Monday, August 31, 2015

140 Law - Legal Headlines for the Week of August 31, 2015

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:

- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, August 24, 2015

140Law - Legal Headlines for the Week of August 24, 2015

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:


- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Health Care Practitioners: Please Don't Keep Notes About Your Patients' Discussions With Their Lawyers

Today’s tip is for health care practitioners whose patients are involved in litigation.

We recognize that it might be natural, and even good practice, for medical practitioners to ask their patients how their lawsuits are going.

Particularly for those practitioners who provide counselling, these discussions may be essential to your work.

Lawsuits can weigh heavily upon the psyches of those who find themselves involved in the legal system. The litigation itself can be very foreign and stressful. The future may in a very real way hinge on the outcome of their lawsuits. There may even be stressful issues between your patients and their lawyers. All of these issues can benefit from being talked through with a qualified health care practitioner.

It can be highly problematic, however, when practitioners include details of those discussions in their chart notes.

No I’m not talking about broad information about the patient’s litigation, here. I’m talking about specific nitty-gritty details of discussions with lawyers that are disclosed by your patients that shouldn’t ever find their way into a medical chart.

By that, I mean details about offers to settle, the patient’s financial expectations and the lawyer’s stated opinions about the value of a claim. Details about tactics and strategies. Information that no patient would reasonably want an adverse party to know.

Practitioners should be aware their their entire charts may at some point be producible in their patients’ litigation. If their chart notes include details of patient’ reports as to confidential discussions with their lawyers, those too may have to be disclosed. Solicitor client privilege could thereby be breached, and your patient’s legal interests could be compromised or prejudiced.

In keeping chart notes then, practitioners should exercise caution and prudence as to the details to be included. If a practitioner intends to include precise details in medical records, they should take care to ensure the patient is aware that such notes will be taken, and that informed consent is obtained.

But most importantly, practitioners should exercise caution and discretion.

Don’t unwittingly cause a harmful breach of solicitor-client privilege by charting details about litigation (and patients’ discussions with their lawyers) that have no genuine medical relevance.

(Cross-posted at Slaw Tips)
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, August 17, 2015

140Law - Leading Legal Headlines for the Week of August 17, 2015

Here are the current leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:
-Rachel Spence, Law Clerk
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, August 10, 2015

140Law - Leading Legal Headlines for the Week of August 10, 2015

Here are the current leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:
- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

140Law - Current Leading Legal Headlines for the Week of August 4, 2015

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:
-Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Windows 10? Whatever...

Windows 10?  Yawn.

If nothing else, the imminent launch of the new Windows OS gives us opportunity again to wonder why the Powers-That-Be at Microsoft continue to fail to grasp the obvious.

In terms of user interface, they got it right – with Windows XP.  Its been mostly downhill from there.

XP set the gold standard for user satisfaction.  That seminal OS would probably still have many millions of added, happy home and office users if the company hadn’t eliminated support for it a bit more than a year ago.

At its front-end, Windows 7 represented fairly lateral change from its predecessors, but Windows 8 and 8.1 were functional and marketing disasters. For many, the inevitable, reluctant change to Windows 8 came only with new computer purchases, and was followed by an equally inevitable scramble to find add-ons, including start menu hacks, that made Windows 8 function mostly like Windows 7 and XP.

While I am sure there have been many improvements along the way in the back end of these post-XP operating systems, from a strictly function-based analysis, I can’t think of a single thing I do on my Windows 8 computers that I couldn’t do on my Windows XP computers – or mostly, for that matter, on my Windows 95 computers that came before.

I’m hardly a casual computer user. It says a lot, then, that these fancy new operating systems mean so little in terms of the quality of my digital life.

So now, Windows 10 is about to arrive, a free download for many, and like most (I suspect), I will eventually make the change out of curiosity, if nothing else.

I fully expect that I will continue to ignore whatever this version does with its “Metro” apps, as I do on Windows 8.1. If there are additional, unpleasant quirks in 10 that fundamentally change my desktop experience, I will find workarounds to allow me continue to work in the comfort of an XP-like environment that’s as familiar as possible.

It was never broke, and now they are fixing it again, down at Microsoft.

For my part, I do not want my Windows experience to be like my iPad experience. I typically use my desktop and laptop for heavy lifting – concentrated and extensive law-related and creative tasks.

In my view, the iPhone and iPad are adequate or better for just about everything else – emails, documents, web-surfing, and social media, included.

I don’t want a dumbed-down environment for laptops and desktops that tries to emulate the simplicity of a tablet. The desktop and laptop cannot survive as products by trying to be as tablet-like as possible.  Windows products are still genuinely better for certain things. Its complexity makes it so.

Microsoft would be well advised to pay closer attention to why and when people actively choose to use their Windows-based computers, rather than reaching for their readily accessible phones and tablets.  If only Microsoft would just make it easier for users to do those things, and forget about the bells and whistles so few actually use…Not gonna happen.  I know.

So change and Windows 10 are now upon us.

We will adjust.  Most of us will take whatever steps are necessary to make Windows 10 feel like Windows 7 or XP, and life will go on until Microsoft finally gets it – or Windows products become truly obsolete (whichever comes first).

Rant complete.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, July 27, 2015

140 Law - Leading Legal Headlines for the Week of July 27, 2015

Here are the current leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:

- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, July 20, 2015

140 Law - Leading Legal Headlines for the Week of July 20, 2015

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:


- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net