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Archive for July, 2015

Motivating Customer Service

Continuous improvement, process improvement, lean, six sigma, kaizen, and all of the other descriptors for changing to be more effective and efficient have the core value of providing the best possible customer service. Customers are external clients and also internal clients, for example users of the network are the clients of the IT department.

In law firms, it is pretty straight forward to be motivated to give excellent customer service to external clients. It may not always easy for everyone to consistently act on the motivation, but that is a separate issue. It is a bit more esoteric to connect . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, 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.


Deep Linking to Westlaw Canada Sources
Shaunna Mireau

Last week, I gave a shout out to Ted Tjaden for sharing some info about deep linking to LexisNexis Canada sources, and I am continuing to thank Ted this week. Ted shared some information about deep linking into WestlawNext Canada. …


How Many of You Have an Office Manual?*
David Bilinsky & Garry Wise

Sounds basic but many solo and . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Twelve Tips for Effective Tech Presentations

Let’s face it – whether you are talking about securing your data or describing the functions of legal IT products, the average lawyer audience may regard your presentation as useful, but hardly as “sexy.” Since we have been successfully lecturing on multiple topics for 18 years now, we have amassed a number of tips for making our presentations entertaining as well as educational. A friend suggested we share what we have learned. Here our twelve of our best tips:

  1. Be a storyteller. Cold hard facts have very little allure. But everyone likes a good story. When we lecture on cybersecurity,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

Employer Unsuccessfully Attempts to Resile From Settlement After Learning Ex-Employee Is Employed by Competitor

In a recent decision, the Ontario Superior Court upheld a settlement that was reached between a former employee and his ex-employer at a mediation over the employer’s attempt to resile from the settlement after finding out that the former employee had since gained employment with a competitor.

The plaintiff commenced a lawsuit against his former employer for payment of certain benefits after his employment was terminated.

The parties attended a mediation at which the lawsuit was resolved. As is often the case, the formal paperwork was not completed at the mediation.

Two days after the mediation the former employer . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Communications Breakdown: When a Lawyer Uses Jargon

“We’re [McLeish , Orlando LLP] in the process of retaining an ad agency for some of our marketing,” says Dale Orlando. “And it’s really frustrating when they use acronyms we don’t understand. You don’t want to ask because it seems like everybody else in the room knows what that means, so maybe I should.

“One agency came in to talk about a service agreement, and they were trying to explain to us the services they were going to provide. After listening for 30 minutes I still had no clue what they were going to be doing.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Ontario Civic Holiday a “Stat Holiday”: Think Twice…

The upcoming Civic Holiday is celebrated on Monday, August 3 in Ontario. The holiday, which was created in honour of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, often raises questions for employees and employers alike. Contrary to popular belief, the Civic Holiday is not a statutory holiday in Ontario; it is not listed as a public holiday in the province’s Employment Standards Act. This means that while many employers choose to give their employees a holiday, they are not required to do so by law.

A number of other provinces also have a public holiday, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Are We Approaching the Maturation of Library Linked Data Processes?

It’s nice to see that the processes involved in the creation of library linked data have evolved to a point where you might say they are approaching a degree of maturity. For a while now there have been a number of technical barriers including seemingly simple things like deciding which of the many programming languages to invest your time in or which of the many applications are necessary to accomplish your linked data goals. A number of useful tools have emerged in the last couple of years and there are now enough people who have tried them with some success . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

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 forty-one 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. Legal Feeds 2. Blogue du CRL 3. The Lean Law Firm 4. National Blog 5. À bon droit

Legal Feeds
Will Ashley Madison customers launch class action over hacking incident?

While class action lawsuits have become more common following a data breach, may not see its 37 million . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

A Few Thoughts on Writing for the Web

Your online presence plays a more prominent role than ever in your marketing, your brand, your reputation. That presence is defined in part by the “look and feel” of your various online outposts (including your website, social media accounts, and blog) but also by what you write in those places. The pretty veneer is mostly the domain of outside experts (graphic designers, photographers, web developers), but the writing – well, that’s largely on you.

Earlier this year I was asked by a Canadian legal stakeholder organization to present a customized seminar series for their staff on “writing for the web”. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Legal Health Checks for Employment Law

The CBA’s Legal Health Checks, which has been previously mentioned by  here, just released two new checklists in employment law.

One is for hiring for small businesses, and covers contentious issues such as employee/contractor distinctions and employment standards. The other is geared towards workers, and covers the law for non-unionized employees, and covers employment contracts, discrimination and harassment and wrongful dismissal.

Obtaining accurate legal information remains a challenge for the public, and efforts by our legal organizations to make this information more readily accessible is part of our professional mandate.

These checklists are also . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

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 : La règle interdisant les condamnations multiples ne s’applique pas au cas de l’appelant, reconnu coupable de conduite durant une interdiction et du non-respect d’une condition d’une ordonnance de probation, en l’occurrence une interdiction de conduire; même s’il est question dans les deux cas d’une interdiction de conduire, . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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:
Administrative law – Courts – Family Law – Civil Rights – Criminal Law – Practice

Strickland et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) 2015 SCC 37
Administrative Law – Courts – Family Law
Summary: The applicants applied for judicial review under s. 18 of the Federal Courts Act, seeking to have the Federal Child Support . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday