Features

Monday, 14 November 2011 08:00

Preparing for uncertainty

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b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_November-December_uncertainty.jpgAs Canada fights to stay out of a looming global recession, it seems corporate counsel are preparing for the worst with plans to bring more work in-house even as they expect to see an increase in the amount they will be challenged to do in the coming year, according to the annual Canadian Lawyer corporate counsel survey.
Monday, 14 November 2011 08:00

The loan arrangers

Written by
Cover: Dominic Bugatto
Cover: Dominic Bugatto
Third-party litigation loans have a rather nasty reputation. The funding of legal cases by complete strangers causes many intelligent people, some of them lawyers, to declare these kinds of loans abusive, predatory, and a black mark on the justice system. And yet there are others, some of them also lawyers, MBAs, and financial advisers, who believe when administered to the right people, by the right people, these “lawsuit loans” help those in need when no one else will. Stephen Pauwels is one such person. Yes, Pauwels is in the loan business. Yes, he profits from plaintiff-victims. But his point of view will surprise you. Pauwels believes his own industry is dangerous, similar to both the Wild West and the American subprime catastrophe.
Monday, 03 October 2011 09:00

Doing business in Africa

Written by
Cover: Jacqui Oakley
Cover: Jacqui Oakley
As the world’s second-most populous continent and blessed with abundant mineral riches, Africa holds great promise and economic opportunity. But those opportunities must also be mentioned and measured along with Africa’s many challenges: its division into 50 often fractious nations, frequent wars and civil strife, a stubborn history of corruption and inefficiency, and the deepest poverty anywhere on the planet. It’s fair to say Africa is the toughest place in the world to do business.
Monday, 05 September 2011 10:00

A decade on

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_September_cl_sep_11-lr-1.jpgKent Roach thinks of it as the age of innocence, those emotional early months following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., when Canadians were vigorously debating new anti-terrorism laws. Parliament, the legal community, and other stakeholders were consumed with how to craft legislation that would properly balance national security, privacy, and human rights. That was long before most Canadians had ever heard of Maher Arar or Omar Khadr. No-fly lists, security certificates, and electronic surveillance were barely on the national radar. The federal public safety department, now one of the most high-profile federal ministries, didn’t exist. Canada had not yet deployed the 37,000 soldiers who would serve in Afghanistan over the following decade, 157 of whom lost their lives.
Monday, 05 September 2011 09:00

Hacked!

Written by
Illustration: Mick Coulas
Illustration: Mick Coulas
Computer systems at law firms, governments, companies, courts, and high-profile organizations have been targets of increasing numbers of cyber attacks as perpetrators become more sophisticated in their ability to steal information. As recently as July, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency were targeted. The CIA’s web site was shut down for several days as a result, while the hackers who attacked NATO claimed they had infiltrated the organizations’ computers and obtained classified documents; the United Nations, law firms in Canada and the United States, and Ontario’s courts have been hacked over the last several months.
Monday, 01 August 2011 11:50

To article or not to article?

Written by
Illustration: Alexi Vella
Illustration: Alexi Vella
It’s a capstone to legal training in Canada, a (mandatory) rite of passage that allows law students to prove they not only have the academic chops to become full-fledged lawyers, but also the nimbleness to effectively serve their clients in the real world. Unfortunately, for many budding lawyers in Canada, articling — the “bridge” between law school and full-blown legal practice — has now become a barrier to reaching their professional aspirations.
Monday, 01 August 2011 10:43

The Top 25 Most Influential

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_August_cl_aug_11_-_cover.jpgCanadian Lawyer is back with our second annual list of the Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession in Canada. Our inaugural Top 25 was one of our most-read, and most commented-on, features in 2010. As expected, it was controversial and lawyers across the country had lots to say about it. We took heed of the comments and this year put our list together slightly differently, asking for nominations from: legal groups and associations representing a variety of memberships and locations; some winners from last year’s Top 25; our general readership; and our internal panel of writers and editors. We received more than 100 nominations, which the internal panel then whittled down to about 55 candidates. We then posted the list online and once again asked our readers to participate, with more than 1,300 people voting in the poll. The final list is based on that poll with input and the last word from the internal panel.
Monday, 04 July 2011 15:54

The speaker

Written by
Photo: Colin Rowe
Photo: Colin Rowe
It's hard to imagine a more natural setting for Peter Milliken. Sir Winston Churchill stares over his shoulder from a portrait on the wall. Row upon row of bound copies of Hansard line the wood-panelled walls of his elegant, now former, Centre Block office in Ottawa. Everywhere you look are mementos of his years as Canada's longest-serving Speaker of the House of Commons. Yet, Milliken appears serene as he discusses his decision to trade the pomp, circumstance, and power of his job as speaker for a life of semi-retirement, part-time academe, and occasionally consulting with his former law practice. “I’m not anxious for another full-time job at all,” he says with a grin and a slight twinkle in his eye. “I would rather have a more relaxed afterlife, if I can call it that.”
Monday, 04 July 2011 11:43

The 2011 Canadian Lawyer compensation survey

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_July_compensation_survey.jpgThere should soon be plenty of cheery lawyers across the land, based on the results of Canadian Lawyer’s 2011 compensation survey. If you’re a lawyer looking for work — or a change of scene — you’ll be glad to know that 44 per cent of the 60 law firms that participated in this year’s survey plan to hire more lawyers in 2011. Associates can smile over news that 63 per cent said their lawyers would receive a salary boost in 2012.
Illustration: Kim Rosen
Illustration: Kim Rosen
Across the country, courts have been struggling with the best way to present expert evidence. If you have been listening to the latest debates on the subject, you will probably have heard the term “hot tubbing” as a method for organizing expert evidence in a hearing. It was coined in Australia to describe the procedure of organizing all experts in a case into a panel and hearing their evidence concurrently. The growing bulk of academic and legal papers on the topic seem to agree that both judges and experts like the idea. The question is “Should lawyers like the idea?”
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