Canada’s online legal magazine.

Cyber Security Report Card

Cybersecurity was a major topic at the recent Canadian IT Law Association conference. It can be a daunting subject to ponder when dealing with various types of services, cloud providers, and the methods, standards and assurances available to lower the risk of a security breach. Cyber insurance to cover some of these risks is a growing field.

This Cyber Security Report Card (pdf) is a good high level summary of the things that businesses should think about when considering security issues for their organization. It was provided by one of the luncheon speakers, John Millar of Digital Boundary Group, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Female Candidates Preferred? When Job Postings Time Travel…

A Toronto web design company recently published a job posting for a writing job indicating that “female candidates are preferred”, seemingly time-warping back to the Mad Men era… Specifically, the position was for a content writer and search-engine optimization specialist on LinkedIn. However, the posting also indicated that the successful candidate will need to fulfill the “responsibilities of a receptionist, so female candidates are preferred.”

Not surprisingly, the job posting has attracted negative attention on twitter and news outlets have picked up the story. The company responded on Twitter and LinkedIn by stating that they “did not mean to discriminate . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

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. R. v. Hecimovic, 2014 BCCA 483

[50] The trial judge expressly dealt with, and dismissed, the Crown’s theory that the respondent drove in a deliberately dangerous manner, within the meaning of s. 249(1)(a) of the Criminal Code. The question on this appeal is whether the trial judge erred in law in the manner in which she addressed what remained of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Access to Justice Reform and the Data Deficit- Some Lessons Learned

On September 15, 2015 the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) published Civil Non-Family Cases Filed in the Supreme Court of BC – Research Results and Lessons Learned. This study is one piece of a larger, five year “Cost of Justice research initiative being undertaken by CFCJ with the goal of defining the economic and social costs of justice on two fronts: the cost of delivering access to justice, and the cost of not delivering access to justice.

The study was conducted by Focus Consultants of Victoria, B.C. in 2014 and 2015 in the Supreme Court of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Wishing You Happy Holidays … if Canada’s Anti-Spam Law Permits

The holiday season is an important season to focus on good will and the profound messages that the holidays celebrate. Many organizations use the holiday season to communicate with clients and associates to share that sentiment. For example, an organization may wish to invite individuals to a holiday-themed party, or simply send a seasonal greeting. What many organizations may not have considered is whether these benign-seeming messages will attract seven-figure liability.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Law, more commonly known as CASL, generally provides that a sender must obtain the consent of a recipient before sending a “commercial electronic message,” or “CEM,” to . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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 and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

Stay on Top of Changes to Specific Webpages With
Bronwyn Guiton is a tool I recommend to help you monitor webpages and be notified automatically if they’ve been updated. No one wants to be sitting around refreshing a web page until that important agreement gets uploaded and goes public. This tool will watch the page for you and email you when it’s updated. . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Drafting a Non-Engagement Letter

Phantom clients, those who believe they are represented by you, though the individual has not formally hired or retained you, can lead to a potential claim down the road. If you decline an engagement for legal services or the client chooses not to retain you, the non-engagement should immediately be confirmed in writing by way of a non-engagment letter. Here are three resources to help you draft one: . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Tony Merchant and the Missing Fee Agreement: Why All the Fuss?

In an article in the National Post last week, Justice Belobaba is described as having ‘scorched’ Merchant Law Group for its “profoundly unacceptable fee agreement” with its client, the class representative in McCallum-Boxe v. Sony. While there are many unsavoury and arguably unethical practices for which Merchant may be justly criticized, this fee arrangement does not merit the same level of excoriation.

The case involved a very small settlement in a class action against Sony. The judge approved the $8000 payment to the class, but was shocked to discover that class counsel had not required the class representatives to . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

The Blurring of Music Copyright?

Last month I heard an excerpt from the Slate podcast Culture Gabfest presented as part of CBC’s Podcast Playlist. The excerpt was from the Culture Gabfest March podcast and the “gabbers,” along with “pop-chart columnist” Chris Molanphy, were discussing the “Blurred Lines” court case. It was something Molanphy said during the conversation that has been nagging at me ever since:

“… if something recaptures the atmosphere, or the vibe, or the feel of a record without actually duplicating its melody, its tempo, its syncopation, certainly its lyrics … that is now litigable, that’s kind of unprecedented.”


You . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Is LinkedIn All It Was Cracked Up to Be?

Our friend and colleague Bob Ambrogi thinks LinkedIn is losing its luster – and we agree. He wrote a blog post recently on this subject. So we tip our hat to Bob before we begin.

Author Simek isn’t active on any social media other than LinkedIn, largely because he is a professional testifying expert on IT and digital forensics topics – and he didn’t want to risk being hung by his own petard because of something he had posted on other kinds of social media. But LinkedIn, in its original incarnation in 2002, was pretty much a resume site and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

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 sixty 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. Environmental Law & Litigation 2. First Reference Talks 3. The Stream 4. 5. Blogue du CRL

Environmental Law & Litigation
Why buy contaminated site, then sue?

I continue to be amazed by the number of people who knowingly (or carelessly) buy a contaminated site, wrongly assuming that they . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Even Pedophiles Have Charter Rights

The true test of a society is how we treat the most vulnerable, despicable, and heinous members of our society. The ability of the legal system to temper passions, quell inflammatory biases, and dispense justice to all individuals is the reason why the justice system is valued and respected by society at large.

R. v. Williams, an interesting case awaiting a hearing before the Supreme Court, helps illustrate these tensions. The case was debated this year at the 2015 Paralegal Cup.

Kenneth Williamson was accused of multiple charges of sexual assault of a minor between 1979-1980. These allegations . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law