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Ottawa to allow federal bureaucrats to work from home if possible to prevent coronavirus spread
Ottawa to allow federal bureaucrats to work from home if possible to prevent coronavirus spread

The roughly 300,000 federal employees will be told to stay away from their offices throughout the country as long as their job allows it.

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Publication date : 2020-03-13
Prosecutors Insulted by Government Salary Offer
Prosecutors Insulted by Government Salary Offer

Quebec crown prosecutors find the rejection of an independent report on their remuneration incomprehensible…

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Publication date : 2020-02-20
Supreme Court decision could help former N.S. Crown lawyer sue Premier, ex-justice minister for libe
Supreme Court decision could help former N.S. Crown lawyer sue Premier, ex-justice minister for libe

A Supreme Court of Canada decision could affect whether government lawyers can use confidential documents to defend their reputations if political bosses “throw them under the bus,” a law professor says.

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Publication date : 2020-02-19
Alberta justice minister denies courtroom cuts; sources maintain tissues, water removed

Alberta Justice denies it ever gave a directive to remove tissues or water from courtrooms earlier this week but sources confirmed to Global News on Tuesday that these items would no longer be supplied.

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Publication date : 2020-01-22
‘State of continual crisis’: Alberta Crown prosecutors overworked, understaffed
‘State of continual crisis’: Alberta Crown prosecutors overworked, understaffed

There’s 'a revolving door' of people leaving, says the association president

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Publication date : 2019-12-12
Canada compensating former employees for damages caused by Phoenix pay system

The Government remains determined to address the impacts that the implementation of the Phoenix pay system has had on public servants. 

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Publication date : 2019-11-30

Judgment, Identity, and Independence

Cassandra Burke Robertson*

      Whenever a new corporate or governmental scandal erupts, onlookers ask “Where were the lawyers?” Why would attorneys not have advised their clients of the risks posed by conduct that, from an outsider’s perspective, appears indefensible?  When numerous red flags have gone unheeded, people often conclude that the lawyers’ failure to sound the alarm must be caused by greed, incompetence, or both.  A few scholars have suggested that unconscious cognitive bias may better explain such lapses in judgment, but they have not explained why particular situations are more likely than others to encourage such bias.  This article seeks to fill that gap.  Drawing on research from behavioral and social psychology, it suggests that lawyers’ apparent lapses in judgment may be caused by cognitive biases arising from partisan kinship between lawyer and client.  The article uses identity theory to distinguish particular situations in which attorney judgment is likely to be compromised, and it recommends strategies to enhance attorney independence and minimize judgment errors. 

Full text (PDF file)