March, 2015 Archives – Slaw
Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for March, 2015

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at cases.slaw.ca.

This week’s summaries concern:
Real Property Tax – Criminal Law – Evidence

Saskatoon (City) v. North Ridge Development Corp. 2015 SKCA 13
Real Property Tax
Summary: The City of Saskatoon applied for leave to appeal two decisions of the Assessment Appeals Committee pursuant to s. 33.1 of the Municipal Board Act. Both decisions concerned the same land owned . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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) : L’incompétence manifeste de l’avocat de l’accusé, qui porte atteinte à la présomption de compétence généralement reconnue aux avocats, fait en sorte que la tenue d’un nouveau procès s’impose.

Intitulé : Agnant c. R., 2015 QCCA 465
Juridiction : Cour d’appel (C.A.), Montréal, 500-10-004555-106 et 500-10-004672-109
Décision de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Friday Fillip: Relating

For the next while the Friday Fillip will be a chapter in a serialized crime novel, interrupted occasionally by a reference you might like to follow up. Both this chapter of the book and the whole story up to this point can be had as PDF files.

Now you may also subscribe to have the chapters delivered to you by email.


 

MEASURING LIFE
 
Chapter 4
Relating

“Aren’t you going to write any of this down?” Her name was Gladys Tremaine, Mrs. Gladys Tremaine, thank you very much — Mr. Harold Tremaine had died almost twenty years

. . . [more]
Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Family Justice 3.6: Rethinking Family to Reduce Conflict

All law, with the exception of animal cruelty laws, concerns the interaction of human social groups ranging in scale from the individual to the state, either for the purpose of regulating those interactions or providing remedies when things go awry. It’s the humanness of these interactions which makes the law as complex as it is, family law especially so; we are messy, irrational creatures with priorities, goals and emotions that are highly variable and difficult to predict.

It seems to me that the contortions into which family law twists itself largely result from efforts to address, accommodate and anticipate the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Why Do Lawyers Resist Ethical Rules Requiring Competence With Technology?

Recently, the Virginia State Bar Council voted to adopt changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The changes were based on the American Bar Association’s modifications to the Comments of Rule 1.1 respecting Competence (“…a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with technology…”) and Rule 1.6 respecting Confidentiality (“(c) A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the unintended disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.”)

What’s reasonable? The Comments go on to list relevant factors:

  1. the sensitivity of
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

Moonlighting Created a Serious Conflict of Interest

A Canada Revenue Agency employee’s moonlighting activities constituted a serious conflict of interest and, along with his subsequent insubordination, gave the employer sufficient cause to terminate the employee, the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board recently confirmed in Cavanagh v Canada Revenue Agency. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

So I Spend a Lot of Time Thinking About Clothes . . .

When I taught a course on legal information last summer appropriate dress in a legal environment was a topic of some interest to those starting their careers. And as I find recent conversations about feminism and clothes to be quite interesting, I thought I would write out my thoughts in more detail.

There is reasonable concern about the different ways women and men are discussed and judged in relation to what they wear, and there are certainly biases observed in the ways they are treated. While I have observed that men do get a certain amount of the benefit of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Delegation Communication: Questions Lawyers (Sometimes) Forget to Ask

If you’ve worked in a law firm long enough, you’ve probably been assigned work in a way that left you confused (if not annoyed). When it’s time to delegate your own work, it can be a mistake to default to the delegation style that you’ve become used to, assuming that it’s effective.

That assumption might be wrong if you’re working with new people, clients and/or matters. Try asking the following questions when you need to enlist help with a task. They involve people in taking responsibility for their work and they show respect for others’ expertise.

  1. What is the best
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Should Search Engines Index Court Decisions?

In the days of electronic access, judicial decisions (and sometimes other court records that have always been public in principle) no longer benefit from practical obscurity. Court have had to wrestle with the consequences of this, including tailoring the way decisions are written to reduce the amount of personal information they contain.

The Canadian Judicial Council has published material on this, as have the federal and state courts in the US.

Recently a US lawyer proposed that databases of court decisions should block search engines from indexing the decisions – a block that is very easy to implement, with a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

.sucks TLD Sunrise Period Starts March 30

New TLDs (top level domains) continue to become live. There are hundreds to choose from. Gone is the day that there were only a handful, and a business could tie them all up for their corporate name and brands.

Also gone is the day that they are all inexpensive. Some of the new TLDs command a premium price. A .lawyer TLD, for example, costs US$6500. A .guru domain is a bargain at US$29.

This Yahoo article talks about the .sucks TLD, which will be in the sunrise period on March 30, and generally available 60 days later. Some think . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Ontario Joins Wider Move Toward Online Dispute Resolution to Ease Court Burdens

As John Gregory reported in a recent SLAW post, the Ontario government is looking at online dispute resolution (ODR) for a variety of provincial offences. The system could start with minor traffic offences, and be expanded to other provincial and municipal offences, such as parking and by-law violations.

The proposal reflects a growing trend toward ODR for both civil and administrative matters.

The Ontario consultation document notes the high cost of dealing with provincial offences, with about 1.6 million charges laid annually. In Toronto alone, for example, provincial offences courts cost about $50 million a year, plus $5.5 million . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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. Nissen v. Durham Regional Police, 2015 ONSC 1268

[1] In a criminal law context, “informer” privilege is almost absolute. What this means is that a person who provides information to police about actual or suspected criminal activity, in exchange for a promise of anonymity, is guaranteed that anonymity will be preserved. It is only where innocence is at stake that the . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII