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Archive for ‘Justice Issues’

The End of the Monopoly Over the Provision of Legal Services and Prosecutions for the “Unauthorized Practice of Law”, Part 1 of 2

Law societies in Canada should be preparing to share their monopoly over the provision of legal services, i.e., preparing for government regulation. In the interim, should they be allowed to prosecute the offence of “the unauthorized practice of law,” given that such prosecutions now aim to protect a monopoly over the provision of legal services that is greater than that granted them by law?

Until the problem of “the unavailability to the majority of the population of legal services at reasonable cost” is solved, the prosecutors of this offence should be Crown counsel, or at the least such prosecutions . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Public Legal Education Webinars

PLEI Connect recently began a new series of public legal education webinars, some topics in English and others in French. For those not familiar, “PLEI Connect is a project to help organizations across Canada identify and share technology tools to effectively deliver public legal education and information (PLEI) services.”

PLEI Connect is a multi-jurisdiction, team initiative of CLEO, Éducaloi, PovNet, and Courthouse Libraries BC. It originated only a couple of years ago at the Just a Click Away conference. A look at a bit about PLEI Connect shows how these fine organizations share defined responsibilities for the project. From the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues, Technology: Internet

Tweet No Evil?: Social Media and Ontario’s Courtrooms

by Amy Salyzyn

Tweets from space! Far from a futuristic vision of social media, this is a current reality thanks to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield who has been tweeting from the International Space Station in recent days. Informative and occasionally entertaining (the tweets now include an amusing and well-publicized exchange with William Shatner), Hadfield’s use of social media is providing the world with a wonderful and intimate account of his time in, and view from, outer space.

At the same time that Twitter is soaring past the earth’s boundaries, however, it will soon face new limitations here on terra . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

We Don’t Always Have to Be Angry: Lessons From Idle No More

Sometimes as litigators we get stuck on a certain kind of advocacy, one that is born in, and charged by, conflict. A type of advocacy that burns so fast, it injures everyone in its wake. We recognize with gratitude the advocates who compellingly and compassionately tell the narratives that change our minds. We believe that they are the truly gifted advocates, for they win their opponents over rather than beat them.

The Idle No More movement has galvanized indigenous peoples across Canada to express their opposition to the federal government’s policies, practices, and intentions towards First Nations. New leaders are . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Top Issues for the Canadian Legal Profession in 2013

In the spirit of the New Year, Resolutions and Top 10 lists, I present to you my predictions for the top issues that the legal profession in Canada will face in 2013. This was inspired by a discussion on the listserv of the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics (CALE) and in particular by contributions from Alice Woolley who started things off with a “Best of 2012” post that you can find here. Malcolm Mercer, Tom Harrison, and Richard Devlin, as always, expanded and enriched the discussion. Some of my “Top Issues for 2013” repeat Alice’s Top Issues in . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Donors Not Dads

A queer friend of mine who’s currently trying to make a baby via donor sperm sent me this story today and asked me whether sperm donors could be made to pay child support in Ontario. Good question.

The story my friend sent me was about the State of Kansas ordering a man to pay child support for a child of a lesbian couple who conceived via DIY insemination with his sperm. (I differentiate between physician-led insemination and Do-It-Yourself, and unlike the author of the article or the State of Kansas, I don’t consider any insemination “artificial”). The State required the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

If the Mouse Roared, Then the Court Whimpered

Mark Twain wrote in Mark Twain, “Chapters from My Autobiography”, 598 North American Review (Sept. 7, 1906):

I wrote the rest of “The Innocents Abroad” in sixty days, and I could have added a fortnight’s labor with the pen and gotten along without the letters altogether. I was very young in those days, exceedingly young, marvellously young, younger than I am now, younger than I shall ever be again, by hundreds of years. I worked every night from eleven or twelve until broad day in the morning, and as I did two hundred thousand words in the sixty days,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Lawyers as Low-Hanging Political Fruit

It seems funny to me that lawyers believe that we are complete masters of our own fate. We aren’t. Each province’s Law Society Act, which creates a monopoly for lawyers and allows us to be self-governing, was created and passed by the local legislature – and it can also be changed by the local legislature.

Now, if one looks at the current political environment across Canada we see a few interesting things.

British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia will all likely go to the polls in 2013.

The Ontario Liberal party is in the midst of a leadership campaign that . . . [more]

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

La Justice À 1% Et La Désaffection Des Tribunaux

Hier soir, dans un dépanneur, j’ai fait quelque chose que je fais rarement: j’ai jeté un coup d’oeil aux magazines. La mention “Édition Spéciale 40 ans” de la revue Protégez-Vous a attiré mon attention. La case “Obtenir un meilleur accès à la justice” – en page couverture! – encore plus. En lisant ceci toutefois il fallait que je ramène la revue chez moi:

Coûts exorbitants, délais interminables, décorum d’un autre temps, language incompréhensible… Pour la grande majorité des citoyens, la justice demeure un beau principe. À quand l’accessibilité véritable? – Priscilla Franken

La question de l’accessibilité à la justice n’est . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Top Ten Business and Human Rights Issues in 2013

This is the time of year when different people and organizations compile their top ten events/stories of the year about to end or list their top ten issues to watch/predictions for the year to come.

The following top ten list caught my attention today. I saw it on a feed of stories sent out by Amnesty International.

The London-based Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) has published its Top 10 List of Business and Human Rights Issues for 2013:

“Just 18 months after the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, significant progress has

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Every Lawyer Needs a Guardian Angel

The Ottawa Citizen reported last week that a lawyer who posted confidential information about his own client online was caught in a police sting operation. The Ottawa criminal defence lawyer posted a PDF of disclosure that he received from the Crown in a criminal case against his client. The PDF contained blacked-out information and the lawyer used the web to seek someone to help him read the blacked out portions of the disclosure document. A man in Australia saw the post and contacted the Ottawa police who then caught the Ottawa lawyer in a sting operation. Read the Citizen . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended