Canada’s online legal magazine.

Changes to Slaw Email Subscriptions

If you are subscribed to Slaw posts by email, there is an important upcoming change that you’ll want to know about.

As of the end of June, Feedburner (our current provider of email alerts) is discontinuing its email services. As such, we’ve transferred our email subscriptions over to Mailchimp, with service beginning tomorrow morning.

What’s changing?

  • At least for initially, we will only have one email subscription that includes all Slaw posts.
  • Emails containing the previous day’s posts will land in your inbox from Monday to Friday. (The Monday email includes posts from Friday, Saturday and Sunday.)
  • Category, comment and
. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Thursday Thinkpiece: Litigating Artificial Intelligence

Periodically on Thursdays, we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Litigating Artificial Intelligence

Authors: Jill Presser, Jesse Beatson, Gerald Chan
ISBN: 978-1-77255-764-0
Publisher: Emond Publishing
Page Count: 368
Publication Date: May 2021
Regular Price: $149 (softcover)

Excerpt: Chapter 17: Coda–Litigating in An Era of Thinking Software [Footnotes omitted]

Artificial intelligence (AI) has migrated from our imaginations into government departments, courtrooms, consumer products, . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Book Review: Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v Wade to the Present

Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v Wade to the Present. By Mary Ziegler. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020. xvii, 312 p. Includes timeline, notes, bibliographic references, and index. ISBN 9781108735599 (softcover) $33.95.

Reviewed by Margo Jeske
Emerita Law Librarian (Retired)
University of Ottawa
In CLLR 46:2

On . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

A Taxonomy of Judicial Technological Competence

Earlier this month, the Canadian Judicial Council published updated ethics guidance for federally appointed judges. The new Ethical Principles for Judges substantially revises a 1998 document of the same name. Among the revisions is a caution that judges must be technologically competent. The section addressing judicial diligence and competence includes the following statement:

3.C.5 Judges should develop and maintain proficiency with technology relevant to the nature and performance of their judicial duties.

This provision on technological competence is a welcome addition to the Principles. Two years ago, I argued in a Slaw column that there should be a formally . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Buying Silence With a Bluff: How NDAs Exploit Litigants, With and Without Counsel

The ever-growing use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) prevents those who sign from being able to “disclose” their experiences of reprehensible workplace discrimination. NDAs routinely silence the victims of sexual harassment, racism, bullying, and discrimination (among many other examples: for being pregnant, or requiring mental health leave, etc.).

Of questionable legality, NDAs are routinely demanded by defence lawyers in settlement negotiations. A gag on the victim is an obvious, albeit immoral, “ask” for legal representatives of alleged or actual perpetrators. They don’t want their reputation as a racist or a sexual harasser or a bully following them around, do they?

If . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. Hawkes v. Max Aicher (North America) Limited, 2021 ONSC 4290 (CanLII)

[17] In this case, we are concerned exclusively with statutory construction. Matters of statutory interpretation, like other questions of law, are evaluated on a reasonableness standard. As a reviewing court, in accordance with the guidance of Vavilov on the application of the reasonableness standard, we do not undertake a de novo . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Determining Judicial Ethical Conduct: Not So Straightforward? Part I


Time was the community or advocacy activity of lawyers with judicial aspirations centred around fundraising and other activities related to participation in our major political parties. Eventually, some of these lawyers found themselves rewarded with a judicial appointment. They cut their ties, as far as anyone knew, with their favoured party. It was not difficult to end their pre-judicial activity and remove themselves from community involvement. More recently, however, with the net for potential judges cast far wider in order to increase diversity on the bench, the community work aspirants engage in may be quite different. And so we . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues

PRIDE in the Courts: Judge Deborah A. Batts

Let me tell you about someone I met a couple of years ago. Her name was Judge Deborah A. Batts. In 1994, the Honorable Judge Batts became the first openly gay person to be appointed as an Article III federal judge in the United States. She held this position for over 25 years in the Southern District of New York. As part of the library team in my previous position, we commemorated her 25 years of service with a candid interview during the 2019 Pride month with her fellow openly gay judges also at the U.S. Courts for the Second . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

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 practice, research, writing and technology.

Research & Writing

Of Apostrophe Catastrophes There Is No End
Neil Guthrie

The work of a language nerd is never done. Possessive problems: In a recent LinkedIn posting, a fundraising person at an educational institution I attended referred to its’ proud history. … . . . [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 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. Legal Writers Collective 2. Jumping off the Ivory Tower Podcast 3. Lawyered Podcast 4. The Trauma-Informed Lawyer 5. Family Health Law Blog

Legal Writers Collective
R v Campbell, 2020 ONCA 573

Facts: On November 2, 2018, Andrew Campbell (the appellant) was convicted of kidnapping, pointing a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Representation Orders in Small Claims

In Ontario, Small Claims Court’s monetary jurisdiction increased from $25,000 to $35,000 on Jan. 1, 2020. This has allows far more claims to be heard in this venue, with its streamlined processes and less procedural delays. Even prior to the pandemic, the Small Claims Court handled more than half of all of Ontario’s civil disputes.

Wrongful dismissal claims in particular have been effectively advanced in this venue, especially during the pandemic, and for those looking to avoid the cost consequences of improperly advancing a claim in Superior Court. However, in order for these proceedings to be heard effectively, the courts . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

One Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all Appeals, Oral Judgments and Leaves to Appeal granted from May 27 – June 17, 2021 inclusive.


Civil Procedure: Court Record Access
MediaQMI inc. v. Kamel, 2019 QCCA 814; 2021 SCC 23 (38755)

In Québec, the Code of Civil Procedure gives members of the public the right to have access to court records: art. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday