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Archive for August, 2015

Independent Legal Advice Checklist

When providing independent legal advice, a checklist provides you with a handy tool to ensure that you are covering all the bases when discussing the underlying transaction and your client’s relationship to that transaction. Using this checklist, created by Phil Epstein Q.C., will allow you to be in a better position to successfully defend a negligence claim in relation to the provision of independent legal advice. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

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. Access to Justice in Canada 3. The Court  4. Legal Sourcery  5. Ontario Condo Law Blog

Social Media for Law Firms
How Brian Tannebaum Defines Social Media Success

According to his Twitter bio, Brian Tannebaum is a Criminal/Bar Defense Lawyer, a Certified Sommelier, . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development & Justice

A few days ago, on 11 August, the co-facilitators of the process that had to produce the successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) sent a letter to the President of the UN General Assembly that their mission had been accomplished. In diplomatic speak: an outcome document containing a draft of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) had been adopted by consensus. In the diplomatic universe this means that the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives will rubberstamp the document when they meet at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 25-27 September 2015 for the UN’s 70 . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Welcome the Flipped Lawyer

Time and tide wait for no man” (Geoffrey Chaucer). Or for no lawyer [male or female]. 

Change is afoot in the legal profession, and lawyers are trying to figure out how to react to it. But the legal industry isn’t the only profession facing change.

Jonathan Reese of Colorado State University-Pueblo recently wrote about changes in the education sector on The Kernel. He describes the introduction of MOOCs and flipped classrooms as a form of “professional suicide.” The premise behind both of these is the responsibility for learning shifts to the students, who watch video lectures on . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

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.

FAMILLE: La demanderesse, qui était de sexe masculin avant la naissance de la fille des parties et qui a depuis procédé à un changement de sexe, parvient à faire instaurer une garde partagée de cette enfant.

Intitulé : Droit de la famille — 151902, 2015 QCCS 3615
Juridiction : Cour . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Rights and Responsibilities of Self-Represented Litigants

A few years ago I was doing some work for a professional association on guidelines for dealing with litigants without counsel and I was struck by the extent to which some legal professionals regard litigants without counsel as interlopers who gum up the finely tuned, well-oiled machine that is their justice system. Some of the same attitudes are evident in the research on lawyers’ and judges’ perceptions done by Nicholas Bala and Rachel Birnbaum in 2012 and by the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family in 2013. By way of illustration, respondents to a follow-up national survey of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip: Getting the Lead Out

For the next while the Friday Fillip will be a chapter in a serialized crime novel, usually followed by a reference you might like to pursue. Both this chapter of the book and the whole story up to this point can be had as PDF files. You may also subscribe to have chapters delivered to you by email.


Chapter 26
Getting the Lead Out

“We’ve got a pretty good picture of it now,” said Alan Bodley. There was coffee in china cups. Bodley put his down on the saucer with that gentle click that

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

Envy in Law School (Or What I Learned From the Rock This Summer)

In the summer disaster movie, San Andreas, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character scours earthquake-rocked California in a helicopter, plane and then speedboat to save his family members from fires and floods. We see him engage in feats of athletic prowess, but we also see him learn to talk about his feelings, and in particular the pain and regret he experienced following the death of his younger daughter. Lawyers at all stages of their careers may do well to follow the Rock’s example and practice talking more openly about their feelings, but this lesson may be particularly relevant for law students. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Miscellaneous

Ensure Your Law Firm Retreat Is a Strategic Investment

I feel that now is the time to bring an important issue to your attention but, since it’s coming to the end of summer, I’m going to keep this short. How much did your law firm spend on its last firm retreat? What was your return on the investment? Did you expect there to be a return or did you even view the money spent as an investment?

The average 50 lawyer firm can spend anywhere from $50,000-$100,000 on a retreat, depending on location and activities. So once every year or two that’s the retreat budget for a weekend away. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Ontario Court of Appeal to Consider Basic Land Titles Issues

A current appeal in CIBC v. Computershare raises basic questions under the Ontario Land Titles Act. It’s also the first time that the courts have dealt with the many 2006 changes to the Act.

In CIBC v. Computershare, owners had fraudulently caused a discharge of their first mortgage to be registered. The owners had continued their payments and so the lender didn’t know about the discharge. Later, the owners had taken a loan under a new registered first mortgage. Under the Act, the new first mortgage had priority. But the trial court mistakenly decided that the old first . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Thursday Thinkpiece: Sankoff Decodes the Duffy Trial

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.

The Worst $90,000 Ever Spent: Ten Questions About Mike Duffy, Nigel Wright, the Criminal Code and the Canadian Criminal Justice System
Peter Sankoff, Professor, University of Alberta Faculty of Law

Excerpt: Introduction and points 1-4. To read the paper in its entirety, please click on the title above to download from SSRN. . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

The Religious Neutrality of the State on the Agenda Again

No matter what government will lead Quebec, religious neutrality of the state seems to be common ground among the political parties. Yet the media and the rest of Canada don’t seem to make much of it unless it is brought up by the Parti Quebecois.
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation