Law Times

March 17, 2014

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Page 16 March 17, 2014 • Law TiMes LEGAL TECH COURSE LAUNCHED Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Victoria will of- fer a new course on legal informa- tion technology next year. e course is the first of its kind, according to James Williams, a Google Inc. soware engineer who's part of the faculty that will teach it. e course, which centres on technology, legal services, and justice, is timely, said Williams. "We think it is important for a number of reasons, the most press- ing of which is that we believe the legal marketplace is about to undergo a number of major changes. I work in the U.S., where there are already significant disruptions to the market, including reduced opportunities for junior lawyers and the elimination of many lower level positions," he said. Williams added: "ere are a few drivers, of which technology is an increasingly important one. I believe we are about to see a wave of new business models and soware tools that are going to have a last- ing impact on legal service delivery. Here at Google, we are working on a project or two, and there are many startups in the valley with new products." Monica Goyal, a Toronto lawyer and digital entrepreneur, and online dispute resolution expert Darin ompson are also faculty members. e course will likely begin in January of next year. LAWYER'S AD SHOWING GRATEFUL CRIMINALS CHIDED PITTSBURGH — While the legal profession has long gotten past its distaste for advertising, it's clear some lawyers still want limits on how far people can go. According to Reuters, a Pittsburgh lawyer's online ad showing smiling robbers, drug deal- ers, and prostitutes flashing thumbs up and thanking him for getting them off the hook has garnered tens of thousands of views and drawn fire from a local bar association. One fictional criminal pauses while climb- ing out a window, carrying a laptop to say "anks Dan" to the camera while a pair of men carrying handguns offer a similar mes- sage before pulling ski masks over their faces in the three-minute, 27-second ad posted on YouTube by criminal defence attorney Daniel Muessig. Muessig, a 2012 University of Pittsburgh Law School graduate, then makes his own pitch: "Trust me, I may have a law degree, but I think like a criminal." According to Reuters, the 32-year-old law- yer said he believed the tongue-in-cheek ap- proach would appeal to possible clients. "I wanted to connect with my potential cli- ents in a way that people from my generation could understand," Muessig said in an inter- view. "I wanted to give people something that would be memorable and entertaining." Tom Lous, spokesman for the Allegheny County Bar Association, said he found the ad "insulting to Pittsburgh lawyers and lawyers across the country who take great pride in their profession." He said he worried people could misinterpret the video, Reuters reported. "ere could be kids watching it or people who don't even understand what tongue-in-cheek means, and what they'll see is: If you commit a crime this attorney will get you off without any explanation." LAWSUIT SEEKS MONEY LOST IN DRUNKEN STUPOR LAS VEGAS — A California man who lost $500,000 in a drunken stupor is going to court to try to get his money back. e man, who says he lost the money during 17 hours of gambling at a Las Vegas casino, was so drunk he couldn't remember the episode af- ter waking up in his hotel room, according to a lawsuit filed on his behalf that seeks to erase the debt. Mark Johnston, 52, arrived drunk at the Downtown Grand casino and received free alcoholic drinks while he gambled, according to the suit filed in Nevada state court for Clark County. Aer leaving the gaming tables, Johnston went to his hotel room and woke up the next day with no memory of his time at the tables, stated the lawsuit, depicting his mental state while gambling as a "blackout period." Johnston's attorney, Sean Lyttle, described his client as a self-made millionaire. Starting on the night of Jan. 30 and running into the next aer- noon at the casino in downtown Las Vegas, John- ston played pai gow and blackjack for 17 hours and was served about 20 drinks, according to the lawsuit. According to Reuters, Lyttle said he has never heard of a casino allowing a gambler in Las Vegas to lose such a large amount while intoxicated. "Mr. Johnston, an experienced gambler, was dropping chips on the floor, confusing chip co- lours, and slurring his speech badly, and he was unable to read his cards or set his hands properly," the lawsuit stated. According to Reuters, Nevada gaming regula- tions prohibit casinos from allowing visibly drunk guests to continue to gamble. e lawsuit seeks to have a court declare John- ston's $500,000 gambling debt null and void as well as unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. None of the allegations have been prov- en in court. LT THE MOST COMPLETE DIRECTORY OF ONTARIO LAWYERS, LAW FIRMS, JUDGES AND COURTS More detail and a wider scope of legal contact information for Ontario than any other source: ȕ0WFS27,000 lawyers listed ȕ0WFS9,000 law firms and corporate offices listed ȕ'BYBOEUFMFQIPOFOVNCFSTFNBJMBEESFTTFTPGȮDFMPDBUJPOTBOEQPTUBMDPEFT Visit or call 1.800.387.5164 for a 30-day no-risk evaluation 1FSGFDUCPVOEȕ1VCMJTIFE%FDFNCFSFBDIZFBSPOTVCTDSJQUJPOȕ0OFUJNFQVSDIBTF- .VMUJQMFDPQZEJTDPVOUTBWBJMBCMF1SJDFTTVCKFDUUPDIBOHFXJUIPVUOPUJDFUPBQQMJDBCMFUBYFTBOETIJQQJOHIBOEMJOH O N TA R I O L AW Y E R' S P H O N E B O O K Untitled-5 1 14-01-31 12:31 PM u Bizarre Briefs By Viola James u The InsIde story TWO LAWYERS NAMED TO SUPERIOR COURT The federal government has appointed two lawyers to the Ontario Superior Court bench. Paul Nicholson will sit in Newmarket, Ont., while Grego- ry Verbeem will join the bench in Windsor, Ont. Nicholson re- places Justice Clifford Nelson, who elected to become a super- numerary judge as of Feb. 25. Nicholson, who most recently was a sole practitioner, largely practised family law. Verbeem replaces Justice Richard Gates, who became a supernumerary judge last year. Verbeem served as a judicial law clerk for the regional senior jus- tice in the southwest region and has been an associate and part- ner with Bartlet & Richardes LLP since 1996. His main prac- tice areas were personal injury and commercial litigation. NEW LEGAL AID STATS Ontario and Prince Edward Is- land's legal aid systems spent less money on criminal matters as a percentage of total resources than other jurisdictions last year, according to a newly published 2012-13 Statistics Canada re- port on legal aid. Ontario and Prince Edward Island allocated 47 per cent of their resources for criminal matters, whereas the 10 other jurisdictions that provided data reported spending between 55 and 75 per cent of their funds on criminal matters. e report notes provincial and territorial governments across Canada reported contrib- uting $658 million to legal aid plans while the federal govern- ment provided $112 million. POLL RESULTS e results of the latest Law Times online poll are in. According to the poll, there's significant division on alterna- tive business structures with about 52 per cent of respon- dents suggesting the liberaliza- tion of law firm ownership is a risky idea. On the other side, about 48 per cent of respon- dents agreed with a Law Soci- ety of Upper Canada report that raised the prospect of sig- nificant liberalization. LSUC benchers voted on Feb. 27 to launch a consultation on four options for non-lawyer ownership of law firms following a report from a working group looking at the issue. e options followed an analysis of what working group chairman Mal- colm Mercer said had worked for Britain and Australia. LT "Five, thank you." Monica Goyal

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