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Archive for August, 2016

Pseudonymity and Online Collaboration in the Legal World

Not wanting to miss on the chance to hear from tech luminaries such as Tim O’Reilly and Reddit founder Alexis Onahian, I attended StartupFest in Montreal in mid-July. This post is about Ohanian’s talk (and the stream of thoughts that ensued) which was entitled “The Future of Community”. Since this is pretty vague, let me explain that Ohanian discussed the value of pseudonymity (and, in passing, the cuteness of bleps) and argued that pseudonymity was what allowed people to be themselves on the web and what in turn fuelled the seemingly more collaborative spirit that he observes on Reddit. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Canadian Bar Association Runs a Startup Competition at Its Annual Conference

Imagine the taxi industry investing in Uber. Well, maybe it should have.

Despite the comparisons between lawyers and the taxi industry, the preeminent lawyers’ organization in Canada—the Canadian Bar Association, is running the Pitch—a contest to select the best legal tech startups in the country. The Pitch takes place at the CBA Legal Conference on August 12, 2016. The CBA partnered up with important players from the startup world to reward the winners.

The China Angels Mentorship Program will consider all Pitch finalists for at least a $200,000 investment.

The winners of the Pitch will also get . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Internet

Hassles: Transforming Court Services

When it comes to court services and legal services, there is a huge gap between what customers really want and what they settle for. Those gaps between what people really want and what they settle for represent opportunities for new products.

In Demand Adrian Slywotzky writes that each hassle (a needless step) is a problem and that answers to problems represent possible business ideas. As it currently stands, using court services requires overcoming many hassles. And, like the hassles associated with buying books in stores, the Internet has made many of the steps associated with using court services unnecessary. For . . . [more]

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

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. R. v Korzh, 2016 ONSC 4745

[29] I am mindful of the Supreme Court’s admonition “to apply the framework contextually and flexibly for cases currently in the system,” but nonetheless find that the case is clearly over the presumptive threshold for cases in the Provincial Court and the Crown has not met its burden to establish the presence of exceptional circumstances . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Blaming the Victim and Concealing the Evidence: How the Crown Mishandled Ivan Henry’s Trial

There has been much buzz circulating recently around the wrongful conviction of Ivan Henry, a BC native who spent nearly 27 years behind bars for a series of sexual assaults he never committed. After being acquitted in 2010 of his 10 convictions, Henry initiated an action against the province of BC for which he sought $43M in damages. In his ruling released on June 8, 2016 Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson awarded Henry just over $8M in damages: $530K in compensatory damages for lost wages, $56,692 in special damages, and $7.5M as vindication of the gross abuse of his Charter rights. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Keeping It Real: Implementing a Firm-Wide LPM Program, Part II

Last week, Carl Herstein, Chief Value Partner at Honigman LLP discussed his experience in developing and implementing a firm-wide legal project management (LPM) program at his firm. The conversation continues with a candid discussion of the pricing of legal services, how it relates to project management and what clients really think of firm initiatives in this regard.

Q. How would you describe the relationship between pricing, collections, AFAs and LPM at your firm?

When a client approaches us with a new matter, the first question that every one of our lawyers should ask is “what are your goals?”. . . . [more]

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

Cost Consequences of a Failure to Mediate

A recent Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII drew my attention to an interesting decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on the scope of a defendant’s obligation to mediate in a meaningful way – and the potential cost consequences of the failure to do so. The case also yet another example of the limits on the confidentiality of the mediation process.

In Dimopoulos v Mustafa, 2016 ONSC 4119 (CanLII), the Court dealt with several issues arising from an accident victim’s successful claim for damages under the Insurance Act. A jury awarded $37,000 in general damages, plus $28,800 in . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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

Where’s That Decision?
Bronwyn Guiton

My sincere thanks to my fellow law librarian Diane Crossley, and to the judicial staff at the BC Superior Law Courts for collaborating with me on this column. In a recent tip about what’s on CanLII, we learned that “Most routine matters aren’t written up in decisions, so the information related to them is not generally publicly available online. This . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

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 seventy 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. Eloise Gratton  2. Administrative Law Matters 3. The Court  4. Combat Sports Law  5. Wise Law Blog

Eloise Gratton
Cyber Risk Management: Legal Privilege Strategy – Part 1 of 2

An organization’s cyber risk management activities may result in sensitive communications and documents that the organization’s personnel expect will . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix