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 practice, research, writing and technology.


Speed Up Your Computer by Keeping an Empty Desktop
Luigi Benetton

It’s common for people to replace their computers every three or four years. They seem to believe performance degrades so much that they need new machines to gain speed increases. Sometimes that’s true. Hard disk drives,for instance, can wear over time. Inexpensive machines aren’t usually built to be upgraded. …

Research & Writing

Use Abridgment Topics to . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Book Review: Family Law Litigation Handbook (Ontario), 2nd Ed.

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.

Family Law Litigation Handbook (Ontario). By Gary S Joseph. Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2017. 280 p. ISBN 978-0-7798-8011-9 (softcover) $119.00.

Reviewed by Joanna Kozakiewicz
Manager, Library Reference Services
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
In CLLR 43:1

The second edition of Family Law Litigation Handbook (Ontario) is described by the author as . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

New Book: The Fundamentals of Statutory Interpretation

Below is an excerpt from the introduction of my new book that will be published by LexisNexis on November 30. More information about this book can be found here.

There are times when judges interpret statutes in ways that defy common sense. A notorious example was raised during the Senate confirmation hearings of eventual U.S. Supreme Court appointee Neil Gorsuch in which he was pressed by Democratic members to defend his dissent in Trans Am Trucking. In what is known as the “frozen trucker case”, he denied a trucker the benefit of protective legislation permitting an employee to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

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. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog 2. All About Information 3. McElroy Law Blog 4. Global Workplace Insider 5. Canadian Combat Sports Law Blog

University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog
What’s in a Name? Renaming and Reclaiming of Indigenous Space

“Indigenous place names carry knowledge

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Public Disclosure of Private Facts – Redux

Privacy law is the new frontier in personal rights. Although privacy may be “a protean concept” (R v. Tessling, para 25), it is one of the most fundamental issues in a digital era.

The lack of statutory development, and the challenges of extending existing statutory frameworks to emerging privacy issues, has forced the courts to develop new rights of action to protect the privacy interests of Canadians.

The second of these, the tort of public disclosure of private facts, has a troubled history. Decided on a default judgement, including the setting aside of the decision when . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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) : Les appels interjetés à l’encontre des déclarations de culpabilité de Robert Poirier, ancien maire de Boisbriand, et de France Michaud, une dirigeante de la firme d’ingénierie Roche, sous divers chefs d’accusation de fraude et de corruption afférents à l’adjudication de contrats par la Ville de Boisbriand pendant . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Smelling of Alcohol Not Reasonable Cause to Test for Drugs

A British Columbia Arbitrator recently held in a preliminary award that an employee who reported to work smelling of alcohol did not provide the employer with reasonable cause to test that employee for drugs.

What happened?

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Trade Agreements to Promote Electronic Commerce II

A couple of years ago I wrote a column here about using trade agreements to promote laws among the contracting states that would promote electronic commerce. The example discussed was the Trans-Pacific Partnership, then in draft form.

There have been some developments since then that may be of interest.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership had a bit of a bumpy ride, as President Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement before it was signed. The other parties to the negotiation made some changes to the text then signed it under the name Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Cyber Security – Loss Due to Social Engineering Attack Covered Under Insurance Policy

As the number and sophistication of social engineering attacks increases, victims are examining their insurance policies to see if they are covered. 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 . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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. David v. Loblaw, 2018 ONSC 6469

[4] I make no comment on the merits of those arguments here. They will doubtless be argued at a certification hearing some months down the road. I merely set out the background in order to illustrate why the request for funding approval has arisen. Given the discrepancy between, on one hand, the very large size . . . [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 practice, research, writing and technology.

Research & Writing

CanLII Adds the Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide
Susannah Tredwell

For anyone looking a good guide to legal research, Catherine Best’s “Best Guide to Canadian Legal Research” has been updated by a team of legal research experts (Melanie Bueckert, André Clair, Maryvon Côté, Yasmin Khan and Mandy Ostick) and added to CanLII’s commentary section. ….


Speed Up Your Computer by Closing Unnecessary Applications
Luigi . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement: A Call for a Little Give and Take

After much Trump-inspired drama over Canada’s participation in his new North American trade accord, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was issued on September 30, 2018 (with final ratification by the three countries still pending at this point). While there is much ado about cheese, milk, and automobiles to it, intellectual property rights also figures prominently in the agreement. Its intellectual property provisions seek “the promotion of technological innovation… to the mutual advantage of producers and users… [in] a balance of rights and obligations.” While this would seem to make it all about patent regulation, it also allows for a need . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing