Focus On

Legal Innovation


Tuesday, January 11, 2022 @ 2:19 PM

Is online voting reliable? | Agnès Whitfield

Many organizations including municipal governments, educational institutions, condo associations, unions, and corporations now rely on online platforms to conduct their votes and surveys, a trend reinforced by the pandemic need for remote consultation. Online voting provides a quick, paperless, relatively inexpensive, and seemingly reliable way to canvas shareholders or electors. But how trustworthy are online voting services and what should counsel know about them to properly advise their clients and avoid litigation?  ... [read more]

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 @ 9:46 AM

Family violence HELP for legal advisers Frightened  Mother and daughter in shadow

Identifying the presence of intimate partner violence (IPV) in a new family law file has never been easy for lawyers, but help has arrived in an important new tool recently released by Justice Canada. ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 05, 2022 @ 8:33 AM

Virtual mediation: What’s past is present Circle of past, present, future

In March 2020, I wrote Mediation by Zoom addresses social distancing, shuttered courtrooms in The Lawyer’s Daily, where I addressed the sudden popularity of online dispute resolution (ODR) due to COVID-19. More specifically, I discussed virtual (or remote) mediation, and offered practical tips to lawyers desperately getting up to speed on a not-so-new technology — while still adjusting to the decline of the fax machine.  ... [read more]

Friday, December 17, 2021 @ 12:30 PM

Prime minister hands out mandate letters to federal cabinet ministers detailing specific objectives Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has publicly issued his marching orders to the 38 cabinet ministers of the minority Liberal government elected in the fall. In a practice designed to enhance public transparency and accountability, that was pioneered by the Trudeau Liberals when they first formed government in 2015, the prime minister unveiled on Dec. 16 the individual mandate letters which specify, in some detail, what he expects each cabinet member to get done in carrying out the government’s agenda during the 44th Parliament.  ... [read more]

Thursday, December 16, 2021 @ 12:28 PM

LCO report comparing European Union, Canadian AI regulation stresses development of ‘trustworthy AI’ Nye Thomas, Law Commission of Ontario executive director

A Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) report comparing Canadian and European AI regulation notes there are “major gaps” in this area in Canada that “must be addressed urgently.” “It’s an area of growing concern,” said Nye Thomas, the LCO’s executive director. Thomas stressed that Canadian laws are “going to have to adapt to meet these new technologies; whether it be administrative law, or criminal law, or the law of civil procedure.” ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 @ 1:10 PM

In-house counsel: Do not underestimate open source software risks Unlocked padlock

From IT startups to publicly traded software companies, open-source software (OSS) has become the basic building block for modern-day software engineering. At virtually no cost of acquisition, software developers can leverage existing OSS codes (e.g., OSS libraries and algorithms) and apply them to accelerate product development cycle, significantly reducing engineering timeline and cost. Especially in artificial intelligence (AI) neural network-driven software applications, companies no longer need to solve complex R&D tasks like natural language processing, as sophisticated AI language models like Google BERT are readily available for commercial use under Apache License 2.0. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 @ 10:04 AM

Wellness: Work/life integration | Darryl Singer

Much talk in recent years in our profession has been about the seemingly unattainable work/life balance. The concept sounds great in theory. But the reality is that for most lawyers who aspire to achieve or maintain success, it is almost impossible. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 09, 2021 @ 9:57 AM

Legal marketing: Geofencing used by lawyers, but regulatory, privacy picture fuzzy Legal Marketing image

A woman surfs the Internet in a hospital emergency department after hurting her ankle in a slip and fall on public property. On the websites she visits, she notices an advertisement for a local personal injury law firm keeps showing up — an ad which follows her around for days afterward. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 07, 2021 @ 2:33 PM

Lawyers in a digital age: Emergent duty of technological competence High tech lawyer

August 1981 marked the 40th anniversary of the IBM PC. Not long after, lawyers began to adopt the invention for their practices. Yet, despite the decades of law office technologization and — especially since COVID-19 — the centrality of tech to the practice of law today (does anyone send paper letters still, and aren’t Zoom meetings convenient?), a lawyer’s duty of technological competence has yet to become universal. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 07, 2021 @ 11:13 AM

Legal marketing: Law societies stress honesty, accuracy Legal Marketiing graphic

While there are many uniformities and common themes between Canada’s law societies and their rules for marketing and advertising, some differ in what they stress to members.   ... [read more]