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Monday, 26 November 2012 08:00 Written by Anthony J. Cole & Christine E. Silverberg
There is no shortage of voices telling corporations in Canada that a new dawn of anti-bribery enforcement has arrived. In support of this claim, many cite a fairly recent flurry of activity from the two RCMP international anti-corruption teams set up in 2008 to lead Canada’s international anti- bribery efforts (one in Calgary, the other in Ottawa). But are Canadian businesses really facing a brave new world of anti-bribery enforcement, or is there nothing of substance covering an embarrassing reality for Canada’s law-enforcers?
Sarah Peterson Herr, a research lawyer with the Kansas Court of Appeals, recently learned the hard way that putting your opinions out on Twitter can get a lawyer in trouble. After calling a former state attorney general now facing ethics charges a “douche bag,” Herr found herself out of a job.
A law firm leadership boot camp workshop was held as a precursor to the CBA’s Law Firm Leadership Conference in Calgary last month. I had the good fortune to participate as a co-presenter with Karen MacKay and Lorie Peters and in preparing for it Karen circulated a survey, titled “The Leadership Imperative,” to a cross section of people involved in law firm leadership in Canadian firms.
Monday, 05 November 2012 10:10 Written by Margaret L. Waddell
Class actions serve the important social purposes of deterring the wrongful conduct of big business, and ensuring that when the “little guy” is harmed, the wrongdoer does not profit. In many class proceedings, the focus is on this latter concept — preventing the unjust enrichment of the defendant — and compensating the injured class members is secondary because on an individual basis the claims are not viable.
We baby boomer lawyers hate to admit it but we’re getting set in our ways and it shows. Aquarius’ ability to carry water is diminishing. The more experience we acquire, the more we draw on the bank of subjective judgment. Like used sponges, we absorb new information more reluctantly. In fairness, as I stumble to the gates of the legal quarter-century club, I appreciate more and more the physical energy it takes to keep the old lessons of my early career relevant. Aging and exhaustion are, after all, memetic equivalents. It is often easier to discount the value of the new than to figure out what it means. If we were talking about someone other than ourselves, we would call that being intellectually lazy. If it threatens our view of the world, then we can dismiss it as being invalid. When the analytical mind fails, we grab on to a crutch. We call that crutch common sense.
Monday, 05 November 2012 08:00 Written by Sonya Nigam
The social movements of human rights and environmental rights have traditionally operated in separate spheres. Human rights activists have focused on violations of recognized national or international human rights in areas not related to the environment. For their part, environmental activists traditionally focused their activities on advocating for protection of the environment through consultation mechanisms prior to activity that was viewed as harmful to the environment, as well as accountability for environmental harms. Human rights arguments were not part of the picture. More recently, however, there has been an overlap by both of these communities. They have begun to use the language of human rights — both civil and political rights, and economic, social, and cultural rights — to argue against the impacts of activity that would lead to environmental degradation.
Monday, 29 October 2012 11:25 Written by Debra Forman
Monday, 22 October 2012 09:00 Written by Kirk Baert
Last March, the Ontario Court of Appeal provided guidance on the proper territorial sphere of the Ontario Securities Act, holding that an issuer whose securities are not publicly traded in Canada can be subject to a statutory cause of action by purchasers in the Canadian secondary market. This landmark decision accords the objectives of the Securities Act as well as the reasonable expectations of Ontario residents who purchase securities in Ontario. It also sends a strong message to issuers operating in the province that they cannot avoid liability in this province by listing their securities abroad.