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The LSO Technology Guideline: Considering the Ethics of It All

In the fall of 2019, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada amended their Model Code of Professional Conduct to incorporate reference to the use of technology in section 3.1-2 of the Model Code, which addresses competence. The Law Society of Ontario has provided the profession with a “guideline” in the use of technology, which in some cases refers to the Rules of Professional Conduct, but it is not itself a rule of professional conduct. It constitutes, in effect, desirable behaviour but, with some exceptions, not required conduct. As does legal practice generally, however, the use of technology requires ethical . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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

Neil Guthrie

As used (or not) in the names of countries. One does still occasionally hear or see the Ukraine, but be careful not to use that around people of Ukrainian origin. They can get very shirty about it. Their point is that the definite article the makes the country sound more like a region, like the Midwest or the Highlands – and, by implication, . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Modern Patent Interpretation Reviewed

In Seedlings Life Science Ventures, LLC v. Pfizer Canada ULC, 2020 FC 1, Mr. Justice Sébastien Grammond presided over a patent infringement action in the Federal Court of Canada. The review is a helpful reminder of the modern approach to interpret patent claims.

Seedlings Life Science Ventures, LLC (Seedlings) is an early-stage health-care research and product development company. It alleges that Pfizer Canada ULC (Pfizer), infringes Seedings patent by selling in Canada an auto-injector commonly known as the EpiPen. While, at first sight, the EpiPen and Seedlings’s invention do not look alike, Seedlings argues that the EpiPen infringes certain . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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. Alcohol & Advocacy 2. Thoughtful Legal Management 3. Family LLB 4. Canadian Securities Law 5. The Factum

Alcohol & Advocacy
Roncarelli v. Duplessis: Abuse of power by the Quebec Liquor Commission

Provincial liquor Acts furnish their respective jurisdictions with a complete code for the administration of the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

A Purposive Interpretation May Not Be Liberal and Generous

The wheels of justice move slowly. So slowly sometimes, that their conclusion occurs after all practical considerations for the parties are finished.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Poulin is an example of this, with the defendant passing away within four months of the Court granting leave for appeal.

In case you were wondering, he did not have the opportunity to file his factum.

Prior to his demise, the Crown had unsuccessfully sought to bring a motion to suspend the execution of his conditional sentence. The conditional sentence provided by the trial judge was due to his . . . [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.

FAMILLE : Un adolescent de 16 ans a le droit de refuser de fournir une copie de ses passeports, de son certificat de citoyenneté et d’autres documents personnels du même genre à son père; le droit à la vie privée de l’adolescent l’emporte en l’espèce sur l’autorité parentale.

Intitulé :  . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Refugee Law & Climate Change

Kiribati is a small island nation that may soon be gone. It is forecasted to be the first nation to become a victim of climate change and all of its citizens will be forced, involuntarily, to find another home. In an unprecedented decision, the UN Human Rights Commission ruled that a citizen of Kiribati, Mr. Ioane Teitioto, shall not be deported by New Zealand due to threats related to climate change. This decision is the first in a sea of change, I believe, that will lead to a significant expansion of Canadian refugee law.

A Brief History of the “Eco-Refugee”

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

The Expanding Meaning of “Other Cause”: Support Entitlement Beyond the Age of Majority

I continue to be amazed by the speed with which judicial interpretation of family law statutes evolves, and how that evolution undermines what little certainty those statutes provide to separating parents. As family law lawyers will recall, section 2(1) of the Divorce Act provides that:

“Child of the marriage” means a child of two spouses or former spouses who, at the material time … is the age of majority or over and under their charge but unable, by reason of illness, disability or other cause, to withdraw from their charge or to obtain the necessities of life.

Once upon a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – What Can We Agree on and What Can’t We?

I recently attended part of RODA’s 5th Annual Diversity Conference which was entitled Resilience in Challenging Times. I was particularly interested in hearing the panel Building Consensus: The Future of EDI at the LSO. There were four panelists; two from the Stop the SOP slate and two who had been members of the Law Society Challenges Task Force.

The context for the panel appeared to me to be intentionally post-Statement of Principles, to address questions beyond the debate about compelled speech and belief. Perhaps not surprisingly, there was little if any consensus and little apparent attempt to find any. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Application of a Workplace Absenteeism Policy

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

In Teamsters Local Union 847 v Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, 2019 CanLII 95328 (ON LA), a labour arbitrator upheld the reasonable application of a workplace absenteeism policy. Although the employee’s excessive absenteeism was because the employee tried to better herself and upgrade her training, the employer was still justified in dismissing her. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Book Review: Fitness to Plead: International and Comparative Perspectives

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.

Fitness to Plead: International and Comparative Perspectives. Edited by Ronnie Mackay & Warren Brookbanks. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. xxxi, 323 p. Includes list of contributors and index. ISBN 978-0-19-8788478 (hardcover) $75.00; ISBN 9780191092718 (Kobo) $59.99, (Kindle) $66.27.

Reviewed by Goldwynn Lewis
Law Librarian
Public Prosecution Service of Canada
In . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

Vavilov & Dunsmuir: Looking for Signals in the Precedential Game of Thrones

As we all know, administrative law nerds (their own expression) received a nice Holiday present on December 19 when the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Vavilov. This important event in Canadian law isn’t just fun for the admin law crowd, it’s also an occasion for us, legal information geeks, to live in real time another game of “precedential game of thrones.”

I’ve been interested for a long time in finding signals that could indicate that a case is no longer good law (or at least no longer to be cited without caution). There are ways to spot . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Technology