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Archive for April, 2016

Thursday Thinkpiece: Mintah on Excluding the Indigent From the Public Sphere

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.

Excluding the Indigent from the Public Sphere

Amy Mintah
(2016) 2 Windsor Rev Legal Soc Issues — Digital Companion 26

Excerpt: Sections I-IV, VI-VII, XII
[Footnotes omitted. They can be found in the original via the link above]


“We are witnessing increasing marginalization, the deepening of stereotypes and the exiling of . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Revitalizing Environmental Governance in Canada

Massive shifts in Canadian environmental law occurred over the past four years, most notably through two omnibus budget bills in 2012 that repealed or amended most of Canada’s most significant environmental laws. The legal and practical impacts of federal deregulation, however, have had an important counterpoint in the dynamic revitalization process that another area of law has been undergoing in Canada today: the legal traditions of Indigenous peoples.

Stepping into the void of inaction or deregulation by other levels of government, in recent years First Nations have banned proposed heavy oil pipelines from their territories, denied consent to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Infanticide: Should It Remain a Criminal Offence?

Infanticide as a criminal offence sprang about centuries ago, dating back to the 1600s. It was a crime that punished women, particularly poor women who sought to escape the oppressive stigma of having a child out of wedlock.

However, by the turn of the 20th century, courts were often unwilling to convict women that murdered their babies. In response, England enacted the Infanticide Act.

In R. v. Borowiec, 2016 SCC 11, Justice Cromwell writes at paragraph 27:

The adoption of the Infanticide Act, 1922 was intended to remedy the fact that judges and juries were reticent to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

More Than Just Rhetorical Questions

I am a professional working woman. My mother was, until her retirement, a professional working woman. My daughter will, I expect, be a professional working woman when she completes her education.

Issues related to the (in)equality of working women therefore are of particular significance to me.

Yesterday was Equal Pay Day in the U.S. This is a day that marks the point in time each year when women in the workforce will have earned enough to catch up to the earnings of men in the previous year. Did you get that?

In the U.S., women need to work for more . . . [more]

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

Think Again – Improved Productivity Starts Here

Have you ever noticed how your thoughts can really trip you up?

There are all kinds of tricky thoughts that can get us into trouble. Here are five versions of one simple I’ll get around to it later thinking trap that has major implications for our productivity:

I need a dedicated block of time for this task.

There’s not enough time for it now.

I will find time for it when I am not so busy.

That’s too big a project to start right now, and it’s not due right away anyway.

I just don’t have the capacity to deal . . . [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. Mou v. MHPM Project Leaders, 2016 HRTO 327

[21] I also find the applicant’s miscarriage is a disability. I acknowledge that a miscarriage may be covered under the ground of sex or as an intersection of sex and disability. It also is not a common ailment, and it is certainly not transitory. It is clear from the applicant’s testimony that she . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

#AskChiefJudge – B.C. Provincial Court Twitter Town Hall

Given the opportunity, what would you ask the Chief Judge of a Canadian court?

In what is certainly a Canadian-first, Chief Judge Crabtree of the BC Provincial Court hosting a live Twitter Town Hall on BC Law Day, April 14, 2016 from 1-3pm Pacific Time.

Tweet your questions to #AskChiefJudge and follow the hashtag.

A new standard of engagement

While certainly unique, this effort seems a natural progression from the offline and online work this particular court has done to engage with the legal community and public at large.

The B.C. legal community will be very familiar with the extensive . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

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

Don’t Forget About SITE: Search
Bronwyn Guiton

In what is becoming a biennial tradition here on SLAW Tips, I want to remind everyone about SITE: search, one of the advanced search tools offered by Google. Google’s SITE: search allows you to search just one website for specific terms. This can be useful when a site’s own search form is disappointing or missing altogether. …

Practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Small Talk Can Lead to Big Business

Picture this. You finally get together with a classmate, having rescheduled three times. He opens the conversation with: “So, how are things, busy?” You run your fingers through your hair and tell him you can’t remember when you had a weekend off, you missed your kid’s concert, yada, yada, yada, and you end with “yeah, I’m crazy busy.”

Was his question just idle chitchat—or could he now be thinking that maybe he shouldn’t refer a plum piece of work to you?

Or picture it this way. You schedule a lunch with a classmate because you want to explore the possibility . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Feeling Emotional? Don’t Hit Send!

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention & praticePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

It’s 11pm and your phone beeps. Against your better judgment you pick it up and see it’s a client email. Soon you’re sucked into a missive about the latest calamity in your client’s life, the client’s anxiety about the case, and what you will do about everything. You sense your own anger and frustration rise as you think about how to respond.

It is tempting and easy to hit the send button and fire off an emotional email in the heat of the moment. Taken over by . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Training in the Business of the Law

Two and a half years ago, I embarked upon the exciting adventure of starting up a new firm in Ottawa, McBride Bond Christian LPP. Though I had been in private practice for well over ten years at the time, I learned a lot about starting a new business ‘‘sur le terrain’’. None of my law school courses included training in business development, marketing or management. Luckily, I was fortunate to benefit from the guidance and advice of my colleagues throughout this process and we are proud to say that our firm has now blossomed into a mid-sized firm which . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Business of Contracts

In the context of the legal technology segment, the lion’s share of the effort has, of course, been focused on ediscovery and other litigation-related tools. The next most significant area probably relates in some way to contract analysis and drafting tools. These tools generally focus on the needs of law firms and law departments, analyzing various categories of contracts and using the resulting data for the particular services that the vendors offer.

In these contract analysis activities, the vendors and clients will use various “raw materials” to work from before engaging in their particular analysis. The three most common repositories . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology