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Archive for February, 2015

New Trial for Manager Terminated Over Misuse of Company Property

In Roe v British Columbia Ferry Services Ltd, a British Columbia trial judge made too many assumptions and not enough findings of fact when he decided that an employee’s dishonest conduct was “trifling,” “relatively minor” and not sufficient to justify termination. The Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for the employee after finding that the trial judge made a “palpable and overriding error” due to his failure to undertake an objective contextual analysis, as required for cases of alleged just cause.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Separating the Offices of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice

The time has come to begin seriously considering whether to separate the long-fused offices of Attorney General and Minister of Justice. The Attorney General is responsible for providing legal advice to the executive branch of government and for representing the government in all legal proceedings. In certain matters, the Attorney General is supposed to act completely independently in the public interest without reference to partisan politics. The Attorney General is known as the “defender of the Rule of Law” and indeed, under federal and provincial legislation, the AG is charged with seeing “that the administration of public affairs is in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Building Bonds and Working Together

Recently, I read this post from the University of Manitoba’s news feed about how pharmacy technician students from the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) are being trained through the university. The two institutions, U of M and MITT are working together in a unique way delivering a multi-disciplinary, peer-led education experience. Here’s how it works:

“…students from Pharmacy, Social work, and Rehabilitation Sciences provided a presentation to Pharmacy Technician students, teaching the role of each practitioner within a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program.”

Advit Shah, (B.Sc. Pharm, U of M) Pharmacy Technician Program Coordinator at MITT and event organizer says . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

FTC Report – Internet of Things – Privacy & Security

The US FTC just released a report entitled internet of things – Privacy & Security in a Connected World. Its a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the topic. It should be a mandatory read for anyone developing IoT devices or software. A summary of it is on JDSupra.

The conclusion of the FTC reports reads in part:

The IoT presents numerous benefits to consumers, and has the potential to change the ways that consumers interact with technology in fundamental ways. In the future, the Internet of Things is likely to meld the virtual and physical worlds together . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

5 Resume Tips for the Legal Job Hunter

Resume drafting is it’s own unique torture. First, there’s pressure because you very much want to secure a new job. Second, you can no longer recall much of what you did even a year ago. And on top of that it is really hard to sell yourself. For those of you who have started the New Year with a search for greener career pastures here are 5 tips to help you to create a resume that succeeds at highlighting your unique strengths.

Tip One – Include a summary

The big challenge for job hunters is that the common approach to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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. Moore v. Getahun, 2015 ONCA 55

[63] Consultation and collaboration between counsel and expert witnesses is essential to ensure that the expert witness understands the duties reflected by rule 4.1.01 and contained in the Form 53 acknowledgment of expert’s duty. Reviewing a draft report enables counsel to ensure that the report (i) complies with the Rules of Civil Procedure and the . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Of Neology and Lawfare

Mastery of vocabulary is a skill lawyers hone. But if the perfect choice of words is elusive—or if you have a more serious agenda—there’s always the dark art of “neology”.

I’m a bit of a word nut. As a youngster I was obsessed with the 1971 compact edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. It had the full 13-volumes condensed into two impossibly dense books with pages so thin and print so fine it required dexterity and a magnifying glass to read. “Prestidigitation” and “myopia” are words you can find in that micronized lexicon, but also skills you will need . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Not Just the Best Policy, but Now the Law: The Impact of the Duty of Honest Contractual Performance on Intellectual Property License Agreements

The Supreme Court of Canada recently decided a contractual dispute, Bhasin v. Hrynew, involving businesses selling educational savings plans (ESPs). In doing so, the Court recognized a duty of honest contractual performance. While the Bhasin decision did not concern intellectual property, the Court’s ruling has implications for all contracts, including intellectual property (IP) licensing agreements.

Previously, Canadian law was divided as to whether parties to a contract were required to discharge their contractual obligations honestly or whether the duty of good faith only applied to specific types of contracts, e.g. employment agreements. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Bhasin recognizes . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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.

Technology

Go to Airplane Mode or Power Down to Charge Your Device More Quickly
Dan Pinnington

We’ve all been there: Waiting for an urgent email, text or call while watching the red battery warning light flash as you are running from one place to another. Dimming the screen and closing open apps will keep your device alive a bit longer, but often it won’t be enough. In this situation, you . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

practicePRO’s Top Downloads of Articles and Resources in 2014

At the end of each year we at practicePRO take a look at what articles, checklists, tips, and other resources had the most downloads. As always, the list contains many resources that remain popular year after year (e.g. our retainer precedents, ILA checklist and e-Discovery reading list).

There are also some new and interesting entries on the list that stand out:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended

ONCA Clears Up the Law on Expert Reports

Ontario litigators breathed a sigh of relief last Thursday when the Court of Appeal overturned a trial judge’s ruling that it was improper for a lawyer to review and discuss draft expert reports with an expert witness, and that such discussions must be documented and disclosed to an opposing party.

During the course of cross examination of an expert at the trial of a medical malpractice claim, it emerged that an expert had reviewed his draft report with defence counsel in a 90 minute phone call, and made changes to the draft. The judge took up the issue and directed . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Robots, Law, Regulation: “Unfortunately It’s Not a Conversation That’s Happening Anywhere …”

Thankfully I can begin by reporting that the statement above is not true. Sam Glover over at the Lawyerist (a blog he created in 2007 so he could “rant about bad legal software”) had a wonderful conversation with Ed Walters. Walters, in addition to being the CEO of Fastcase, is an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law where he’s recently been teaching a seminar called the Law of Robots. Glover chats with Walters about “Robot Lawyers and the Law of Robots” and “technology’s influence on the future of law.”* . . . [more]

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