Features

Monday, 01 June 2015 08:00

Retirement: Dare to dream

Written by
Illustration: Kyle Reed
Illustration: Kyle Reed
Lawyer Norm Keith is 58 and laughs hard when asked about his readiness for retirement. “There’s an old adage that most good lawyers live well, work hard, and die poor,” he says, referencing the quote from American lawyer and statesman, Daniel Webster. “Many probably spend a little more money than they need to, for appearances sake, or life enjoyment or because they’re not thinking and planning ahead. As a partner in a law firm you probably think you should be living better than you are and for some that means going into debt,” says Keith.
Monday, 01 June 2015 08:00

The Going Rate

Written by
The Going RateAfter years of steady decline, Canadian litigation fees have finally returned to the heights of the pre-global-recession era, but Canadian lawyers aren’t happy about it.
Monday, 01 June 2015 08:00

CCAA v. BIA

Written by
Illustration: Matthew Billington
Illustration: Matthew Billington
The overall financial situation for Target Corp. was relatively positive when it issued its third-quarter results last November. The net earnings before taxes in the first nine months of 2014 for the Minneapolis-based retailer were US$1.5 billion, in a year where it incurred significant financial costs and unfavorable publicity for a large-scale data breach of its credit card and online operations.
Monday, 04 May 2015 08:01

What's next?

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What's next?Law firms are broken.

For the profession’s long-term survival, the structure of the traditional partnership — and the traditional partner and law firm management mindset that goes along with that — need to be unpended. Call it NewLaw, call it LeanLaw, call it anything but the same old, same old.
Monday, 04 May 2015 08:00

Getting there

Written by
Illustration: Huan Tran
Illustration: Huan Tran
A compassionate and moving ruling from a Toronto judge has focused attention on Gladue courts and other support mechanisms for aboriginal offenders, and of the progress, and lack of progress, since the landmark R. v. Gladue decision first came out.
Monday, 06 April 2015 08:00

Carving out a profile

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Carving out a profileOn a cold February morning in Ottawa, the sidewalks and grounds in front of the Supreme Court of Canada building are almost empty. A single person is directing pedestrians who do walk by, to stop temporarily. Not for security reasons, but so a colleague can shovel snow and ice off the roof of a government building next door. That very Canadian inconvenience is one of the only signs of activity outside the courthouse. Inside the building, it is also relatively quiet, as the court was not sitting. The judges are working at crafting upcoming decisions and preparing to interview applicants the following week for coveted law clerk positions.
Monday, 02 March 2015 08:00

Light through the window

Written by
Illustration: Martin O'Neill
Illustration: Martin O'Neill
There were two casualties of the Canadian Judicial Council’s inquiry into Justice Lori Douglas. The first was Lori Douglas, by all accounts a competent and hard working associate chief justice of the Family Division of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench. The other was the Canadian Judicial Council itself, which found itself battered and bruised in a four-year inquiry that turned the mirror on itself and its procedures.
Monday, 02 March 2015 08:00

Grey divorce is all about the math

Written by
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
A few years ago Steven Benmor found himself in divorce court representing an 82-year-old client seeking to end a long-term marriage. After decades of living with the same man, she was divorcing her abusive husband. “They had fought over the years but this time he hit her and she said ‘screw you’ and went to the police. He was arrested and removed from the home. The children came out of the dark to help her and took sides. That created the divorce,” he says.
Vicarious trauma: the cumulative effects of caringOver an 11-week period, five lawyers from Borden Ladner Gervais LLP frequently found themselves sitting in a Montreal courtroom listening as the horrors of Concordia University student Lin Jun’s murder were recounted in grisly detail. They also watched as those horrors unfolded on screen in a video made by convicted murderer Luka Rocco Magnotta. When not sitting in court as counsel to the Lin family, the BLG team were meeting to review evidence — including the video — and discuss the case in detail. “It was hard to acknowledge this was real. We’re used to seeing violence on TV, but we know it’s fake. You need to reconcile that one human being did this to another,” says Amélie Gouin, an associate in BLG’s corporate commercial litigation group in Montreal.
Monday, 02 February 2015 08:00

These laws are the worst!

Written by
Illustration: Matt Daley
Illustration: Matt Daley
There is nothing quite like the silent beauty of snowflakes falling gently to the ground. Until, that is, carloads of snow begin to crash down. It’s a common enough sight in the Great White North, and male Nova Scotians should pack a shovel in their briefcases or knapsacks during the winter, because Mother Nature’s annually ordained dumps of the cold white stuff leads to some serious responsibilities, according to s. 34 of the provincial Public Highways Act. “All physically fit male persons between the ages of sixteen and sixty . . . are required to work with their shovels on the highways during the winter whenever the highways become impassable from snow.” A failure to comply can result in a maximum penalty of $10, or 10 days imprisonment should the fine be ignored.
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