Focus On

Legal Innovation


Monday, January 18, 2021 @ 8:25 AM

Access to Justice: Fragility and resilience: Lessons of 2020 and 2021 potential | Beverley McLachlin

One could be forgiven for some hyperbole when writing a column about the past year. The year 2020 and the beginning of 2021 has been a time of historic, and largely negative, extremes across the health, environment and social landscape. We have been personally and institutionally tested in ways that most of us could not previously have imagined. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 14, 2021 @ 1:34 PM

Digitization of estate industry: Table stakes lightbulb_digital_sm

Part one in this series discussed the pandemic paradigm as the impetus for digital transformation in the industry. The point being, estate lawyers shouldn’t underestimate the speed of what once was a competitive advantage turning into a competitive necessity. In the financial sector, nobody today would dream of starting a financial institution or bank without a mobile client app. If we parallel the estate industry’s digitization along the continuum of the financial sector’s transformation, consider the shifts in focus from retail banking, to mobile banking, to investment banking, to retirement banking, and now what I coin as integrated estate banking. ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 @ 1:08 PM

The year that flew by in slow motion | William Woodward

What a year 2020 was. As I entered into my role as chair of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations (FOLA) in November of 2020, I contemplated the year ahead and the goals FOLA hoped to achieve. ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 @ 8:41 AM

How one lawyer helps young litigators through modern training | Aaron Baer

“There are known knowns … there are known unknowns … but there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know … it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.” — Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. secretary of defence. Law students and young lawyers often find themselves in the world of unknown unknowns. And that is a dangerous and very stressful place to reside. ... [read more]

Monday, January 11, 2021 @ 8:24 AM

Cross-firm collaboration one result of innovative legal tech: part two legal_it_sm

Law firms and in-house legal departments are training their lawyers on or have divisions specialized in legal project management, reporting, knowledge management, pricing proposals and use of digital platforms. Moreover, some of these legal teams promote the use of smart contracts and blockchain technology, which aim to provide two important goals in the legal business: certainty and security in the transactions. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 07, 2021 @ 2:14 PM

Digitization of estate industry: The electronic will changes everything lightbulb_digital_sm

How do we know that the advance care planning, end of life planning, death care, funeral and estate industries are well on their way to being digitized, “uberized,” transformed and innovated in ways we never expected? Because the digital headline hijacking has begun. The dotcom of the estate industry is here because the pandemic has not only jump-started but accelerated the digitization of the industry. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 07, 2021 @ 8:32 AM

Cross-firm collaboration one result of innovative legal tech: part one legal_IT_sm

At 5 p.m. on a Wednesday, a senior partner of a law firm in Toronto received a call from the general counsel (GC) of one of her clients based in Australia. During the call, the GC explained in detail a strategic M&A opportunity that had just emerged. It involved the acquisition of a corporation with significant assets in Canada, France, Italy, Germany, South Africa, Russia, India and eight countries in Latin America. As the chief legal officer of the corporation, she would manage the efforts of her team internally but needed the assistance from her external counsel with the proposed transaction. Legalese was not only absent in the call, but also disdained. Modern international legal counsel speak business in plain English and assume the use of technology in legal matters. ... [read more]

Monday, December 21, 2020 @ 8:34 AM

Why your organization needs a privacy leader WomanWithFingerPrint

Organizations have increasingly been harnessing personal information (PI) to gain insight to drive decisions, improve efficiency and user experience. This not only brings greater opportunities but bigger risks as well. The need to protect PI has amplified with the steady increase of data breaches. This has led to enhanced data protection and privacy regulations globally and an increasing need for privacy specialists. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 17, 2020 @ 9:36 AM

Expeditious decision on contract breach vivid reflection of pandemic times, lawyers say Paul Fruitman sm

A legal dispute over a pandemic-pressured, multimillion-dollar negotiation — conducted in part through text messages — and the expeditious virtual trial that resulted offer textbook lessons on contracts and court cases in the time of COVID-19, say lawyers. In a Dec. 7 decision in Ruparell v. J.H. Cochrane Investments Inc. et al. 2020 ONSC 7466, Ontario Superior Court Justice Janet Leiper found that the owners of J.H. Cochrane Investments breached what was effectively a $19-million contract negotiated last April with the plaintiff, hotel and auto dealership owner Deepak Ruparell, to buy its Town and Country Volkswagen dealership and the adjoining land in Markham, Ont. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 @ 8:46 AM

COVID-19 put courts, integrity of Ontario’s civil jury system on trial | Julius Melnitzer

Citing the uncertainty as to when civil jury trials might resume during the pandemic, motions to strike juries have proliferated. Critics pointed to the extra effort, co-ordination, length and expense jury trials required, as well as the strain on jurors and demanded their elimination. ... [read more]