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Archive for September, 2017

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, writing, and practice.

Practice

Flexibility Isn’t Just for the Yoga Mat – Try It on Your Schedule
Allison Wolf

This tip was inspired by a young mother I know, a senior associate at a big firm, who shared with me her recipe for handling the challenging tension between mom-time and lawyer time: the early escape. Here’s how it works: One night a week she stays late at the office, until between eight and . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

New MMS.watch Website Tracks Constitutionality of Canadian Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Mandatory minimum sentences (MMS) for criminal and drug offences have been getting a lot of attention lately. The federal government recently conducted a public survey on MMS, causing some commentators to wonder whether the Liberals will make good on their campaign promises to roll back the MMS created by the previous government. The question is timely since Parliament resumes next week. Even StatsCan’s excellent Juristat weighed in last month with a detailed analysis of the effects of MMS.

We noticed that much of this debate was happening without reference to just how many MMS have already been struck down as . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

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 more than 80 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. Labour Pains 2. BC Injury Law Blog 3. Risk Management & Crisis Response 4. Slater Vecchio Connected 5. Administrative Law Matters

Labour Pains
Supreme Court Upholds Termination for Violation of Anti-Drug Policy

Can an employee be fired for violating his company’s drugs and alcohol policy, if the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Summer of Consultations

Almost all aspects of intellectual property law are the subject of public consultations this summer and fall. Intellectual property lawyers and their clients were busy reviewing the upcoming changes, providing important comments and planning for their implementation. There are lots of changes to be aware of for clients building, maintaining or monitoring intellectual property rights.

Patents

A full replacement of the Patent Rules (link) was proposed to implement the Patent Law Treaty which standardizes some procedural requirements of the patent process. The Patent Rules provide the regulatory implementation details for the Patent Act and define most of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

The Chronic Pain of Using Brain Imaging in Legal Proceedings

Aside from a robust knowledge in anatomy and physiology or radiation physics, there’s not much I can use my background in nuclear medicine technology in the practice of law. Which is why in 2009 I noted here the growing and emerging use of diagnostic imaging in sentencing and trials.

Since that time there has been quite a bit of developments in diagnostic imaging and its use in medico-legal work. One of the newest developments is its use for chronic pain. The economic costs of chronic pain are estimated to be over $600 billion in the U.S. Part of the challenge . . . [more]

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

Survey of 3000 Canadians on Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) surveyed over 3,000 people in Canada to better understand their experiences with the civil and family justice system.

The survey was part of a major national 2011-2017 study by the non-profit organization on the social and economic costs of Canada’s justice system. The study was funded by a $1 million grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The CFCJ has broken down the survey results based on the following criteria:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

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.

ACCÈS À L’INFORMATION : Pour que le secret professionnel de l’avocat fasse obstacle à une demande d’accès à l’information visant à obtenir le montant des honoraires professionnels d’avocats facturés à des organismes publics, il faut examiner si le total de ces honoraires révèle un aspect confidentiel de la relation avocat-client. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The King Is Dead (R.I.P. Content). Long Live the King (Hail Access).

The big news this past summer on my scholarly publishing beat is Elsevier’s acquisition of bepress, which was announced August 2nd, 2017. Bepress began life as Berkeley Electronic Press in 1999, when three economists at Berkeley saw the writing on the screen, at a time when most scholarly journals were being printed and mailed out, and created an online publishing platform. Jump ahead to 2011 and bepress sold off its portfolio of 67 journals to de Gruyter. Now Elsevier, the largest publisher of scholarly journals, has acquired the company itself, which provides a centralized repository service called Digital . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Privacy Information: Cookieless Identification and Tracking of Devices

This blog post is entirely written by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, for First Reference Talks. Christina is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Western Ontario with a focus on privacy law.

On August 21, 2017, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released an informative piece regarding cookieless identification and tracking of devices. Interestingly, there is a new technique called, “fingerprinting”, which can work to enable website operators, advertising companies, and other organizations to track users – even when they clear their cookies. The document explains the implications and what people can do to protect their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet

Europe’s Data Protection Reform Raises the Bar

With the advent of computer databases in the early 1970s, there was a general uneasiness about the power of the state becoming overbearing. The concern about individual privacy centred on the potential for governments to collect and process a vast amount of information about its citizens on a scale only imagined in sci-fi before. Appropriate safeguards were enacted, even if legal uncertainty over government department’s power to share data with each other became the major obstacle in completing e-government projects. (The Indian Supreme Court’s finding of privacy as fundamental right in response to the government’s compulsory biometric identity card system . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Information

practicePRO.ca: Time for a New Look

It’s been nearly 20 years since the launch of the original practicePRO.ca website. While the site was basic by today’s standards, it offered the high quality risk management articles, checklists and precedents lawyers would come to expect from the program.

In its first few years, practicePRO.ca averaged 30,000 visitors and 7,000 downloads per year. By 2016, those number had grown over 10 times larger with an average of 355,000 annual visitors and 362,000 downloads.

The practicePRO program has increased the scope of its content to help lawyers practise more effectively, and the site has grown larger and more complex to . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Asking the Right Questions at the 2017 Isaac Pitblado Lectures

It is said that change is the one constant in life. While personally, I’ve no reason to doubt the truth of that statement, as a member of the legal profession for the past 20(+) years, I sometimes have questioned whether others in the profession would argue against it. We are a profession reliant upon precedent, adept at identifying and avoiding risk and often, slow to adapt to the changing world around us.

Taking on this inherent resistance to new ways of lawyering, I’ve heard Jordan Furlong ask his audiences some variant of the question: If you weren’t already doing it . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Future of Practice