Canada’s online legal magazine.

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

Respect and Regard
Neil Guthrie

Feeling respect and regard for your readers is important, but this edition is more specifically about words and phrases derived from respect and regard. …

Technology

Summer Tip Roundup: Current Awareness
Alan Kilpatrick

Over the summer, we will be highlighting Legal Sourcery’s most popular research tips. On that note, here are Legal Sourcery’s most popular current awareness tips …

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Picturing the Law

I went through law school without ever seeing pictures in the law books I read. And only once did I imagine the parties in a case and give them faces – State v. Williams, 484 P. 2d 1167 (Wash. Ct. App. 1971). There, in my criminal law textbook, was the story of an Indian couple without a lot of education who were charged with manslaughter because their child died after they failed to take him to a doctor. They thought he had a toothache. Ignorance was not an excuse. I still visualize them and their pain at losing their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Presentations and Legal Project Management

If you’re managing legal projects, there will be times you need to present information to your boss(es), your clients, or your team.

I’ve seen many successful projects perceived as troubled simply because the project manager couldn’t “manage” a presentation.

In a project management presentation, PowerPoint (or its equivalent) is good for two things, and two things only:

  • Visuals, and
  • Signposts

It is a very poor tool for the purpose most people use it: transmission of information.

The “Bad” of Slides

Asking people to read a detailed PowerPoint slide will induce a) eyestrain, b) boredom, or c) both. It will rarely . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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. Canadian Securities Law 2. Slater Vecchio Connected 3. NSRLP 4. First Reference 5. Clicklaw Blog

Canadian Securities Law
Canada Welcomes T+2 Settlement

Effective September 5, 2017, the standard settlement timeframe for certain securities has been shortened to trade date plus two days (T+2) from trade date plus

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Perceptions Matter, but Reality Matters More

Judges are not immune from scrutiny, but we should be cautious in the manner in which we exert that scrutiny.

Sometimes that scrutiny is thrust directly into the public forum, as with Justice Zabel’s incident on Nov. 9, 2016, when he wore a hat from the American president’s election campaign.

Lawyers were upset, understandably, as there were legitimate concerns about political partisanship generally, but also about the appearance of bias towards any of the historically marginalized or radicalized groups that the presidential candidate had made offensive comments about. The public were even more concerned, especially where a Canadian judge appeared . . . [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.

PÉNAL (DROIT)Les déclarations de culpabilité des appelants, impliqués dans un réseau ayant écoulé des millions de cigarettes de contrebande en Nouvelle-Écosse, commettant ainsi une fraude de plusieurs millions de dollars en taxes impayées à l’encontre des gouvernements du Canada et de la Nouvelle-Écosse, sont confirmées.

Intitulé : O’Reilly c. R., . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

“Chain Migration” and the Importance of Language

The most recent controversy stemming from the Twitter account of the-president-who-shall-not-be-named related to “chain migration”. This refers to immigrants who seek to gain points or favour with the destination country based on their personal connections to people residing or connected to that country. The idea is that the citizens or residents are creating a “chain” to help bring members of their personal networks to the country and thereby circumvent or undermine the application process. In Canada, we would call this “family reunification” and it is explicitly stated as one of the Objectives within immigration law.

Subsection 3(1)(d) of the Immigration . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

SEC Weighs in on Initial Coin Offerings

As of August 2017, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) – a means of raising funds for a new cryptocurrency venture, whereby units of the new cryptocurrency are sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies – were said to have collectively raised over $1.2 billion, surpassing early stage venture capital funding for internet companies. The value and nature of these transactions have, unsurprisingly, drawn the attention of regulators worldwide including a total ban on ICOs from the People’s Bank of China. On July 25, 2017, in response to criticism and concerns surrounding ICOs, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Tribunal Addresses Disabled Employee Resignations

In addition to affirming that an employee’s resignation must be clear and unequivocal to be valid, this case tells us that employers do not have a greater onus when it comes to long-term disabled employees who resign. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal did not accept the employee’s claim that it was unreasonable in the circumstances for her employer to conclude that she wished to resign without further inquiry. . . . [more]

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

Seatbelts On

My last column was about Kenya. So is this one. For me, Kenya is currently one of the most interesting countries to follow if you are interested in rule of law development and justice innovation.

“I had just started my working day when I got a call from my sister. She had been taken to the police station or her way to work. The matatu bus on which she was traveling had been stopped and checked for seat belts. The passengers not wearing them where taken. I rushed to where she was but was too late; she had already been . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Authentic Lawyer?

There’s a bit of buzz in Winnipeg this week about the International Downtown Association’s 63rd annual conference taking place here. The theme of the conference is Authenticity, which seems apt in these days of fake news and fake nudes.

Living authentically is an ideal espoused by many authors and speakers in the self-improvement sector, whether that path to authenticity is found through meditation, spiritual transformation or some other means. The general idea is simply that an individual aspires to and works toward being the best possible version of themselves, with their interior self in alignment with their exterior . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law

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. Vaillancourt v Carter, 2017 ABCA 282

[26] It is apparent on the evidence before me that Mr. Carter has gone to elaborate lengths to shield his investments and arrange his affairs to appear as though he does not have the financial means to satisfy the judgment against him or to comply with a security for judgment order. A holding company, aptly . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII