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News

Lawyers divided on WSIB stress-claim ruling
Law Times
In a decision that has divided employment lawyers, a Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal panel has found chronic workplace-related stress could be a valid claim under the province's workplace insurance system.

Video: InHouse roundtable: Alternative service providers and fee arrangements
Canadian Lawyer InHouse, online
In the third of four videos from the InHouse general counsel roundtable, moderated by Jennifer Brown and sponsored by Field Law, the participants discuss how they are using alternative service providers and fee arrangements and to what degree they are having success. They also talk about the conversations they are having with traditional firms about alternatives to the billable hour.

Federal outside legal spending trending downwards
Law Times
Federal government spending on outside legal help dropped last year, but while some departments like fisheries and labour slashed their expenses, others like the powerful Privy Council and the secretive Communications Security Establishment Canada had sharp increases.

From project management comes predictability
Canadian Lawyer InHouse, online
It's rare these days for an in-house lawyer to hand over a litigation file to their external firm and simply wait for a result. Demands for cost control and efficient resolution mean the complete hands-off approach is no longer realistic. Enter the era of project management on litigation files.



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News

Angelina Codina facing legal troubles again
Law Times
Goli Amirpour says she paid former lawyer Angelina Codina $24,000 to bring her brother and his friend to Canada from Iran. But a year later, Codina, who was disbarred for bilking Legal Aid Ontario out of thousands of dollars, "did nothing," says Amirpour, who was one of many people who contacted police regarding the former lawyer.

Adapting to the commodities slump
Lexpert
While global economies have improved, commodities have slipped. Where does that leave Canadian resource companies and their law firms?

Case a reminder about perils of dual agency
Law Times
Real estate agents may at times act for both the buyer and the seller in a transaction, but if they're not careful, their entire commission from the deal could be in jeopardy.

Steven Rastin becomes OTLA president
Law Times
The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association has chosen Steven Rastin as its new president for the 2014-15 year. Click
here to read more of this story and other news tidbits in this week's Inside Story.



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Commentary

Judicial appointment process a mess
Law Times, editorial
With the federal government repeatedly decrying the number of unfilled jobs in this country due to skill shortages, it's ironic that it seems to be taking its time filling some of the country's top judicial vacancies, especially since there's no shortage of qualified candidates.

Harper ignores Supreme Court in new prostitution law
Law Times
The Conservative government brought down anti-prostitution legislation last Wednesday that makes things almost impossible for sex workers, police, and judges, writes Richard Cleroux in his column, The Hill.


Ignoring employer obligations on workplace violence, harassment perilous
Canadian Lawyer InHouse, online
In-house counsel are often informed by their human resources department after a formal complaint has been lodged, placing clients in a reactionary mode, writes Renato Pontello in his Practising In-house column. This, he says, frequently results in legal exposures for the company as by then, several employer's obligations may already have been breached.

RFP pitching tips — times have changed
Canadian Lawyer, online
Simone Hughes, in her Make it Count column, says she was struck the other day by the increased volume of requests for proposals her firm has been participating in. What was even more surprising was the big shift in how RFPs were written, assessed, and awarded — and how this has led to a seismic shift in not only delivering legal services to clients but value as well.

Employment lawyers should prepare for new world following mental-distress ruling
Law Times
The recent decision of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal on claims for mental distress is significant for employment lawyers, writes David Harris in this week's Speaker's Corner. In decision No. 2157/09, the tribunal has declared the statute's provision limiting entitlement to benefits due to mental distress to be contrary to the equality section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and hence unconstitutional.



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Commentary

Cost proportionality not always kind to injured plaintiffs
Law Times
In his Personal Injury Law column, Darcy Merkur says that, when it comes to legal costs, the proportionality concept is a welcome feature in civil litigation but it can serve to penalize personal injury plaintiffs with modest claims.

Alberta Court of Appeal digs too deep in certification decision
Canadian Lawyer, online
The Alberta Court of Appeal released a surprising decision in Andriuk v. Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., in which it has imported the obligation of establishing evidence of class-wide loss from the specialized field of price-fixing actions to a claim grounded in breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty causing a depreciation in share price, writes Margaret Waddell in her Trials & Tribulations column.

Cloud storage and the alternative reality
Canadian Lawyer, online
In this month's The Future Files column, Ben Hanuka argues that, as legal professionals, we must keep our clients' information confidential, At the same time, cloud storage of client files is starting to become popular. The benefits of cloud services are significant; not only for the end user, but also from a security perspective.

CASL sets tripwires everywhere
Lexpert
In this month's Accounting column, Dominic Jaar says that, while you've probably already received the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) scare tactic pitch, there's a need to discuss CASL from a business standpoint as organizations prepare for it to take effect on July 1.

Link in to law through social media
Canadian Lawyer 4Students, online
It is hard to believe 10 months of articling have come and gone. With that comes the end of this series of articles about articling.



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Surveys

This week's Law Times poll
Who will you be voting for in this week's Ontario election? Have your say in the weekly Law Times poll.

TOP 25 MOST INFLUENTIAL - CLOSES TODAY
Voting closes today for the fifth annual Top 25 Most Influential. Readers are asked to cast their vote for up to five nominees in each of this year's five categories: corporate-commercial; criminal/human rights; changemakers; government/non-profits/associations; and (new) the world stage. Look for the results in the August 2014 issue of Canadian Lawyer. Vote now: Poll is open through June 9.

REGIONAL FIRM RANKING
Canadian Lawyer is once again taking votes for our latest regional firm ranking. This time firms from Alberta, British Columbia and the territories are in the spotlight, so please take a minute to participate in our survey and rank the top Western and Northern full-service firms you feel are deserving of recognition.

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Case law

Case Law is a sample selection from the weekly summaries of notable unreported civil and criminal court decisions published in Law Times newspaper.

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