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Archive for March, 2013

5 Traps for Lawmakers

I heard Josh Linkner speak yesterday at a TechAlliance event. He talked about 5 growth traps for business, and as I reflect upon his message, his 5 traps are things that lawmakers fall into constantly.

  1. The over correct. Going overboard to correct problems.
  2. The money trap. Throwing money at problems rather than creativity.
  3. Religion over science. Vision is important, but you can’t ignore the data.
  4. Complexity. Using your own technical language rather than making it simple.
  5. Gorging. Trying to do too many things and not knowing when to say no.

  . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Changing Expectations and Changing Minds

It’s no secret that public perception of lawyers is generally poor. This was highlighted for me again when I came across the recent post 15 Things Your Clients Are Sharing About You on Twitter. While some of the clients quoted said positive things about their lawyers, many repeated a variation of the oft-heard refrain: Too expensive, too shifty and too incompetent.

Jordan Furlong recently wrote here on Slaw about the Ontario Bar Association’s proposal to enhance the image of Ontario lawyers through another marketing campaign. He concluded that the problem of poor image is a consequence of the way . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

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 March 19 – 26:

  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

Canadian Judgments Need Style

As many colleagues involved in serving Canadian government’s online projects along the years, I too did my fair part of fence-sitting about web accessibility requirements. Those requirements were perceived as a set of obligations to take into account dying browsers, obsolete computers, extra narrow screens, and some other minor annoyances about coding more legible HTML. We at Lexum complied, without enthusiasm if the truth must be said, but we complied as any service provider had to in order to keep the business going.

This feet dragging cannot be continued any longer.

The new situation derives from an application that resulted . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Foreign Lawsuits to Fund Access to Justice?

Access to justice is a common debated theme, most notably how to get the necessary resources to improve the accessibility to and of our judicial system. It was with interest that I read today’s article from UK’s The Guardian entitled: “Foreign lawsuits may face higher UK legal fees: Justice secretary Chris Grayling says he wants to ensure that those who litigate in British courts pay their fair share.” This other article, published two weeks ago in the same newspaper, also provided some additional concrete figures and examples of foreign lawsuits being adjudicated in the UK (many of these made headlines . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Dreaded Promotional Package

Many marketing professionals have been in a situation where they are packed up and leaving the office when a partner comes by and says they need a promotional package for a perspective client they are meeting first thing in the morning. Generally what will happen is the marketing person will sit back down at their desk and put together a package of material, much of which is available on the website, so that the partner has something to give to the client as a take away the next morning.

Funny thing is, potential clients don’t want it.

Often, not always, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Communications Infographic

I accidentally sent an email to the wrong person yesterday. No privacy violation problem with the email content, but very embarrasing of course. I am sure that every Slaw reader has misdirected an email at least one time. We have all probably dialed a wrong number on the telephone also. We may have texted the wrong person too.

Even though we all tell ourselves that we will carefully read the screen, we won’t rely on our email quick addressing options, we will keep our contacts updated, and all of the other best practices we can think of, these things happen. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

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.


Preventing Auto-Sync on One-Off Basis for an iPad, iPod or iPhone
Dan Pinnington

Most of time you want automatic sync to run when you plug your iPad, iPod or iPhone into your computer. Indeed, this is the default setting in iTunes for all three devices. However, sometimes you just don’t want to sync your iPad, iPod or iPhone when you connect it to your computer. . . .

Research . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Progress v Change

“People like progress, but they hate change.” There are a couple of misconceptions in that statement: Progress is the tangible result of change, you never find one without the other. But more importantly, people regularly confuse dislike with fear. While both are instinctive reflex reactions, overcoming each involves very different strategies. As managers of change, we have to understand that what on the surface appears as “hate” is in reality a fear of the unknown; fear of the future and uncertainty about our ability to secure a place in it.

Those who know me well know I thrive on change. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Property Managers Not Welcome at the Landlord and Tenant Board

The Ontario Superior Court has issued a permanent injunction preventing the owner of a property management company from appearing before the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (the “Board”) on behalf of his landlord clients. 

Enzo Vincent Chiarelli operates a full service property management company for property owners. One of the services he provides is appearing before the Board in eviction proceedings. During a 2011 eviction proceeding, the tenants challenged Mr. Chiarelli’s standing to appear before the Board. The Board agreed with the tenants in that case and the Law Society subsequently brought an application to obtain a permanent injunction preventing . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Lawyers on Client Boards: Handle With Care!

It is easy to understand why a corporate client might ask her lawyer to sit on the board of directors. The lawyer may have worked closely with the corporation’s founders to create the company, and will have a solid understanding of the corporation’s objectives, its relationships with industry partners, suppliers, customers and others, and the challenges it faces in the marketplace. It is also easy to understand why a lawyer might be honoured by, and readily accept, such an invitation.

However, sitting on a client’s board can be problematic for a number of reasons – from both the lawyer’s and . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The Journey of Nishiyuu

Six young men from the Cree community Whapmagoostui in northern Quebec have been snowshoeing and walking–along with a guide–an incredible 1,600 kilometers from their home on Hudson Bay to Ottawa in support of the Idle No More movement. They are scheduled to arrive today at noon ET at Victoria Island for a welcome ceremony before the last leg of their walk to Parliament Hill.

According to the Idle No More website:

So with temperatures apparently hovering at around -50C, he [David Kawapit Jr.] and six others left home on Jan. 16, trekking on snowshoes and pulling their supplies, stopping

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous