Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for June, 2017

Is Your Law Firm Brand Reflected in All the Right Places and Spaces?

So you’ve hired an external consultant to help you with your law firm brand. If they are any good, they’ll have worked with you not just to build a great visual brand that involves your brand identity (logo, colours and fonts), website and marketing collateral but they’ll have taken a more holistic approach ensuring that the visual brand supports a verbal brand that included the key messaging of the firm. These days prospects find their lawyers online, or if by word of mouth, verified online. If all they see and read meet their needs and expectations then often you have . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Holding Refugees Hostage at Legal Aid Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario is in a mess. In what should have been a good news story, LAO received new funding to enhance access to justice in recent years. Using this money, LAO created new programs and increased financial eligibility thresholds for existing programs. But LAO miscalculated demand for legal services and gave out more legal aid certificates than they could afford. The result: a deficit.

LAO now says that the deficit is not their fault. The big problem is that Canada has become increasingly welcoming towards refugees (you saw Trudeau’s tweet, right?). There is “unprecedented demand” for legal aid from . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. Official Clio Blog 2. Slater Vecchio Connected 3. The Docket 4. Environmental Law and Litigation 5. Barry Sookman

Official Clio Blog
Why Lawyers Shouldn’t Email Their Clients

You may have heard of Edward Snowden—the infamously labeled “NSA whistleblower.” Regardless of your personal opinion on Snowden’s actions, the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Citizenship Act Amendments Passed

One of the most contentious aspects of the last Federal election was the platform of the incumbent government, which included powers that allowed the government to strip Canadians of their citizenship based on national security. With their defeat, the majority government in place has had the ability to attempt reforms in the area of citizenship that were mentioned during the campaign (but not the official platforms).

After several amendments were proposed by the Senate to the Citizenship Act and agreed to by the House, The Senate voted to send Bill C-6 for Royal Assent on June 15, 2017. Until . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories

Alan Kilpatrick, a law librarian with the Law Society of Saskatchewan (LSS), wrote earlier this month on the Legal Sourcery blog about a new Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories published by the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries (the linked version is a reprint by the LSS).

From the text of the Primer:

“This primer to legislative research is arranged by province/territory, with each table providing answers to seven questions.

  1. Do you have a centralized resource for Court Rules (either print or online)?
  2. Do you have any resources that help you with Provincial Point-In-Time Research?
  3. What is
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

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 rejette les demandes de contrôle judiciaire dans un dossier de conduite avec les facultés affaiblies où la poursuite conteste la décision interlocutoire du juge lui ayant ordonné la communication de certains éléments de preuve relatifs à l’alcootest; c’est avec raison que le juge d’instance a . . . [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 (Mar. 17, 2017 to April 20, 2017 inclusive).

Appeals

Criminal Law: Bail

R. v. Antic, 2017 SCC 27 (36783)

The “ladder principle”, codified in s. 515(3) of the Code, requires imposition of the least onerous form of release . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Are Lawyers “Hijacking” Mediation and Arbitration?

Having recently left the practice of law to devote my time exclusively to mediation and arbitration (with some teaching and writing on the side), I was intrigued when my ADR friend and colleague Colm Brannigan posted a link to a recent LinkedIn blog that asks: “Have Lawyers Hijacked the Promise of Mediation?”

Author Max Kimber, an Australian mediator and barrister, says it’s time to re-visit the the role of lawyers in mediation, both as representatives of the parties in that process and as mediators.

The same may be said of arbitration, I think.

Kimber talks about the “promise of mediation” . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Alberta Employment and Labour Law Reforms Passed

On June 7, 2017, outside of House sitting, Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act received royal assent. This means effective January 1, 2018, most of the new rules updating employment and labour law in union and non-union Alberta workplaces will come into force. Other provisions will come into effect when the Act receives Royal Assent. However, the youth employment provisions which will only come into effect on proclamation and will probably be at a later date to allow consultations on the regulations defining hazardous and light work. The essential services changes come into force effective May 25, 2017. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

A Pedagogic Paradigm Shift in Clinical Legal Education: Towards Placing Practical and Theoretical Knowledge on an Equal Footing?

In recent years the role of clinical experiential learning has become increasingly relevant within law schools as questions arise regarding the most appropriate method of delivering legal education and training lawyers. Should it focus on classroom-driven theoretical knowledge? Should it focus on apprentice-style internships in the field? Or, is preparing lawyers for practice best achieved through a combination of both classroom theory and clinical work experience? Despite varying views on these positions, one thing seems certain, legal education is in transition. Federations, law firms, and students alike are calling for more training in core competencies that go beyond theoretical knowledge, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

CASL Private Right of Action Suspended – but CASL Is Still Here

The Canadian government has suspended the CASL private right of action that was to have come into force on July 1. The private right of action (most likely in the form of class actions) would have allowed people to sue anyone for sending spam. Or more accurately for those who violated the technical provisions of CASL.

This is a welcome move. But while we can breathe a sigh of relief that this remedy is gone, CASL still remains in force and must be complied with.

The government’s press release said:

Canadians deserve an effective law that protects them from spam . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

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 Blanchard, 2016 ABQB 706

[65] The first obvious lie told by Blanchard relates to his ability to walk. He led everyone to believe that he was incapable of walking at all and was confined to a wheelchair. Indeed, not one person who testified knew that he could walk. The police, Elizabeth Leenheer, his ex-wife (Barbara Roth) and her son . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII