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Archive for October, 2015

Elder Law Conference Coming to Vancouver in November: Save the Date!

The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, Canada’s leading providing of continuing professional training for lawyers, and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law are hosting the Canadian Elder Law Conference on 12 and 13 November in 2015. The conference is open to anyone with an interest in the legal and other issues affecting Canada’s elder population, but will be of most interest to lawyers, financial planners and mental health professionals.

The conference is extremely timely, given Statistics Canada‘s recent report showing that there are now more Canadians who are older than 65 than those who are under . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Friday Fillip: If the Cuckoo Don’t Crow

Limber up your ears, because here comes Brian from Melton with his Suffolk accent, not always intelligible to those who are strangers to the “south folk” who reside in the bottom of the big bump on the right side of England. But it’s worth the effort to understand Brian, because he’s funny. And he’s made even funnier by this delightful animation by Steve Kirby. It’ll blow you away.

Together, Brian and Steve tell the story to a phone-in radio show of Brian’s now 94 year old mother, Doris, who may well have predicted the 1987 hurricane when the BBC failed. . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

9th Circuit Confirms Duties for Posting DMCA Takedown Complaints

As Canada begins to settle in with the new “notice and notice” provisions under the Copyright Act (Canada) which came into force January 2, 2015 copyright owners in Canada still need to address infringing content posted on websites hosted in the United States.

Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., Nos. 13-16106, 13-16107, 2015 WL 5315388 (9th Circuit Sept. 14, 2015) adds additional work by a copyright owner before they can use the US notice and takedown remedy.


In the 1990s the debate was whether internet intermediaries, such as ISPs, should be liable for infringements made on their servers . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Ralph Nader Museum Opens in Connecticut

The September 28, 2015 issue of The New Yorker has an article on Ralph Nader’s Tort Museum.

It is actually called the American Museum of Tort Law and it opened recently in Winsted, Connecticut.

The museum is the idea of the famous American consumer advocate and lawyer Ralph Nader who comes from there:

“Nader’s consumer-protection advocacy is the lifeblood of the museum. In the center of the museum sits a cherry-red Chevrolet Corvair, the car Nader disgraced in his 1965 book ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’.”(…)

“In an unfortunate irony for the museum, its building is located directly across the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

Are We Trying to Close the Barn Door After the Ship Has Sailed?

The concept of knowledge management can expand to encompass many things. Theoretically it includes influence over the social aspects of the organization, such as ways people relate to each other, as well as managing explicit information in the form of written information. Practically it is often carried out by staff in a particular department with varying degrees of influence, who may not be involved in the wider workings of the organization. This means that some of the most important ways people in an organization communicate and transfer knowledge are difficult for knowledge management staff to change.

Many knowledge management programs . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Laws That Politicians Are NOT Bound By

I’ve seen complaints suggesting emails from those running in the federal election are spam. But CASL specifically exempts political emails from the definition of spam. A recent review of political emails by a mail service provider showed that they are not even trying to comply with the spirit of CASL – such as having unsubscribe mechanisms and contact information.

It’s never been clear to me why those making laws think they deserve to be exempted from many laws they think business need to follow. Perhaps if they applied more laws to themselves some laws might be a lot more user . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Making Tough on Crime Count

Budgets have no bottoms. Promises know no bounds. No baby has gone un-kissed. It must be Federal election time in Canada.

With political pandering at a fever pitch and politicians tripping over themselves to promise the earth, moon and stars to an election-weary electorate, it is an ideal time to exercise some wish-list thinking when it comes to criminal justice reform.

For all the bumps and bruises suffered by the ruling Conservatives at least one aspect of their message continues to garner broad popular support – ‘tough-on-crime’. With the outlier exception of legalizing marijuana, only the most suicidal politician would . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. Grande National Leasing Inc. v Vaccarello, 2015 ONSC 5463

[36] The defendant in this case was not represented at trial. The plaintiff had the assistance of a paralegal. Although it can often be frustrating for a trial judge to deal with an unrepresented litigant, it is a reality every trial judge faces often, particularly in the Small Claims Court. Sometimes when . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

From LegaltechTO BYOD Risk Management Strategies and Pitfalls

One of the many excellent presentations that I attended at Legaltech TO on September 24 focused on a couple of ways to deal with BYOD in legal. Steve Heck, Regional CIO at Microsoft Canada offered the ‘make everything securely accessible from any device’ option. Eugene Cipparone, Director, Professional Support at Goodmans LLP offered that firm’s strategy which I will sum up here as ‘educate and enable’.

Both of these perspectives have value. On one hand, mobile devices are only used to access what is secured by two factor authentication on the web. Because the content resides and can be used . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology

Coaching Competence

“Top singers and athletes have coaches. Should you?”

A few weeks ago, this question entered my Twitter feed through a reference to a 2011 New Yorker article titled “Personal Best”, authored by surgeon Atul Gawande. It caught my attention and sparked a thought: how might lawyers benefit from coaching?

Gawande’s article provides a compelling account of how coaches can help professionals improve performance. Among other things, Gawande discusses how a coach helped him bring down his post-surgery complication rate. He also explores the increasing use of teacher-coaching programs across the United States. Gawande writes that “coaching done well may be . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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.


I Don’t Know
Garry Wise

They may be the three most difficult words for certain professionals to utter. The mere temptation to speak them aloud has even been known (among some, it is rumoured), to dredge up sweaty palms, blinding pillars of ego and fortress-thick walls of denial. I don’t know. …


Search Tips That Will Get You Better Google Results*
Dan Pinnington

It is amazing how Google . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday