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Archive for ‘Technology’

Tips Tuesday: Quick Reference Legislation in Your Browser

Today’s Tips Tuesday is a little trick that I use to save myself time when I need to reference a statute quickly. I use CanLII for the majority of my legal research and for all of my statute referencing. Instead of navigating to CanLII’s home page each time and searching the statute, I use bookmarks instead.

In my browser’s toolbar, I created a Legislation folder and have bookmarked all of the statutes that I might need to reference in my practice. For me this list includes:

  • Alberta King’s Printer
  • Alberta Rules of Court
  • Civil Enforcement Act
  • Condominium Property Act
  • Employment
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Tips Tuesday: Using “Read Aloud” to Catch the Typos Your Brain Has Autocorrected for You

Today’s Tips Tuesday features a tip regarding one of the most under-rated features in Microsoft Word: Read Aloud.

Located under the “Review” tab in the ribbon, Read Aloud does exactly what it sounds like: it will read your document back to you, aloud so that you can hear the grammatical or wording errors you may have made when drafting. 

If you’re like me you like to torture yourself by going back and re-reading through a draft of a document or an e-mail that you just sent, and without fail this is when you catch a typos. It’s embarrassing and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Robot Courts: Will It Be Accepted?

Given the backlog in our courts and administrative tribunals in Ontario, it is likely that artificial intelligence will begin to be used for routine, procedural matters to reduce delays. In the book Online Courts and the Future of Justice, Richard Susskind writes that our courts are moving towards radical change rather than more of the same. Susskind predicts that artificial intelligence will be used to adjudicate and contain claims, and that the 2020s will be a period of redeployment of lawyers and judges. By 2030, our courts will be transformed by technologies, many of which are yet to be . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

ABA TECHSHOW’s “Startup Alley”: The Canadian Contingent

Leading up to ABA TECHSHOW 2023 this March 1st thru 4th, our Slaw friend and occasional writer Colin Lachance has alerted me to these five Canadian legal tech startups who have made the Top-40 for this year’s Startup Alley.

  • CiteRight is an essential litigation tool that simplifies legal research and writing by allowing users to save cases, generate automatic citations and produce court documents.
  • Jurisage AI accelerates legal research through instant access to case law insights.
  • Fidu helps legal teams ditch the billable hour for good in exchange for flat fee and subscription legal services by systematizing and scaling
. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Using AI for Legal Research

Prof Sean Rehaag recently published, “Luck of the Draw III: Using AI to Examine Decision-Making in Federal Court Stays of Removal”. This research entered my feed as it pertains to immigration and refugee law. Indeed, the research demonstrates interesting trends related to Federal Court decisions and Stay Motions. For example, Winnipeg has the lowest grant rates across Canada at only 16.2%. For immigration practitioners, I will briefly discuss the conclusions of this paper and my own analysis. Prof Rehaag focused this paper on statistics and his methodology. The paper offers scant analysis of the underlying numbers. The paper is invaluable . . . [more]

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

Do Judges Read Wikipedia?

In the article, “Trial by Internet: A Randomized Field Experiment on Wikipedia’s Influence on Judges’ Legal Reasoning”, the authors Neil Thompson et al conducted a study to see if Wikipedia plays a part in judgment writing. The authors found that “the information and legal analysis offered on Wikipedia led judges to cite the relevant legal cases more often and to talk about them in ways comparable to how the Wikipedia authors had framed them”.

The study was conducted by creating 154 Wikipedia articles on Irish Supreme Court cases. “The process of creation was done in three waves. After . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

The Case for Reforming Scheduling in the Ontario Courts

Getting a motion date can be a herculean effort in Ontario. Currently the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has a patchwork of processes for scheduling. Different courthouses have different ways of scheduling court dates. Even finding out which dates are available can be frustrating.

It is problematic and an access to justice issue. Getting a date for a motion should be easy. Knowing how to obtain a date should be even easier. There is some guidance online, for example:

  • Toronto’s process – https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/practice/practice-directions/toronto/civil-t/
  • Central East process – https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/practice/practice-directions/central-east/civil-ce/ / https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/ce-civil-proceedings/

The Central East Region has a Calendly process: https://calendly.com/ce-civil. This . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Book Review: It Burned Me All Down – by Erin Durant

I recently saw a General Counsel job ad where one of the criteria was to be, “stress-resistant”. I immediately thought that the person who wrote up the ad, was either an idiot or had grossly unrealistic expectations for the role. Sadly, there’ll be a stream of lawyers applying, all of whom will enthusiastically confirm that, not only are they “stress resistant”, they also “thrive under pressure”.

Sigh.

Chief Justice Strathy has written about the “destructive myth” of stress-resistant lawyers, and law societies across Canada have put out CPD programs and resources to combat this myth. Some law schools have also . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews, Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended, Technology

Using AI to Address Court Delays and Adjudicate Claims

There is a large backlog in our courts and tribunals. But simply converting our current system with minor tweaks does not go far enough to improve access to justice. We need a larger change. We need to harness AI to assist in adjudicating claims.
Perhaps the first body to use AI tools will be tribunals rather than the courts. The discrete areas of law that tribunals address lend themselves to being best suited for AI tools and algorithms to decide routine, interlocutory matters and some minor cases on the merits. As a result, tribunals may be forced into using emerging
. . . [more]
Posted in: 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