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Archive for May, 2014

Conflicts Rules Leave Room for (Careful) Collegiality

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

Consulting with more experienced colleagues to confirm that you’re on the right track in resolving a problem is natural and commendable in any profession. Working in isolation is inefficient, and leads to preventable errors. Without access to information about others’ experience, we’re forced to make our own mistakes. For this reason, sole practitioners are routinely encouraged to seek out mentors and advisers from among the broader bar.

But what if every time a colleague outside your firm asked for your opinion on a legal issue, you became . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Future Law, Free Law?

The second annual FutureLaw Conference took place last Friday at Stanford University. Hosted by Codex – Stanford Center for Legal Informatics this was a conference “focusing on how technology is changing the landscape of the legal profession and the law more broadly.”

Judging by the comments in the storified #FutureLaw Twitter stream it looks like it was a very interesting and successful event. It was also live streamed and the day’s videos will be made available soon for those of us unable to attend.

Richard Susskind opened the proceedings with a talk entitled, “The Future of Lawyers: From Denial . . . [more]

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

Greg Lambert on Law Firm Libraries

Greg Lambert, prominent law blogger and Director of Library & Research Services at Jackson Walker LLP will be one of our plenary speakers at the upcoming CALL/ACBD conference. His topic is “Three Foot Radius of the Law Library” so I was curious what he has said recently about the law library on 3 Geeks and a Law Blog.

I was most interested to read his thoughtful post “So, What is Wrong with Law Firm Libraries Today?” from April 15th. It is in direct response to a provocative tweet put out by Patrick DiDomenico saying . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Do You Have a Great Canadian Law Firm Brand?

Branding is an often misconstrued word. Yes, it refers to the visual expression of your firm – the logo, colour palette and images. But more importantly it refers to an idea, a unique message that is capable of resonating with your target audience. It’s about understanding what makes your firm distinctive and how you can look and sound appealing to your audience in an authentic way. This marketing jargon may sound all well and good but you should still ask – what makes a great Canadian Law Firm brand?

The great Canadian Law Firm Brands

Recently, Acritas, a UK based . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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 sixty 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. Canadian Securities Law 2. Avoid a Claim 3. 4. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog 5. Double Aspect

Canadian Securities Law
CSA publish guidance on implementing OBSI dispute resolution mechanism
The Canadian Securities Administrators today released guidance to assist registered dealers and advisers outside Quebec, which are . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Shifting Prioritization Within Legal Academia to the Students

I’ve written extensively about the need for diversity in the legal profession, and for legal education to be more innovative and accessible. I haven’t touched on as much on one of the key missing pieces in legal education, which is the diversity of those providing the education to begin with.

Of course diversity in academia should be promoted for all the reasons we advocate for it to occur in the private sector – better creativity, more productivity, improved returns, and of course, the moral imperative to do so.

Part of this moral imperative includes the recognition that law school . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at

This week’s summaries concern:
Chattels real v. personal/ Aliens – Naturalization / Constitutional Law – Indian defined/ Criminal Law – Sentencing:

Personal Property – General – Chattels real v. personal 

Stewart received Health Canada authorization’s to possess marijuana for his personal medical use and to cultivate marijuana

. . . [more]
Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Chaque semaine, nous vous présentons un résumé d’une décision d’un tribunal québécois qui nous est fourni par la Société québécoise d’information juridique (SOQUIJ) et ayant un intérêt pancanadien. SOQUIJ relève du ministre de la Justice du Québec, et elle analyse, organise, enrichit et diffuse le droit au Québec.

Every week we present a summary of a decision by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and selected to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.


Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Setting v. Managing Expectations

Once upon a time, I represented a client (rather than managed the project) when I met with a senior project manager new to an in-progress project. He informed me that our job together was to “manage the client’s expectations.”

“No,” I replied, “our job is to meet the client’s expectations. Are you saying we didn’t set them correctly in the first place?” Given that the project already underway, he was telling me subliminally either that he thought the project was about to fail or that his predecessor had screwed up.

The difference between setting and managing expectations is more than . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip: When We Were Greyscale

We called it black and white, but in truth it was all shades in between. It was how we saw movies, how our photographs looked. And somehow the eye didn’t blench or weep for want of vibrant reds. We made up the colours in our minds, perhaps — it’s difficult to remember the ur-experience now that Dorothy’s landed in Oz and LCDs play across a full 60 inches — or perhaps we simply didn’t care about colour, pushing through to the essentials such as the story or the memory of an event.

Nature anticipates the greyscale with its retinal rods . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Thursday Thinkpiece: More on Laws and Lawyers

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.

Utopia, Book 2
Sir Thomas More
Published 1516

(Excerpt: Of Their Slaves, and of Their Marriages)

They have but few laws, and such is their constitution that they need not many. They very much condemn other nations, whose laws, together with the commentaries on them, swell up to so many volumes; for they . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Electronic Signatures and Election Registration:  Case Comment on Getup Ltd. v Electoral Commissioner (Australia)

One of the principles governing how the law has come to terms with electronic or digital technology is that of media neutrality: the law should work the same way regardless of the medium by which information is created, communicated or stored. We do not want to create a parallel system of legal rules that apply only when certain technologies are used. We may need to adapt our usual rules to deal with special characteristics or applications of the technology, but these should disrupt normal expectations as little as possible. The challenge is to judge how far it is appropriate to . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Legal Technology