In “Opinion: A free press must not undermine fair administration of justice“, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia Christopher Hinkson addressed two opinion pieces by reporter Ian Mulgrew (Cotton v. Berry and Cambie Surgeries Corporation v. British Columbia). Justice Hinkson argued that the articles by the reporter undermined democracy by arbitrarily casting the … Continue reading Should Judges be Defending Themselves in the Media?
In Dunford v Birnboim, 2017 MBCA 100, the Manitoba Court of Appeal criticized the family law court system, stating that this case highlighted everything that is wrong with our system: Pits family members against family members, Expensive legal bills, Long lawsuits, and Lawyers focussing on their clients’ needs over what’s best for the family. The Manitoba … Continue reading Finding a Better Way: Automating Divorces
– CBA Young Lawyers Exec #CBAyounglawyers At the end of October, the Canadian Bar Association Young Lawyers held an Executive Meeting in Toronto. Members came from across the country: Newfoundland, B.C., Alberta, P.E.I., Quebec, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and the Territories. There was also a representative from the American Bar Association. At the meeting, … Continue reading Articling Crisis? Views from Across the Country
“To meet the needs of clients we will have dispense with much of our current cottage industry and re-invent the way in which legal services are delivered.” – Richard Susskind Everyday people encounter legal issues. Some issues are small. Others are large. But what if we can address or prevent legal issues quickly online? In … Continue reading Lawyer on Demand
In the documentary “What the Health”, Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn explore the benefits of a vegan diet. They explain that there is a causal link between dairy, eggs, and meat to diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and so on. They argue that these food industries have provided sponsorship to associations for diabetes and … Continue reading What the Health: What Law Schools Can Learn from the Documentary
You name it, there is probably a court form for it. A form for service. A form for requisitioning something. A form for confirming something. A form for costs. A form for a back page. And so on. Navigating these forms requires experience and ideally a law degree. But the increasing numbers of self-represented litigants … Continue reading Court Forms: Confusing by Design
Recently the TV show This Hour has 22 Minutes did a piece on Canadian judges. It’s a riveting piece on the public’s perception of judges. The skit called “Judges: a Danger to Canadian Women” can be viewed here: http://www.cbc.ca/22minutes/videos/clips-season-24/judges-a-danger-to-canadian-women. At first viewers think the show is commenting on xenophobia, then it turns out to be about judges. The judiciary … Continue reading Do Judges have a Public Relations Problem?
In “Unintended Consequences: The Regressive Effects of Increased Access to Courts“, law professors Anthony Niblett and Albert Yoon analyzed users of the small claims court system. In 2010, the small claims court’s jurisdiction increased from $10,000 to $25,000. When Niblett and Yoon examined if that change increased access to the courts, they found a paradoxical … Continue reading Commentary on the “Unintended Consequences: The Regressive Effects of Increased Access to Courts”
Justice is blind or so they say. It is supposed to pay “no heed to the social status or personal characteristics of the litigants”. But this simply is not true. Race, gender, religion, socio-economic background, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, education, family upbringing, all play a role in the way judges assess the cases before them. But … Continue reading Is Justice Blind?
This weekend I attended the Ontario Bar Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) as a Provincial Council Member. The AGM brought together lawyers from across the province, from different practice areas, and from different career stages. This led to invigorating discussions about the future of our profession. A significant topic was the Law Practice Program (an alternative program … Continue reading Moving Forward: From Ink Quills to Electronic Documents