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Archive for August, 2013

Ontario Bar Association Relaunches Website With a Splash

Is it still news when an organization relaunches its website? The Ontario Bar Association has just relaunched its website with a more social, interactive focus:

When we set out on this journey, we wanted to provide real, tangible value to our members. We’ve boosted opportunity for engagement with the OBA through social media integration, member directories, practice section landing pages, private forums, and the volunteer portal. Check out all the new features available to you through the new OBA.ORG.

They have put together a short video to introduce the changes:

The new from Ontario Bar Association on Vimeo. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Technology: Internet

An Annual Legal Health Check-Up From LAWPRO

Clients don’t always appreciate how lawyers can help on other legal issues they may encounter as they go through life.

Just as booking an appointment with a doctor or financial advisor offers an opportunity to identify issues and gauge your health (physical and financial), checking in with their lawyer can ensure your client’s legal health is also in good shape.

To help lawyers remind their clients to check up their “legal health”, LAWPRO has created the Annual Legal Health Check-up (in Word format and PDF format). It is a non-exhaustive list of common legal issues that arise in a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

Why Wreck-It Ralph Went to Law School

I’m bad, and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me.” – Wreck-It Ralph

The Ontario Bar Association’s marketing campaign, Why I went to Law School, has attracted media attention (National Post July 31 2013, Globe and Mail February 6 2013) as well as being cogently criticized by Jordan Furlong on SLAW back in February (Why Lawyer Image Campaigns are Pointless).

In this month’s column I want to add my two cents to that conversation. What I say is informed by . . . [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. Avoid a Claim   2. Finding Legal Information   3. Michael Geist    4. Canadian Legal History Blog    5. All About Information
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Cronut May Have IP Issues as Well

In the wake of the 150 illnesses at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) recently, you’d think the Cronut is a name that vendors would avoid like the staphylococcus aureus toxin plague.

From the outset the Cronut name has been closely protected by its inventors in Soho, New York. Dominique Ansel Bakery, which created the Cronut in May 2013, has provided legal notices to American bakeries selling products with the same name, and they were not pleased when Toronto’s Le Dolci Bakery and Epic Burger announced they would be selling their dish at the CNE.

But Dominique Ansel may have other . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.



Areas of Law: Real Property; Allocation of Shared Expenses; Disclosure of Documents

~No obligation of owner developer for continuing disclosure under Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 43~

Background: The Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel and Residences (the “Fairmont”) is a mixed commercial, hotel and residential condominium complex on Vancouver’s downtown waterfront. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

MOOC, Distance Education, and CLE

 You can’t turn around these days without bumping into discussion of MOOC—massive open online courses. At the latest ACLEA (the Association for Continuing Legal Education) meeting, MOOC were the subject of the final plenary. Often the final session of this conference is sparsely attended or wrapped up early in favour of the cocktail hour. This time, though, it was one of the very best sessions; the audience, made up of continuing legal education professionals from across North America and overseas, paid close attention throughout and followed up with many questions.

Our speaker was Tanina Rostain of Georgetown Law. She did . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Friday Fillip: Maps

It helps to have a set of “just so” stories, in order that we can find, grasp and share data somewhat more easily. The Roman alphabet is one such “story,” for example. Almost everyone can recite it, so we can hunt through an alphabetized list of words quite swiftly. And I guess in a way our numbers are another handy “accepted structure” for managing information in the world, so accepted in fact that they seem to be a part of the world rather than a construct. These and other like inventions can be compared to maps, which, after all, are . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

“This Is Not a Dark Ride”

Is there a reason some lawyers are scared at the idea of Legal Project Management?

Actually, I’ve heard numerous reasons since I wrote the book introducing the subject:

  • It will take away our autonomy.
  • It will introduce too much bureaucracy.
  • Legal work doesn’t follow a formula.
  • I don’t understand it.

To the lawyer who once offered that last explanation, I thank you for your honesty. What we don’t understand can be scary, intimidating even. But in Legal Project Management everything is exposed, shared, open, and available.

As for the other reasons… I’ll get to them in a minute.

Dark Rides . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

European Union Country Profiles on Access to Justice

The debate over access to justice isn’t only on the agenda here in Canada (see the recent posts entitled CBA’s Map to Equal Justice and CBA Access to Justice Report Is More Pie-in-the-Sky).

In 2011, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) produced a series of 27 Country thematic studies on access to justice:

“The national thematic studies constituted the background information drawn on by the FRA in order to compile its comparative report on ‘Access to justice in Europe: an overview of challenges and opportunities’. The summaries provide further details on the national situation in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

[Thursday:] What’s Hot on CanLII

[Here are the cases that were unavailable yesterday.]

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 this last week:

  1. Marine Services International Ltd. v. Ryan Estate 2013 SCC 4

    [1] The sea took the lives of two fishermen off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Their estates sought compensation in tort from parties allegedly responsible for their death. This appeal raises the issue of whether the statutory bar of action in s. 44 of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

CBA Access to Justice Report Is More Pie-in-the-Sky

Last week I visited the newly created Corktown Common. For those readers familiar with Toronto, it’s a new urban park that sits on the west bank of the Don River, just south of King Street – on lands that 25 years ago, were considered to be irredeemable industrial wasteland. Plans to revitalize the site as the Atiritari housing project never got off the ground for a variety of reasons – cost of environmental remediation being one, and lack of a burning platform another. It’s human nature not to do anything unless we absolutely have to. So it was only when . . . [more]

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