Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for August, 2013

Bezos, the Post & Innovation

Some interesting news Monday, when it was announced that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will purchase The Washington Post. Amazon won’t have an interest in the paper, however. It’s an all-Bezos investment; and one has to wonder what plans he has in store.

At this point in the Internet’s evolution, platforms are obviously ‘king’. Companies like Facebook and Google (and Amazon) are hyper-focused on being destinations, and owning a layer of web activity that controls user participation for extended periods.

Is Bezos looking to add an influential news property to this mix? If it was that straight forward, one would . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

CanLII Hackathon

Though others have posted about it, Slaw has not yet reported on the upcoming CanLII Hackathon. The two day event, hosted by CanLII and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law Centre for Law, Technology and Society — and properly titled Law, Government and Open Data Conference and Hackathon — will be held in Ottawa on September 13 and 14 at the Desmarais Building, Room 12101, 55 Laurier Avenue East.

According to the CanLII announcement:

The two day event will be roughly split as follows:

  • Day 1 describes the public policy objectives of access to information and introduces the
. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing

Making the News

Law firm marketing activities should help enhance at least one of the four Rs: revenue, reputation, referrals, and retention. One way of enhancing reputation is to be quoted in the media. 

Now, some lawyers would rank facing the media right down there on the popularity scale with root canals. They would consider the idea of actually cultivating relationships with journalists to be unseemly. However, you’ve all read news articles where the same lawyers get quoted over and over again. I’m sure you’ve wondered, “That lawyer doesn’t know any more than I do about that topic. How come he/she gets quoted . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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 this last week:

  1. Kaberwal v Saskatchewan (Economy) 2013 SKQB 244

    [1] This is an application brought by the applicant, Navjeen Kaberwal (“Kaberwal”), for judicial review of a decision made by the Ministry of the Economy, Immigration Services (“Ministry”) on December 31, 2012 suspending Kaberwal’s right to submit applications to the Ministry for a period of two years. The decision relates to the Ministry’s programs and services

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

Perceptions of Time and Projects

Summer, that fleeting season of long days and special projects, is half over. Insert anxious gasp. I am certain that I am not alone in the horror that begins on the Tuesday after the August long weekend when approaching the To Do list. The projects that are contemplated in May or June are often overshadowed by other important work.

There are some great books on legal project management. I have Jim Hassett’s book Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide, 3rd edition 2013, on my desk. Ted did an thorough review of the 2nd edition, and the 3rd edition . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Get Me Some Help Here, Stat!

In a busy hospital emergency room, a triage nurse can literally mean the difference between life and death, as he or she makes the call on who needs to be seen right away, and who can wait for help.

Within the Legal Futures Initiative’s consultation, some tell us that the legal system similarly needs a good triage system “to move parties to the resources they need and to facilitate more efficient use of resources.”

Most lawyers, and law firms, likely have their own forms of triage – a system by which the firm decides who gets what file, who contributes . . . [more]

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

Uniform Law Conference of Canada

Next week marks the 95th annual meeting of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada in. Founded in 1918, the ULCC is Canada’s oldest and longest serving law reform agency. As set out in its Constitution:

The mandate of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada is to facilitate and promote the harmonization of laws throughout Canada by developing, at the request of the constituent jurisdictions, Uniform Acts, Model Acts, Statements of Legal Principles and other documents deemed appropriate to meet the demands that are presented to it by the constituent jurisdictions from time to time.

The constituent jurisdictions are . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information

Let’s Finally Kill the Billable Hour!?

A lot has been written about the “death of the billable hour”. However, sadly, it’s not dead yet.

In the last year, I’ve made the move from private practice at a large firm to senior counsel at a larger national company. Professionally and personally, it’s been an amazing and challenging transition. One of my responsibilities has been to manage outside counsel and negotiate fee new agreements. It’s a task I’ve found very interesting, particularly given my prior experience on the other side.

From what I’ve seen both in-house and in private practice (and that of a number of colleagues I’ve . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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.


[There was no technology tip last week.]
Dan Pinnington


Update Legislation on Your Mobile Device
Shaunna Mireau

A couple of years ago I shared a tip for putting the Rules of Court on a mobile device. A couple of days ago there was a notice about an amendment to the Alberta Rules of Court – the rules linked in the example post. Thanks to persistent URLs, the links . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Does Solicitor-Client Privilege Apply to an Attorney-General Who Is Not a Lawyer?

No, it should not. That’s the best answer under existing doctrine and I think it is also the right answer.

In my previous post The Curious Case of the Non-Lawyer Attorney General: White Tiger of the Legal Profession, I reviewed the BC courts’ rejection to a challenge to a non-lawyer being appointed to the top legal job in the BC government.

Since then, BC Premier Christy Clark appointed a lawyer (!) as Justice Minister and Attorney General (The Hon. Suzanne Anton).

Despite this, the trend of non-lawyers being appointed as AGs is not abating and the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Weekend Reads

I’ve had the luxury of doing some good reading this holiday weekend. I thought I would share a few of the articles and books I’ve been looking at:

Resistance to courtroom tweeting based on myth, not reality, by Dean Jobb (Globe and Mail, July 31, 2013)
This is a summary of attitudes and policies towards Twitter use in Canadian courtrooms including a model policy for social media use in the courtroom developed by a team put together by the the Canadian Centre for Court Technology. Hat tip Luigi Benetton.

The Changing Role of Women in the Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Practice Pitfalls: Beware of Shelter Fraud in Real Estate Transactions

In the September 2010 issue of LAWPRO Magazine, we asked our claims counsel about what they feel are the biggest malpractice hazards in each area of law based on the claims files they work on every day. Here is an excerpt from that article dealing with clients who urge a quick settlement. Click here to read the full article “Practice Pitfalls”.

When lawyers think about real estate fraud, they tend to think about fake clients with forged ID obtaining fraudulent mortgages, or flip frauds where the value of a property is artificially inflated. They rarely think of shelter fraud – . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading