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Archive for April, 2013

Should You Mentor?

Yes. Most definitely, yes. The harder question is who to take on as your mentee or protégé.

Managing a Mentoring Relationship published by LawPro offers the following summary of mentoring.

Mentoring relationships can be informal and unstructured, more complex and procedure-based, or somewhere in between. But no matter what form they take, the structure of the relationship is not as important as the learning that occurs. We all thrive when we learn in the presence and with the help of others who have gone before us.

Mentors do more than simply pass on knowledge and information. They impart lessons on

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training

Link Rot in Court Decisions – Still a Problem

Back in 2009, I did a quick check on link rot in Canadian decisions on CanLII. Today I repeated my quick investigation of link rot in Canadian judicial decisions. To gather decisions with URLs I simply searched for the text “http://” in CanLII. I limited my results for 2012 decisions, and sorted by date.

There were 156 court decisions in 2012 that referenced websites by specific URL. I looked at 10 decisions – all of which were decided between December 19 and 31, 2012. There were 4 broken hyperlinks. One reference was missing the colon in “http://”, and once that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Social Networking From an Employment Law Perspective – a CCCA Spring Conference Panel

These are notes from a panel discussion by George Waggott, Partner, McMillan LLP, Toronto, Nina Barakzai, Sky Media, UK, Lyndsey Wasser, Partner, McMillan LLP, Toronto, and Lewis Gottheil, Counsel, CAW Canada, Toronto, on April 16, 2013 at the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Spring Conference 2013 in Toronto.

Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are my own and not the speakers’. This session included a review of case law which was largely not included here.


The Social Network: What Should Employers Do?


George Waggott, Partner, McMillan
Nina . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

What Do Clients Want?

Not every case has a crisis at its core, but each one has its own raison d’être that by its very existence causes stress for the client, whether it’s someone buying a new house or a firm buying a new company or a class of plaintiffs wanting to sue someone for a real or perceived wrong.

Everyone has an issue.

A lawyer’s job is not just to deal with the issue, but also to deal with the client. So what do clients want?

That’s a question the Canadian Bar Association posed in an online study, with the help of an . . . [more]

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

Facing Injustice: Implications of Ordering N.S. to Remove Her Niqab

On September 11, 2008 N.S., a sexual assault complainant sat in a court room in Ontario and struggled to explain to a judge why she shouldn’t have to remove her niqab, face veil, while she testified. “My face” she insisted, “is not going to show any signs of – it is not going to help, it really won’t.” N.S., though unbeknownst to her at the time, had just pushed up against one of the most strongly held beliefs of our legal system – that faces ought to be visible in court and that credibility could be determined by observing a . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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.


Canadian Public Weather Alerts Now Available on Google Public Alerts, Search, Maps and Now
Dan Pinnington

Severe weather is a fact of life for Canadians. Thanks to Public Safety Canada, Environment Canada and Google, Google has just announced that Canadians can now receive warnings of drastic weather changes directly to their mobile devices and desktops.
Severe weather notifications for Canada, in English and French, will now appear on . . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Immigration Reforms : “Good for Canada” or Bad for Democracy?

In January 2012, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that his government would reshape the immigration system to make it “good for Canada”. This begged the questions whether the immigration had been “bad for Canada” up to now and whether this reshaping was necessary. Nevertheless, the government did proceed to institute a series of reforms that have now become part of Canadian law. Since 2012, we have seen increased Ministerial powers to bar individuals from entering Canada for vague public policy consideration, increased Ministerial powers to declare arrivals “irregular” and imprison the arriving . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Email Pro Tip #5: Triage Your Mail on the Go

I receive between 100 and 1,000 business-related e-mails per day. Out of necessity, over the last few years I’ve developed a numbers of systems that help me manage my inbox effectively. This is the third in a series of posts describing the systems I utilize to stay on top of my inbox.

Keeping on top of e-mail on your smartphone helps you maximize productivity during “down time”on the road and minimize the amount of time you’re spending managing your inbox when you’re at the office. A smartphone keyboard, however, is only really suitable for composing short messages, so you want . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Which Am I? Both, Among Others

Stephen Abram recently posted this graphic on his blog, Stephen’s Lighthouse, in hopes of provoking a conversation. I thought I would climb onto my SLAW soapbox in reply, in hopes of continuing the conversation and to solicit the views of *this* community.

I’ve reposted the link to Stephen’s original source at the end of this entry. On the site, the graphic appears under the title “Which Are You?” I infer that one of these graphics is supposed to be the “good” model, and the other “bad”. 

In the first graphic, the Boss can be seen as a drag . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Lender Client: Not Just a Third Wheel in a Purchase Transaction

It isn’t uncommon for real estate lawyers to be retained to act for both the purchaser of a property and the mortgage lender that is financing the purchase. However, a review of lender claims against lawyers for negligence suggests a misconception by some lawyers who believe that their only obligation to the lender client is to register the mortgage. The reality is that unless the lawyer’s retainer is explicitly limited to registering the mortgage (which should be confirmed in writing where possible), the solicitor should always be mindful of the additional responsibilities that are owed to the lender leading up . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Literacy and Access to Administrative Justice

Last week the Canadian Bar Association held a summit on access to justice in Vancouver. I spoke on active adjudication as a tool to enhance access to justice. My co-presenter, Darin Thompson, spoke about online dispute resolution. In preparing for my presentation, I was reflecting on the skills or aptitudes that disputants bring to the justice process. It is nearly impossible to provide individualized responses to all of the parties that appear before tribunals, however, it is crucial that tribunals have at least a sense of the needs of the community that it serves. In this column, I will focus . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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. SOQUIJ | Le Blogue   2. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog   3. Library Technician Dialog   4. Off the Shelf    5. BC Injury Law And ICBC Claims Blog
Posted in: Monday’s Mix