Canada’s online legal magazine.

Innovation Strategy

As part of World IP Day on April 26, 2018, the federal government announced a National IP Strategy to “help Canadian businesses, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators understand, protect and access intellectual property”. The strategy, led by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, has a number of initiatives, and $85 million in funding, which will be rolled out over the upcoming months and years. New resources, tools, opportunities and legal changes may be interest to many in innovation oriented businesses.

IP Awareness and Tools

In addition to specific tools, a big focus on the strategy is increasing IP awareness. . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

List of Fastcase 50 Legal Innovators for 2018

Fastcase, an American-based provider of electronic versions of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions), has unveiled its list of Fastcase 50 winners for the year 2018.

“Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions.

Simon Fodden, the founder of Slaw.ca, was recognized as one of the Fastcase 50 in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

Employer’s Unilateral Change of Bonus Provisions Unenforceable

The Ontario Superior Court recently awarded 30 months’ notice period and bonus payments in full during that notice period to a long-service employee. The Judge noted that termination without cause in this case resulted in forced resignation as comparable employment was not available for the 62-year-old employee who had devoted 37 years to the company, and was therefore entitled to 30 months’ notice period. Moreover, the altered conditions of employment whereby bonus payments would only be payable if employed on date of payout was struck down as it was not appropriately communicated to affected employees-as the Judge noted that posting . . . [more]

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

Conferencing, Or, Every Fish Has a Job

Everywhere I go, there’s an aquarium. When I took the library tour while I was attending the law rare book school at Yale, there was an aquarium in the library book stacks. And when I went to the AALL annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland and decided to have dinner at one of the suggested eateries, Luna del Sea Steak & Seafood Bistro had an aquarium. What are the chances of seeing aquaria in unlikely places in the span of a month? Well, each time I saw an aquarium, I was drawn to the black, unmoving fish hidden in the dark . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Devices Gone Wild III: Smart Home Devices Used for Harassment

The American Bar Journal reports that some people are harassing their spouses by remote manipulation of smart home devices, like thermostats, TVs and the like – turning the heat way up, or off, turning TVs or radios on and off, etc.

Is this a problem in Canada? Is there a reason that the spouse left in the home can’t just turn off the devices, or the central control device like Alexa?

Would restraining orders need to deal with this kind of ‘contact’ or abuse expressly? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

💥 Announcing the CanLII Authors Program 💥

At CanLII we believe that there is a real need for legal information, including commentary, without paywalls. Over the last year we have been working on making the policy and technological developments that will support this goal, and today we are ready to announce the next step: the CanLII Authors Program.

Starting today we accept submissions of legal commentary from the legal community. If you are the author of a text that you would like to see on CanLII, whether it was published elsewhere before or not, you can now submit it to us for inclusion in our commentary section. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Blockchain Liability

This is a general and quick review of who should or can be responsible if something goes wrong on blockchain. I am brainstorming, not educating. Don’t take this essay as legal advice.

I can think of two categories of potential defendants in blockchains: developers and users. But first of all, what is liability?

Black’s, tenth edition, defines liability as “The quality, state, or condition of being legally obligated or accountable; legal responsibility to another or to society, enforceable by civil remedy or criminal punishment.” I am interested only in civil liability here.

The key element of liability is that it . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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. Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571

[1] This Court has developed a new awareness and understanding of a category of vexatious litigant. As we shall see, while there is often a lack of homogeneity, and some individuals or groups have no name or special identity, they (by their own admission or by descriptions given by others) often fall into the following . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

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, writing, practice and technology.

Practice

Get More Mileage Out of the Friday Afternoon Doldrums
Allison Wolf

What’s the most productive day of the week? Most HR directors report that Tuesday has that honour. And the least productive? You guessed right! Friday. …

Research & Writing

How to Figure Out the Status of Proposed Federal Tax Legislation
Susannah Tredwell

While some of the paid tax resources provide reference tables that show what stage a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Steam Whistle Brewing v. Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission: Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Applies the R. v. Comeau Doctrine in the Latest Beer Case

On June 19, 2018 Steam Whistle Brewing and Great Western Brewing scored an historic victory against the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission: Madam Justice Marriott of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench declared Alberta’s beer mark-up regime unconstitutional, and awarded the brewers over $2 million in restitution. The full decision can be read here. The decision also marks the first time a court has been called on to apply the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent statement of the law in R v. Comeau with respect to the proper interpretation of s. 121 of the Constitution Act as it relates . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

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 more than 80 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. Official Clio Blog 2. National Magazine 3. Le Blogue du CRL 4. Canadian Combat Sports Law Blog 5. NSRLP

Official Clio Blog
The 4 Stages of an Effective Client Intake Process

The intake process is an important part of the overall client lifecycle. It’s essentially the series

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Judicial Review Properly Initiated at Divisional Court

The first stop in the lawsuit against the Statement of Principles concluded this month, with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice upholding a motion by the law society to transfer the matter to the Divisional Court.

The Amended Application in this matter disposed of the injunctive relief originally sought, and instead seeks a number of declarations, including an interpretation and content of what the Statement of Principles obligation means, that the requirements are ultra vires the Law Society Act, and challenging the constitutionality of the requirements.

It’s the latter relief, the constitutionality of the Statement of Principles, that . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions