Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for January, 2013

The Friday Fillip: Sleight of Hand

“Prestidigitation” — one of my favourite words. And something that, like a whole lot of people, I tried to learn when I was a kid. I knew that Houdini (we shared a birthday) was really Erik Weisz, and I knew who Houdin really was. And I had the magic rings, the collapsible wand, the fake-bottomed cup . . . But, alas, no talent, and certainly no perseverance to compensate.

Magic still delights me, though, as it does most of us. And for me, prestidigitation is most impressive. It’s one thing — and no easy thing, I realize — to . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Practical Law Company Being Acquired by Thomson Reuters

Twitter is a-buzz today with the announcement that Thomson Reuters is acquiring innovation darling of UK law, Practical Law Company.

According to the Thomson Reuters press release (Jan. 3, 2013):

Practical Law Company has more than 750 employees, with principal operations in London and New York, and will be part of the Legal business of Thomson Reuters. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PLC has been making an impact over the last couple of years in North . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Top Issues for the Canadian Legal Profession in 2013

In the spirit of the New Year, Resolutions and Top 10 lists, I present to you my predictions for the top issues that the legal profession in Canada will face in 2013. This was inspired by a discussion on the listserv of the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics (CALE) and in particular by contributions from Alice Woolley who started things off with a “Best of 2012” post that you can find here. Malcolm Mercer, Tom Harrison, and Richard Devlin, as always, expanded and enriched the discussion. Some of my “Top Issues for 2013” repeat Alice’s Top Issues in . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Federal Court Costs

The Federal Court, where most intellectual property litigation takes place has a system for determining costs that differs in many respects from that of the Ontario Court system.

Costs in the Federal Court are generally determined based on a number of discretionary factors, set out in Rule 400 of the Federal Courts Rules, and a table of fixed amounts for steps in the litigation. Judges and Prothonotaries can also order costs on a lump sum basis.

The Tariff

Unlike in the Ontario Courts, the Federal Court Rules include a tariff, Tariff B, which allocates a range of ‘units’ for . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Thursday Thinkpiece: Kowalski on Legal Services

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.

by Mitchell Kowalski
Chicago: American Bar Association, 2012

Excerpt pp.7-10, edited by the author


Maria Fernandez, General Counsel of Kowtor Industries, clicked on the link sent to her. The video player launched and there was Sylvester Bowen, CEO and Chairman of Bowen, Fung & . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Donors Not Dads

A queer friend of mine who’s currently trying to make a baby via donor sperm sent me this story today and asked me whether sperm donors could be made to pay child support in Ontario. Good question.

The story my friend sent me was about the State of Kansas ordering a man to pay child support for a child of a lesbian couple who conceived via DIY insemination with his sperm. (I differentiate between physician-led insemination and Do-It-Yourself, and unlike the author of the article or the State of Kansas, I don’t consider any insemination “artificial”). The State required the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Superior Court of Ontario Allows Lawyers and Journalists to Use Electronic Media in Court

The Superior Court of Justice of Ontario has issued a ‘protocol’ that will (as of February 1) allow lawyers, licensed paralegals, law students, self-represented parties, and ‘media or journalists’ to use electronic communications devices (broadly defined to include laptops and smart phones) in court without express permission. Naturally there are some conditions, including:

  • don’t disturb the proceedings
  • don’t distribute any information that is subject to a publication ban
  • don’t take any pictures
  • don’t distribute recordings (though lawyers and journalists may make recordings for their own use)

However, “Members of the public are not permitted to use electronic devices in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Resolutions to Capture More Time (And Make More Money)

With technology and a few tricks, you can increase your billable time by catching more of the actual time you spend on tasks. This gives you more time to bill, which will ultimately transfer to a better bottom line. Here are some of the best ways you can use technology to capture and bill more time:

  • I will use electronic timesheets and enter my own time: Paper timesheets are error-prone and inefficient because they require double entry. The efficiency, extra speed, and greater accuracy of entering your own time on electronic timesheets make this resolution a no-brainer.
  • I will
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended

More Anti-Spam Regulations on January 5

The Canadian anti-spam act was passed in December of 2010 – but is still not in force. Current speculation is that it will be in force later in 2013 – or perhaps not even until 2014.

The act contemplated 2 sets of regulations that are crucial for how the act works in practice. Regulations from the CRTC are final. We have been waiting for regulations from Industry Canada. 

Industry Canada announced on Dec 24 that its regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette on January 5th 2013 for a 30 day consultation period.

Stay tuned for more detail. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

More Unproclaimed Federal Legislation Dies

The federal Statutes Repeal Act S.C. 2008, c. 20 sweeps up behind our legislators, killing off statutes that were passed and assented to nine years or more ago but that were never proclaimed in force. At the beginning of each year the Minister of Justice is required to lay before both houses of parliament a list of such statutes. If by the end of that year a statute on the list still has not been proclaimed in force, it is ipso facto repealed.
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Legal Business Development: By Optimism and Serendipity?

Are you developing business solely by optimism and serendipity? Be honest. If that is how you have done it in the past, declare that 2013 is the year it will change! But, change to what? That is the question. In order for it to be driven by more than optimism and serendipity you must think about where you want to go and how to get there. That is a PLAN.

Your plan can be a page, 10 pages, a binder full or simply some notes on a napkin. It’s not about the form; it’s about the content. Write it down, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing