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Archive for February, 2015

Plaintiff Awarded $13,000 Judgment and $90,000 in Costs

There are provisions in the Rules of Civil Procedure which provide that if a plaintiff brings a lawsuit in Superior Court and recovers an amount that is within the monetary jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court ($25,000), it is open to the court to order that the plaintiff shall not recover any of its legal costs of the lawsuit.

The rationale behind these provisions is straightforward. If a litigant fails to recover more than $25,000, then its claim ought to have been brought in the Small Claims Court which provides for a more streamlined, less expensive, procedure. A plaintiff, theoretically, . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law

Who You Gonna Call? Naming Your Law Firm

A journalist recently asked me whether I agreed with the trend to single names for law firms, “given the traditional importance assigned to becoming a named partner.” My reaction was two-fold:

  1. There’s not much point in agreeing or disagreeing with a trend: the question is whether or not you’re going to follow it.
  2. I’ve yet to meet an associate whose ambition was to see his or her name plastered over the reception desk.

I ended up commenting on why I think the trend exists. That set me thinking about names as an aspect of marketing.

Back when Toronto’s Hospital for . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Technology Use Policies and Resources for Your Firm

Written policies that clearly establish guidelines and requirements governing the acceptable use of firm technology can help reduce cyber exposures and give staff clear direction on what they are permitted and not permitted to do with law firm technology resources.

Use these resources and sample policies to create polices for your firm (These resources supplement the information in the Cybercrime and Law Firms issue of LAWPRO Magazine): The model policies are also available in Word and RTF formats.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

The Great Disruption and “Computational Jurisprudence”

Last May John O. McGinnis and Russell G. Pearce wrote about the “great disruption” in an article published in the Fordham Law Review. They began by stating that, “Law is an information technology–a code that regulates social life.” They concluded that “the disruptive effect of machine intelligence will trigger the end of lawyers’ monopoly and provide a benefit to society and clients as legal services become more transparent and affordable to consumers, and access to justice thereby becomes more widely available.” They also noted that,

The market for electronic legal services is at a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

ODR to Become the Norm in Quebec?

In all honesty, our title is somewhat (and voluntarily) misleading. There is no clear sign that online dispute resolution is going to be the norm in the near future in Quebec – or anywhere else in Canada for that matter. Even in British-Columbia, where the much talked about Civil Resolution Tribunal should finally launch later this year, it’s doubtful that the judicial process will transfer online for other courts and tribunals any time soon. “Then why the misleading title?”, you may ask. Because recent legislative changes in Quebec have paved the way for ODR service providers to make great strides . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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. Social Media for Law Firms  2. All About Information 3. Barry Sookman  4. ABlawg  5. National Blog

Social Media for Law Firms
The Best Social Media Tools for Lawyers in 2015

Each and every person manage several tasks at once (business and personal), and usually with great difficulty. Throwing . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Implicit Authorization in Ontario of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is hardly a new topic for practitioners, but it continues to be one which many struggle with. Part of the reason they struggle is the lack of clear guidance from the law societies.

The greatest concern tends to be client confidentiality, Rule 3.3 of the Model Code. However, as I stated this past week at the Ontario Bar Association Institute, many of these concerns are largely overstated, and the resistance to cloud computing may in fact compromise other components of professional responsibility, including competence (Rule 3.1) and quality of service (Rule 3.2).

I even take the controversial . . . [more]

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

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered 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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Le juge de première instance aurait dû individualiser la peine imposée à l’appelant, reconnu coupable de plusieurs infractions de nature sexuelle; afin de lui permettre de conserver son emploi, des peines d’emprisonnement discontinu de 90 jours sous chacun des chefs, à purger concurremment, sont substituées à la . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Family Justice 3.0: a Settlement-Oriented, Lawyer-Facilitated Hybrid Approach

The family justice system as we know it is in crisis. I think we’ve reached consensus on this point, as the truckload of recent reports from the national Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, the Canadian Bar Association and a handful of law societies seems to suggest. Whatever disputes are left likely centre on the extent to which the system needs to be rebuilt, how it ought to be rebuilt and how the rebuild will be funded.

In recent commentaries I have expressed the view that how we do family justice needs to be . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Friday Fillip: Peeves, Foibles, and Quirks — Oh My!

You stretch, get out of bed, fling on something warm, and open the front door to gaze out at the day. If what you see is acres (or hectares) of fields or forests or snow or ocean, i.e. nothing, then… nevermind. Make your coffee, go back to bed, spend the day in your onesie — whatever. You’ve already provided yourself with the geographical solution to the problem of other people, the problem typically known as civilization. The rest of us, rejoicing in city life, must cope elsehow.

We do that basically by taking great care not to bump into each . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

ABS D.O.A.? Idk

Is the debate over Alternative Business Structures in the legal profession dead on arrival before it truly begins? I don’t know.

Among the most active participants in the current debate, things are hardly over. But from my perspective, the volume and passion of the opponents of ABS is such that much of the potential discussion risks foreclosure. If ya ain’t fer us (the opponents), yer agin’ us!

The opponents raise many valid concerns that warrant further exploration, most significantly the risk to the public interest if a lawyer’s duty to the client and her ethical obligations could be comprised by . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Thursday Thinkpiece: Mouris on Canada’s International Human Rights Obligations to MMIW

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.

Canada’s International Human Rights Obligations and the Tragedy of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women

Julie Mouris, J.D./M.A. (International Affairs) Candidate, 2015 | University of Ottawa / Carleton University
(2014) 1 Windsor Rev Legal Soc Issues — Digital Companion 32

Excerpt: Parts I and II

[Footnotes omitted. They can be found in the original . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece