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Archive for March, 2014

Elementary My Dear Watson

I’m guessing that of the readers of Slaw that there is a substantial subset that are fans of the BBC series Sherlock. So, fair warning if you haven’t seen the 3rd episode of Season 3 – “His Last Vow”, stop reading before you make the jump.

Now that I am sad that there will not be any new episodes for about two years, I have been thinking more about past episodes and I have a very simple question based on Episode 3. Let’s just say for the sake of my flight of fancy that Mary shoots Charles Augustus Magnussen and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Friday Fillip: Names, –Nyms, and Noms

Everybody wants to be somebody else. At least it sometimes seems that way to me. I must lack the drive to alterity that motivates a lot of folk: so, for instance, on Twitter I am @fodden — than which few handles could be more staid and stolid — while the Twitterverse is decorated with millions of colourful keladinyms, such as @DeweyDecibel, @sarahcuda, @brundle_fly, @TheTweetOfGod, @sassygal22 (arriving a little late, it seems), and @etcetera.

Now, were I to pick a nickname, I wouldn’t go for brevity but rather for sonority — what someone (Twain? Dickens?) describing a law firm name . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

A Scary “Mask”: Tag, You’re It!

Remember the childhood game of chasing all of your friends in an attempt to merely lay a finger on them so they could assume the role of the “it” person? It doesn’t feel much different these days when dealing with technology. There are a ton of “bad guys” trying to compromise your technology for a variety of reasons. Once your computer is infected it may be a long time before you are even aware of the compromise.

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)

There are so many definitions of APT that it can make your head spin. It can refer to an . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

English Law Commission Report on Contempt of Court: Court Reporting

The English Law Commission earlier this week released its report on Contempt of Court: Court Reporting.

The report is part of the Commission’s Contempt of Court Project that also looked at juror misconduct on the Internet and contempt in the face of the court.

Under the Contempt of Court Act 1981, publication of material which has the effect of risking serious prejudice to active court proceedings can in some circumstances be punished as a contempt of court. Liability can arise irrespective of whether the publisher was aware that the publication would create such a substantial risk.

The Commission’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

From Perogies to Law Trucks – With Love

Maybe it’s something that happens to your brain at 5,000 feet above sea level. Maybe it’s the fresh mountain air. Or maybe it’s the frontier, no-one’s-gonna-help-me-so-I-just-gotta-do-it-myself, spirit of the West. Whatever it is, some of the most entrepreneurial Canadian lawyers I’ve met to date, are from Calgary.

Over and over again I’ve heard that if you have a great idea in Calgary, you can find partners to help make it happen.

We live in an age of cloud computing, greying of the bar, and underserved populations living on mobile devices, and many of us have also been commenting on the . . . [more]

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

Innovation Upside-Down With Mitch Kowalski

Why can’t we all be more like Australia, was Mitch Kowalski’s opening salvo as he hosted a CBA Futures Initiative Twitterchat on Tuesday.

“What’s in their water to allow them to be so innovative?”

Australia, Kowalski noted in a blog post ahead of the Twitterchat, pioneered outside intervention in law firms, which has been allowed since 2001, and is also the home of the first publicly-listed law firm, Slater and Gordon.

“Why do those who raise the unsubstantiated issue that outside investment will erode the core values of Canada lawyers, ignore the fact that nothing of the sort has happened . . . [more]

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

Superior Court of Justice Certifies a Class Action for Wrongful Dismissal Against IQT

On January 2, 2014 Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified a class proceeding by 527 wrongfully terminated employees led by Bob Brigaitis and Cindy Rupert (represented by Ted Charney of Charney Practice Group) against their now bankrupt employer, IQT Solutions and the officers, directors, shareholders John Fellows, Alex Mortman, David Mortman, Renae Marshall and affiliated companies IQT Canada, Ltd., JDA Partners LLC, and IQT Inc. The employees seek to recover $20 million in unpaid wages and severance plus aggravated and punitive damages of $10 million.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Norwich Orders and Copyright Trolls

The decision of the Federal Court in Voltage Pictures LLC v. John Doe and Jane Doe, 2014 FC 161, provides insight into the collision of Norwich Orders, means used to identify unknown infringers, and the growing business model of copyright trolls giving rise for the Courts to be more mindful of playing a role in potentially abusive behaviour of the trolls.

The development of this business model has troubled the Courts in the United States and the United Kingdom. In Voltage Pictures the Federal Court sought to address this trend in Canada quoting from Judge Guzman in TCYK, LLC . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Thursday Thinkpiece: Craig and Laroche on Why Music Is Special

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.

Out of Tune: Why Copyright Law Needs Music Lessons
Carys Craig & GuIllaume Laroche

Intellectual Property for the 21st Century Interdisciplinary Approaches, B Courtney Doagoo, Mistrale Goudreau, Madelaine Saginur and Teresa Scassa, Eds. (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2014)

(This excerpt is published pursuant to a Creative Commons licence.)

B. THE LAW . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Clio Secures $20M Funding Round

A note of congratulations to fellow Slaw contributor Jack Newton, whose company Clio has successfully secured a C Series funding round; led by Bessemer Venture Partners and valued at $20M.

Launched here on the West Coast of Canada in the Fall of 2008, Jack and his co-founder Rian Gauvreau are now working through their sixth year of Clio operations. According to Clio’s blog, the newest round of funds will be used to accelerate product development and to expand the size of their internal team. (Recruiting efforts already look to be underway.)

I write this offering my full . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Managing Change Within the Legal Department – the Inhouse Perspective


The organisations inhouse teams serve are regularly required to transform themselves. If they fail to do so they do not excel, or in some cases, they fail to survive. As a result the nature of inhouse practices which support these companies has also transformed over the last twenty years. Drivers for inhouse change include globalisation of commerce and corresponding geographical expansion, cost sensitivities, and increasing regulatory requirements. In many cases, unlike the business units they serve, inhouse legal departments have adapted in an ad hoc manner by accommodating evolving business needs, rather than as a result of careful consideration, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

A Bankrupt Can’t Escape a Judgment for Sexual Assault

Under most circumstances, an order of discharge releases a bankrupt person from all debts. There are, however, exemptions that have been legislated to ensure that a bankrupt party does not escape a debt arising from certain morally blameworthy actions. For example, an order of discharge does not release a bankrupt person from any debt arising from an award of damages by a court in civil proceedings stemming from “bodily harm intentionally inflicted, or sexual assault”: Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, RSC 1985, c B-3 (the “BIA”), s. 178(1)(a.1)(i).

The case law is clear these exceptions are . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment