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Archive for January, 2015

The Friday Fillip: “All That Is the Kinge’s Stuffe”

Because we must read so much, it’s rare for you or me to come across a word we don’t know. I suppose there are at least three reasons we might: the word is old, obsolete; it’s a jargon word, proper to some trade or art we don’t practice; or it’s slang from a crowd we don’t hang with (such as young people, for example). All three explain “ligger”.

I came across it in a recent novel, used as a slang term originating in the British music scene that, according to the Urban Dictionary, means among other things:

An individual

. . . [more]
Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Important Legal Technology Developments in 2014

Among his many other activities – including practising law – Robert Ambrogi has been writing a blog on legal technology issues, LawSites, since 2002. His posts are always interesting and often very informative. His posting at the end of last year, entitled The 10 Most Important Legal Technology Developments of 2014, particularly caught my attention.

Several developments, such as those relating to legal research, legal hacking, encryption, and searching court dockets, are outside my particular area of interest, knowledge management. Three, however, were of particular interest to me:

  • Businesses and technology are changing the nature of law practice
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

Magna Carta to Tour Canada in Its 800th Anniversary Year

In June of this year, the Magna Carta will be travelling to Canada.

Considered a foundational document outlining fundamental rights, it was signed in June 1215 by King John of England.

The Magna Carta, along with its companion document from 1217 known as the Charter of the Forest, will be exhibited in Ottawa/Gatineau at the Canadian Museum of History from June 11 to July 26, 2015, before making stops in Winnipeg, Toronto and Edmonton.

The Library of Parliament has prepared a “HillNote” on the Magna Carta‘s legacy:

“The idea that a legal document could

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Disclosure of Mental Illness a Breach of Employee Privacy

On December 4, 2014, an Alberta labour arbitrator decided that an employer owed a grievor $5,000 in damages for breach of privacy due to the disclosure of the employee's presumed mental illness during the formal review of a workplace conflict.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Technological Competence 101: Back to Basics?

Much electronic ink has been spilled in the pages of Slaw over the need for lawyers to up their game when it comes to using technology. In a previous column, I argued that “while technological competence might once have been properly seen as a helpful but optional skill set,….[it] is now essential to delivering effective and ethical legal services”, but then hedged, “[e]xactly what type of technological competence a lawyer needs to have has been debated and, presumably, will constantly evolve as technology itself evolves.” Both of these observations seem unavoidably true. The problem is, however, they only . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Implementation of Recommendations From Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry Report

Just shy of a year after the issuance of the final report and recommendations from the Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry in Manitoba, the province has issued its first status update on the implementation of those recommendations.

The report, Options for Action: An Implementation Report for The Legacy of Phoenix Sinclair: Achieving the Best for All Our Children and Executive Summary were delivered at a press conference yesterday. Following a process of consultation with stakeholders, the implementation team led by consulting firm AMR Planning and Consulting sets out a series of options for action to implement the 31 recommendations that were not . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Happy Data Privacy Day

From the Privacy Commissioner of Canada: “On January 28, Canada, along with many countries around the world, will celebrate Data Privacy Day. Recognized by privacy professionals, corporations, government officials, academics and students around the world, Data Privacy Day highlights the impact that technology is having on our privacy rights and underlines the importance of valuing and protecting personal information.”

Privacy becomes increasingly challenging with new tech such as big data, the internet of things, wearable computers, drones, and government agencies recording massive amounts of data in the name of security. Sober thought needs to go into balancing the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

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. Bernstein v. Poon, 2015 ONSC 155

[22] This dispute arises at one of the many intersections between business and profit on the one hand, and health and wellness on the other. Both the plaintiffs and the defendant are, financially, the beneficiaries of the burgeoning needs and demands of an increasingly obese population. While the plaintiffs are openly commercial and not dependent . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

New Year, New Arbitration Rules

The ADR Institute of Canada has adopted new arbitration rules, which came into effect in December 2014. The new Rules are significant because they apply to any new arbitration commenced under the ADR Institute rules after December 1. Although the Rules are designed mainly for domestic commercial arbitration, they can also be used for international and non-commercial disputes.

First adopted in 2002 to provide a comprehensive set of national arbitration rules, the last major revision of the Rules was in 2008. The new Rules are the product of an in-depth review and broad consultation that began in 2012. This . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Workplace Resolution #3: Watch What You Say Online…

What you say online stays online and could get you fired. It is becoming increasingly clear in Canada that offensive or disparaging online statements can merit termination for cause, particularly where the conduct has a negative impact on the employer. Surprisingly, the same is not necessarily true in the United States (see my post here for more details). However, the recent wave of employer-supportive decisions favouring terminations for cause may have given some companies a false sense of security. The recent decision of Kim v. International Triathlon Union, 2014 BCSC 2151 is a good illustration of that point and how . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Tell Better Stories

Podcasting has become something of a recurring joke around my office this year.

One of my colleagues has recently become intrigued by the medium, and is eager to find suitable client or in-house projects where our agency can work in this arena. I’ve been helpfully proposing that every project we discuss is a nail for which this newfangled podcasting hammer would be the perfect tool and teasing her about the cutting edge nature of this technology, which has had native support within iTunes since 2005, and is really but a short technological hop from old-fashioned radio serials that have been . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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.


Don’t Worry About Overcharging Your Mobile Device Batteries*
Dan Pinnington

Some people still worry about overcharging the batteries on their mobile devices. Those of us that have been around a bit longer will remember the days when you were supposed to fully charge and then fully discharge your batteries so they would maintain the ability to take and retain a full charge through many charging cycles. This was an . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday