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Monday, 04 July 2011 11:18

A woman of vision

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Travelling is at the top of Victoria De La Ronde's retirement to-do list.
Travelling is at the top of Victoria De La Ronde's retirement to-do list.
At last count the number of countries Victoria De La Ronde has lived in or visited stood at 64. But the total hadn’t been updated since she returned from a month-long South American cruise in the spring. That trip included a memorable stop in Brazil to journey up the Amazon River. Having been unable to get over a lifelong bout with the travel bug, De La Ronde now says she has set her sights on reaching the 100-country mark. “At an early age this pressure began building up in me to travel,” she says. “It was in my 20s. So, I began travelling in the hopes that I would get over this obsession with visiting places and seeing new things. I never have been able to get over it.”
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_July_tech_support_image.jpgCanadian lawyers continue to adapt to new rules in various jurisdictions that require or permit meet-and-confer conferences or discovery agreements. Proponents say that discovery agreements let parties limit the scope — and therefore cost — of documentary discovery. Litigation procedures are streamlined by narrowing issues early, circumscribing “relevance,” and limiting interlocutory procedural motions.
Friday, 03 June 2011 11:47

It’s still eat-what-you-kill

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Illustration: Jeremy Bruneel
Illustration: Jeremy Bruneel
Few things are more difficult or contentious for law firm managers than arriving at the fairest possible partner compensation scheme in keeping with the goals and culture of the firm. But, in today’s highly competitive legal marketplace, many are finding their best efforts undermined as other firms seek to lure key partners with exorbitant pay packages. “It’s a very real and immediate problem that law firms face right now. It’s one of the things that keep managing partners awake at night,” says Scott Jolliffe, chairman and chief executive officer of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP. “It’s creating an uncomfortable dynamic in the marketplace.”
Monday, 02 May 2011 11:07

Seller beware

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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.
Friday, 01 April 2011 11:26

Just saying ‘no’ to retirement

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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?”
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.”
Monday, 03 January 2011 15:47

‘Doing something right’

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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.
Monday, 03 January 2011 09:15

Taming e-discovery anxiety

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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. 
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 09:34

Talking digital

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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.

 

Sunday, 03 October 2010 20:00

The cloud ascendant

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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?

 

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