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Archive for April, 2013

Access Copyright Suing York

From an Access Copyright press release:

Monday, April 8, 2013: Canada’s writers and publishers take a stand against damaging interpretations of fair dealing by the education sector.

Access Copyright is taking legal action—on three fronts. The actions focus on York University, ministries of education, school boards and post‐secondary institutions that copy—and promote the copying—of copyright‐protected materials without a licence.

Read the full press release here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

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.


Why You Should Consider Banking at Two Banks or Financial Institutions
Dan Pinnington

With purses or wallets full of debit and credit cards, and all sorts of options for electronic payments and web-based banking, most of us have moved away from being reliant on cash. And most of us do all our banking at single bank or credit union. There are some benefits to doing your banking electronically, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Beyond the Quid Pro Quo Premise: The Legal Profession and the Public Interest

The Canadian legal profession has never been shy to rationalize and justify its role in society. The public relations campaign launched by the Ontario Bar Association in February is just the latest in a long history of institutional advertising efforts tracing as far back as the 1930s when the Saskatchewan Law Society placed a series of advertisements in a farm weekly.

A new urgency, however, now colours our collective efforts. What it means (and will mean) to be a lawyer has perhaps never been more uncertain. In other jurisdictions, new and disruptive business structures are radically changing once taken-for-granted “rules . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

The Ethics of 24/7 Lawyering

Lawyers work hard and play hard, except for the play part. This asymmetry is owed to the great demands on time and energy that the law profession features as it clings to the old adage that being a lawyer is not a job, it’s a life. With an air of resignation, this vision of the 24/7 advocate is largely accepted. After all, it’s the law profession. Forfeiting a balanced life is just part of the deal. Whether this vision should be accepted, however, is another question. Testing the ethical soundness of the lawyer’s exemption from a work-life balance begs examination . . . [more]

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

Home Purchaser Forfeits $100,000 Deposit Because Her Lawyer Doesn’t Check Fax Machine

The Superior Court has ruled that a potential home purchaser has forfeited a $100,000 deposit because her lawyer “deliberately let the clock run out” and failed to check her fax machine for two hours leading up to the 6 p.m. closing deadline.

The purchaser signed an agreement to purchase a $1.5 million Toronto home. As part of the agreement, she provided a $100,000 deposit.

Leading up to the closing day it was discovered that there was an open building permit on the house which related to renovation work which had been performed four years earlier. All of the work had . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice – Call for Papers on Access to Knowledge

Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice
Call for Papers on Access to Knowledge

We invite submissions dealing with social justice in access to knowledge in the broadest sense. Without
limiting the scope of the subject-matter and its treatment, we would especially welcome timely and
topical papers that focus on access to knowledge and its intersection with development issues, cultural
rights, intellectual property rights, international human rights, international trade, open access publishing,
the A2K movement or any combination thereof. Deadline for submissions is MAY 31, 2013

Articles, case/legislation comments and notes, book reviews, or other manuscripts will be considered
for review. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous

The Best Law Books Every Student Should Read (?)

Last summer the law section of The Guardian newspaper in the UK asked readers to submit their ideas for “books every law student should read”. The response included everything from Charles Dickens to Richard Susskind, with many more suggestions appearing in the comments section.

Here’s the article. Do Slaw readers agree with the choices? What books do you think are essential for Canadian law students? . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week

Is It Time for a National Retail Law Firm?

I came into the legal profession in the early 1990’s, just as the age of the “national” law firms was dawning. The big downtown Vancouver firms of my formative years – all independents – were soon swept up in a maelstrom of merger mania with their equivalents in Toronto and Montreal. When the dust settled a few years later, we had the basic framework of the large law firm landscape that has prevailed in this country for the better part of the past two decades. In the ensuing years the nationals built out their networks with offices in Calgary, Ottawa . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

What New Lawyers Need to Know About LAWPRO

The FAQs below answer some of the more common questions we hear from newly called lawyers. The answers will help you determine if you need insurance coverage (or whether you’re exempt) and which steps you need to take to get your LAWPRO insurance coverage in place.

What is professional liability insurance?
Professional liability insurance is designed to indemnify lawyers against the consequences of a lawyer’s liability for a client’s loss. For this reason, only lawyers in private practice are subject to the mandatory insurance requirement.

What is private practice?
Private practice, for the purpose of LAWPRO’s insurance program, is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week

The Changing Legal Industry Sparks Opportunities for Library and KM Professionals

In the April 20123 issue of Spectrum, the American Association of Law Libraries’ monthly magazine, I read the article “Law Firm Changes Offer Opportunities for Libraries” by Sarah Sutherland with great interest. Sutherland is Manager of Library Services at McMillan LLP in Vancouver and currently Vice-President of the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries.

In this article, Sutherland closes the loop on a couple of key legal industry ideas:

  1. “Certain aspects of the practice of law are changing”

    …the movement toward KM, alternative billing, and initiatives to automate some aspects of legal practice is a movement away

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

5 Years in the Cloud at ABA TECHSHOW

It’s astonishing how much has changed in my five years of attending ABA TECHSHOW.

At ABA TECHSHOW 2008, Rian Gauvreau and I launched the beta of Clio, which at the time was not only the first of a new generation of web-based practice management systems, but the one of the first of any web-based product to be exhibited at TECHSHOW.

At this first TECHSHOW, Clio prompted both admiration and fear among attendees: half the visitors to our booth were thrilled about the prospect of putting their data in the cloud (by the way, back then “the cloud” wasn’t even . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Incorporating Equality Into Legal Education: Experience as a 1L

Nothing in the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Rules of Professional Conduct places much real pressure on the profession to incorporate equality in a meaningful way. If law schools cannot instill the true worth of equality into the minds of future lawyers, the expectation for a truly diverse Canadian legal profession becomes no more than an unrealistic pipe dream. By presenting ethical training as the sort of “easy” course students take in order to graduate, law schools may simply be creating new lawyers who are, as Professor Rosemary Cairns Way described, only “rhetorically committed” to equality.

Handbooks for equality: Hiring . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Law Student Week