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The Friday Brief

The Friday Brief: Managing Editor’s must-read items from this week

Friday, April 26, 2019 @ 2:25 PM | By Matthew Grace

Matthew Grace %>
Matthew Grace
Here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

SCC was more divided than united on cases in 2018; dissents rose, but case intake and output fell
For the first time in decades, in 2018 the Supreme Court of Canada was more divided than united on the outcome of appeals — setting a record low 48 per cent unanimity rate — after two years of growing division among the judges, new court statistics disclose.

Law Society of Ontario approves integrated practice curriculum for Ryerson University
The Law Society of Ontario’s (LSO) Convocation erupted with applause after benchers unanimously voted to approve Ryerson University’s application to have its juris doctor (JD) program designated as an integrated practice curriculum (IPC).

Appeal decision ‘memorandum to the profession’ on will interpretation in Alberta: law prof
The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled a man’s use of the term “home” in his will went beyond just the strict meaning of real property and the land it sits on, and a lawyer involved in the case is calling it a cautionary tale to be quite specific with words when drafting a will.

Settlement of legal dispute using B.C.-produced robot mediator called first ever
Although the use of technology and artificial intelligence in the judicial system may conjure up images of Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone, a dispute in the U.K. was recently solved through the use of a system designed by a B.C.-based company in a situation a lawyer involved in the case is calling the first of its kind.

Law Society of Ontario should step up for pro bono
In his column, Guy Pratte writes: “The recent provincial budget proposal of a 30 per cent funding cut to Legal Aid Ontario with no funding for Pro Bono Ontario (PBO), highlights the challenges the legal profession needs to grapple with: the access to justice crisis, the obligations of government, a healthy legal aid and the need to innovate.”

Matthew Grace is the Managing Editor of The Lawyer’s Daily.