Commentary

Monday, 01 February 2016 09:00

Is there a new view on defence ethics?

Written by
Illustration: Scott Page
Illustration: Scott Page
What are the ethical boundaries for a lawyer defending someone accused of a sex crime? Is he a hired gun, expected to do everything legally possible to win the case, concerned only about the fate of his client, free to attack the complainant unreservedly in cross-examination, dedicated — as it is sometimes put — to proof, not truth? That, I think, was the old idea, unchallenged for many years.
Monday, 01 February 2016 09:00

Know your client & other data management games

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Know your client & other data  management gamesThe information we hold on our clients, their businesses, transactions, trials, and strategies can no longer be held on unprotected hard drives or sent willy-nilly through the exposed airwaves. “Regulators are pushing firms to get better at knowing their customers, and managing their data more comprehensively than they have in the past,” says Deloitte in November 2015’s CIO Journal. This push began some years ago with the know-your-client professional obligations placed on banks, law firms, and others to collect identification information and understand client’s activities and risk profiles for their investment decisions.
Monday, 01 February 2016 09:00

A mighty wind

Written by
It’s barely past the middle of January as I sit to write this editorial and already the waves of change, some might even call them disruption, are crashing on the shores of the Canadian legal business. There’s two more notches in the lipstick case of the globalization of legal practice with the arrival here of Axiom, which has purchased the general counsel business of Canadian legal services pioneer Cognition LLP, and international labour and employment firm Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC, which gets its first beachhead in Toronto.
Monday, 04 January 2016 09:00

Embarrassing behaviours and corrective disclosures

Written by
I think it is a certain sign of my age that when thinking about the proliferation and ubiquity of social media my thinking has evolved from initially worrying about the creation of a permanent record of embarrassing personal choices to then becoming concerned that it may actually be more damning to have absolutely no record of any embarrassing activity, proceeding finally to the realization that I’m too “mature” to be a good judge of what, in 2016, is embarrassing.
Monday, 04 January 2016 09:00

A long, hard road

Written by
Nobody is perfect. People make mistakes. It could be a momentary lapse of judgment. It could be leading with your heart instead of your brain. It could be trusting someone who perhaps you shouldn’t have. It could be that you were tired. Or it could simply be that something had to be done, and this is what got done. These types of mistakes are and should be forgivable — because no one is perfect.
Monday, 16 November 2015 09:00

Top 10 things you need to know about e-discovery

Written by
Top 10 things you need to know about e-discoveryIn January 2011, I wrote “Taming e-discovery anxiety.” In the five years since, I have written 29 articles to de-mystify e-discovery and provide a language and common framework to improve general understanding of the basic process and mechanics of e-discovery. Generally, the source of my inspiration was questions from readers and others.
Monday, 16 November 2015 09:00

Get naked

Written by
"Get naked and be a pig.” You’re not going to get much more vivid advice from an in-house client on what their expectations for service are.
Monday, 05 October 2015 09:00

Combatting the lynch mob

Written by
Illustration: Dushan Milic
Illustration: Dushan Milic
Billie Holiday, in her 1939 song Strange Fruit, sang: “Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze. Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.” She was singing about lynch mobs. In the southern United States, in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century, mobs of white people lynched black men for crimes that were presumed and never proven. Historians estimate about 3,500 black men were murdered in this way. With some notable exceptions, the legal profession looked the other way.
Monday, 05 October 2015 09:00

I’ve been inspired

Written by
In the close to two decades I’ve been working in the legal community, it never ceases to amaze me how truly inspirational many lawyers, judges, and others in the profession are.
Monday, 07 September 2015 09:00

Social media e-discovery: its time is here

Written by
Social media e-discovery: its time is hereSocial media is an important source of discovery in an increasing range of cases and can often yield the most important evidence. Social media and its derivatives are prevalent with many people using social media as their dominant communications channel, preferring some in-app messaging tools to e-mail. Corporations, too, are using these media to target and communicate with their customers. Ignore these sources and you leave potentially game-changing evidence on the table.
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