Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for June, 2014

CDs and DVDs Going the Way of Loose-Leaf Services

It would be my view that, even at its very best, the world of legal and professional publishing has been and is one that embraces evolution but not more. We see evidence of this in the recent sale back to its previous owners of American Lawyer Media. What goes round comes around would appear to be the preference and it seems that the major international law publishers were not interested in absorbing ALM. Perhaps this reflects their current view of the market. Still, there can be little doubt that the electronic revolution and the state of the economy . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Friday Fillip: Surprise!

Like most of you, I’m sure, I get momentarily caught whenever I see the word “law” in something I’m reading. Much of the time it has nothing to do with our business and means to describe only some regularity, whether scientific, logical or folkloristic. That’s the way it was when I stumbled across “The Law of Unintended Consequences.” (See, e.g.,the title of this piece in the Economist.) Curiously, this “law” almost never gets framed as such, and from what I can tell amounts to nothing more than the observation that we’re not too good a predicting the future, particularly when . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Prostitution Bill Sets Aside $20 Million to Support Sex Trade Workers

Prostitution law is back in the news, almost a year after the Supreme Court released its dramatic decision in Canada v. Bedford. The Court found the main provisions of Canada’s prostitution law unconstitutional, struck them down and gave the government one year to introduce a law that doesn’t offend the Constitution...
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

8 Questions to Help You Bring Your “A” Game to Business Development

Are you in a rut? Are you just going through the motions of your business development? Are you not seeing results? Are you overwhelmed and going in too many directions? Maybe it’s time to take a closer look!

At the end of EVERY week reflect on your performance and results of the week. Here is a list of eight questions to ask yourself…

1. Was your client service so solid that your clients will give you more work?

2. How many referral sources did you reach out to this week?

3. Did you do something to develop a relationship this . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Thursday Thinkpiece: Regan on Establishing an “Ethical Infrastructure” in Law Firms

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.

Nested Ethics: A Tale of Two Cultures

Milton C. Regan, Jr.
Hofstra Law Review, Vol. 42, pp. 143-174, 2013

(Excerpt: pp. 143 – 148)


As law firms have become larger and more complex,[1] many of them have adopted more sophisticated programs to ensure that lawyers in the firm comply with their . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

The Value of Collaborative Networks

I’ve sung the praises of inter and cross-sectoral collaboration here and here in terms of addressing the gaps that exist in access to justice across the country. But recently I was reminded again of the value of collaborating within my networks of legal colleagues across the country.

Wearing my Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association risk management hat, I met last week with legal malpractice insurance program directors and staff from across Canada. This group meets in person at least once per year and I always leave that meeting with pages of notes and numerous good ideas. Our in-person meetings provide opportunity . . . [more]

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

Professor Joanne St. Lewis: Why I Stood Up to Racist Cyber Libel

The Case:

On June 5th, 2014, a jury ruled in the St. Lewis v. Rancourt defamation action. The decision before the Ontario Superior Court found that, the Defendant’s actions were malicious. They awarded $100,000 in general damages and $250,000.00 in aggravated damages. The Defendant has been ordered to take down his blog articles, cease defaming Professor St. Lewis and to assist in having the materials removed from Google and other search engines. The decision is likely to be appealed by the Defendant and awaits the imprimatur of the Ontario Court of Appeal and perhaps the Supreme Court of Canada. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues

CASL Hits Next Week – Are You Ready?

CASL – Canada’s new anti-spam legislation – becomes law on July 1. It is a sledgehammer to kill a fly approach to spam that requires attention by almost every business and not for profit. In my view, the significant amount of time, effort, and money that it will take for legitimate businesses and not for profits to comply with the act will come nowhere close to justifying any meagre benefit.

Many business have complied, many are just waking up to it now, and many are ignoring it. It doesn’t help that the act has a broad definition of spam that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

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. Dr. Robert Grossman v. The Toronto-Dominion Bank, 2014 ONSC 3578

[25] The Bank submitted the one must assess the legal tenability of the plaintiffs’ negligence claims through the lens of the two-stage analysis re-affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in Cooper v. Hobart[9] for determining the existence of a duty of care in negligence. Restating the test from Anns v. . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Where Are Your Encryption Keys?

Businesses that do not encrypt their information risk losing it. Legal professionals risk private and confidential client information when they do not take steps to secure it properly. Your operating system has encryption built in, through Windows Bitlocker or Mac File Vault II. If you are one of those lawyers on an older version of Windows, use Truecrypt or Diskcryptor to encrypt your hard drive.

Full disk encryption is a baseline now for legal professionals. If you must use portable drives, use your encryption software on them as well. In reality, all computers and drives are portable, which means . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

How to Run a Productive Project Meeting and Stop Wasting Time

I am usually the first person to start fidgeting in any meeting. I blame it on my short attention span and my impatience. But sometimes I blame it on the meeting leader’s poor facilitation skills.

Apparently, I’m not alone in my frustration. According to a May 2014 Harvard Business Review article:

  • 15% of collective organizational time is spent in meetings. This percentage has only increased since 2008.
  • Executives consider 56% of these meetings to be unproductive
  • 49% of attendees admit to doing other, unrelated work during meetings

Meeting facilitation skills will become increasingly important as firms try to become . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice 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.


Canadian Weather Radar Will Answer the Question: Will It Rain Today?
Dan Pinnington

Predicting the weather is both an art and a science, and getting it right in the longer term can involve some luck. But in the shorter-term, knowing for sure whether some rain is coming your way can be very helpful. Should I head to the golf course? Is my kid’s baseball game going to get cancelled? . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday