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Archive for December, 2016

Win Clients With This Simple Question

This post is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO Counsel at LAWPRO.

I vividly remember losing one of my first potential clients. He was shopping for lawyers and had whittled his list down to three or four. I had dealt with legal issues exactly like his before and resolved them successfully. I felt I knew the law as well as anyone. I would help him and impress him with my knowledge and experience. I put on my best suit and tie. As I walked down to meet him I figured I had the advantage.

During the meeting I gushed . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Have You Heard of the MTO AV Club?

Remember high school and the AV club? Showing 16mm films in the gym to your classmates? Well that’s a different AV. This AV stands for “automated vehicle” which, as you know, are “driverless or self-driving vehicles that are capable of detecting the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning system coordinates.” Almost a year after establishing the first Canadian self-driving car pilot project the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will begin testing AVs on Ontario roads.

This program is a collaborative endeavour of MTO, Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure and the Ontario Centres of Excellence. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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. The Stream  2. David Whelan 3. SOQUIJ  4. ABlawg  5. Ontario Condo Law Blog

The Stream
Thanks to the 3% — Now for the Winning Numbers!

Our survey of British Columbia’s lawyers, discussed in more detail in this post, was a success. We met our survey target of 360 . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Recognizing That Handwritten Signatures Are a Weak Form of Authentication

Since its inception, the Cyberjustice Laboratory has studied every element and step of the legal process to see if and when technology could be used to facilitate, enhance, or even streamline procedures and, therefore, make the system more accessible and efficient. We are well aware that efficiency is often misconstrued as a “bad word” within the context of the legal system since (especially in criminal proceedings) cutting corners to speed up the process could have disastrous effects. However, managing resources and staff in a more efficient manner, while positively affecting delays, has little to do with the integrity of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Born in Canada, Not a Citizen, but No Place to Go

We like to believe that our citizenship is integral to our identity. Unless we renounce it, we like to believe it cannot be taken away from us, and that is why we cherish it so much.

Of course that changed in 2014 with Bill C-24, which strengthened the ability of the government to revoke citizenship. Unless it was obtained fraudulently, the government was not able to enact this measure in modern times.

The number of revocations under Bill C-24 have actually increased under the new government, which appeared to criticize it while in opposition and restored citizenship to some . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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.

ACTION COLLECTIVE (RECOURS COLLECTIF) : La Cour d’appel établit le test applicable au droit de faire appel d’un jugement ayant autorisé l’exercice d’une action collective prévu à l’article 578 C.P.C.

Intitulé : Centrale des syndicats du Québec c. Allen, 2016 QCCA 1878
Juridiction : Cour d’appel (C.A.), Québec, 200-09-009238-160 et . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Promoting Parenting Assessments by Discouraging Complaints

In family law disputes, parenting assessments – also called bilateral assessments, custody and access reports, parenting evaluations and so on – are reports prepared by mental health professionals aimed at providing parents and the court with recommendations about the parenting arrangements that are in the best interests of the children. Because these reports can be rather expensive and take a fair bit of time to complete, they are generally not prepared unless the parents find themselves in an intractable disagreement about the future care of their children or the capacity of a parent. Not surprisingly, the cases in which parenting . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Empathy in the Law: Does the Robin Camp Inquiry Committee Recommendation Encourage a “Postempathy Era”?

What role should empathy have in a system of laws? What does an empathetic legal system look like?

In a recent article on the Robin Camp case, Brenda Cossman raised concerns about the Canadian Judicial Council Inquiry Committee recommendation that Justice Camp be removed from the bench. She raised, in particular, the concern that removing rather than educating Justice Camp facilitates a growing “post-empathy” culture:

I worry even more about the impulse to punish in light of the recent rise of a powerful backlash against any and all equality-seeking groups. We have moved into a new postempathy era, where more

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Ethics

One Good Habit All Associates Need to Break

Miranda is stressed out and fighting fires on all her files. A slew of sudden departures and maternity leaves have left her as the lone associate in a busy corporate practice. She has more work than she can handle and is behind on it all despite working long days and taking no holidays. Yet when a partner comes by to ask for her assistance on a large transaction that is heating up, she finds herself agreeing even though she knows something is going to give.

Are you like Miranda?

  • When asked for help is your first and immediate answer Yes
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

OHRT Challenges Infamous Family Status Test

Written by Cristina Lavecchia, paralegal, Editor, First Reference

In a recent decision (Misetich v. Value Village Stores Inc.), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the Tribunal) questioned the value of various past case laws that have introduced and applied different tests for family status discrimination, including the Johnstone test. More specifically, the Tribunal disapproved of the existence of distinct “tests” for establishing family status discrimination. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Thursday Thinkpiece: Knowledge Management in Law Firms

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.

Knowledge Management in Law Firms: Expertise In Action
Consulting editors: Luis Felipe Mohando, Silke Gotschalk, Martin Schulz and Gerard Tanja
© 2016 Globe Law and Business Ltd. Use the promo code SLAWGLB to receive 15% off the regular price.

Excerpt: Showcasing outside the library walls: growth through collaboration
by Emily Allbon, . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

How Ongoing Reviews of Federal Environmental Laws Could Change Environmental Decision-Making in Canada

In November 2015, the Prime Minister mandated several Cabinet Ministers to review four of Canada’s environmental laws and processes: the Fisheries Act, Navigation Protection Act, the National Energy Board, and federal environmental assessment processes. The four reviews are ongoing now and will be completed in early 2017.

The West Coast Environmental Law Association has established an on-line hub where individuals and groups can access key information about the reviews, background resources and guidance about how to get involved. This includes our briefs and submissions on Fisheries Act and Navigation Protection Act reform, as well as recommendations about next generation . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues