Canada’s online legal magazine.

Juror Research Online and Mistrials

With a smartphone in every pocket, and easy access to the law in every home, when does independent research by a juror become sufficient for a mistrial? The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently explored this issue during a personal injury trial in Patterson v. Peladeau, where Justice Hackland dismissed the motion for mistrial.

At issue for the mistrial motion was an unusual jury question on the first day of deliberations. The content of the note inferred that the jury had been discussing the liability issue at trial, but in an context of a statutory reference that was not at . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, 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.

FAMILLE : L’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant en cause requerrait que la loi permette la reconnaissance de sa réalité, soit que, sur le plan émotionnel et socio-économique, elle a effectivement toujours eu 3 parents; cependant, l’état actuel du droit, qui se limite à la biparentalité, rend nécessaire de déterminer qui, outre . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Ontario Officially Open for Cannabis Tourism

Cannabis aficionados can start making their travel plans now after the Ontario government has officially opened the province’s doors for cannabis tourism.

In late April, the provincial government quietly drafted and filed Ontario Regulation 325/18 made under the Provincial Cannabis Act, 2017. No public announcement was made after the Regulation was filed, and its existence for most people did not come to light until recently when it was printed in the Ontario Gazette on May 12, 2018.

Although short (only 9 sections), the Regulation is an important one as it deals with restrictions and exemptions on places of cannabis . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

514-BILLETS Pays $100,000 – CASL Still Being Enforced After Critical Reviews

Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation (CASL) is a complex, onerous and ambiguous legislative system. The ambiguities were identified in a constitutional challenge that the CRTC acknowledged but ruled did not go to the point of undermining the legislative regime. Parliament’s 5 year review obtained considerable consultation identifying numerous compliance issues arising from the uncertainties that the law creates. The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology report did identify a number of items where clarification would reduce the uncertainty with respect to the interpretation of many of the law’s provisions, as well as to avoid overly burdensome costs of compliance The government . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Published Criteria for Reasonable Accommodation Under Quebec’s Face Covering Law

On May 9, 2018, the Quebec government published its criteria for reasonable accommodation under an Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality and, in particular, to provide a framework for requests for accommodations on religious grounds in certain bodies (the Act, previously Bill 62) that requires among other things, Quebecers to leave their faces uncovered in order to provide or receive public services.

Under the Act, employees and members of public bodies and certain other bodies, as well as elected persons, must exercise their functions with their face uncovered. In addition, persons who request a service from one of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Election Politics, Innovation Canada, IP, and Dependence Upon the Standards Council of Canada

Some in-depth investigative journalism is needed because there has been a further danger-augmenting development in regard to the creation of National Standards of Canada (NSCs) as that behavior relates to the federal government’s high profile, Budget 2017 declaration of the creation of Innovation Canada. Its Fact Sheet, Skills, Innovation and Middle Class Jobs, states inter alia, “Budget 2017’s Innovation and Skills Plan advances an agenda to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation, to help create more good, well-paying jobs, and help strengthen and grow the middle class.”

I say “further development,” because I described that behavior . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Pizza Delivery – in the Not Too Distant Future

In the not too distant future…

“Hey Google, order me a pizza – the usual, but a large this time, and have it delivered.”

Google Duplex calls pizza place. Pizza place AI bot answers the phone. The bots talk to each other.

Robots make the pizza.

Pizza is loaded into an autonomous vehicle containing a pizza oven that cooks it on the way to me.

Autonomous vehicle texts me when 2 minutes away.

I meet it at the curb. It authenticates me using voice or facial recognition and gives me the pizza. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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. Patterson v. Peladeau, 2018 ONSC 2625

[2] On the weekend just after the jury began to deliberate, juror #1, while at his home engaged in some internet legal research. He found a regulation under the Insurance Act, known as the Fault Determination Rules. On Monday morning he discussed this regulation with the other jurors, which resulted in a jury . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Can There Be Reconciliation in an Adversarial Process? Access to Justice, Reconciliation and the Role of the Government Lawyer

The dispute resolution processes created pursuant to the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) have been described as both significant and historical. While together, these processes represent an important shift in how we think about resolving systemic and historic mass harms, these processes also challenge us to once again ask important questions — What constitutes access to justice in certain contexts? What is the role and responsibility of lawyers in furthering access to justice in those contexts? And is that role and responsibility different for government lawyers?

The example of the independent assessment process (”IAP”) at St. Anne’s Residential School . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Effectively Managing Change in a Law Firm

Change is a reality of business. Client needs shift; legal expertise shifts due to retirements and new hires; legislation and case law create new opportunities and close down previous legal practises. Change is hard for most people, but particularly for lawyers. The lawyer personality doesn’t like change; it likes the expected, precedent and tradition. Lawyers tend to be risk-averse, and change represents risk.

Yet managing anything, be it a practice or a law firm, is all about managing change. Files conclude. Clients come and go. Volume of work fluctuates. Files have different levels of complexity. Support staff may shift over . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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

Noting Up US Case Law in Canada
Susannah Tredwell

It is straightforward to find out out how a Canadian case has been subsequently treated by Canadian courts; all you need to do is note it up on Quicklaw, WestlawNext Canada, or CanLII. However sometimes you need to find out if a US case has been mentioned in the Canadian case law and this is slightly more challenging . . . [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. Susan On The Soapbox 2. Slater Vecchio Connected 3. Risk Management & Crisis Response 4. Environmental Law and Litigation 5. NSRLP

Susan On The Soapbox
Mr Kenney Runs Away

The last two weeks have been particularly tiring for Mr Kenney, the leader of the UCP, he spent

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix