The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Yves Faguy

Legal information

A new player in Canada's legal information market

By Yves Faguy May 24, 2017 24 May 2017

A new player in Canada's legal information market

 

Distilling large amounts of complex information for others has always been part of what lawyers do.  But even they need help finding it, which is why providing legal information is such a big part of the legal services business.

Over the last decade, the two main players in this space in Canada, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters, have done just that, and more, by betting on technology to support lawyers in firms and law departments in applying their legal knowledge.

Now, a new competitor hopes to shake-up the space. Earlier this month, Compass, the new Canadian legal research platform — and new incarnation — of Maritime Law Book, announced that vLex, a Barcelona and Miami-based legal publisher, and California-based Justia were taking a stake in the company.

Read More
Legal innovation

Connecting hearts and minds in your law firm's data strategy

By Yves Faguy May 23, 2017 23 May 2017

Connecting hearts and minds in your law firm's data strategy

 

Scott Mozarsky of Bloomberg BNA shares his views on big data and analytics disrupting the legal sector in a recent Forbes interview.  Here he discusses how data helps guide GCs in retaining external firms:

Selecting and retaining outside counsel used to be a lot more about art than science. Pre-existing relationships and referrals often drove decisions regarding representation by outside counsel. Data and technology have changed the selection process and made it much more scientific. Analytical tools allow clients to see which firms have represented clients in different jurisdictions and in front of different judges as well as the type of transactions and cases they have worked on.

As a general counsel, when my company was sued in a jurisdiction outside of the norm or if we were working on a deal involving a unique type of target or state or local law issues, I would call my contacts and ask for referrals. Now, in a matter of minutes, I can figure out the two or three most experienced choices to fit my fact pattern. Also, with significant budget pressure on in-house teams, transparency driven by data and technology often enable outside counsel to save fees by identifying experienced and effective outside counsel from mid-sized firms or from firms that are not based in large cities.

Indeed, law is becoming digitized, Mark Cohen writes, though law firms have so far failed in keeping up with the dramatic changes occurring in the marketplace:

Read More
Immigration

Why the Preclearance Act needs to be be significantly changed

By Yves Faguy May 18, 2017 18 May 2017

 

Calgary lawyer Michael Greene from the CBA’s Immigration Law Section appeared this week before the House Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to give recommendations on Bill C-23 on  the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States.  The submission is here, and CBA National reported on it last month. We caught up with Greene and asked him to explain why the CBA Sections do not support Bill C-23 in its current form.  He also shares his views on some of the challenges involved in changing the legislation.

Read More
Human rights

CBA appearance on transgender bill

By Yves Faguy May 15, 2017 15 May 2017

CBA appearance on transgender bill

 

Last week, Marie Laure Leclercq, lawyer with De Grandpré Chait, and Siobhan O’Brien, associate with Hicks Morley, appeared on behalf of the CBA before the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. The CBA believes the bill will advance equality in Canada, and provide tangible protections for transgender people from discrimination and hate crimes. 

It encouraged Senators to pass Bill C-16, An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, without further amendment. CBA National reported in March on how the Senate has been delaying and frustrating passage of the act. The CBA’s submission reads:

Bill C-16 represents a long overdue step to include these protections expressly in areas of federal jurisdiction. This is not a bold move, nor should it be controversial. The Canadian Human Rights Commission takes the position that the Commission, the Tribunal and the courts view gender identity and gender expression as protected by the Canadian Human Rights Act. Statutory protections on one or both of these grounds are already available in all but one territory (Yukon). In all jurisdictions, protections for transgender persons are implicit in the law.

It’s worth noting that the Yukon government introduced a trans rights bill in its legislature last month.  Two bills in New Brunswick aimed at expanding trans rights passed final reading last month.

Read More
Environmental law

Carta de Foresta: A guide for protecting the commons and individual rights

By Yves Faguy May 15, 2017 15 May 2017

Carta de Foresta: A guide for protecting the commons and individual rights

 

As far as medieval English Charters go, Magna Carta, famous for curbing royal authority and arbitrary use of power, is unquestionably the most celebrated. Lesser known today, but no less successful in its own time, is the Great Charter’s younger cousin, Carta de Foresta.

Also known as the Charter of the Forest of 1217, it was radically in its impact, in that it returned to private ownership vast areas of forest that had been expropriated by England’s kings, all the way back to William the Conqueror.  It also gave a right of common access to royal private lands.

It was issued by the nine-year old King Henry III in 1217, and reaffirmed many times thereafter over the next eight centuries, often in tandem with Magna Carta.  Carta de Foresta remained in force as a statute in England until it was replaced by the superbly named Wild Creatures and Forest Laws Act in 1971.

Read More