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Archive for January, 2016

The Discipline of Thinking

Some measures of success in life require the development of some of the many virtues. Discipline or self-discipline and thinking are some of these virtues.
Self-discipline is the ability to do things that ought to be done. Focus on what ought to be done may be an important element of achieving success. Think of the focus by a great athlete like Wayne Gretzky or the focus of the Wright brothers who created the first powered aircraft in 1903.
Critical thinking may be an important element of reaching a goal. Critical thinking is an important component of most professions. It is
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Publishing

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 research and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

Read the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement
Susannah Tredwell

Since 1986 almost all federal Canadian regulations have included a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) following the text of the regulation. Why should you read the RIAS? Unlike acts, you will not find a discussion of new regulations in Hansard. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Trends in New Media Unionization

On December 15, 2015 Vice Canada, a growing (and very cool) digital news media company, announced that it was starting a union drive. This announcement comes on the heels of a growing trend in new media unionizing.

Although Canada has a long history of unionization within its major news organizations, digital or “new” media has been long been on the sidelines of union drives, particularly when compared to the US.

Since June 2015, a number of prominent American digital media companies have unionized without any significant conflict, including the Guardian US. The American branch of the British daily newspaper . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Negotiating Contracts: Not Fun, but Necessary

At the 2014 Special Libraries Association conference there was a session on “Win-Win Contract Negotiation”. During this session one of the speakers stated that if you didn’t like what the vendor was offering, you could always walk away. The audience’s reaction was that walking away was not always a realistic option in the library world.

So if walking away if not an option, how can law librarians approach negotiations to get a result they’re happy with?

Research the product. Fortunately for librarians, one thing they are good at is research. Before starting negotiations the first thing to do is to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­winning 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. Lee Akazaki 2. Labour Pains 3. BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog 4. Michael Geist 5. The Court

Lee Akazaki
From Law Office to lawPod: The Apple-ization of McCarthys

Yesterday’s Globe and Mail reported, in ‘McCarthy Tétrault’s Tracie Crook leading firm’s radical transformation,’ that the day of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The Case Against Disruptive Innovation in Large Practice

Change is needed in the legal industry. But change simply for the sake of changing isn’t always a good thing.

There’s plenty of buzz about McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s “radical” transformation, and rightly so. They’re ridding offices for communal work spaces, finally moving away from the billable hour, and slashing redundant support staff. The effort is to be applauded, but the transition is likely to be bumpy.

Although I’ve advocated for importing the Latte Method into legal services, I’m not sure all lawyers want or need to feel like they’re working in a Starbucks. For many small and independent lawyers, . . . [more]

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

Book Review: Fighting Fair – Legal Ethics for an Adversarial Age

Fighting Fair—Legal Ethics for an Adversarial Age, by Professor Allan C. Hutchinson, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto; publisher, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 125 pages + index.

On December 2, 2015, I attended Professor Hutchinson’s book launch at Osgoode Hall Law School’s downtown Toronto facility. The result is this book review of, Fighting Fair—Legal Ethics for an Adversarial Age.

Professor Hutchinson begins (page 2):

“… . Lawyers have acted in ways that either ignore the public aspect of their professional status or, more cleverly, interpreted that public dimension as being consonant with the business interests of the

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