Commentary

Monday, 05 August 2013 09:00

The unenforceability of ‘agreements to agree’

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There is so much that is annoying, and simply not enough time to complain about it all. That does not mean I don’t make a good faith effort to complain about as many of those annoyances as time, and the patience of others, permit. I think of it as a service, where the complaints become “insights.” E-mail etiquette is a metaphorical gold mine for annoyances. For example, it is difficult to understand why a group of 40-odd recipients on an e-mail trail needs to know one individual “will respond soon.” Context also affects annoyances. For example, words mispronounced once are bothersome, but repetition of the mispronunciation ranges from annoying to hilarious.
Monday, 05 August 2013 09:00

Well worth the read

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I’m not one to publicly toot my own horn but I think in the case of this Canadian Lawyer issue, I’m going to do just that because I think it may be one of our best ever.
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 09:00

The unsung heroes of access to justice

Written by
Illustration:Scot Page
Illustration:Scot Page
I have seen the future for sole and small firm practitioners and it looks bright.
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 09:00

Don't be left behind

Written by
These are not the best of times. These are not the worst of times. But the times, they are a changing. Not to mix poets, or metaphors, or anything but the truth’s the truth. It’s a time of upheaval — disruption as some call it — in the legal profession. What has gone before and worked before can no longer be relied on to work in the future. That’s a tough pill to swallow for a profession built on tradition and precedent.
Monday, 03 June 2013 08:00

Do you like say on pay?

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b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Standard_photos_neillmay.jpgI am May. May I am. Do you like say on pay? Do you like greenbacks and spam? There has been much discussion of say on pay recently, most of it focused on elements other than how much the catchy phrase sounds like something invented by Dr. Seuss.
Monday, 03 June 2013 08:00

It is a revolution

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This month’s Money Issue features Canadian Lawyer’s annual Legal Fees Survey, in which the majority of respondents said they weren’t going to raise the fees charged to clients this year. While the survey focuses on the most common consumer-focused legal services, generally provided by smaller firms and sole practitioners, their response to clients mirrors what’s happening across the board.
Monday, 06 May 2013 08:00

A new kind of case commentary

Written by
Illustration: Dushan Milic
Illustration: Dushan Milic
R.v. Ryan
is an important case for an unusual reason. It introduced a new kind of case commentary, one made possible by social media. If this novel form of commentary catches on, it will change the way the public sees and evaluates the justice system.
Monday, 06 May 2013 08:00

Don’t be a speed bump

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At last month’s Canadian Corporate Counsel Association spring meeting, I sat in on a few sessions and panels that focused on various aspects of one’s legal career. One was a lunch panel with a group of high-powered women general counsel discussing their careers and how they broke through into the upper echelons in their companies. While they were all women (who will be featured in a book coming out in the fall called Breaking Through), their tips for success are universal.
Monday, 01 April 2013 09:00

Who, now, will defend the indefensible?

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“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

The above quote is often attributed to French philosopher Voltaire, but it is most likely a paraphrase by another writer of something Voltaire may have said. Nonetheless, it should be the heart of the matter where defenders of free speech are concerned. And last month, Canada lost one of its most controversial defenders of free speech when British Columbia lawyer Doug Christie died of cancer.
Monday, 04 March 2013 08:00

Lawyers are people too

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Last month, the Ontario Bar Association launched a public relations campaign aimed at improving the image of lawyers. I, like many others, actually found out about the campaign through an article in the Globe and Mail. So I went to the OBA’s web site and despite my fairly strong research skills, was unable to find even a single word about it — no link, no press release, nothing, at least not on the public parts of the site. A few lawyer colleagues I spoke to had done the same thing and come up empty as well. Turns out, the OBA has created a micro site, whyiwenttolawschool.ca, which gives lots of details about the plan.
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