Cryptocurrency, Blockchain & The New World of NFTs

This episode takes a dive into the world of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and the new world of NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) and looks at their explosive growth in the past year as well as what the future holds for them. The focus of this episode will be to introduce what NFTs are as well as some of the current legal questions surrounding their use, particularly in the copyright, contract, and ownership settings. [This episode was recorded in April, 2021].

Production:

Glen Harrison – Producers, Hosts and Editors

Pro Bono Radio is part of the Queen’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. The Pro Bono Radio team are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

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Shoplifting Civil Recovery Letters: A Big Box Shakedown?

Shoplifting Civil Recovery Letters present unique challenges to both consumers and the legal community. The legitimacy of Shoplifting Recovery Letters remains shrouded in the mystique of “The Law”; hidden from society at large, the practice is at best ethically questionable. Professor Amy Salyzyn explores the issues surrounding this practice in their paper: “Zealous Advocacy or Exploitative Shakedown: The Ethics of Civil Recovery Letters”. In today’s episode, Chris and Kevin are joined by Professor Salyzyn as they discuss the ethical conundrums that are Shoplifting Civil Recovery Letters.  

A special thank you to Ketsa, whose music was used in both the intro and outro of this podcast. To find more music from Ketsa please visit https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ketsa#contact-artist.   

Songs used:   

Ketsa- SaveOurselves  

Ketsa- Head-Jive  

Ketsa- Enough 

Production:

Kevin Kiss & Chris Ludwinski – Producers, Hosts and Editors

Pro Bono Radio is part of the Queen’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. The Pro Bono Radio team are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

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Beyond Trolling: The Emergence of the Tort of Internet Harassment

The advent of the internet and proliferation of social media has necessitated legislatures and courts around the globe to consider how to best address internet-based legal wrongs. On this week’s episode of Pro Bono Radio, Emily and Rebekah discuss the Canadian common law’s response to online harassment and the fashioning of cyber-based remedies. They will explore the recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision, Caplan v. Atas, which recognized the novel tort of internet harassment, the significant development it marks, and the implications of the decision going forward.

Production:

Emily Milana & Rebekah O’Hare – Producers, Hosts and Editors

Pro Bono Radio is part of the Queen’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. The Pro Bono Radio team are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

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Name, Image & Likeness in the NCAA

The debate surrounding NCAA athletes’ ability to profit off of their name, image and likeness (NIL) has been raging on for years. The NCAA has strongly resisted allowing athletes to do so, but with recent legislation passed by certain states, the debate has returned to the forefront of college sports.

This episode examines the debate, first by looking at the history of NIL and the recent legislative developments surrounding it. Each side of the debate is then examined to attempt to give weight to the varying perspectives.

Production:

Justin Mendonza & Tony Yin – Producers, Hosts and Editors

Pro Bono Radio is part of the Queen’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. The Pro Bono Radio team are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

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Politicization of the Canadian judicial system

On this week’s episode of Pro Bono Radio the team sits down with Adam Goldenberg to discuss politicization of the Canadian judicial system. In contrast to the U.S., Canada’s courts and judicial appointment process are seemingly much less political and partisan – the names of Supreme Court of Canada nominees usually do not come up in casual conversation with the same ease as our American counterparts. Is it really because Canadians are just “nicer?” Or does it have to do with the fact that as a society, we are just less partisan and politically charged?

Our esteemed guest, Adam Goldenberg, is an Associate in the Litigation and National Appellate Litigation Groups at McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto. Adam has appeared as counsel in all levels of court in Ontarion, and in 16 appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada. Adam graduated from Yale Law School in 2014 and clerked for Justice James MacPherson, Janet Simmons, and Eleanore Cronk on the Ontario Court of Appeals and for Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin on the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to attending law school, he worked as a speechwriter for Michael Ignatieff, as Acting Director of Communications, and as a Senior Advisor to the Minister for the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Science.

Production:

Andrew Liang, Emily Milana & Rebekah OHare – Producers, Hosts and Editors

Pro Bono Radio is part of the Queen’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. The Pro Bono Radio team are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

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Politicization of the American judicial system

The American judiciary can seem like a wild place for us Canadians. We don’t really speak of a liberal or conservative court in Canada, justices aren’t rushed to the SCC just before an election, and we’ve moved on from social issues as the core of our legal contentions. But are these things that can happen in Canada? This week’s show is a two parter as we explore why are American courts becoming so politicized? What’s the problem and is it a problem that can happen in Canada as well?

Today on Pro Bono Radio, we’re speaking with Professor Alyssa King of Queen’s Law and Professor Paul Gardner of the Queen’s Political Studies department. Professor King worked as a Law Clerk for Judge Barrington D. Parker of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York. Recently, Professor King has been working on keeping track as to how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting procedural changes to courts and alternative dispute resolutions procedures. Professor Gardner was a visiting researcher at the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace at Queen’s Law and he describes his work as “[sitting] at the interaction of a number of sub-disciplines of political science, including American institutions, judicial politics, American political development, law and society, and political behaviour.”

Production:

Andrew Liang– Producer, Host and Editor

Chris Ludwinski – Host

Glen Harrison – Host

Pro Bono Radio is part of the Queen’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. The Pro Bono Radio team are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

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Decriminalizing Drug Possession with MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith

With over 17,000 Canadians dying of opioid overdose between 2016 and 2020, Canada is facing a national crisis. Provincial projects like supervised consumption sites and free naloxone are failing to address the growing numbers of Canadians dying from tainted drug supply. 

This had led to growing calls for the federal government to decriminalize the possession of drugs for personal use and implement a model similar to Portugal’s approach, which led to an 80% decrease in overdose deaths. 

On this episode, we talk with Member of Parliament Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who has been a prominent voice for decriminalization in the House of Commons. He joins us to discuss his two private members bills, C-235 and C-236, which would decriminalize drugs and encourage the use of diversion methods in drug possession charges, respectively. 

UPDATE:

Soon after this episode was recorded, the federal government announced new legislation on drug possession charges and minimum sentencing, using the diversion elements introduced in C-236. 

Read more here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justice-reform-drug-treatment-criminal-code-1.5917710 

Production:
Maitland Shaheen – Producer, Host and Editor

Pro Bono Radio is part of the Queen’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. The Pro Bono Radio team are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

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The Rise of Reproductive Justice

With the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year and the appointment of an anti-abortion judge in her place, Americans began to fear an overturn of Roe v Wade, the case that secured the right to abortion in the United States. Although the Supreme Courts of both Canada and the U.S. have found a constitutional right to abortion, Canadian politicians and adjudicators seem less interested in re-criminalizing abortion. 

In this episode, we discuss some of the differences in reproductive justice movements in Canada and the U.S., and the benefits of using the reproductive justice framework over previous rights-centered movements. We’ll be joined by Professor Lisa Kelly, who teaches criminal law and evidence at Queen’s Law. She also teaches Queen’s first Sexual & Reproductive Justice course, and studied the topic at Harvard University, Columbia Law School, and the Centre for Reproductive Rights.

Production:
Maitland Shaheen-Akins – Producer, Host and Editor

Pro Bono Radio is part of the Queen’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. The Pro Bono Radio team are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

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Gladue Reports and the Intersectionality of Sentencing

Sentencing occupies an interesting position within legal discourse, being understood as a fundamental step in the legal process yet remaining a mystery to many regarding the considerations that go into such a decision. One specific area of increasing interest in modern times is that of incarceration, specifically how the intersectional aspects of our identity impact the sentencing process. Today on ProBono Radio, with the help of professor Lisa Kerr,  Kevin Kiss aims to break down this complex area of law with specific attention to Indigenous accused. 

Professor Lisa Kerr is currently an assistant professor at Queen’s University specializing in criminal law, sentencing, and prison law. In addition to receiving the SSHRC grant, in 2019, to study fit sentencing for racialized defendants, Professor Kerr also serves as the director of the Criminal Law Group at Queen’s Law. 

Production:
Kevin Kiss – Producer, Host and Editor

Pro Bono Radio is part of the Queen’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. The Pro Bono Radio team are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

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Diving into Sports Arbitration

Arbitration acts as a method of dispute resolution and features prominently in the sports context.  With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the sports industry, the looming possibility of arbitration hearings is only growing larger.  This episode examines ways in which parties could potentially better approach the arbitration process to try to ensure more efficient outcomes and maintain their relationships.

This is examined through:

  • A cost-benefit analysis of the arbitration process
  • The use of statistics by the parties and how to improve their use
  • Maintaining a level of professionalism
  • Psychological biases at play in the process & more!

Production:
Justin Mendonza – Producer, Host and Editor

Pro Bono Radio is part of the Queen’s chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. The Pro Bono Radio team are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

Subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify and Stitcher!