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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. Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style  2. BC Injury Law Blog  3. Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog  4. Canadian Privacy Law Blog  5. Western Canada Business Litigation Blog

Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style
Lawyers flip their wigs
Flip Your Wig for Justice invites lawyers to abandon their pride to help Ontario’s legal system. The campaign asks people from the legal community and beyond to don ‘wacky’ wigs on March 6 to raise both money for and awareness of issues regarding access to justice. Flip Your Wig was created by seven non-profit and volunteer-based organizations united by their concern over the difficulties many Ontarians face when they are involved in a legal dispute. According to the Flip website, only about 6.5 percent of legal matters ever make it to the formal justice system. . . .

BC Injury Law Blog
“Mild” Concussion Leads To $5.9 Million Judgement
I can put it no better myself than the beginning of the judgement which reads “Occasionally a seemingly innocuous event can have tragic consequences“. This passage is taken from reasons for judgement released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, dealing with such consequences after a seemingly minor collision. In today’s case (Wallman v. John Doe) the Plaintiff was involved in a rear end collision in 2006. It was by all accounts a modest collision however it caused a concussive injury. The Plaintiff went on to suffer from profound post concussive symptoms. He was a doctor and these symptoms disabled him from his own profession. Due to this lost income earning ability the assessed damages were high. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $200,000 Mr. Justice Weatherill provided the following reasons: . . .

Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog
U of T Study Find Canadian Managers are MORE Hostile to Unions than American
The story is familiar. The percentage of workers in unions in the United States was higher than in Canada until around the 1960s, at which time a stark divergence occurred. American union density plummeted from near 40% to its current rate of about 10%, while Canadian union density held tight near 38-40%. Scholars on both sides of the border have tried to explain this divergence for decades. Along with differences in labour laws, one of the most popular explanations was that Canadian employers were just less hostile towards unions than their American counterparts. Professor Paul Weiler (Osgoode, Harvard) was one of the leading voices on this point, arguing that American labor law should move towards the Canadian system, which gives employers less opportunity to wage a campaign to dissuade workers to unionize. . . .

Canadian Privacy Law Blog
Microsoft to agree to local storage of foreign users’ data
According to the Financial Times, Microsoft is going to break from the pack of other cloud service providers by agreeing to store data locally. FT.com content is behind an annoying paywall, but here’s the gist of it along with some commentary. “Microsoft will allow foreign customers to have their personal data stored on servers outside the US, breaking ranks with other big technology groups that until now have shown a united front in response to the American surveillance scandal. . . . ”

Western Canada Business Litigation Blog
How to Remove a Restrictive Covenant
t seemed like a good idea at the time. However, as time passes, things change and having a restrictive covenant on title to property can become a big problem. Restrictive covenants are charges registered on title to land that restrict the use and enjoyment of that land in some way. They can prohibit activities on a property or confine the nature, size and location of construction on the property. Restrictive covenants are placed against title to a property for the benefit of one or more other properties (and the owners of those parcels). They can be very simple. For example, a restrictive covenant may prevent building a home above a certain height so the view from a neighbouring property is preserved. Restrictive covenants can also be far more complex and registered against a large number of properties. For example, a restrictive covenant can be on title to dozens of parcels and regulate and restrict all manner of conduct and construction on them all. . . .
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*Randomness here is created by Random.org and its list randomizing function.

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