July, 2014 Archives – Slaw
Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for July, 2014

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.

JEKE Enterprises Ltd. v. Philip K. Matkin Professional Corp., 2014 BCCA 227

1. CASE SUMMARY

AREAS OF LAW: Procedural law; Chambers; Special cases

~It is not appropriate to proceed by special case where the underlying facts of the case are disputed~

BACKGROUND: The Appellants in this case held time shares in a resort owned by the Respondent. In order to fund substantial renovations at the resort, the Respondent . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Friday Fillip: Chickens in the Air

Around my house we sometimes ask “Do chickens anticipate?”. This is a roundabout way of saying “No way,” of course. It’s one of a number of chicken questions that aim at the same thing, another being “Do chickens have lips?”. Or “Do chickens fly?”. But the answer to that last is, surprisingly, yes. Which fact makes the intro to this fillip somewhat plausible.

It’s a fillip of four puzzlers, brain teasers — simple-seeming questions that have difficult or surprising answers. And the first has to do with a truckload of chickens:

  1. A truck transporting live chickens is overweight and will
. . . [more]
Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Generation Flux & the T-Shaped Professional

Gartner recently downgraded their forecast for IT spend in 2014, and it caught my eye. According to Mr Lovelock, one of the reasons for this lowering of projection is how quickly we are moving to what he called, “The Third Age of IT”. Apparently 1980 to 2000 was the “IT Craftsmanship Age” where we were building all those (now legacy) systems and putting together our IT departments. And then from 2000 to the present is what’s being called the “IT Industrialization Age” where we’re currently focused on automating and efficiency. In the legal industry I’d say we’re still very much . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

European Court of Human Rights Factsheets

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg decides thousands of cases every year on an unimaginably vast range of topics. And it has often heard cases on controversial subjects years before Canadian courts have tackled them.

The ECHR has been publishing a series of Factsheets that describe key jurisprudence of the institution broken down by subject.

The ECHR recently added new Factsheets on:

The ECHR hears complaints from individuals living in any of the member states of the Council of Europe about violations of the European Convention of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Accessing Personal Information in Legal Opinions

A recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union found that the Dutch immigration authorities were not required to give a person access to a legal opinion about the person’s immigration status, though the opinion contained personal information about the person. Here is a story about the decision. Giving a summary of the personal information contained in the opinion was sufficient to comply with the obligation under the EU Privacy Directive to let people see the personal information about themselves.

Would such a request have a similar outcome in Canada, or would PIPEDA provide a separate . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Thursday Thinkpiece: Alvarez & Lamport on Social Law Firm Business Strategies

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.

OUTPERFORM THE COMPETITION: BUSINESS STRATEGIES FOR THE SOCIAL LAW FIRM
Guy Alvarez & Joe Lamport
Ark Group, 2014

Excerpt: Executive Summary

Executive summary

PERHAPS THE most important new trend to emerge in the business world over the last decade has been the concept of the “social business”. CEOs of large corporations have realized . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Access to Justice: An Opportunity for Law Schools – Part 1

The CBA’s Equal Justice Report
The Canadian Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee issued its final report in December, entitled Equal Justice: Balancing the Scales (disclaimer – I am a member of the committee). The committee proposed 31 targets to achieve access to justice in Canada. The report can be found here: http://www.cba.org/CBA/equaljustice/main/.

What isn’t well known is that some of these access to justice targets involved Canadian law schools. They provide an opportunity for law faculties to modernize their curriculum while playing a significant role in the biggest legal issue of our generation.

Last fall at the University . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

Tracking Currents and Following Flotsam

The Atlantic reported this week on the outcome of a 1997 cargo ship spill. The story was picked up yesterday by CBC’s As It Happens (listen here). Here’s what happened as described in The Atlantic article:

It started in 1997. On February 13 of that year, a rogue wave hit the New York-bound cargo ship Tokio Express while it was only 20 miles off Land’s End, on Britain’s southwest coast. The ship stayed afloat; some of its cargo, however—62 shipping containers—were thrown overboard as the vessel pitched. One of these containers contained Legos. Tons of Legos—many of them,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Indexes: Still Necessary in the Age of E-Books

One of the challenges for legal librarians is making sure that library users get the most out of the resources available to them. There is an incredible amount of legal information available, but if a researcher cannot find the information he or she needs, the information might as well not exist. Fortunately there are a number of tools out there to make the process easier. On a wider level, these tools include library catalogues and bibliographies, and on a narrower level these tools include tables of contents and indexes.

A good index can be worth its weight in gold, helping . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Dennis v. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, 2014 ONSC 3882

[64] Where theft by an employee is suspected the outcome of criminal charges is not determinative for employment purposes. An act of theft by an employee may be provable on a civil standard that falls short of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

[65] In the particular circumstances of this case, including . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Komagata Maru Remembered

On May 23, 1914, the Komagata Maru sailed into Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, carrying 376 passengers of Indian origin. However, the passengers on board the Japanese steamer were denied permission to enter Canada. Fears over Asian immigration at the time led the Canadian government to adopt a series of racist exclusionary policies against Chinese, Japanese and Indian migrants.

For two months, passengers of the Komagata Maru sought to defy the Continuous Journey Regulation, adopted solely to exclude them. While the passengers were not allowed to disembark the ship, supporters in Vancouver challenged the regulation on their behalf in court. Ultimately unsuccessful, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

When a Key Partner Leaves: What It Takes to Keep Clients

When a key partner in a large law firm moves to a competitor, do his or her institutional clients tend to leave too? The answer might depend on how much internal conflict there is at the firm left behind.

Michelle Rogan of INSEAD recently published ground-breaking research of the relationships between large, multi-unit advertising agencies and client firms. These relationships are very similar in structure to those between law firms and institutional clients, where services in several areas of professional expertise are provided through personal connections developed over time.

Most of us believe that the more ties between people at . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management