Departments

Seller beware

  • Real Estate
Written by Posted Date: May 2nd, 2011
Illustration: Matt Daley
Illustration: Matt Daley
It’s an uncomfortable fact of life that anyone buying into a new condominium development must sign a contract and put down a deposit, sight unseen, years before they can move into a completed building. That’s because pre-sales are routinely required by banks and other lenders that don’t want to advance funds without the security of knowing units will be sold. But the uncertainties involved in this practice are a frequent source of frustration for purchasers and developers alike all over Canada, often leading to disputes and lawsuits.

Just saying ‘no’ to retirement

  • Law Office Management
Written by Posted Date: April 1st, 2011
Illustration: Jason Schneider
Illustration: Jason Schneider
Don’t ever tell Ned Levitt it’s time for him to retire. The 63-year-old partner at Aird & Berlis LLP intends to carry on practising law “until the hearse pulls up to the door.” He’s one of many healthy and highly motivated baby boomers who believe they will remain active and productive for many years to come. “My practice is still expanding so why put an arbitrary time frame on that,” he says. “I work out at a gym three mornings a week. I’m a shortboard windsurfer. So are you going to tell me to go lie on a couch?”

Burlew fires bull’s-eye in defending firearms violation cases

  • Cross Examined
Written by Posted Date: March 1st, 2011
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_March_crossexamined.jpgFor most Canadians, our awareness of Canada’s firearms legislation is limited to the controversy concerning the long-gun registry — the legislation passed by the federal government as part of a more comprehensive Firearms Act in 1995 — that requires all rifle owners to register their guns. It would seem that most police officers, Crown attorneys, and judges are also a little hazy on the technicalities of the act. “I see a large part of what I do as educating the courts and police officers about our firearms legislation,” says lawyer Edward Burlew. “I have represented hundreds and hundreds of gun owners and, in a great many cases, I have been able to show that the police officers and the Crown attorneys don’t fully understand the legislation’s technicalities.”

‘Doing something right’

  • Cross Examined
Written by Posted Date: January 3rd, 2011
Photo: Don Mackinnon
Photo: Don Mackinnon
Almost 150 years ago, British Columbia judge Matthew Begbie sitting in New Westminster ordered the execution by hanging of Chief Ahan for his part in the Chilcotin War of 1864. Now, once a month, the First Nations Court sits at New Westminster with Judge Marion Buller Bennett presiding in the courthouse outside which stands a statue of Begbie puffing on his pipe. “It’s like we’re doing it under his nose,” she chuckles.

Taming e-discovery anxiety

  • Tech Support
Written by Posted Date: January 3rd, 2011
Illustration: Matt Daley
Illustration: Matt Daley
What is bothersome to many litigators is that our clients, whether companies or individuals, simply refuse to stop using computers. With increasing frequency, the best evidence — the evidence required to prove or defend our clients’ cases — has been generated by a computer and remains there, in some format. The widespread use of computers and related devices (you know the ones: cellphones, BlackBerrys, things that access Facebook, and now Facebook e-mail, etc.) has led to something of an anxiety epidemic among lawyers: e-discovery. 

Talking digital

  • Tech Support
Written by Posted Date: November 10th, 2010

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_2010_Nov_Dec_dictaphone.jpgFirms like Winnipeg’s Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP that have been using digital, networked dictation for a few years may wonder why any law firm would continue to do it the old way — or, indeed, how it survived before installing its Olympus DS-5000 transcription management system in 2006.

 

The cloud ascendant

  • Tech Support
Written by Posted Date: October 3rd, 2010

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2010_October_clouds_tech-support.jpgCloud computing in the legal industry, almost from the get-go, came under, well, a cloud. Is the sketchy reputation deserved?

 

Unintended consequences

  • Real Estate
Written by Posted Date: September 13th, 2010

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2010_September_elephant.jpgLandlords may end up with unwanted tenants and unpaid rent as a result of recent changes to Canada’s bankruptcy and insolvency laws.

 

Making life count

  • Cross Examined
Written by Posted Date: September 7th, 2010

William Brock and his wife, lawyer Maryse Bertrand.
William Brock and his wife, lawyer Maryse Bertrand.
William Brock is not by nature a gambler, preferring calculation to chance. “I am organized, I am disciplined, and I like to win,” declares an unabashed Brock, a Montreal lawyer who works on some of Canada’s biggest litigation cases for Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. Each litigation case is another chess game, as he puts it, full of careful deliberations and strategic preparation for an eventual successful assault on the opponent.

 

Don't be swindled

  • Law Office Management
Written by Posted Date: August 3rd, 2010

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2010_August_fraudart.jpgThe bank drafts looked good, but the grammar in the other lawyer’s e-mail was bad. That’s what made James Morgan suspect he was being targeted for a scam — an attempt to get money out of the small-town Ontario lawyer’s trust account on the strength of forged cheques and a phoney loan to one of his clients.

 

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