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    Archive for October, 2012
    Time for Change in the Courts?
    Monday, October 22nd, 2012

    ♫ Change
    Now it’s time for change
    Nothing stays the same
    No it’s time for change… 

    Lyrics and Music by Nikki Sixx, Donna McDaniel, recorded by Mötley Crüe.


    On Oct 24-25, the second Canadian Forum on Court Technology will be held in Montreal. The challenge that this forum will be facing is how to bring about meaningful change to a dispute resolution process that has been resistant to change. Of course, the voices demanding increased access to justice and responsiveness to the needs of society are only getting louder. The factors for the courts to consider are many and the resources at hand are few. Budgets are stretched; people and time are limited. Unrepresented litigants are at an all-time high, the costs of resolving a matter through the courts are seen as being oppressive and the delays from incident to resolution are long. There is increasing pressure for the system to be more responsive, less costly, speedier and less technical.

    Of course all of this is against a backdrop where technology relentlessly marches on – indeed if Moore’s Law (not a law typically cited in most courtrooms but applicable none-the-less) is true, the processing ability of information technologies doubles every 18 months while the cost halves.

    Relying on Moore’s law, if Ray Kurzweil is anywhere close in his technological predictions, computers will equal the processing ability of the human mind by 2020 (that is, in less than a decade) and cost approximately $1000. In 8 years or so, we will have at hand technologies that will be more powerful than ourselves – and will have connected them to a network that far outstrips any prior network ever conceived. We will have built a machine the likes of which man has never seen. Moreover, the rate at which this machine itself will keep evolving is accelerating – Richard Susskind has stated that this exponential growth in information technology places us “at the doorstep of an era of change that is more profound and radical, in terms of technical progress, than humanity has ever seen.”

    Accordingly it behooves us, as lawyers, judges, court administrators and others, to envision how to harness the ever-increasing power of information technology and apply it to the dispute resolution process. We also need to consider how the march of technology will place the court process under even more pressure.

    Your humble scribe along with Dr. Frank Fowlie (the Internet Ombudsman) will be presenting on: “The Climate for Innovation in the Justice Sector, ODR and Access to Justice”. This will be followed by David Merner, Executive Director, Dispute Resolution Office
, Justice Services Branch, BC Ministry of Attorney General who will be presenting on: “Online Dispute Resolution and The Civil Resolution Tribunal.” This will be followed by the writer and Dr. Fowlie interviewing the Honourable Madam Justice Fran Kiteley (the organizer of the Forum), Richard J.M. Fyfe QC, Deputy Attorney General, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, Province of British Columbia and David Merner (and taking questions from the audience by email to: and tweets to @david.bilinsky (twitter hash tag #CFCT) on the theme: “How to drive change in order to enhance access to justice.”

    Of course, a major focus of this session will be the role that Online Dispute Resolution can play in the future of the courts. It should be a very interesting session and dialogue and I for one, am looking forward to it. The time for change has come.

    (this post was also posted on

    Posted in Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Technology, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    2013 Predictions
    Friday, October 19th, 2012

    ♫ I can see the future
    Step into tomorrow
    I can see the future
    Journey to forever

    Movin’ on
    And we’re movin’ on…♫

    Music and Lyrics by Graham Donald Harvey, Jean-Paul Maunik and Randy  Hope-Taylor, recorded by Incognito.


    John F. Kennedy once said “Change is law of life.  And those who look  only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

    In this blog in December 2012, we are going to look at the life in change in law – particularly in trying to predict the changes that will occur in 2013. For the last couple of years I have been pulling together predictions and pulling them into articles in late December that contain these predictions.

    Last year we heard from:

    Steve Gallagher, Tom Spraggs, Darin Thompson, Anatoly Dvorkin, Barney Christianson QC, Steph Kimbro, Simon Chester, Robert Denney, Nicole Garton-Jones, Donna Neff, Colin Rule, Dr. Frank Fowlie, Judge Monty Ahalt (retired), Richard Granat, Terrance Hudson, Jared Correia, Andy Adkins, Colleen Cowan, Debbie Foster, Karen MacKay, Mitch Kowalski, Steve Matthews, Jordan Furlong and Buzz Bruggerman.

    We heard on legal technology, legal documents online, cloud-based litigation support, coping with change and going outside your comfort zone, unbundled legal services, innovation, sharing knowledge and ideas, branding, new breakthroughs, security and privacy and much much more.

    Accordingly, this is a general call for our gentle readers to send in your predictions (to of what lies ahead in 2013 and help all of us step into the future!

    Posted in Adding Value, Budgeting, Business Development, Change Management, Firm Governance, humour, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »