Canadian Lawyer

November 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 43

UPFRONT 8 NEWS BRIEFS New technology helps Thompson Dorfman Sweatman deal with COVID-19 disruption Investment in software allows staff working remotely to be productive AS THE REALITY of a global pandemic sweeping the country became clear to Canadians by mid-March, it would have been easy for the lawyers and administrative staff at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP in Winnipeg to panic about the impact of COVID-19 on the firm's business. Instead, says Keith LaBossiere, TDS's CEO and managing partner, "As the pandemic came, our reaction was 'We've got this,'" thanks to the firm's recent investment in current legal technology that he says has more than paid off in terms of surviving — even thriving — during a pandemic. About two years ago, TDS Law became the first tenant to move into True North Square, a mixed-use development by James Richardson & Sons and True North Sports & Entertainment. When completed, True North, part of a project to revitalize the city's busi- ness and financial centre, will have almost 400,000 square feet in office space and 50,000 square feet of retail space, along with high-end condo residences. If TDS was going to be part of a transfor- mative project for Winnipeg, LaBossiere says, "we decided we should use that opportunity to change ourselves." Little did those at the firm know that the tech-centred approach for internal collaboration would also turn out to be key in how the firm of 200-plus lawyers support staff in Manitoba and Saskatchewan would be able to keep serving clients as they made the shift to working from home. LaBossiere says the investment in tech- U of M Law names David Asper acting dean David Asper has been appointed acting dean of the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law. Asper is a criminal defence litigator, known for acting on behalf of David Milgaard in the prominent wrongful conviction case. In 2019, he received Queen's Counsel designation in Manitoba. He has served as an assistant professor and as a sessional lecturer in the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law and has taught at Lakehead University's Bora Laskin School of Law and at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. Metis Nation - Saskatchewan files action against provincial government Métis Nation - Saskatchewan has filed an action in the Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan against the Saskatchewan government's continued use and reliance on the 2010 First Nation and Metis Consultation Policy Framework. The association claims the policy does not comply with the province's duties to consult and to abide by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The action claims Saskatchewan has failed to comply with the MN-S Constitution, has failed to consult when issuing mineral interests within asserted Métis lands and has failed to consider Métis land rights and commercial harvesting rights. Saskatchewan looks to develop human trafficking law Saskatchewan is looking to develop new provincial legislation to fight human trafficking. The province intends to collaborate with stakeholders in the legal profession, in policing and in the community to consider issues to keep in mind when developing the planned law. Any future legislation will also consider the complexity of human trafficking. Ministry of Justice officials will study Alberta's Protecting Survivors of Human Trafficking Act, which came into force, with exceptions, on May 12. Manitoba and Ontario have also passed legislation furnishing civil remedies to victims of human trafficking. Lost Dictaphone a violation of privacy Losing a Dictaphone containing the personal health information of patients, including the patients' names, may be considered a privacy breach, according to a ruling from Saskatchewan's information and privacy commissioner. In Adams (Broad Street Medical Clinic) (Re), 2020 CanLII 67257 (SK IPC), Commissioner Ronald Kruzeniski investigated a potential breach, which occurred when one of the clinic's three physician partners lost and failed to recover his Dictaphone. It contained notes relating to 39 patients seen over one day. The commissioner found the partners failed to employ adequate safeguards against reasonably anticipated threats to privacy. Senator Murray Sinclair joins Winnipeg Indigenous law firm Senator Murray Sinclair has joined Cochrane Saxberg, one of Manitoba's leading Indigenous law firm, to act as a "mentor" while maintaining his Senate seat. Cochrane Saxberg is a litigation, child protection, employment and Indigenous advocacy firm. Sinclair was provincial court associate chief justice and a Court of Queen's Bench judge in Manitoba. However, his experience also includes being co-commissioner of Manitoba's Public Inquiry into the Administration of Justice and Aboriginal People and chairman of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission dealing with residential school survivors. He became a senator in 2016. PRAIRIES UPDATE

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian Lawyer - November 2020