January, 2016 Archives – Slaw
Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for January, 2016

Immigration Reform: Low Hanging Fruit

There is no doubt that our current government has been busy since November 4th and, as an immigration lawyer, the change in rhetoric (and action!) has been like a zephyr warming up the winter blues. I still have clients mention to me that they saw the Prime Minister at the airport greetings refugees. (In photos, not live. He did not grace the Winnipeg airport with his presence.) Well done, PMJT! And now Minister John McCallum announced that they will be looking to change the loan repayment rules for refugees so that they are fair. Another move in the right direction. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

DIY A2J 2: Work With Others and Others’ Work

In most urban centres, you can’t swing a stick without hitting a social service or social service connected agency. Most of these agencies are glad to have any legal materials they can get their hands on, and most are willing to share the materials they have. Most importantly, each of these agencies serves a specific target population with specific legal needs.

Groups like SUCCESS Settlement Services in British Columbia, for example, help newcomers to Canada overcome language and cultural barriers; groups like the Atira Women’s Resource Centre help women dealing with abuse through advocacy and education. Various other social service . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

Should Lawyers Be Paid to Snitch on Their Clients? (Spoiler! No.)

Let’s say that you are a good lawyer whose client did something bad. Should you snitch on them to the authorities? What if they did something really bad? What if someone offered to pay you millions of dollars if you ratted them out?

If these questions were asked on a bar exam, the answers would be clear. A good lawyer who abides by the Rules of Professional Conduct cannot disclose any information about the business or affairs of his or her client except in very limited and specified circumstances, such as where there is an imminent risk of death or . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

27 Months of Reasonable Notice After 40 Years of Service

In Markoulakis v SNC-Lavalin Inc., the Ontario Superior Court of Justice concluded after considering the Bardal factors that long-serving employee Eftihios (Ed) Markoulakis was entitled to 27 months of common law reasonable notice following his termination from a senior role at SNC-Lavalin. The court noted that notice beyond 24 months is within the court’s discretion in exceptional cases. Clearly, this was one of those cases. . . . [more]

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

Thursday Thinkpiece: Anderson on Wrongful Convictions and Avenues of Redress

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.

Wrongful Convictions and the Avenues of Redress: The Post-Conviction Review Process in Canada
(2015) 20 Appeal 5

Andrea S. Anderson, PhD Candidate, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, @asandrson

Excerpt: Introduction & Part III
[Footnotes omitted. They can be found in the original via the link above]

INTRODUCTION

In an ideal criminal justice . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Innovating Regulation on the Prairies

Several years ago on this site, Mitch Kowalski posed a question that merits another look. In his post “What if the western provinces saved the profession?”, Mitch asked:

What would happen if a group of western provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for example) decided to strike out on their own and allow ABS-type structures in their jurisdictions?

His conclusion was that “…once the snowball starts rolling in any province it will be unstoppable.”

Well, it’s winter on the prairies and guess what? It’s snowing.

The law societies in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta have recently released a discussion paper on . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Court Funding: Do You Know the Numbers?

“[T]he Courts Administration budget represents a mere 0.54% of the total Ontario Government budget for the year, a percentage which has remained relatively constant for the past number of years.” – Ontario Civil Justice Review, 1996

Do you know how much the Ontario government spends on the justice system a year? Do you know precisely how it is allocated? Could you state with confidence how much of it goes to: judges’ salaries, office space, assistants, maintaining courthouses, registrars, court reporters, clerks, librarians, legal counsel, and so on? Could you state with confidence how much is budgeted for the different . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Legal Marketing Trends for 2016: Chambers, Lexology, ContactEase & in-House Experts Share Their Insights

Once again, our team at fSquared Marketing are thrilled to present a group of wonderful legal marketing experts who are willing to share their wisdom related to the trends they foresee for the coming year.

Their predictions this year include mobilization of content, utilizing existing CRM systems to leverage and grow relationships, the evolution of client service delivery, storytelling as the PR tool of the moment, digital marketing (websites & social media) opening opportunities for legal directory exposure for smaller firms, and firms building marketing teams of the future.

A short excerpt from each contributor can be found below. To . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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. R. v. Bradshaw, 2015 BCCA 195

[3] The murders took place five days apart in March 2009. Roy Thielen quickly emerged as a suspect and became the target of a “Mr. Big” investigation. Over the course of that investigation, Mr. Thielen made a range of statements to undercover officers. In May 2010, during a road trip between Edmonton and Calgary, Mr. . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

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 research and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

Make a Prospective Consolidation
Bronwyn Guiton

When we’re working with an Act that has had significant amendments passed, but not yet brought into force, I’ll often make a prospective consolidation to help our lawyers advise their clients on forward-looking strategies. Having a prospective consolidation on hand makes work more efficient and it can also reveal new implications for the amendments. I’m going to walk you . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Using Hypothes.is With Legislation

At the same time as Simon Fodden was publishing Hypothes.is and Annotation, a group of colleagues and I were in the middle of a series of invited comments to U.S. Federal Communications Commission, about their rulemaking for home Wi-Fi routers. We were using Google docs for mutual editing already, so Hypothes.is looked like something worth trying for mutual markup.

To make a long story short, it was excellent. I’m now running permanently with a “Launch Hypothesis” button in my bookmarks bar.

Over and above Simon’s description, the things that stood out for me were:

  • Links to particular annotations as
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

The Lord Chief Justice’s Report 2015

Last week the UK’s most senior judge delivered his annual report to Parliament. It echoes many of the concerns being discussed in Ontario.

The report describes the UK judicial system as now “unaffordable to most”, and the current court system as “not really designed” for the increased number of self represented litigants.

Two areas where the judiciary has pressed its views concerning civil justice are: the need for proportionality between the costs of a case in relation to the value of the claim; and the succession of significant court fee increases.

To address the costs proportionality issue, the judiciary is . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice