Canada’s online legal magazine.

OHRT Challenges Infamous Family Status Test

Written by Cristina Lavecchia, paralegal, Editor, First Reference

In a recent decision (Misetich v. Value Village Stores Inc.), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the Tribunal) questioned the value of various past case laws that have introduced and applied different tests for family status discrimination, including the Johnstone test. More specifically, the Tribunal disapproved of the existence of distinct “tests” for establishing family status discrimination. . . . [more]

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

Thursday Thinkpiece: Knowledge Management in Law Firms

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Knowledge Management in Law Firms: Expertise In Action
Consulting editors: Luis Felipe Mohando, Silke Gotschalk, Martin Schulz and Gerard Tanja
© 2016 Globe Law and Business Ltd. Use the promo code SLAWGLB to receive 15% off the regular price.

Excerpt: Showcasing outside the library walls: growth through collaboration
by Emily Allbon, . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

How Ongoing Reviews of Federal Environmental Laws Could Change Environmental Decision-Making in Canada

In November 2015, the Prime Minister mandated several Cabinet Ministers to review four of Canada’s environmental laws and processes: the Fisheries Act, Navigation Protection Act, the National Energy Board, and federal environmental assessment processes. The four reviews are ongoing now and will be completed in early 2017.

The West Coast Environmental Law Association has established an on-line hub where individuals and groups can access key information about the reviews, background resources and guidance about how to get involved. This includes our briefs and submissions on Fisheries Act and Navigation Protection Act reform, as well as recommendations about next generation . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Even Santa Needs to Get It in Writing

A Toronto mall and its former “Fashion Santa” are having a snowball fight over the character. The mall hired a new Fashion Santa this year instead of the person who played the role before. The dispute is over who owns the character and name. They even have duelling trademark applications for Fashion Santa.

In the end it comes down to the facts (including whether the individual is an employee or an independent contractor, and who developed the character) and the nature of any agreement that might exist.

While disputes over pubic characters makes for good press, this kind . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

2011: The Year in Tech

Matt Mullenweg is yet another tech billionaire college dropout. He may be less famous than Mark Zuckerberg, but the blogging platform he founded, WordPress, powers 25% of the web, including Slaw.

In a recent podcast, Mullenweg explained that most of the hot topics in technology that the tech press bombards us with at any given time are too early in their hype cycle, and that a better source of inspiration for tech projects is to look at what technologies were considered hot 5 years ago.

So I went back to 2011 and found a post entitled “2011: The . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal 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. Cowper-Smith v. Morgan, 2016 BCCA 200

[62] As previously stated, the central issue in this appeal is whether the judge erred in finding that the presumption of undue influence was not rebutted because of the inadequacy of the legal advice provided to Elizabeth by Ms. Iverson and Mr. Easdon when she signed the June 22, 2001 documents. If the judge correctly . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Technology, the Fiduciary Duty, and the Unaffordable Legal Services Problem

The concept of a legal profession should have a strong social welfare aspect to it such that its distant goal is to make a community’s legal health as important to it as its medical health, and its lawyers as important to it as its doctors. Technology can do that. Unfortunately it is becoming a more distant and unattainable goal because our law societies are moving us in the wrong direction.

All efforts are aimed at helping the population learn to live with the problem of unaffordable legal services, but there are none to solve the problem. Law society benchers . . . [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

Grey Literature: Our Favourite Sources and Suggestions
Bronwyn Guiton & Lindsay Tripp

This article was originally published in the November 2016 edition of Wired West. At the recent 2016 Special Libraries Association conference in Philadelphia, one of the most popular sessions was Hidden Treasures: Mastering Grey Literature …


Did Your Client Really Just Instruct You to Release Funds? When Clients’ Emails Get Hacked
Ian Hu

In . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Building and Maintaining a Precedents Collection – Part II: Crucial Elements

In my previous column, Building and Maintaining a Precedents Collection – Part 1: Getting Started, I reviewed the benefits and challenges of creating such a collection and noted several threshold issues. In this column, I will address certain elements that you will need to keep in mind as you attack this problem.

Contract maturity model. Kingsley Martin, in a three-part series of blog postings on the Thomson Reuters site (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), develops the concept of a “contract maturity model,” based on Richard Susskind’s analysis in his book The End . . . [more]

Posted in: 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 seventy 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. Meurrens on Immigration  2. Labour Pains 3. Combat Sports Law  4. Global Workplace Insider  5. Canadian Privacy Law Blog

Meurrens on Immigration
Canada Lifts Visa Requirement Against Mexico; Bulgaria, Romania, Brazil Soon to Follow

On December 1, 2016, the Government of Canada lifted the requirement that Mexican nationals obtain . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Strategies for Racialized Licensees

It’s with a tad bit of irony that the professions charged with fighting inequities and combating racism, both explicit and institutional, is itself one of the most regressive communities there is when it comes to these same challenges.

In part this is likely due to the independence of the legal professions, which results in a decentralized industry that is highly autonomous, but also likes to act with impunity. Most legal practices do not have access to best practices in human rights, or how to create an inclusive work environment. In fact, most of these practices are still largely exclusive to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues

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) : Reconnu coupable sous 113 chefs d’infraction de nature sexuelle à l’égard de jeunes filles âgées de 8 à 14 ans, l’accusé, un professeur d’éducation physique au primaire qui leurrait ses victimes au moyen d’Internet et les menaçait ultérieurement de diffuser le matériel compromettant qu’elles lui faisaient parvenir, . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday