Canadian Lawyer

May 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 2 of 59 1 EDITOR'S DESK UPFRONT EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilbur Senior Editor Elizabeth Raymer Associate Editor Aidan Macnab Production Editor Patricia Cancilla Writers Anita Balakrishnan, David Kitai CONTRIBUTORS Neill May, Jeffrey Lem ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Marla Morelos Lead, Media Production Coordinator Catherine Giles Production Coordinator Kim Kandravy Global Production Manager Alicia Chin SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT VP, Media and Client Strategy Dane Taylor Sr. Business Development Manager Steffanie Munroe Business Development Manager Lynda Fenton Business Development Manager Catherine Reale National Account Executive Abhiram Prabhu CORPORATE President Tim Duce Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Global CEO Mike Shipley Global COO George Walmsley EDITORIAL INQUIRIES SUBSCRIPTIONS Keith Fulford tel: 416 649-9585 • fax: 416 649-7870 ADVERTISING INQUIRIES W hen the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Western world, some described it as a "black swan" event. The term is often associated with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who outlined the concept in his 2007 book The Black Swan. Taleb wrote about the extreme impact of rare and unpredictable outlier events — and how human beings tend to create retroactive explanations for these after the fact. While the effects or occurrence of pandemics aren't exactly unpredictable — students of the Spanish flu of 1918 and writers of the 2011 film Contagion alike could have predicted much of what we have witnessed in the last few months — the timing often is. No one knew that a pandemic would hit us so hard in 2020. But what has been predictable is the way human beings were woefully unprepared. Because we didn't know the timing, it was difficult to get organized to prepare. Lawyers were clearly just as unprepared as any other group. The good news, as our cover story on the "Great Migration" shows (p. 22), is that the legal community is changing fast. "I don't think we've ever engaged in an exercise like this where so many businesses and so many organizations are working remotely," Lisa Lifshitz at Torkin Manes LLP told us. And it is not only law firms being forced to adjust. Courts have cut back on in-person interactions as much as possible and administrators are finding new workarounds every day. In his book, Taleb suggests that our societies need to be prepared for these black swan events by moving away from top-down direction to an approach that focuses instead on decentralized experimentation. Once these events occur, we are then prepared to shift and evolve. While the top-down approach to justice reform was clearly not working before the pandemic, this event has clearly shown it won't now. Lawyers and the entire justice system are being forced to undergo decentralized experiments whether they want to or not. While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused untold suffering across the globe, here is hoping there are some positive effects, too. Creating a template for better justice and the legal profession would be a wonderful side effect of a black swan event like this. Tim Wilbur, Editor-in-Chief The great black swan migration ISSUE 44.04 Canadian Lawyer is published 10 times a year by HAB Press Limited. KEY MEDIA and the KEY MEDIA logo are trademarks of Key Media IP Limited, and used under license by HAB Press Limited. CANADIAN LAWYER is a trademark of HAB Press Limited. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. Information presented is compiled from sources believed to be accurate, however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Canadian Lawyer disclaims any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect of the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. Publications Mail Agreement #41261516 ISSN 0703-2129 ©2020 GST/HST Registration #703184911RT001 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESS TO: CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, M5H 3G8 RETOURNER TOUTE CORRESPONDANCE NE POUVANT ÉTRE LIVREÉ AU CANADA AU SERVICE DES PUBLICATIONS 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, M5H 3G8 HAB Press Limited 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor Toronto, Ontario M5H 3G8 tel: +1 416 644 8740 While the top-down approach to justice reform was clearly not working before the pandemic, this event has clearly shown it won't now.

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