Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Goodbye: Geoff England

It's been a month of loss for the Canadian legal community. Steve wrote recently about Stuart Morrison's passing, and today I'm sharing the news of Geoffrey England's death. Geoff was, for many years, a co-author of Employment Law in Canada (with the late Innis Christie), a much-used text in many a law library.

Geoff was a professor of labour and industrial relations law, most recently at the University of Saskatchewan Edwards School of Business, and over the years at the Universities of Lethbridge, Calgary, Queens, and Cardiff. He was also a fine father, a jovial soul with a wicked sense of humour. I know because the Englands have been friends of my family for 25-odd years - most of my life.

Growing up, I spent many Saturdays with Geoff's daughters, and it seemed that Geoff was always in the basement working on "the book". It wasn't until I started working in a law library that I realized that his book was actually a core text in the Canadian legal literature, and one that I would consult on a regular basis. It always brought a smile to my face to see Geoff's name on the cover, and I'd imagine him narrating in his wonderful English accent.

When Geoff was diagnosed with cancer, the Edwards School of Business at USask set up the Geoffrey England Scholarship in Employment Law. I plan on donating to this fund to honour Geoff's memory and the amazing ways that our personal and professional lives intersect where we least expect it. I'll echo Professor Doorey: "We know there are hundreds of Geoffrey’s former students out there, many of them practicing workplace law, industrial relations, and human resource management. Please consider giving back."

Rest in peace, Geoff. Thanks for all your gifts, both professional and personal. You will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RIP Stuart Morrison

I was away last week and almost missed the news of Stuart Morrison's passing. Slaw's Simon Chester has outdone himself in crafting this summary of Stuart's life, both in character and profession.

I got to work with Stuart in 2007 during my first year of business with Stem. In hindsight, it was an eye opening experience, and one I couldn't have paid for. He was blunt about the fact he wanted to make money, and hyper-focused on the bottom line. I learned to appreciate his innate trust for his business instincts. Like so many businessmen, he seemed rely on both the intellectual elements of decisions, and then making a 'gut call'. And despite his frequent references to being a high school "drop out", few I've met doubted his intellectual nature. It was clearly there, along with being both shrewd and sly.

Simon Chester's reference to 'a bundle of paradoxes' also resonates -- he was so incredibly opinionated, and yet would listen to my perspective, assimilate and move on. I have no clue to this day if he dismissed every word I said, or why he was paying my mortgage. I nailed a few predictions for him, so I won't be entirely dismissive of the advice I gave; but it was always clear that our objective was to feed his perspective to make better decisions. And if he found a new revenue stream along the way, all the better.

In the end, I chalk up his support to his entrepreneurial spirit. An admirable quality. I still recall his last words to me. I'll share them for humour. And because it sounds like it came from a movie script: "Steve, I promise, you haven't heard the last from me." Well, it seems I have Stuart. :) But I am sorry for that.

RIP Mr. Morrison. And I will, as Simon C. suggests, raise a single malt to you very soon.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Google+ Fail Whale?

Must be Google's way of saying private beta periods still have purpose.

PLC Cross-border IP in Business Transactions Handbook

The Practical Law Company (PLC) publishes its annual Cross-border IP in Business Transactions Handbook, which is a multi-jurisdictional guide that brings together:
  • practical information on topical cross-border IP issues;
  • country-specific Q&As on IP law and practice; and,
  • and details of recommended IP lawyers and law firms in jurisdictions around the world.
Gowlings' Intellectual Property group and Russia and the CIS group contributed two chapters this year, both of which have now been made available for download:
User registration required, but the chapters are quite substantive.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Quickscribe Manual Updates for July 2011

Just one Quickscribe Manual update for July:
As always, you'll find daily updates to BC statutes and regulations at