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Monday, 26 September 2016 09:00

Bon Camino: finding community far away from mine

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Bon Camino: finding community far away from mineLife in law seems never to stop. Court deadlines, new files, new rules, complex trials, changing legislation, clients needs, family time outs . . . the old adage “the defence never rests” really applies to most of us in this profession. But if not a rest, perhaps a change might work. Enter the Camino.
Identity politics in the SCC (from the Eye of the Newfie Beholder)In June, Donald Trump claimed that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing a lawsuit against the now-defunct Trump University, was biased because of his Mexican heritage. 
Monday, 19 September 2016 09:00

Cameras in court: Be careful what you wish for

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Cameras in court: Be careful what you wish forSome would have you believe that trials in Canada are secret affairs that take place behind locked doors in deserted courtrooms and that the Star Chamber is alive and well in Canada. They would have you think that evidence is concealed from the public, and judges are black boxes — their decisions inaccessible and undecipherable to the larger community, and only the bright light of television cameras and public broadcasts will cure these ills.
Judging the judges – the public’s right to an impartial judiciary is paramountFrom opening submissions at the Camp Inquiry, it was evident that two competing interests were at play. First, the personal interest of Justice Robin Camp to remain a justice of the Federal Court of Canada, and second, the public’s interest in having a judiciary that acts with integrity and without discrimination, in which it can have confidence. 
Celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in a post-TRC worldCentennial fever gripped Canada in 1967. The national celebration of our country’s 100th birthday left Canadians with rich physical legacies, such as concert halls and cultural centres, and, more importantly, a deep sense of civic pride and regional dynamism. But there seems to be little excitement about Canada’s 150th birthday. Few institutions or people are asking, “How can we ensure that 2017 fosters pride and an engaged citizenry?” 
iPads can save time and money in a small law firmSince the introduction of the iPad and tablets, businesses have developed novel ways to incorporate these devices into the delivery of their services. Some restaurants use them to replace paper menus, enabling customers to view photos of every dish and place orders, or as wine lists, allowing searches by geographical area or varietal. Some hotels offer tablets loaded with relevant applications to help travellers make the most of their trip, and airlines offer them for personalized in-flight entertainment.
Client “personas”— Why you want to understand who you’re talking toI don’t know why I woke up in the middle of the night reciting an old English fortune-telling rhyme:
Tinker, Tailor,
Soldier, Sailor,
Rich Man, Poor Man,
Beggar Man, Thief.
Monday, 29 August 2016 09:00

Cooling the housing market

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Cooling the housing marketIt's a strange world when William Shatner, boldly doing a one-man show across North America about his life as James T. Kirk, T.J. Hooker, Denny Crane, Stan Fields and a pitchman for Priceline.com (and if you go back further, Loblaws), mentions one of his biggest regrets is not buying real estate in Vancouver.
How juniors can get more advocacy opportunities“The vanishing trial” is the catchphrase used to describe the reality of civil litigation: Trials and other advocacy opportunities are fewer and farther between. Lawyers, especially junior lawyers, do not get the same advocacy opportunities that once were commonplace. Even worse is that when those opportunities do come along, clients often want the senior, experienced counsel to argue. What is a junior lawyer to do? Refusing to accept the fate of lawyers of my vintage, I have uncovered ways in which the junior lawyer can get on her feet. Here are my top seven tips: 
International trained lawyers: overcoming the stigmaOne of my peers’ main anxieties in law school was the never-ending question: Where will I article after law school? And worse, what if the dreaded rumour mill rang true — that the market was so tough that jobs were one in a million? While such questions are common in the minds of final-year law students, the frets and fears of my peers were coupled with an additional barrier: We were internationally trained lawyers.
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