School, there are 20 courses this term taught by sessional instructors – they are designated with a X in the course number if you are curious enough to follow the link. The University of Calgary Law School also has a long list of sessional instructors . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.


Tips for Using Flight Searches and Hotel Reviews on TripAdvisor and Kayak
Dan Pinnington

I travel a lot. When I‘m on a tight schedule and need to know all my options, getting all available flights by time and cost across multiple airlines in one place is invaluable. For business and personal travel, Kayak and TripAdvisor are two of my favourite travel resources for doing multiple-airline flight searches. You pick . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

“EBooks” v. “Online Books”

Almost two years ago, I wrote an article on eBooks and their application to a legal library. One trend I have noticed since then is that publishers now appear to be differentiating between “eBooks” and “online books”. “Online books” are those books that are available purely through databases or online platforms, such as Carswell’s eReference platform or CCH Online. By contrast, the term “eBook” is used to refer to books which are available in ePub (or other electronic formats) and which are intended for electronic devices. Licensing varies but generally online books are rented while eBooks are “owned” (subject to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Resolutions to Avoid Fee Disputes (And Make More Money)

Fees disputes commonly lead to unpaid accounts, Law Society complaints and/or malpractice claims. For these reasons you should do your best to avoid fee disputes with your clients. Here are some simple resolutions that will help you accomplish this:

  • I will get a sufficient retainer at the start of a matter: At the start of the matter ask for a retainer that is sufficient to do all of the initial work on the matter. Ask for a retainer that will cover all the work – asking for less gives the client unrealistic expectations about fees and means you are
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from thirty-five 2010 & 2011 Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. le Blogue du CRL  2. First Reference  3. BC Injury Law  4. Library Boy  5. Youth and Work

le Blogue du CRL
Le calme après la tempête
Par les temps qui courent, il semble tout à fait pertinent de se demander quels sont les effets juridiques d’une . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Timing Is Everything

Comic: “Ask me, What’s the most important thing about comedy?”
Me: “Okay. What’s the most important thing about—”
Comic: “Timing.”

One of the most misunderstood aspects of project management is timing. I’m not talking about how long you expect various tasks will take. (Answer: longer than you think… unless you do something about that.) Nor am I referring to task sequencing, or which tasks follow which. Both of these are difficult but well understood problems.

Rather, it’s critical to understand when to begin each task. Getting task-starts under control can give you a significant leg up on . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Right to Be Paid for Links

We know from Crookes v. Newton that a link “by itself” is not a publication for the purposes of defamation in Canada. But what about a right by a publisher to collect royalties when being linked to?

It seems bizarre, but newspapers in Ireland are attempting to do exactly that. In a piece titled 2012: The year Irish newspapers tried to destroy the web McGarr Solicitors state:

This year the Irish newspaper industry asserted, first tentatively and then without any equivocation, that links -just bare links like this one– belonged to them. They said that they had the right

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

Two More Fake Law Firms Discovered – Now 4 in Total (3 in Toronto and 1 in Ghana)

Further to our post on AvoidAClaim yesterday (Fake Toronto law firms tied to an international inheritance collection scam), we have discovered another fake Toronto firm and another fake firm purportedly in Ghana. All four of these firms have websites are all virtually identical. The names and URLs for the fake firms are as follows:

Some of the text on these sites appears to have come from a national Canadian firm and a well-known Atlantic Canada law firm. Some of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

A Light Wind

By now you have probably read, heard or seen the story that has been circulating this week about the 15 year old girl in Iceland whose name has been deemed illegal. Blaer, a 15 year-old girl whose name translates into “a light wind” in Icelandic, has been told that she will have to change her name as her name was incorrectly registered when she was born and is not on the national register of acceptable names. While the story seems absurd on the surface, there is some context that has to do with the nature of the Icelandic language and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Resolutions to Avoid Wills and Estates Claims

  • I will ask more probing questions when meeting with a client to prepare a will: Too many lawyers are not asking the questions that could uncover facts that could cause problems later, or making clear to the client what information they need to provide. Was there a prior will? Are all the beneficiaries identified correctly? What about gift-overs? Were all assets identified, and how are they registered? Was there a previous marriage? Ask, ask, ask. And then do a reporting letter to confirm everything that was discussed.
  • I will not act for family members or friends: We see
  • . . . [more]
    Posted in: Reading: Recommended

    Fun but Dangerous Work: Surviving Professional Publishing

    When recruiting new people into legal and professional publishing, while, obviously, scrupulously complying with and respecting the requirements of the law, both in letter and spirit, it has always been of interest to observe the motivation of applicants.

    Among those who present themselves with specific academic or professional backgrounds, such as a law degree, an accountancy or tax qualification or who are legally qualified, occasionally one hears that the reason that they have applied is that things haven’t worked out well in the pursuit of some other career path. Perhaps the professional examination results have not been successful. Perhaps family . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Publishing