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Archive for ‘Technology’

In-Person Conferences: Will You Show Up?

I have been told the CBA Immigration section is the most active of all the sections within the CBA. For years, the highlight for this section has been the CBA Immigration Law Conference where we regularly see 400 to 500 practitioners descent into a Canadian city to discuss recent policy & program updates from IRCC & CBSA. We review significant caselaw and hear from the lawyers who argued those cases, including lawyers from the Department of Justice who offer their perspective, and we opine (sometimes with vigor) on all the changes we would like adopted. I have been attending these . . . [more]

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

The Status of Court Filings in Ontario and What to Do About It

Lately, there has been an explosion of court documents being rejected from filing. Reasons for rejection are numerous. There is almost no discernible pattern. Reasons include, but are not limited to:

  • failure to provide a back page,
  • submitting documents separately when they should be combined,
  • failing to have a witness to an electronic signature (not to be confused with a commissioned document),
  • a form is missing,
  • information is missing on the form,
  • disapproving of the affiant’s signature, and so forth.

It is speculated that the change in staffing at the courts is the cause for the increase in rejections. (E.g. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

Helpful Tips for Using CaseLines: Straight From the Court

CaseLines is being used in most court proceedings in Ontario. It is a technology that many counsel struggle with using. In the decision Bowman v Uwaifo, 2022 ONSC 678, Justice Myers provides advice on using CaseLines.

Below, I have summarized his recommendations in point form.

  1. Know the CaseLines page number for all documents uploaded to the platform. Counsel and litigants are expected to refer the court to documents using the page numbering in CaseLines. “All you have to do is tell the judge, ‘please go to page A100 or B-1-189’ and the judge can open the correct page
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

What Law Applies to Cryptocurrency in Ontario?

Cryptocurrency is becoming more mainstream. However, the law has not kept pace with the technology, leaving a vacuum, akin to a “Wild West”. In the recent decision, Cicada 137 LLC v. Medjedovic, 2021 ONSC 369, Justice Myers touches upon the issue of litigating cryptocurrency, an area that is under regulated.

In Cicada, it is alleged that the defendant stole money ($15 million in cryptocurrency tokens). In handling the interlocutory matters, Justice Myers notes that there are different theories on when cryptocurrency can be considered stolen. At paras 5-6, Justice Myers writes that one theory is that if . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Book Review: Is Law Computable?: Critical Perspectives on Law and AI

I had the opportunity to review “Is Law Computable?: Critical Perspectives on Law and Artificial Intelligence” for the Canadian Law Library Review (46(4), 2021). This was edited by Simon Deakin and Christopher Markou and published last year by Hart Publishing (ISBN: 978-1-5099-3706-6).

This is the short version:

If you have any interest in artificial intelligence (AI), especially if it’s coupled with a desire to learn more about how developments in AI are related to law and legal technology, then this collection of papers has been compiled just for you.

While AI continues to seep into many areas

. . . [more]
Posted in: Book Reviews, Technology

What Obligations Does the Court Have to Self-Represented Litigants?

In Grand River Conservation Authority v. Ramdas, 2021 ONCA 815, the Ontario Court of Appeal discusses the obligations that the court has to self-represented litigants. Below is an excerpt of some key points:

  • Self-represented litigants are required to familiarize themselves with the relevant legal principles, practices, and procedures pertaining to their case. “However, the court has a duty to ensure that self-represented litigants receive a fair hearing”. (para 18)
  • Judges must permit self-represented litigants to explain how they understand where things stand in the litigation. (para 19)
  • Judges can consider whether providing self-represented litigants with an option to give
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

University of Windsor Leddy Library Creates Story Map on Missing Children of Indian Residential Schools

I am always on the lookout for innovative ways that libraries have found to create great stories about complex legal or historical issues that have many moving parts.

This one is quite remarkable: the Leddy Library at the University of Windsor has created a site that tells the story of the Missing Children of Indian Residential Schools using maps.

This intereactive visual representation of the residential school locations across Canada uses data from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report to document the experience:

“The recent discoveries of more than 1,700 unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

40 Short Tips for Better E-Mail

I don’t know if you’re like me but despite being a heavy user of e-mail, I am still often puzzled by it. More specifically, by how we often fail to use it to its full potential.

How many times does it happen that you receive an e-mail from a professional contact, a client or a supplier/vendor, perhaps even from an important work colleague, and you have so much trouble deciphering its meaning that you pick up the phone or get on chat to ask the sender what exactly they want you to do?

Given how insanely busy so many of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Does Canada Need ‘Right to Repair’ Law

Those of us who view the “no user serviceable parts inside” phrase as a challenge rather than a warning will sympathize with the right to repair movement.

The movement is a growing phenomenon. It arises from frustrations when manufacturers of everything from electronics to cars to McDonald’s ice cream machines make it difficult for anyone else to repair what they make.

The poster child for the movement is farm equipment manufacturers that refuse to give access to software on the machines. That prevents both equipment owners and other repair shops from servicing them. Other methods used by manufacturers include making . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Automated Affidavits to Confirm Residency

On April 16, 2021, the Province of Ontario introduced new measures under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which would allow law enforcement to stop individuals and vehicles, asking them the reasons for leaving their home.

The government believed it necessary to stop COVID-19, as part of their broader support to a complete lockdown and stay at home order to battle a third wave of the virus.

The amendment to O. Reg 294/21 stated,

(2) Schedule 1 to the Regulation is amended by adding the following section:
Requirement to provide information
2.1 (1) This section applies as of
. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

Lawyers and Computers 25 Years Ago

I recently looked at a book on my shelf called “The Internet Handbook for Canadian Lawyers” published in 1996. It’s rather amusing to look at it from today’s lens and see how much has changed in the last 25 years. It explains in detail topics that at the time were cutting edge, but today are second nature to children, or are long obsolete.

Section headings include: “What Exactly is the Internet?”, “Can the Internet do Something for my Practice?”, “Finding Good Stuff with Archie”, “The Mother Protocol – TCP/IP”, “Using Encryption Programs to Stop Snoopers”, and “Navigating Gopherspace”.

It says . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Justice System Needs a Champion to Move Modernization Project

Don’t turn back, but don’t stand still. Work with justice system partners to share best practices, figure out how to make the system work better for the people who need it to work for them, and how to mitigate the unintended side-effects of change.

That sums up – very briefly – the recommendations in the final report from the Canadian Bar Association’s Task Force on Justice Issues Arising from COVID-19, presented to the Association’s annual general meeting on Feb. 17

The task force, established in April 2020, drew together representatives from CBA Sections and committees, its partners in the justice . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology