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Changing the rules of the game, but pretending otherwise

  • The government moves to ‘clarify’ the composition of the Supreme Court of Canada
Written by Posted Date: October 28th, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Standard_photos_ryan-teschner.jpgSometimes after dinner, my two-year old daughter asks for a snack. We will offer her a choice: a cookie or applesauce. One night she may choose the cookie, and the next night she may choose the applesauce. But, you can bet that no matter which one she chooses, once she is done, she asks for the other snack too. I try to tell her that this is asking for too much, but, more often than not, she wins.

Smartphone comparison for lawyers

  • David Paul’s Field Notes
Written by Posted Date: October 21st, 2013
I recently presented a CLE course that examined the different apps, benefits, and features of the leading smartphones for lawyers. There are three leading choices for lawyers: the BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android phones.

A sea of change

  • Financial Adviser
Written by Posted Date: October 21st, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_alan_acton_2011.jpgFor more than two decades, I have worked with a select group of clients to help them achieve their financial goals in the most efficient manner possible. I have built my business based on a solid value proposition and service offering. I have applied a transparent compensation structure so clients can understand that I have worked to remove any conflicts of interest — real or perceived — to ensure there is no incentive to do anything but offer the best advice possible.

Welcome those moments of insanity

  • Trial by Fire
Written by Posted Date: October 21st, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_lindsay_scott.jpgI had planned a column for this month on waiver of privilege — lawyers who, to their horror, spectacularly screw up via tech blunder and disclose confidential information. Then I had coffee with Jane Southren.

Economic sustainability through break-even analysis

  • Definitely Mabey
Written by Posted Date: October 21st, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_stephen-mabey.jpgThe 2013 CBA Law Firm Leadership Conference is being held Nov. 4 and 5 in Halifax and is focused on the new economics facing law firms, with particular attention to mid-size Canadian firms. In addition to wanting a large turn out because I am on a panel on the last day of the conference, I think pricing decisions and the resulting economics will play a critical role in 2014 and beyond in law firm management.

Denial of costs for ‘shabby and high-handed’ behaviour

  • Trials & Tribulations
Written by Posted Date: October 14th, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_margaret-waddell.jpgWhen it comes to high-stakes litigation, it is not uncommon for the defence to take aggressive, calculatedly tactical, and highly adversarial positions in an effort to stave off the plaintiff’s attack. And there is rarely an area in which the stakes are higher than in class proceedings. The outcome of the action can have massive consequences for the defendant, either financially or in the manner in which it will be compelled to carry on business in the future. So it is not surprising that many defendants take a no-holds-barred approach to their defence of class proceedings.

Mentorship 2.0: History and your rightful place

  • The Accidental Mentor
Written by Posted Date: October 14th, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_lee-akazaki-revised.jpgLast month, Law Times reported an Ontario Court of Appeal decision upholding a finding of racial discrimination against the Peel Law Association. The story reminded us how the profession can still go out of its way to make some members feel unwanted. Like the case of Rosa Parks, the famous Alabama civil rights defender who refused to sit at the back of the bus, this proceeding involved seating.

The first step towards corporate accountability for actions abroad?

  • Human Rights . . . Here & There
Written by Posted Date: October 14th, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_sonyanigam.jpgThere is no doubt as a resource-based economy, Canada has developed an impressive and robust extractive industry sector some would argue is part of our “national security interests.” While this sector brings important gains to the Canadian economy, oil, gas, and mining activities are increasingly taking place in remote areas that have a detrimental effect on local, often indigenous, populations.

Flexibility needed in foreign worker rules

  • The Immigration Line
Written by Posted Date: September 30th, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_jennifer_r_nees_2012.jpgI know I keep saying it, but change has officially become the only constant in the immigration universe.

When lawyers trust their intuitions

Written by Posted Date: September 30th, 2013
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Standard_photos_jeanette-bicknell.jpgMost civil lawsuits settle out of court. If this were not so the legal system would be quickly overwhelmed. When a case settles later than it could have, or a case that should have settled goes to trial, there are costs and consequences for both litigants and society as a whole, and the reputation of counsel may suffer.
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