Blog Archive: 2019 |

Blog Archive: 2019

Life After Law: Succession and Retirement Planning

"Just remember, when you are over the hill, you begin to pick up speed!" - Charles Schultz. Catherine Phillips of the Law Society of Ontario shared the quote above, and 5 practical tips to create a roadmap for the future should you be unable to practice and need someone to take over.

A Practical Guide to Correctional Law Issues

Your client has been convicted and sentenced to a federal penitentiary. What is the process? How long will it take? What factors are considered by the parole officer when determining where your client will serve his or her sentence? Can your client object? Is habeas corpus available? When is your client eligible for parole?

Changes to the Divorce Act

Family law in Ontario faced some big changes in 2019 particularly with respect to Bill C-78, proposed changes to the Divorce Act. This Bill received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.

Blockchain Explained: The Critical Concepts You Need to Understand

Most of us have heard the terms Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology, Cryptocurrency, or Bitcoin. But how does this technology work, how will it change the world, and how will it disrupt industries?

Strategies for Managing Client Expectations

Obviously, managing client expectations is absolutely essential to be an effective advocate or advisor. Managing expectations is also important as it remains the #1 reason clients sue lawyers – inadequate communication. In fact, a 2019 article from LawPRO states that 4 of every 5 lawyers can expect to be the subject of a claim during their career.

Perspectives on Advocacy - Frank, Straightforward and Relevant Tips

Dermot Nolan, a 40+ year litigator (and former actor with the Stratford Shakespearean Festival), shares important and straightforward reminders about succeeding in court.

What a criminal defence lawyer needs to know about advising or representing victims of a crime

Complainants in sexual assault cases have a statutory right to independent legal counsel. This right stemmed from proposals under Bill C-51 to the Criminal Code. In Ontario, there has been a policy decision to fund these cases and an agreement between the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Aid Ontario.

Defamation in the Internet Age

Over 25 million Canadians access social media every day, with Facebook having the majority of visits, according to Statista’s dossier on Social Networking in Canada. Given these statistics, has there been an upswing in defamation claims in Canada? My best guess is "yes".

Avoid Being Vexed by the Vexatious!

A statement of claim lands on your desk. You begin reading. You cringe, shudder, and maybe suppress a laugh. You think: this claim needs to be dismissed – but how?"

When is a Court Order Required to Rectify Title?

Solicitors tell me that it is relatively uncommon to draft motion materials to obtain a court order to rectify title. Here are some examples of when a court order may be required: the parties on title are long deceased, a historic/undischarged mortgage is present, or a vesting order is required.

Remotely Witnessing Documents - can you do this?

As you know, one of the main benefits of our service is the convenience. You don’t have to travel to learn and earn CPD credits. Have you implemented a video conferencing application such as Facetime, Skype or Zoom for your client meetings? What happens if you need documents witnessed or affidavits sworn? Can you witness these documents where your client is physically in one location and you are in another?

Increasing Equality and Inclusion for Indigenous Peoples

If you are an Amazing Race Canada fan like me, you know that Anthony and James won this year’s race! (Definitely a fan favourite!) For those of you who don’t know, Anthony and James are a married, indigenous couple self-described as "committed to showing indigenous youth that they can be successful, while also staying committed to their cultural and spiritual ways".

Who’s Driving This Thing?! Autonomous Vehicles and the Legal/Insurance Industry

Autonomous vehicles (AV’s) aka driverless cars are a game-changer for both the automotive and insurance industry and, arguably, society. Despite several high profile deaths involving an AV Uber and Tesla in 2018, driverless buses and cars are being tested on the roads in Canada and elsewhere. What will the future hold?

Heterosexism, Homophobia, Cissexism and Transphobia

As you know, you are required to complete 3 hours of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) accredited continuing professional development by the end of 2020.

CPD on Cannabis Part 2: Corporate and Real Estate Perspectives

In my first post about Cannabis CPD I looked at Personal Rights/Responsibilities and Employment Law. Today we’re focusing on the Corporate & IP perspective, along with Real Estate Tenancies & Solicitors. I hope you find it useful!

CPD on Cannabis Part 1: What you need to know

The legalization of Marijuana on October 17, 2018, made Canada the second country in the world to formally legalize the cultivation, possession, acquisition, and consumption of cannabis and its by-products. Canada is the first G7 and G20 nation to do so.

Malcolm Mercer on Ethics and Conduct of Counsel

Since 2011 when mandatory professionalism hours were introduced, there have been many presentations on civility, ethics and professional conduct and references to the rules as "tools to be used by combatants", or "constraints on lawyers".

What Do Juries Really Think of Lawyers?

Not surprisingly, both plaintiff and defence counsel agree that the opening statement in civil jury trials is the most important part of the trial or case.

Revenge Porn and Avenging Your Clients

Don’t worry! I wasn’t thinking of you when I reviewed this popular 2018 video! However, with the popularity of snap chat, Instagram, Reddit, to name a few, I thought it would be helpful to share various civil remedies available to innocent plaintiffs in revenge porn cases.

Implications of Sexual Relations in the Lawyer’s Workplace

Not surprisingly, our video entitled, "sexual implications in the lawyer’s workplace", was one of our most popular 2018 videos! Not only is it a "hot" topic, it also qualifies for EDI hours!

Why did the Supreme Court of Canada get it wrong?

If you practice plaintiff personal injury or insurance defence, the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Rankin (Rankin’s garage) v. J.J. will be of interest. In particular, you may want to hear why Professor Allan Hutchinson believes the SCC got it wrong.

Trinity Western - What was this case really about?

I was recently reviewing our most popular 2018 videos, and came across the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the Trinity Western case. As you may know, the BC law society refused to accredit Trinity Western’s proposed law school based on its discriminatory practises against the LGBTQ community. On the surface, it appears to be a case about balancing the freedom of religion versus the freedom of equality.

How to Build a Book of Business

How do you market yourself and your practice as a new lawyer? How do you get your name out there to start building a brand?

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