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This Week's Issue

Legal Tech Now Part 4: Giving structure to legal data

Alex Robinson - Monday, August 29, 2016

Legal analytics systems are tackling a vast and largely untapped ocean of data in Canadian legal decisions.
A number of Canadian startups are mining this data and giving it structure, converting what have otherwise been arcane systems into accessible statistics.

Toronto-based Loom Analytics is one such company, and it is using a combination of legal analysis and a type of artificial intelligence called machine learning to provide statistical analysis of Canadian case law.

The company has set about combing through every decision dating back to 2010 and plans to analyze cases before that once it has completed its work on court decisions in every Canadian jurisdiction.

Its reports include statistics on how specific judges have ruled on particular types of cases, the average...


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Toronto lawyer to help launch ‘Neutral Zone’ for separating spouses

A new initiative is set to offer divorcing couples interdisciplinary information to help them navigate the separation process.

The Hill: The wrangle over bilingualism

Justice Thomas Cromwell of Atlantic Canada is retiring Sept 1. Another justice is urgently needed for the fall session.

Focus: Pension plans focus on de-risking

Ask Hugh O’Reilly, CEO of the $18.4-billion OPTrust pension plan, what keeps him awake at night and the former Cavalluzzo Shilton McIntyre Cornish LLP lawyer doesn’t hesitate. “I worry about the retirement income security of 87,000 people and their families.

Inside Story

Monday, August 29, 2016

FRANK ADDARIO WINS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
For Frank Addario, some of his most memorable cases were the ones in which he was able to change the life of a client in trouble.

The Criminal Lawyers’ Association has given the veteran criminal lawyer a lifetime achievement award for his work as defence counsel over the years.

Called to the bar in 1985, Addario has defended clients at all levels of the courts right up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Addario says some of the more rewarding cases he has worked on have been ones where he has been able to make a small difference in people’s lives.

He recalled the case of Brenda Batisse, an aboriginal woman he represented who had kidnapped a newborn baby from a hospital in 2007 after pretending to be pregnant to her partner.

Batisse suffered from mental health problems and Addario was able to get her sentence reduced on appeal.

“That was...

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Law Times poll

A Law Times series has explored how technology is changing how lawyers operate. Do you think you will use a legal app in your practice in the next two years?
Yes, I am always embracing new technologies to help harness information in new ways. Bring it on!
No, while new technologies are important, some of the new tools proposed are not relevant to my work and not useful in my day-to-day practice.