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Ontario’s Law Society: Orwell’s Big Brother or Fuller’s Rex?

On September 13, 2017 Ontario’s Law Society with no name sent a now infamous e-mail to its licensees stating:

You will need to create and abide by an individual Statement of Principles that acknowledges your obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in your behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public. You will be asked to report on the creation and implementation of a Statement of Principles in your 2017 Annual Report.

While some have defended the Statement (see Omar Ha-Redeye here on SLAW and Renatta Austin’s comments on The Current) most commentary has been harshly . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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

Don’t Let Anyone Bully You
Ian Hu

This is easier said than done. Don’t let anyone make you do what you know is wrong – whether out of trust, love, or pressure from a bully. If a client tells you to hide evidence or lie, don’t do it. If a supervising lawyer tells you to take a shortcut that only partially fulfills your duties, don’t do it. If opposing

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Efficiency for Whom?

About sixty years ago, a few intersections held a few traffic lights like the one illustrated below.

Look carefully.

Not only is the green on top, but note the glow – on top! – of the red signals telling cross traffic to stop.

In other words, for, say, east/west streets, green took pride of place, but for north/south streets, red was uppermost.

Needless to say, this would have been confusing for distracted drivers. Luckily, there were no cell phones or onscreen maps back then… but the streets teemed with hundreds of station wagons filled with screaming kids. And of course, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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. Startup Source 2. Family LLB 3.?News from the Break Room 4. Legal Feeds 5. Official Clio Blog

Startup Source
Will the Arrival of HQ2 Be Good for Startups?

The hunt for Amazon’s second headquarters continues to dominate tech sector news. The e-commerce titan is planning to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Shining Light on Exclusion Will Assist Diversity

Despite 5 years of research, detailed consultations, and ample careful thought, the resistance towards the?Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group’s recommendations?continues to grow among the fringes of the legal profession, although some of the most vocal voices do not practice at all, and are far removed from the realities that most practitioners in Ontario face today. Sadly, the Statement of Principles that has to date attracted the greatest scrutiny is still only one part of a larger program underway.

For those of us who have been involved in supporting these initiatives, and who are better informed of . . . [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.

PéNAL (DROIT)?: Isma?l Habib, le premier adulte à être condamné en vertu de l’article 83.181 C.Cr., devra purger une peine globale d’un peu plus de six ans et demi de pénitencier.

Intitulé : R. c. Habib, 2017 QCCQ 11427
Juridiction : Cour du Québec, Chambre criminelle et pénale (C.Q.), . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Legal Business Development: You Can Do It Your Way!

I received an email from a father and a former Military lawyer now in private practice. He started with… “Thank you for the wonderful resource. I came across your blog on LinkedIn.” As he continues the?tone turned to frustration and resignation. He explained the pressure and stress that I hear from many, many lawyers. He had the guts to write it down and hit SEND. He wrote…

“Bottom line is that I am more miserable right now than I have ever been in 12 years since graduating, have no job satisfaction, stress through the roof, and not sure how

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing

Ontario Seeking Input on Certain Upcoming Employment and Labour Law Rules

Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 received second reading on October 18 and was sent to Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs for further review and possible additional amendments.

Before the Bill received second reading, three draft regulations for public consultation were tabled at the Ontario Regulatory Registry to support the implementation of the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act amendments under Bill 148. In addition, as part of the employment and labour standards review that brought about the changes found in Bill 148, the Ontario government is seeking public input to help make workplaces . . . [more]

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

Then There Were Two

The sale of Wolters Kluwer’s remaining Croner/CCH publishing assets in the UK did not, of itself, significantly affect the bigger picture of law and tax publishing there, primarily because of the residual size and scope of its activities and failure to compete immediately prior to the sale. To some romantics and self-delusionists, it may be thought to be the end of an era, with wistful memories of Croner’s heyday in the last century; to others, for its, at times, unhinged, incompetent (or perhaps worse) and at top level, obscenely and inconceivably justifiable overpaid management and self-serving nitwit advisers and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Judging and the Depletion Effect

“Justice?is what the judge ate for breakfast”. – Judge Jerome Frank

In Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman Nobel Prize winner explains this phenomenon. In a study of parole judges, the researchers plotted the proportion of approved requests for parole against the time since the last food break. It was found that the prospect of someone being granted parole changed during the elapsed time between food breaks.

The cases before the parole judges were presented in random order. Each case took around 6 minutes to hear. After each meal, the proportion of people granted parole increased.

Kahneman explained . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Will Quantum Computing Cause Encryption’s Y2K?

At the Can-Tech (formerly known as IT.Can) conference this week Mike Brown of Isara Corporation spoke about quantum computing and security. Within a few short years quantum computing will become commercially viable. Quantum computing works differently than the binary computing we have today. It will be able to do things that even today’s super computers can’t.

For the most part that is a good thing. The downside is that quantum computers will be able to break many current forms?of encryption. So it will be necessary to update current encryption models with something different.

That may not be a simple . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Improving Outcomes in Family Law

The barriers to access to justice in the arena of family law have been well-researched and frequently commented upon, both on these pages and in a myriad of academic papers and government commissioned reports. For the most part, I feel like there’s really not much left to add.

I’ve read the research. I’ve practiced in the area. I’ve spoken and assisted self-representing parties. I’ve delivered public legal education sessions on the subject. And I’ve concluded, quite some time ago, that what’s needed more than anything else in this area, is massive systemic reform. Family law processes and the laws that . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation