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Archive for February, 2014

In Memoriam of Milt Zwicker…

♫ Only made me more focused, only wrote more potent..♫

Lyrics and music by Kanye West, Aldrin Davis, recorded by Kanye West.

Milton Wedman Zwicker or just “Milt” as he liked to be known, was the retired managing partner of Zwicker Evans & Lewis, an Ontario law firm. His law practice was restricted to business and commercial law and estate planning. He was the author of many articles and books on the subject of law firm management, and he was a past member of the editorial board of Law Practice Management magazine (as it then was known) published by the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

Writing With Hemingway

Like many in the legal profession, I spend a significant proportion of my days working at the craft of writing.

Sometimes, I write on risk management topics for Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association. Weekly, I sit down to write a post for publication here on Slaw. From time to time, I also write reports, meeting minutes and more.

Because I work mostly alone, I often have found myself lamenting the absence of another set of eyes to review what I have written. No matter how many times I review my drafts, it seems I always miss something that any good . . . [more]

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

It’s 2014: All Change? or More of the Same?

Looking at the current contents of my ever expanding inbox, I see January has been a month of conflicting messages from the legal information world.

One moment it appears we really might have a real sea change in the way that legal content is perceived, published and prostituted.

Then, in the flash of an eye, a slew of endless press releases from Thomson Legal & Regulatory and LexisNexis praising themselves for the fact they are themselves; combined with their endless desire to control and purchase every and any new company (mainly tech based these days) that may actually have products . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

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. Mihaly v. The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta 2014 AHRC 1

    [1] Mr. Ladislav Mihaly filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission (the Commission) on August 5, 2008, alleging that he was discriminated against by the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGGA)[1] when he was denied registration as a Professional Engineer. This complaint

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

New Columnists on Slaw

It is with great pleasure that I announce that five new columnists are joining Slaw.

Lynn Foley

Lynn is the Co-Founder of fSquared Marketing, a consulting and outsourcing firm. A Board member of the Legal Marketing Association, Vancouver, Lynn holds a dual MBA in Finance and Media & Communications Management.

Lynn will, of course, be joining the Legal Marketing group of columnists.

You may follow Lynn on Twitter @LynnFitzFoley.


Elmer Masters

Elmer is the Director of Internet Development at the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instructiona (CALI) where he works on interesting projects involving technology and legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements

Data Not Found

I was surprised recently that I had a hard time finding something. It wasn’t something big or terribly important; it wasn’t a grey area question or an interpretation of legal information. All I want to know is where 9-1-1 calls are answered in Alberta. No one asked me about this, but the Proclamation of the Emergency 911 Act and the publication of the Emergency 911 Grants Regulations made me curious about who exactly would be eligible where a regulation says:

Eligibility criteria

4 Any person owning or operating a public safety answering point is eligible to apply for a grant

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

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.


Dan Pinnington

There is no technology tip this week.


Measure Research Time
Shaunna Mireau

It is a tricky thing to be asked a question that has a research component and be able to estimate how much time it will take to find and communicate an answer. Something that helps with estimating is knowing how much time a similar task encompased. Since, like most service industries, the legal industry . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

When Should the Polluter Pay for Pollution That Was Legal at the Time?

In a landmark lead paint liability case, the Superior Court of California has held three of five paint companies liable for public nuisance. The court ordered them to clean up lead paint in California residences painted before 1978, at a total cost of $1.15 billion. The use of lead in interior residential paint was permitted until after 1978, i.e. the manufacture and sale of lead paint was legal when these homes were painted. See People v. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al. Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, Case No. 1-00-CV-788657

Could this happen in Canada? It is possible. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

CALL/ACBD 2014 Conference – Winnipeg, May 25 – 28

Registration is now open for the 2014 Canadian Association of Law Libraries Annual Conference. This year’s conference will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Fort Garry Hotel from May 25-28.

From the conference webpage:

Winnipeg host city of the 2014 conference

Welcome to the Canadian Association of Law Libraries/L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit Conference 2014: The Confluence: Knowledge Meets Inspiration/Au confluent du savoir et de l’inspiration. 

CALL/ACBD currently has approximately 500 members representing a wide variety of law library interests. It provides a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among members, fosters cooperation among Canadian

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

NSA Dragnet Ensnares Law Firms

The most recent Snowden revelation, as reported by the New York Times, has revealed that even law firms have become ensnared in the NSA’s ever-growing communications dragnet.

The top secret document, leaked by Edward Snowden, reveals that a US-based firm was targeted by the NSA over the period of time it represented Indonesia in trade talks with the US government. Controversial FISC court rulings grant the NSA permission to monitor the communications of Americans, even communications within the scope of attorney-client privilege, provided those communications are deemed to have intelligence value and are with foreigners.

Given these revelations, US-based . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

The Importance of Reporting Letters

This article is by Nora Rock, corporate writer and policy analyst at LAWPRO

From both a client communication and a claims prevention perspective, reporting letters may be among the most important documents in a lawyer’s file.

Reporting letters support client communication by describing the work that has been completed and the results achieved. Good reporting letters should also communicate whether any issues remain to be resolved or tasks require completion – and whose responsibility it is to deal with these.

Should the matter result in a claim, having interim and/or final reporting letters in the file can be very helpful . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Sign on the Dotted Line

Hardly a day goes by that I am not asked to sign a document and return it. Most of these documents come to me via email as attachments. In some cases it is a nice fillable PDF form, but often it is a Microsoft Word document with a series of underscores made to look like form fields to indicate where I am to place my signature and provide other information. To keep this “form” in Microsoft Word and fill it in I would spend a lot of time reformatting the document as one cannot actually fill in the fields, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology