Canada’s online legal magazine.

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on research and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

Clarify the Question
Susannah Tredwell

Summer students have just started at my firm. One of the things that we emphasize in training is that if they don’t understand what they have been asked to do, they need to go back to the lawyer and clarify the question. While it may be embarrassing to have to go back and ask, it’s far better than discovering that . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from seventy recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Double Aspect  2. Clio Blog 3. AvoidAClaim  4. National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog  5. Thoughtful Legal Management

Double Aspect
A Third View on Legislating Two Languages at the SCC

In the last number of days, Professor Grammond and incoming AUT Law School lecturer (and my very generous blogging host) . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Physician Assisted Death Exception Doesn’t Require Terminal Illness

Following the extension to develop assisted dying legislation, provincial courts have scrambled to meet the special exemptions created by the courts.

The first provincial application under this exemption was Re HS in February 2016, where the motion judge described her role in such an application,

 

[51] … The role of this Court is limited to applying or authorizing an existing constitutional exemption and determining whether a particular person qualifies for that exemption…

The process for doing so would be to apply the criteria enunciated by the Court in the 2015 Carter decision at para 127 to a a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Schrenk v. British Columbia (Human Rights Tribunal), 2016 BCCA 146

AREAS OF LAW: Human rights; Employment; Derogatory statements; “Condition of employment”

~Insults inflicted upon employees in the workplace, even in the course of their employment, only fall under s. 13 of the Human Rights Code if the wrongdoer has sufficient employer-given power to impose the unwelcome conduct as a condition of employment, or if the conduct is tolerated . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : La peine de cinq ans imposée à l’accusé, qui s’est reconnu coupable de conduite avec les facultés affaiblies ayant causé la mort de l’une des victimes et des lésions corporelles à une autre, n’est pas manifestement non indiquée et c’est à bon droit que la juge de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Evidence of Economic Benefits of Refugees From the EU

I remember in law school, my professor started our course in immigration law with a sound question, “apart from the CRA, which is the most profitable department in the Federal Government?” Apparently, the answer at the time was the department of immigration. The right of permanent residence fee (RPLF) was a whopping $975 per person, the initial fee for a humanitarian application was $1,100 and there were additional fees. Refugees coming to Canada were particularly burdened by these fees. Public pressure and litigation led to a review of onerous fees and many were reduced by 50%. It was clear then, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Apology for Workplace Sexual Harassment

It was recently reported in the media that after signing a peace bond, Jian Ghomeshi apologized in court on May 11, 2016, for his “sexually inappropriate conduct” towards a former co-worker who accused him of sexually assaulting her. Following the apology, the Crown withdrew the criminal charge of sexual assault for which Ghomeshi was slated to stand trial on June 6, 2016. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

License to ILL

Inter-library loan (ILL) is one of the oldest forms of sharing collections in libraries. Cooperative collection development arrangements have existed since time immemorial. As each library has focused on building collections to meet the needs of their primary patrons, they have relied on other libraries for the ad hoc, out-of-scope user requests for books and journal articles.They either initiate ILLs formally via OCLC or another network or informally by calling, emailing, or otherwise contacting librarians at other institutions who own or have access to the needed item. Everyone ILLs. It is expected and needed. Librarians have a license to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Emerging Tech – Potentially Awesome and a Privacy Quagmire

I attended an event last night where Duncan Stewart of Deloitte talked about their TMT predictions for 2016.

It reinforced for me that the future of tech and what it will do for us is potentially awesome. But also at the same time the amount of information that is being collected and stored about each of us is staggering. That creates real privacy challenges, and real possibilities for abuse. And because the information is there, there is a tendency for government and business alike to want to use it.

One scary aspect is that the more we get used . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Global Legal Publishing – a Bad Idea?

In Canada and elsewhere, we have seen a seemingly endless series of reorganizations in the multinational legal publishing houses. The pattern is one characterized by the acquisition of smaller legal publishing houses, followed by serial changes in their reporting lines, and ending with their disappearance altogether, as old established brands are dropped and replaced by the corporate brand. These changes are attempts to conceal a sad truth – that “global legal publishing” has proven to be a bit of a bust. Was it a bad business idea in the first place, or merely a good idea that was overwhelmed by . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Ursa Ventures Ltd v Edmonton (City), 2016 ABCA 135

[32] It is clear that the chambers judge considered this affidavit of records in the context of this lawsuit. He looked at its nature (a sworn affidavit) and the allegations in the pleadings. He was aware of the timing of the affidavit (within weeks of the three-year time limit). He balanced these . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Media and the Law: Where Are the Law Journalists?

Where are the specialized law journalists in Canada? Can you name one? The media has left a gaping hole, leaving lawyers to fill the vacuum, to editorialize on the new cases, and to defend the legal system.

We can’t complain. This is our duty. However, in a time, where most people can name all Kardashians but can’t name the nine Supreme Court of Canada judges, we have a problem.

Paul Wells writes in In Search of the Ethical Lawyer: Stories from the Canadian Legal Profession, edited by Adam Dodek and Alice Woolley, that it’s not wickedness that has brought an . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues