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Archive for March, 2018

Reappraising the Use of Arbitration in Family Law Disputes

Recent research comparing family law dispute resolution processes from the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family and the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice provides fascinating insights on the views and attitudes of lawyers in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. The report, described in an earlier article by Jean-Paul Bevilacqua, concludes that while family law lawyers view litigation as useful for high-conflict disputes and cases involving risks to persons and property, litigation is not their preferred resolution process. The lawyers surveyed said that mediation, collaborative negotiation and arbitration are more likely to produce results that are in . . . [more]

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

Manitoba Extending Parental Leave and Introducing Critical Illness Leave

On March 20, 2018, the Manitoba government introduced legislation that would amend the Employment Standards Code to, among other things, extend provisions for parental leave and leave for individuals to care for a critically ill adult family member.

The changes to the Employment Standards Code include: . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

So There’s Been Some Buzz About Legal Data Lately …

It seems that interest in legal data has reached such a level of hype that people have started asking me about it unprompted, which is an interesting development. I had assumed that when I spoke to people about this I was buttonholing them, and that they wanted to be anywhere else and talking about anything else (except of course for Tim Knight, but that’s part of the reason we’re friends). It does make sense that it’s happening now. Legal data is interesting: it describes rules and systems that affect all our lives, it is commercially valuable, and it hasn’t . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Apply for Trademarks Now to Save Money?

Canada has made significant changes to the Trademarks Act, mostly to make it more consistent with international practice. Anyone considering applying for a trademark might want to file before the new rules come into force.

What is the issue?

In early 2019 the trademark application process will undergo significant changes. The changes include:

  • Not having to state first use dates or declare actual use
  • Registration term reduced from the current 15 years to 10
  • Adoption of the class system and a class based fee structure
  • Proof of distinctiveness needed for some types of marks

Why does it matter?

CIPO fees . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Daniel H. Pink (Yale law graduate) discusses the importance of timing. He references the research done on Israeli judges handling parole requests. The judges were more likely to grant parole in the morning than in the afternoon. The leading explanation for this discrepancy was judicial fatigue. However, when judges took breaks, the difference in the granting of parole requests minimized. The antidote was restorative breaks.

So, what makes a restorative break?

Daniel Pink recommends the following:

  1. Take micro breaks. “Short breaks from a task can prevent habituation, help us maintain focus, and
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Dark Side of Cloud Computing

We have said for many years that the cloud will generally protect a law firm’s data better than the law firm would itself. As more and more law firms adopt Microsoft Office 365, thereby moving to the cloud, we have come to the conclusion that a few words of caution are in order when law firms entrust their data to the cloud.

With huge volumes of law firm confidential data (and data from other verticals) moving to the cloud, it is no wonder that the bad guys are taking aim at the clouds. And there seems to be a shift . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal 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. CBRE Limited v 1223962 Alberta Ltd, 2017 ABPC 114

[10] The issue at trial related to the timing of the “triggering event” in which the commission would be payable. The plaintiff argued that the triggering event for the commission to be payable was either when the conditions were waived (August 4, 2014) or when the sale closed (August 28, 2014). Either . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Third Party Arbitration Funding (Part 2)

In my previous column, I looked at the growth of third party litigation (and arbitration) funding in Canada and discussed whether an arbitration Tribunal has any jurisdiction to control the involvement of funders. If the Tribunal does have jurisdiction, what issues should it be concerned about?

Here are just a few thoughts on some of the issues raised by third party funding in commercial arbitration and how to deal with them.

  • Whether the third party funding agreement must be disclosed to the tribunal and/or the opposing party.
  • Whether such disclosure should exclude privileged or confidential information.
  • Whether other information
. . . [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, writing, and practice.

Research & Writing

Finding Cases on CanLII by Name of Counsel
Susannah Tredwell (and John Sadler)

The following is based on a post made by John Sadler of Western University on the CALL listserv. CanLII does not offer a custom field that permits searching by counsel. However, there is a technique for finding cases in which a particular lawyer appeared for one of the parties. It relies on the fact

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Proper Pathway to Managing Partner

While Ronald Reagan wasn’t one of my favorite Presidents, he produced one of my favorite quotes about leadership:

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

The decision-making process most firms seem to use for selection of their managing partner tends to seek out those who qualify for the first sentence, and are ill-prepared for the second. In my experience, firms choose managing partners for any (or a combination) of the following reasons:

  • The candidate is the strongest biller in the firm;
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing

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. Legal Sourcery 2. Le Blogue du CRL 3.SOQUIJ | Le Blogue 4. Risk Management & Crisis Response 5. Official Clio Blog 

Legal Sourcery
What Goes on at CLASSIC: What Do Students Participating With CLASSIC Do?

From Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City Inc. (CLASSIC).

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

When Attempting to Save Lives Costs, Personally

Others, usually outside of the profession, often wonder what value lawyers provide to society. We don’t save lives, the way other professions do, and our social utility isn’t always as tangible.

I often argue that we do indeed save lives, at least the social aspects of it that many members of the public face. We also drive the economic engines in a capitalistic society, and allow for growth that ultimately benefits everyone when properly oriented and efficient.

Occasionally lawyers do save lives, quite literally. And sometimes doing so is deemed by the courts as inappropriate for them to do. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions