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Archive for September, 2013

Digitisis, Part Two: The Symptoms of Digitisis

The disease that afflicted legal and professional publishing for the last two decades was corrosive on many levels.

The first symptom of the Digital obsession or Digitisis disease was the overspending on document structure definitions and an obsession with rescuing whole ‘limbs’ of content that were probably going to be amputated in due course anyway. No-one in Lexis, Thomson, Bloomberg-BNA or Wolters-Kluwer-CCH could agree on what future content should look like so they had no idea what to keep or discard. This indecision led to the lowest common denominator strategy of ‘digitise and it will be worth it . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Thursday Thinkpiece: Kaiser on Civil Liability for Corporate Crime

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Corporate Crime and Civil Liability
Gordon Kaiser
Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2012


The past 20 years have seen a dramatic increase in corporate crime (or at least the detection and prosecution of corporate crime) such that this area now concerns virtually all corporate lawyers. This concern is heightened by civil litigation that invariably . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Expanding Access to Justice and the Lawyer’s Role Through Mediation Coaching

There is considerable discussion these days about how the legal community can help to increase access to justice for Canadian citizens. We know that mediation is a valuable tool to that end but I wonder whether lawyers are recognizing its full potential or, in some cases, shortchanging its benefits.

While this may not be entirely “new”, this post encourages lawyers to amplify the role that they play in choosing and using mediation.

There are increasing opportunities for lawyers to participate in mediation, not in a mediator role but in a counsel or advocacy role, all of which support increased access . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The Next Tech Trend – Smart Watches

A few smart watches are on the market now. The Pebble that resulted from a Kickstarter project is probably the most well known one.

Many manufacturers are working on their own versions. Samsung today revealed its Galaxy Gear smartwatch .

For now, it apparently only works with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, but I’m sure that will change soon.

So what does a smartwatch do? Basically, it works as an interface for your smartphone. You can make and receive calls from it, send and receive texts, control music, and interface in other various ways. It responds to touch, voice, and gesture . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

The Groia Matter: Appeal and Interveners

Thanks to a comment Noel Semple on the legal ethics email list to which I belong, I was alerted to the fact that the Advocates’ Society has filed a factum as an intervener in the appeal by Joseph Groia of the finding against him of misconduct — “incivility,” principally — by the Law Society of Upper Canada. (See also the Advocates’ Society note on the matter.) The appeal has yet to be heard. The Advocates’ Society has also placed online Groia’s factum, that of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association as intervener and the respondent Law Society’s factum.

This . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Purchasing Justice?

Last month, the Manitoba Court of Appeal commented on the practice in some Manitoba courts of ordering charitable donations be made as a part of sentencing in criminal or other quasi-criminal proceedings.

The Court, in R. v. Choi (J.W.), 2013 MBCA 75 (CanLII) was considering an appeal of sentence by the Crown from a conviction under s. 124(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act relating to the defendant’s illegal employment of six foreign nationals. The sentence imposed by the lower Court was an 18-month conditional discharge including supervised probation and a condition that Choi:

Make a charitable

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

B to B or Not B to B?

That’s the question. Whether it’s a no-brainer to hang in and suffer all of the outrageous highs and lows of advertising, economic instability and the decline of print or instead, in search of fortune, shake a spear at that particular sea of troubles? These might be among the issues facing the multiplicity of business to business publishers that continue to produce magazines, directories, exhibitions and other activities that rely on advertising and sponsorship, for lawyers and other advisers.

It hasn’t been an easy time for the magazines and related sectors for a good number of years now. Moreover, many of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Legal Promiscuity: Choosing the Right Firm(s)

In a recent tweet, I was asked whether a company should use a big, medium or small law firm. In my opinion, the answer is “Yes”. In my time as in-house counsel at a company with operations in every province, I’ve learned that it’s essential to establish relationships with a number of law firms across the country, of various sizes, in all provinces. While it irritated me when I was in private practice, the era where a company was faithful to one firm for all legal services is over. Using multiple firms can be a very effective tool in managing . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Low Income Individuals and the Law

I have the pleasure of presenting some information to University of Alberta Law students today who are taking a seminar course titled “Low income individuals and the law”. To prepare, I gathered some free legal research/legal content resources for a handout.

Free law links (PDF)

What would you add to this list? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Service Level Earn Backs in Outsourcing: Thinking About the Issues

As service levels and service level credits have become a standard component of outsourcing agreements, service providers have responded with requests for earn backs: the right, if a specified level of performance is achieved, to earn back, or not have to pay, the service level credit. However, if earn backs are to be included in an outsourcing agreement as part of a service level regime, they need to be defined carefully at the beginning and integrated into the service level methodology: when they are included late in the game, as a concession granted by the customer in response to a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

CanLII Citation Analysis Available

According to a study commissioned by CanLII and released today reported cases have varying “life spans” and cease to be important — as measured by their citation in other judgments — somewhere between three and fifteen years. The exception to this are judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada, the average “time to failure” of which is a whopping fifty years.

Citation Analysis of Canadian Case Law by Thom Neale is a full-on informatics study that:

uses simple statistical and functional analysis in conjunction with network analysis algorithms to examine the network of Canadian caselaw using data supplied by the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

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.


[No technology tip this week]
Dan Pinnington


Think About the Reader
Shaunna Mireau

I have had the benefit of working on a writing project with others from my firm recently. One of the key things that I have learned from this is that writers, especially if the work is intended to convince others to act, must put themselves in the shoes of the reader. . . .

Practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday