Canada’s online legal magazine.

AODA: Improving Accessibility Standards for Employment

The Ontario government is updating the accessible employment standards to make employment more accessible to people with disabilities. Consequently, the Employment Standards Development Committee would like to get interested stakeholders and the public’s feedback on the initial recommendations to the 2018 Review of the Employment Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

The following is the Employment Standards Development Committee’s initial advice and recommendations on the initial proposed Employment Standards, itemized and organized by focus area, and some thoughts. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Is the Law Society of Ontario Still Donating to Political Parties?

One benefit of being a regular Slaw columnist is the ability to revisit previous columns. Roughly four years ago, I wrote a column titled “Why Is the Law Society Donating to Political Parties?: Some Answers and Questions” where I explored and questioned the fact that the LSO (then LSUC) made donations totalling $21,000 in 2013 to the provincial Liberal, Conservative and NDP parties, as reported in a Law Times article.

At the time, the Law Society explained, in part, that “[c]ontributions are only made through the purchase of tickets to attend events hosted by the parties and/or elected politicians” and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

PIPEDA Privacy Breach Notification Coming Nov 1

Effective Nov 1, 2018, businesses that have a privacy breach must give notice of the breach under PIPEDA – the privacy legislation affecting the private sector in most Canadian provinces. The final regulations containing the details are about to be published.

Here are the highlights.

When do I have to report?

If there is a privacy breach that “creates a real risk of significant harm to an individual”. That includes bodily harm, humiliation, damage to reputation, financial loss, identity theft. Risk factors to decide the reporting threshold are provided. The report must be made “as soon as feasible after the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

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. Gamoff v. Hu, 2018 ONSC 2172

[1] When the residential real estate market is a rising market, most people – perhaps with the exception of first time buyers, are happy homeowners and investors. When the market turns and drops, it is not for the faint of heart. The facts of this case tragically demonstrate how one family, presumably desperate for their . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Unrealized Potential of Courthouse Libraries

I’ve never had anything but the highest respect, admiration and regard for my colleagues in courthouse libraries; and, if I have any regrets about my career, one of them is that I never had the opportunity to work in a courthouse or law society library. Of all librarians, it is they who, through a network of almost 200 county courthouse libraries in Canada, remain closest to the practising legal profession. Private law librarians (ie, law firm librarians) are closely attuned to the practice in their firms, often specialized in one area of law (eg, labour or criminal or business law) . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Limits of Complex Algorithms in Predicting Recidivism

In the “Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies: Criminological Highlights” published by the University of Toronto, the ability of complex algorithms to predict recidivism or re-offending while on pretrial release is discussed. In a study by Julia Dressel and Hany Farid, the researchers assessed the accuracy of algorithm based prediction system COMPAS.

They looked at data from 7,214 defendants in one county in Florida. They compared the predictions made by COMPAS to two other sources of predictions: (1) Ordinary statistical predictive models and (2) Intuitive predictions by ordinary people.

Dressel and Farid found that COMPAS’s prediction of recidivism (arrest within . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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, and practice.

Research & Writing

Is That In– or Un–?
Neil Guthrie

The question of –able or –ible a few weeks ago got me thinking of other spelling conundrums. Is a course of action inadvisable or unadvisable? Either, actually – but usage is changing and now seems to favour inadvisable. Is there a rule for determining this? …

Technology

Need American Case Law? Try Google Scholar
Ken Fox

Surprising as

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Cyber Security – Spear Phishing Covered Under Insurance Policy Where Code Manipulated

Increasingly insureds faced with cyber fraud losses are going to the courts to interpret their policies. In The Brick Warehouse LP v. Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, 2017 ABQB 413, and in Taylor & Lieberman v. Federal Insurance Company, 2017 WL 929211 (March 9, 2017 9th Cir.), fraudulent emails, as part of a social engineering attack, were sent to company employees who acted on them transferring money from the insured’s account. In both cases courts held that coverage under the Fund Transfer Fraud policy was denied as the victim knew or consented to the instructions given to its bank . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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. ABlawg.ca 2. Global Workplace Insider 3. National Security Law 4. Barry Sookman 5. NSRLP

ABlawg.ca
Foreclosing Mortgagees’ Liability for Tenants’ Security Deposits

This appeal from an order of a Tenancy Dispute Officer of the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) is worth noting for several reasons. First,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Making the Best Better

In a recent article on legal practice Ken Grady offered this thought:

As we often hear today, lawyers need to become fans of data. The age of talking to a lawyer who gives an opinion based on the 10 or 15 cases she has handled is past (or it should be). Clients should recognize that advice based on such weak datasets is meaningless and should call out their lawyers for basing opinions on it. Excellence means knowing more than the average player. It means having that depth and breadth of knowledge that is hard to match. Law firms need to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Publishing

Interrupted Childhoods and Overrepresentation in the Wrong Places

Race is an artificial and arbitrary social construct, and there is no biological or scientific basis for the racial distinctions we make between people. It is a function of our history and our misconceptions of how people have existed or migrated around the world, and our racial definitions have changed drastically over time based on different environmental and social factors.

Given the lack of objective basis for racial definitions, some people query why we track racial statistics in society at all. Doing so has the potential to ingrain these social constructs and divisions even further, and prevent us from treating . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

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.

FAMILLE : Dans un contexte de violence conjugale dans le milieu de la mère, le juge de première instance, qui a maintenu les enfants des parties auprès de cette dernière, a commis des erreurs justifiant une intervention lorsqu’il a fait fi de l’opinion de l’expert et a omis de mettre . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday