Canada’s online legal magazine.

Limits on Accountants’ Duty of Confidentiality

On 18 February 2013 the Minister of national Revenue moved ex parte for an order under section 231.2(3) of the Income Tax Act, authorizing him to impose on KPMG LLP a requirement to provide information relating to certain of its unnamed clients, including their identities, and documentation relating to their participation in an offshore company tax structure.

KPMG moved for an order quashing the ex parte order. It sought a declaration that the sections of the Income Tax Act which authorized the order were of no force or effect because they unjustifiably infringe the protections of life, liberty and security . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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. Administrative Law Matters  2. Canadian Immigration law Blog 3. Robeside Assistance  4. Alcohol & Advocacy  5. ABlawg

Administrative Law Matters
Reconstructing Judicial Review — Sarah Nason

Today at the Centre for Public Law, we kicked off a new series of seminars, New Faces in Public Law, designed . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The Future of Access to Justice in Civil Disputes

Every lawyer probably got that phone call. Someone owes me a thousand dollars. Can you help me? Someone cut a branch on my tree without my permission. Can we sue them? Or the toughest question of all when random strangers call you for advice: do I have a case? No, you don’t. Well, wait: you’re frustrated because no responsible lawyer can answer this question on the spot, and you’re frustrated because you know that even if they have a case, they probably should not hire you because of your fees. It’s a simple cost/benefit analysis.

Let’s focus on the second . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

LSUC Finally Fights Back Around Legal Advertising

Legal marketing has begun to run amok in many major cities in Canada.

I raised attention to this nearly 2 years ago in National Magazine, and since then the mainstream media has picked up on it as well. In particular, the Toronto Star has run a series of articles, focusing primarily on the personal injury bar. There were apparently 604 complaints about licensee advertising in Ontario between 2011-2015, over half of which were initiated by the Law Society of Upper Canada itself.

In response to this, Convocation last Friday introduced a number of changes. The first was to implement . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

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) : Le tribunal refuse d’appliquer la peine minimale obligatoire de un an d’emprisonnement prescrite par l’article 7 (2) b) (iii) de la Loi réglementant certaines drogues et autres substances à l’accusé, qui s’est reconnu coupable de production de marijuana dans une affaire où il a agi à titre . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Vancouver Community College v. Vancouver Career College (Burnaby) Inc., 2017 BCCA 41

AREAS OF LAW:  Intellectual property; Internet Law; Trade-marks Act; Passing off; Goodwill

~It is lawful to use a competitor’s name as a keyword in Internet advertising, provided the resulting advertisement does not use a confusingly similar trademark, including in the domain name displayed in the advertisement. The test requires measuring the likelihood of confusion when . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On one Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted, so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with (Jan. 28 – Feb. 23, 2017 inclusive).

Appeals

Criminal Law: Drug Impaired
R. v. Bingley, 2017 SCC 12 (36610)

The drug recognition expert can, in this case, testify about their determination under s. 254(3.1) of the Criminal Code . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Criticizing Judges in a Trump Era

What does ethical criticism of a judge or judgment require? Or, to put it slightly differently, on what basis might we say that a criticism of a judge or judgment is improper?

Recent comments by Donald Trump make this question seem straightforward. The President’s tweets were clearly inappropriate. It is not acceptable for the President to refer to a Federal Court trial judge as a “so-called judge”, to describe the judge’s decision as terrible (Feb 4), to call a Federal Appeals Court judgment a “disgraceful decision” (February 10) and, most chillingly, to say “Just cannot believe a judge would put . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Partisan Political Arguments in the Workplace

The U.S. 2016 presidential election and post-election is causing much debate, criticism, and protest outside of America. Canadians have actively participated in public marches and protests in response to Trump’s comments and proposed policies, as well as the recent U.S. ban on entry to that country from certain Muslim nations. According to a recent CNN/ORC poll, more than eight-in-10 Americans have said that the U.S. was more deeply divided on major issues in 2016 than in the past several years.

With this in mind, we need to ask where does political talk fit in the workplace? Or more importantly, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

#HackJustice

In his February 3rd, 2017, Slaw article entitled “Build, Baby Build”, Colin Lachance describes his experience of having individuals share with and seek his advice on building some “app/service/tool that could very well make a valuable contribution to public or professional engagement with legal information or the legal system.” Having come from a law and technology background, I have had the same experience. Often times the questions from aspiring legal tech entrepreneurs center on struggling to understand how or where to begin. I have found that this leads some to overthink things and to not get going. I . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Thursday Thinkpiece: Crawford on Fake News in Canada

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.

Fake News Now Legal in Canada! (Not so fast…)

© 2017 by Michael G. Crawford. Reprinted with permission

Michael G. Crawford, LL.B. is a recognized expert in media law, with more than 25 years’ experience as a broadcast and print journalist. He is the author of The Journalist’s Legal Guide, now . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Five More Questions About Digital Copyright Law

In my first post on Slaw last summer, I highlighted 5 questions that face digital copyright law. There are of course many unanswered questions in this remarkably dynamic area of the law. Below I discuss 5 more issues that are elaborated upon in my Digital Copyright Law book:

1. What is a copy in the digital age?

The copy concept in copyright law was simple before the internet. An author received compensation for copies purchased by consumers. Digital technologies, which are copy dependent for the production and transmission of content has created new kinds of copies. These are “technical copies” . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property