Canada’s online legal magazine.

Public Hearings on Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act

The Ontario Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs met from July 10 to July 14, 2017 (we were informed that hearings are continuing to July 21, 2017, Hamilton is today and Toronto closes the tour tomorrow) to consider and hold public hearings on Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. The Bill amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and makes related amendments to other Acts. The government wanted to be sure that there are no unintended consequences because the changes in the Bill contain complex policies. . . . [more]

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

Against Tradition

In a recent column in Canadian Lawyer, Ian Holloway, my Dean and friend, wrote in defence of lawyerly traditions, such as calling Ontario’s law society the Law Society of Upper Canada, and barrister’s robes. At the same time he emphasized the importance of professional innovation, particularly in legal education. He concluded that the ambition of lawyers should be “Change in substance, tradition in form”.

I have some serious reservations with Ian’s position. I agree that some of our traditions have modern advantages (e.g., robes neutralizing class and gender-based judgments of lawyers based on their clothes). But when we weigh the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Dürer and New Law: Everything Old Is New Again?

One of the many advantages of studying history and the arts is that one gets a very broad sweep of perspective that other subjects can’t provide.

Business school case studies are very interesting but are usually always based on contemporary successes as anything older than ten years is deemed irrelevant. However, if like me, you enjoy reading the books of economic historian Niall Ferguson, you will appreciate that everything old will become new again – if you wait long enough.

It is trite to say that although there are many other different ways lawyers can bill their clients, no . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Flirty Girl Fitness Inc. v Hottie Body Boutique Inc., 2017 ONSC 4158

[83] There was, in any event, no breach of fiduciary duty by either sister in negotiating the agreement with Hottie Body Boutique, which was fully disclosed to the shareholders of Flirty Girl Fitness and beneficial to the corporation. The breaches of fiduciary duty were to the fellow shareholders who . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Darwin Talks and Blockchain Thoughts

OK. Not all lawyers are obsessed with the legal tech revolution.

Not all self-identify as early technology adopters, participate in hackathons, or call themselves lawyerpreneurs.

Some have maybe never even heard about TechLaw, TechReg, BankTech, CoinTech, LoanTech, PayTech, SecTech, TradeTech, InsurTech, InterTech, GovTech… or SmartTech, TechRisk, FinRisk, FinReg, SuperTech, ResTech, SupTech, or even NonNet. (Not you, of course… I’m talking about them.)

Some (presumably) haven’t even heard of Richard Susskind, or read his 2013 book Tomorrow’s Lawyers that predicts radical changes in the legal sector over the next decade due to three main drivers:

  1. Increased pressure to
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

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

What Are Marginal Notes?
Susannah Tredwell

Marginal notes (also known as head notes) are “the short notations appearing above or beside each section […] of an Act or Regulation” (Sullivan on the Construction of Statutes, 6th ed., §14.59). These notes are intended to help readers identify pertinent provisions in the legislation. The name comes from the fact that they originally appeared in the margins of . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

UNCITRAL Adopts Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records

UNCITRAL has now adopted a model law on electronic transferable records. See the press release below. The full text will be available online shortly at the URL shown at the end of the document.

Canadians showed little interest in this project while it was being developed, so Canada’s attendance at the working group meetings was intermittent.

Does it sound more interesting now that it is final? Would your clients benefit from an internationally accepted law on the topic? This UNCITRAL text is the best that will be available in the foreseeable future.

Should steps be taken to implement it here? . . . [more]

Posted in: International law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Modernizing the Law of Wills in the UK – Should Canada Follow Suit?

The UK Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) has just notified its members as follows:

The UK Law Commission has on 13 July 2017 published its new consultation paper, “Making a Will”. The paper sets out the case for reform of this largely Victorian area of the law, makes provisional proposals and asks questions. Based on estimates that 40% of people who die every year haven’t made a will the Commission wants to make sure that the law around wills is working for everyone. It believes that the law of wills can do more to protect the vulnerable . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

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. Labour Pains 2. NSRLP 3. Meurrens on Immigration 4. Family Health Law Blog  5. Eloise Gratton

Labour Pains
Beware the Innocuous Termination Provision

It is often said that, “a magician never reveals his secrets.” If that is true, then it is a good thing that I am

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

This Little Measure

Font large upon a central screen, my new hybrid car informs me about my fuel efficiency.

Big numbers. Right in front of me. Hovering around fifty miles a (US) gallon.

Inspiring me to keep it there. To accelerate more slowly. Gentle my Kia Niro up our precipitous hills. Ease off the gas on the flats, letting battery power take over. Even drive – slightly – slower on Seattle’s crumbling, potholed streets.

It is a basic tenet of any measurement science, including project management, that you get what you measure. My quantified efficiency glowing large between the spokes of the steering . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Ontario’s Cannabis Consultation

Following the introduction of the Canada’s Cannabis Act earlier this year, provincial governments have been scrambling to determine the effect on legislation at their level of government. Alberta had already introduced proposed legislation on the subject last year, but the approach across the country has thus far varied considerably.

Ontario has finally announced a public consultation on the subject, which includes an online survey option or sending comments directly to the Ministry.

A consultation paper has also been released with this announcement. The 5 key areas the province is examining include:

  1. Setting a minimum age for having, using and buying
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

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) : L’infraction prévue à l’article 83.181 C.Cr. requiert la preuve de l’intention primaire de la tentative de quitter le Canada mais aussi de l’intention spécifique de commettre à l’étranger une infraction visée à l’article 83.18 C.Cr. soit de participer ou de contribuer, sciemment, à une activité terroriste, de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday