Canada’s online legal magazine.

Preliminary Thoughts on Green, Groia and TWU

In the last thirty years, Law Societies have been parties before the Supreme Court of Canada in thirteen cases according to CanLII[i] [ii]. Four of these cases have been decided in the last fifteen months[iii]. While others will delve more deeply into this recent jurisprudence, it is interesting to take a preliminary look at the way that the Court has understood the role, responsibility and jurisdiction of the Law Societies. It is noteworthy that the court has been divided in each of these four cases.

In Green v. LSM [iv], the Court upheld mandatory suspension . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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. Abramovitz v. Lee, 2018 ONSC 3684

[27] I accept and find that Mr Abramovitz lost a unique and prestigious educational opportunity, one that would have advanced his career as a professional clarinetist. It is difficult to quantify such a loss. Mr Abramovitz’s life and career have continued. Imagining how his life would have been different if he had studied for two . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

From Lexis, “Canada at 150: Building a Free and Democratic Society” and a New “Rule of Law Report”

Promoting awareness of what is being done and what can be done

My former colleague Jay Brecher has drawn my attention to the new Rule of Law Report published by Lexis Nexis. The company has long offered its support for the principle of the rule of law. More public service than corporate self promotion (although a bit of that too), Lexis has shown a genuine commitment to creating awareness of the efforts by the “little guy” to support the rule of law in Canada and elsewhere, as evidenced here by this new Rule of Law Report.

The inaugural issue reflects . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

The Future of Lawyer Licensing: In Defense of an LPP-Like Program for Articling

Knowledge is fundamentally what the professions offer. As we transform from a print-based society to a technology-based Internet society, the role of the profession will change.

In “The Future of the Professions”, Richard and Daniel Suskind define knowledge as having particular characteristics. Its use by one does not diminish what is left for others. It can be turned into machine-processable bits. It is difficult to prevent non-payers from using it. For now knowledge resides in the heads of professionals, in books, in systems of their institutions. However, this is at odds with how knowledge is shared in a technology-Internet based . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Global Access to Justice Goal

We all need relationships with others to love, to be safe, to earn a living, to learn, to plan, and to be healthy and happy. Because we are human, these relationships can sometimes deteriorate or even break down. That’s when we need a good relationship management system. Which is what a good justice system should be and that’s why access to justice is so terribly important. We must therefore be thankful that 193 heads of government adopted Sustainable Development Target 16.3 in 2015: to ensure equal access to justice for all.

My past lamentations on these pages have been . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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

Received Law in Canada
Susannah Tredwell

Periodically the question arises: how does one determine which English acts are still in force in Canada? The short answer is that there is no comprehensive list of what English statutes are still in force in Canadian jurisdictions. ..

Technology

Back Up Your Text Messages to Gmail With SMS Backup+
Emma Durand-Wood

Some days, it feels like text messages are the . . . [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. O’Faolain  2.Michael Spratt 3. Canadian Appeals Monitor 4.Canadian Combat Sports Law Blog 5. SOQUIJ | Le Blogue

O’Faolain
How Many Law Librarians Does It Take?

When we describe to decision makers what law librarians do, it hopefully involves metrics. The measurements can show activity but,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The “Success” of Online Dispute Resolution in Europe

Readers expecting to glance at part 3 of our multi part Towards Cyberjustice retrospective will have to wait a few extra weeks since we felt it more timely to address recent reports coming out of the European Union following the two-year anniversary of the EU’s online dispute resolution (ODR) platform.

As a reminder, the platform was launched in 2016 as per Regulation (EU) no 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC (Regulation on consumer ODR). As . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Podcasting Legal Entrepreneurship in Action

The education of the practice of law does not happen in classrooms, and some would argue that it shouldn’t. Collecting the anthology of experiences by practitioners is one of the immense potentials of the digital era that future generations of lawyers may yet benefit from.

Some enterprising students at Osgode Hall have launched a new podcast, focusing on legal entrepreneurship. The most recent episode of the Legal Entrepreneurs Podcast interviews me, where I provide some personal insights into sole practice.

The most rewarding aspect of sole practice is the potential for greater control, and if exerted properly, better work-life balance. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

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.

TRAVAIL : Les clauses des conventions collectives applicables aux étudiants travaillant dans une aluminerie sont discriminatoires et contreviennent à l’article 19 de la Charte des droits et libertés de la personne puisqu’elles leur attribuent un taux de salaire moindre que celui accordé aux salariés occasionnels et réguliers, et ce, pour . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Voluntary Associations: Courts, Mind Your Own Business. SCC: Okay.

*Update:* Since this post was written, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision in Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University, 2018 SCC 32. In short, the court upheld the law societies’ right to regulate accreditation of law schools, in the context of competing LGTBQ and religious rights.

Plus: We’re Not Done With Dunsmuir

During the playoffs, ice hockey is the delight of everyone, to paraphrase Brown J in Canada (Attorney General) v. Igloo Vikski Inc., [2016] 2 SCR 80. But who is the greatest hockey player of all time? The Hockey Writers weighed in . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

See No Evil? Could “Innovation Waivers” Help Break Roadblocks to Reforming Legal Service Delivery?

We need to be more creative and bold when it comes to legal service delivery. To use a well-worn, if ambiguous, phrase: we need to innovate! Among legal circles, this refrain has so thickly hung in the air for so long that it is almost baked into the wall-paper like its cousin refrain: there is an access to justice crisis!

The fact that we repeatedly hear about the need for legal service innovation and for improved access to justice does not, of course, mean that these are not important, pressing goals. To the contrary, there is compelling evidence to suggest . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics