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Jurists on maternity leave win legal fight with Quebec

Quebec government lawyers and notaries, still on strike for more than four months, won a legal battle after the Quebec Court of Appeal held that the government discriminated against jurists on maternity leave.

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Date de parution : 2017-02-21
Les juristes poursuivent leur grève malgré le changement de ton de Pierre Moreau

Ils se sont fait taxer d'intransigeants par le ministre Pierre Moreau, mardi matin, mais les juristes de l'État québécois persistent et signent. Au terme d'une assemblée générale extraordinaire qui a duré plus de cinq heures, ils ont décidé de poursuivre leur grève.

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Date de parution : 2017-02-14
Court okays electoral bids by prosecutors

Seeking elected office may make a federal prosecutor's political affiliation publicly known, but that doesn't automatically impair her ability to do her job. That was the conclusion of the Federal Court of Appeal, in its recent ruling in favour of former prosecutor Emilie Taman.

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Date de parution : 2017-01-30
Prosecutors say talks at 'impasse'

Warning that underpaid and overworked federal prosecutors may bolt to the provinical Crowns, the union for 2,600 federal government lawyers has walked away from the bargaining table after almost three years of fruitless talks with Ottawa.

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Date de parution : 2017-01-17
Lawyers top up war chest to face prolonged strike

A general strike by lawyers and notaries who work for the Quebec government shows no signs of abating as the province is remaining firm while the union has received the approval of the overwhelming majority of its members to shore up its war chest and prolong the work stoppage at least until the end of the year.

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Date de parution : 2016-12-02
Ontario to hire more judges, prosecutors to tackle trial delays

Ontario has announced the biggest expansion of its criminal-justice system in more than two decades, two weeks after a judge scrapped a first-degree-murder charge because the accused had spent four years in jail waiting for his trial to be completed.

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Date de parution : 2016-12-01

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)