Canada’s online legal magazine.

Leadership and the Law

The role of a society’s recognized and legal “leader” is a complicated one. It is affected by and affects the society’s political culture. It can be unifying or divisive. It can seek to move the society forward or to take it back to an earlier time. It can reflect the individual’s ignorance or knowledge of the political unit’s norms, conventions and laws. However, one of the most important aspects of leadership is that the individual understands the law (with help from advisors) and respects the legal system, even though they may disagree with particular laws. A so-called “leader” who shows . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

How to Better Deal With Stress in Law Firms

“Survival mode is supposed to be a phase that helps save your life. It’s not meant to be how you live”.
Michele Rosenthal, Author and Trauma Therapist.

Whether I’m coaching individual lawyers or assisting a firm with a strategic plan, inevitably the concept of stress management will arise. It could be at the heart of an under-performing lawyer; it could be blocking teams from executing on their practice group or client team plans; or it could be holding back the implementation of a new firm program. Sometimes stress is the obvious culprit; sometimes it’s under the surface and takes a . . . [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 practice, research, writing and technology.


A Tool to Improve Your Writing
Lesha Van Der Bij

I recently read about a great tool that helps you to simplify your writing. The Hemingway App highlights: sentences that are difficult to read – yellow sentences are hard to read, while red are “egregious”; use of the passive voice; …

Research & Writing

Heads up!
Neil Guthrie

The origins of this phrase are a little obscure, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Prescribing Technology by Law

Lately we discussed on this blog U.S. legislation appearing to validate contracts or signatures done by blockchain, by saying that ‘electronic record’ and ‘electronic signature’ under the states’ e-transactions legislation included blockchain. There was considerable thought that this was not necessary, that the conclusion was obvious (or badly wrong, if there could be a non-electronic blockchain).

Apparently this kind of legislation has been around for a long time. Here is a note (h/t Ian Kyer) about Pennsylvania legislation in the 1890s saying that typewriting was writing for all legal purposes. Could this have been previously in doubt, given that printed . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Fertility Law in Canada Is Changing: Understanding the Legal Impacts

Fifteen years after the Assisted Human Reproduction Act was introduced, Health Canada has finally released the long-awaited regulations under the Act regarding the reimbursement of surrogates and donors. The new regulations come into force on June 9, 2020. They will have a significant impact on individuals who use assisted reproductive technologies and the fertility lawyers who advise them.

The Federal Government’s intention behind the new regulations is to further protect the health and safety of Canadians who use or are born through the use of assisted reproductive technologies like invitro fertilization and surrogacy. The Minister of Health has expressed that . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. The Lean Law Firm 2. Great LEXpectations 3. Canadian Class Actions Monitor 4. 5. Eva Chan

The Lean Law Firm
15-Minute Projects for the Summertime Blues

For many law firms, summer time is quiet time. Clients are on vacation. Lawyers (sometimes) are on vacation. The office

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Reforming Ontario’s Family Law Justice System

Despite the best efforts of our dedicated and tireless Family Court judges, they are becoming overwhelmed. There are many reasons for this phenomenon I am sure including the fact that governments across Canada spend roughly only 1% of their annual budgets on the justice system[1]. One of them is what has been termed the rise of the “self represented” litigant. Self represented litigants are not necessarily a problem despite what you might hear in the media and read in studies[2] undertaken to try understand the reasons behind their “rise” and to offer to solutions to deal with . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Continued Utility of Privacy Class Actions in Deterrence

Several years ago, I covered in the Western Journal of Legal Studies the emergence of class actions as a viable mechanism to promote privacy interests in the public. Central to this promise was the inability of statutory remedies to provide any meaningful deterrence against these breaches. I specifically focused on the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), which had never had a successful prosecution at that time.

Since then, there has been successful prosecutions under PHIPA starting in 2016, and there have been some changes that might make it more viable in protecting privacy interests. Amendments under Bill . . . [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.

TRAVAIL : L’interdiction du gouvernement du Québec faite aux ingénieurs de la fonction publique d’utiliser sa messagerie électronique afin de transmettre un message syndical constitue de l’ingérence au sens de l’article 12, compte tenu du contexte de la négociation collective en cours et de l’absence de preuve d’un préjudice. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Picturing the Law, Part Two: Collecting Illustrated French Law Codes

Recently, Becky Beaupre Gillespie, the University of Chicago Law School Director of Content, published a story on the collection I’m building titled “The Cartoonists’ Guide to Law: D’Angelo Law Library’s New Collection of Illustrated Legal Codes Offers Insight into Statutes and Society” (July 8, 2019)(also published at the University of Chicago Library News site, July 18, 2019). It is the culmination of several years of trying to hunt down and acquire hard to find copies of foreign law codes illustrated by Joseph Hémard and others.

So, how did I go about identifying and acquiring these illustrated law codes? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Years Spent as Contractor to Be Included in Calculation of Reasonable Notice

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court in Cormier v 1772887 Ontario Ltd., 2019 ONSC 587 (CanLII) involved the number of years of service that were included in the calculation of notice, whether a termination clause was valid, and also if inappropriate deductions were made from the employee’s pay.

Quick facts

The employer operated a business across Canada that involved marketing and advertising.

A long-time employee (with almost 23 years of service) was dismissed without cause and claimed $136,577.75 in damages for wrongful dismissal. In her claim, the employee submitted that she was entitled to 24 months of . . . [more]

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