Why Allowing Alternative Business Structures Could Help Articling Students

Recently the Toronto Star published an article on abusive workplaces for articling students. Although the broad range of abuse was not covered, it has been noted before by Dean Adam Dodek that the abuse ranges from unpaid or underpaid work, termination without cause, harassment, and the absence of proper supervision or feedback. In response, Dean Dodek … Continue reading Why Allowing Alternative Business Structures Could Help Articling Students

Why Michael Cohen’s Testimony Shows the Need for Regulating Law Firms

  On Wednesday, lawyer Michael Cohen testified before Congress. He admitted before Congress that “many times I ignored my conscience and acted loyal to a man when I should not have. Sitting here today, it seems unbelievable that I was so mesmerized by Donald Trump that I was willing to do things for him that … Continue reading Why Michael Cohen’s Testimony Shows the Need for Regulating Law Firms

Regulating Law Firms

As we say goodbye to 2016, it’s time to embrace 2017. For 2017, law societies should place an emphasis on regulating law firms. A law firm’s culture seeps into the very make-up of its constituent lawyers. An unethical culture breeds unethical lawyers. An ethical culture breeds ethical lawyers. In “Regulating Law Firms in Canada“, Professor Adam Dodek … Continue reading Regulating Law Firms

Moving Forward: From Ink Quills to Electronic Documents

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

The Implicit Premise Beneath the Surface

The study of law can be disappointing at times, a matter of applying narrow rules and arcane procedure to an uncooperative reality; a sort of glorified accounting that serves to regulate the affairs of those who have power–and that all too often seeks to explain, to those who do not, the ultimate wisdom and justness … Continue reading The Implicit Premise Beneath the Surface

Fighting Fair: From Just Wars to Just Lawsuits

Litigation is like war. Easy to start. Hard to end. Difficult to know how it will turn out. In Fighting Fair: Legal Ethics for an Adversarial Age, legal scholar Allan Hutchinson argues that military ethics should be applied to legal ethics. He points out that merely looking to the laws themselves is not enough for evaluating … Continue reading Fighting Fair: From Just Wars to Just Lawsuits

Can Judges Blog Post-Appointment?

Controversy swirled around recent Supreme Court of Canada appointee Justice Brown. Prior to being appointed to the Supreme Court bench, Justice Brown contributed to the University of Alberta Faculty of Law’s Blog. As the first blogger appointed to the highest court in the land, questions abounded. People asked “Should blogging automatically disqualify someone from sitting … Continue reading Can Judges Blog Post-Appointment?

Advice to New Law Students

(1) Think long-term: (i) Be kind to your classmates. Building your professional reputation begins on the first day of orientation. (ii) Compete with yourself, not others. The old adage of “look to your left, look to your right, because one of you won’t be here by the end of the year” is false. Remember, “true … Continue reading Advice to New Law Students

Judges Googling Facts

Despite what we may see on TV shows like Damages and Suits, judges must decide cases based on the evidence presented in the courtroom by counsel. Judges cannot go around and talk to whomever, whenever they want about whatever they want. For example, contacting victims of a crime; talking to doctors at cocktail parties about … Continue reading Judges Googling Facts

The Canary in the Coal Mine

In many ways the taxicab industry is the canary in the coal mine. Silently ringing the alarm to tell us that technology companies are circling in on highly regulated industries, ready to disrupt them, ready to leave a wreckage at whatever the cost. The scariest part of it all? These new technology companies operate outside … Continue reading The Canary in the Coal Mine