Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for March, 2013

How “Summary” Is Summary Judgment?

Taking a case to trial is a long and expensive journey. Even the most assertive plaintiffs and their counsel may struggle to move a lawsuit forward quickly due to unresponsive defendants, scheduling difficulties and limited court availability.

For this reason, our Rules of Civil Procedure provide for the option of a summary judgment motion, which allows the moving party to proceed “directly” to a judge and make a pitch that this particular case can be decided by a motion judge and does not require a full trial. Cases most suited for summary judgment are those which have little or no . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

CALL/ACBD 2013 Conference, Montreal May 5-8

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2013 conference  will be held this year in Montreal from May 5 to 8. The theme is Librarian: Multifaceted Professional.  Note early bird pricing is available only until the end of this week so don’t delay in registering!

Programming this year looks excellent:

  • Pre-conference workshop on Saturday – Leading Teams Through Change – with Terri Tomchyshyn, Department of National Defense
  • Sunday afternoon – two roundtable discussions at 4 pm: CALL Book Club – Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. Susan Cain and E-books and Collection Development
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Launch of New Magazine: “Legal IT Today”

The Brits have launched a new quarterly magazine, “Legal IT Today.” From the editor, Joanna Goodman:

Our community is everyone interested and involved in legal IT: CIOs, IT managers and decision makers, vendors who develop IT products and services for the legal sector, strategic and technical consultants, educators, authors, speakers and bloggers and of course the end users – lawyers, managers and business support professionals in law firms and other legal services providers. We will feature contributions from across these groups in every issue as well as collaborating with relevant publications worldwide.

Here’s the table of contents for . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Reading, Technology

Social Media Policy Template for Lawyers

I was doing some research into social media policy examples for a course, and came across Jaffe PR’s Social Media Policy Template for Law Firms and Attorneys. It is available for use and adaptation by lawyers and firms. Last updated in November 2012, this template was first published in 2008 and has been updated a number of times over the years as social media has developed.

From the introduction:

At Jaffe PR, we have made our best effort to outline a comprehensive set of online policies and procedures for using social media effectively and responsibly. This is our fifth

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Internet

The Successor Counsel Problem

The story of Griffiths Energy’s unlawful payments to the Chad ambassador’s wife led last month’s news. Attention focused on the company’s self-disclosure and investigation, and also on the involvement by high profile Canadian lawyers in the original unlawful transaction. Based on the media reports so far, it seems that Griffiths was originally represented by the Heenan Blaikie firm. That firm advised Griffiths that the company “could not make or offer or give an advantage or do anything directly or indirectly with [Chad] Ambassador Bechir”. Griffiths then retained the MacLeod Dixon firm, and had MacLeod Dixon paper the transaction in which . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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 forty-one recent 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. Legal Feeds   2. Canadian Securities Law   3. Ontario Condo Law Blog   4. The Court  5. Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Legal Innovator’s Round Table

Having coffee one day with Mitch Kowalski, whom I met through these pages, the idea bubbled up of regular informal meetings of like-minded legal professionals interested in delivering legal services in a way that suits the 21st Century – not the 19th.

No agendas, no speakers, no membership lists — just a regular place and time for people to drop in and chat about what we’re doing, following or finding in our efforts to make the legal profession more like a modern business.

Mitch took the important step of actually organizing it. The first meeting took place . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Legal Education as a Broadway Musical

While the RFP process for the LSUC’s Licensing Pilot Project proceeds in Ontario, Memorial University of Newfoundland is contemplating their own bid for a new law school in St. John’s. Students interviewed by Heather Gardiner in Canadian Lawyer 4Students express concerns about an articling crisis developing in the Atlantic provinces.

Although I don’t believe in blaming the law schools, it’s worth considering this graphic by Andrew Langille, depicting Ontario law school admissions for the past 5 years:

A new law school in the Atlantic will inevitably add to the pressures of creating adequate numbers of articling positions. We . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at

This week's summaries concern: Judicial review / Informant privilege / Party to conspiracy / National security warrants / Workplace safety:
Posted in: Summaries Sunday

A “New” New Year’s Resolution

Well I felt pretty good about my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions:

  • SKI Mount Washington in February;
  • RUN another half marathon in May; and
  • HIKE the next section of the Colorado Rockies in July.

The only little problem was this nagging shoulder pain that came out of nowhere and seemed to be getting worse, not better, finally waking me up at nights. “You’ve got idiopathic frozen shoulder” the sports medicine doctor said cheerfully. “The bad news is that you will be in pain for about a year and you can’t do a darned thing about it.” I protested, saying that . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip: Takes and Drafts

Un certain Marchant, avocat, homme d’esprit, disait : «On court les risques du dégoût en voyant comment l’administration, la justice et la cuisine se préparent.»

A certain witty advocate, Marchant, observed: “One risks disgust in seeing administration, justice and one’s dinner being made.”

Nicolas de Chamfort (1741–1794)

Perhaps. But I’ve been involved in the making of a small amount of justice and a much larger amount of dinner, and I’ve rather enjoyed the process in both cases. (“Administration” might be another matter, I freely admit.)

I like to see the creative act in the act, so to speak. Or, to . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Legal Snapshots From the Internet of Things

Everybody knows that computers are everywhere. This is old news. It used to be that a mechanic could fix an errant brake light in my car for 15 minutes of labour and a 15-cent bulb. Now I need a computer diagnosis and the replacement of a sophisticated multi-function panel. Hmmm – $175.00. Progress!

What may still be news is the degree to which the computers are talking to each other – and if they can talk, then they can be overheard.

Let’s start with cars. Richard and Cheryl Balough point out that the average car these days can run some . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology