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Archive for October, 2016

Adverse Cost Protection: What Are the Risks and Benefits?

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention & practicePRO Counsel at LAWPRO.

Adverse cost protection is a relatively new insurance or quasi-insurance product which can help lessen the financial blow of a lost case for both the client and lawyer. It may also be called adverse cost insurance, legal expense insurance, or after the event (ATE) insurance. While there is no standard contract or policy, the adverse cost provider will generally pay some amount of costs, fees, and/or disbursements should the client’s case lose. The premium or cost of the contract may be paid as a percentage of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

‘If Not Us, Who? if Not Now, When?’: Reflections on the Law Society’s Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group Report

The Law Society debate, set for December 2, 2016, is the most significant acknowledgment of the obligation to address issues of systemic racism within the Ontario legal profession to date. It is a call to action. The Law Society’s commitment is anchored in its 1997 Bicentennial Report and the Report of the Bicentennial Working Group. Much has changed since the Law Society’s largely unimplemented response of 1999 to the Canadian Bar Association Recommendations flowing from the Report on Racial Equality and my own complementary Virtual Justice Systemic Racism in the Canadian Legal Profession Report. In the intervening two . . . [more]

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

Environmental Law: Behind the Scenes at Ecojustice

Nice interview on the Talking Radical Radio podcast with staff lawyers Dyna Tuytel and Barry Robinson from the Calgary office of Ecojustice. I’ve briefly touched on the great work of Ecojustice in the past but for those who may not be familiar with this organization they describe their work as follows:

“Ecojustice goes to court and uses the power of the law to defend nature, slow climate change, and stand up for the health of our communities.

We pursue innovative cases that have the potential to set precedents nation-wide and deliver solutions to our most urgent environmental problems.”

Podcast . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog  2. Double Aspect 3. LSUC Treasurer’s Blog  4. SOQUIJ  5. Clio Blog

National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog
A Legal Education in the Public Interest? The Legal Practice Program and Access to Justice

The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Professional Development and Competence Committee has . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Uber Loses Free Ride on Employment Laws

Technological disruption comes at a price.

I’m not talking about the price of lost jobs, disappearing economies, or even the competitors that go under. I’m talking about the cost to the innovator themselves as they create new models and paradigms that historic regulatory structures are unprepared for.

One of the most talked about contemporary change these days is Uber (although its status as disruptive is disputed). The obvious regulatory burdens faced by the company include the anticipated clash with taxis, notable for the protests in Toronto and Montreal.

The more significant legal challenges faced by Uber is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

British Columbia (Attorney General) v. Andrews, 2016 BCCA 361

AREAS OF LAW: Injunctions; Vexatious litigants; Access to courts

 ~The terms of an order dealing with a vexatious litigant must not be so restrictive that it lacks a suitable mechanism for the individual to attend a courthouse for a legitimate purpose.~

BACKGROUND: On January 9, 2009, the Respondent Attorney General of British Columbia filed a statement of claim seeking . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : La juge de première instance a commis une erreur de principe en refusant de rendre une ordonnance de dédommagement dans le cas de l’accusé, qui s’est reconnu coupable sous sept chefs de fraude commise notamment à l’endroit de personnes âgées; en effet, dans l’exercice de son pouvoir . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Alan Turing Law: Who’s Pardoning Whom?

The UK government recently announced plans to pass an “Alan Turing law” to pardon men convicted of historical offences related to homosexuality. The bill would pardon about 15,000 living citizens of the UK and posthumously pardon 40,000 (including Oscar Wilde). This follows the 2013 posthumous pardon of Alan Turing, the brilliant codebreaker who greatly contributed to the Allies’ victory in World War II and was rewarded with a conviction for gross indecency and chemical castration before dying by suicide.

Reactions to the proposed law are mixed. While a pardon is better than a permanent stain on one’s memory and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Life After Adjudication: Should There Be Restrictions on Employment?

Adjudicators can find, through no fault of their own, that their adjudication career is over. Either a government decides not to reappoint or there are term limits in place. Through either choice or necessity, a former adjudicator may return to being an advocate. Recent discussions about restrictions on former judges practicing law serve as a useful framework for a discussion on appropriate restrictions on former adjudicators.

In 2011, a group of Canadian law professors wrote to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) to raise concerns about the post-judicial activities of judges:

…numerous issues have arisen regarding judges’ actions

. . . [more]
Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Divorced From Reality

Gillian Hadfield just came out with a fabulous book: Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law and How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy. In it, she argues that the design machine we have for making rules that work for people in the world of today is broken. What it produces is of inferior quality: often out-dated, too complex, and it does not always solve the problem.

No wonder: the fast-moving, internationalized world of today with its technological developments and daily outpours of new, profound knowledge about our very being as humans is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Thursday Thinkpiece: Getting Clients—For Lawyers Starting Out or Starting Over

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.

Getting Clients: For Lawyers Starting Out or Starting Over

Merrilyn Astin Tarlton
© 2016 Merrilyn Astin Tarlton/Attorney at Work. Reprinted with permission. Available November 1; pre-order now and receive a 10% discount by using the code gettingclientts10

Merrilyn Astin Tarlton has been helping lawyers think differently about the business of practicing law for . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece