Features

Monday, 03 March 2014 08:01

Assessing boots on the ground

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2014_March_cl_mar_14.jpgYou may not hear it very often, mostly because it’s just not good PR for the in-house bar, but despite data that points to fairly consistent growth in corporate legal departments, not all global or U.S.-based companies are wholly behind the idea that existing legal departments in Canada should remain status quo.
Monday, 03 March 2014 08:00

Still tempting

Written by
Illustration: Huan Tran
Illustration: Huan Tran
Canada still tempts cash-rich state-owned enterprises, even in the closely watched energy sector, but government rules and the deliberate ambiguity that surrounds them are making it hard to advise clients how to proceed and factoring into a steep investment slowdown.
Monday, 03 February 2014 08:00

Judging 101

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2014_February_judging.jpgThe benefits of judicial foreign aid are rarely measurable in concrete terms. But, for Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Marc Rosenberg — a workhorse in the movement to help developing nations enhance their justice systems — a dramatic exception to that rule came during a working foray to China a couple of years ago. Rosenberg was part of a Canadian entourage helping to draft rules for excluding unreliable evidence — coerced confessions, in particular. Overnight, a furor erupted over a Chinese convict who had confessed a decade earlier to murdering his wife, notwithstanding the absence of a body.
“Suddenly, his wife showed up — alive,” Rosenberg recalled. Humiliated, authorities hurriedly released the man from prison.
Monday, 03 February 2014 08:00

Droning on

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b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2014_February_dronejpg.jpgA number of businesses have teased customers in the past year or so with the suggestion online orders could be delivered by unmanned drones. We’ve had the Burrito Bomber — self-dubbed as “the world’s first airborne Mexican food delivery system,” — and variants such as the LobsterCopter, TacoCopter, and, most recently, Amazon.com Inc.’s Octocopters.
Monday, 06 January 2014 08:00

The case for ladies only

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2014_cl_jan_2014_cover.jpgIn their book Breaking Through: Tales from the Top Canadian Women General Counsel, Kirby Chown and Carrie Mandel interviewed 32 women general counsel, but one interview really illustrated the view of the current generation of female lawyers. One young woman questioned if there is still a need for groups that specifically champion the cause of women.
Monday, 06 January 2014 08:00

‘Lightning bolts out of the sky’

Written by
Illustration: Peter Mitchell
Illustration: Peter Mitchell
When Rob Kreklewetz started his legal career as a tax and trade lawyer in the 1980s, tax law was a staid, even gentlemanly field of practice involving mostly matters of income tax and other direct taxes. Lawyers “were brought in at the early stage, usually by the client’s accountant, before a notice of objection was filed,” he tells Canadian Lawyer from his office at Millar Kreklewetz LLP in Toronto. “We had 90 days to file (and) delay collection until the amount of collection was determined. It was all very orderly.”
Monday, 18 November 2013 08:01

Keeping up appearances

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2013_November_CL_Nov_13---DIGITAL-1.jpgFar from being mere bricks and mortar, courthouses are the physical embodiment of the justice system. Their design, appearance, and state of repair can affect the length of trials; help or hinder access to justice; protect — or expose — vulnerable parties; and inspire a sense of respect or disdain for the judicial process.
But lawyers across Canada admit many of these buildings, far from being a source of civic pride, hamper their efforts to represent clients in the most effective way.
Monday, 18 November 2013 08:01

The billing conundrum

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2013_November_123842533.jpgIn-house counsel are expecting to take on more work internally next year to handle growth in their companies, but the management of their external law firm spending remains an ongoing challenge they wrestle with in an attempt to find value and meet budgets.
Monday, 18 November 2013 08:00

A very texting question

Written by
Illustration: Alexi Vella
Illustration: Alexi Vella
In the three decades federal law enforcement has been required to report to Parliament on the number of times it receives judicial authorization to conduct electronic surveillance on individuals, its use has declined steadily. From a high of 1,300 warrants issued for audio and video surveillance in 1976, the number dropped to 95 in 2012 and the annual total was just over 100 intercepts in each of the previous four years. The irony in the steep drop in seeking approval for wiretaps is seizure of private communications by local, provincial, and national police is now likely higher than ever and the legal hurdle is arguably much lower than the test for what are known as Part VI authorizations under the Criminal Code.
Monday, 07 October 2013 09:01

Hoodwinked!

Written by
Photos: David Cooper/Toronto Star
Photos: David Cooper/Toronto Star
Eric Cunningham didn’t see it coming. On a brisk morning in November 2006, the 57-year-old marketing executive was sitting on a hard bench in the hallway of the Milton, Ont., courthouse waiting for his lawyer to arrive before heading into a divorce hearing. That’s when one of his wife’s lawyers, James Edney of Toronto’s Blaney McMurtry LLP, walked over and dropped a large document in Cunningham’s lap, saying, “Consider yourself served.” Cunningham put on his glasses and began reading what he quickly discovered was a contempt motion: It was demanding he be thrown in prison until Cunningham handed over the $2.4 million they said he’d socked away in offshore bank accounts.
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