Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for August, 2017

An Online Newspaper Is Not a Newspaper

Newspapers have for centuries played a central role in giving effect to freedom of expression in Western democracies. The limits, and privileges, afforded to them have changed over time. The courts are still struggling to redefine these limits, especially in a digital era when even traditional newspapers are increasingly moving their content online.

The inception of the printing press in the 15th-16th c. revolutionized Western Europe, widely disseminating ideas like never before. Many of these ideas were considered dangerous to the state, either treasonous or heretical (or both, given the close relationship between church and state at that time), and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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 jury n’a pas à être unanime quant à laquelle des infractions de l’article 231 (5) C.Cr. est sous-jacente au meurtre, mais il doit être unanimement convaincu que le meurtre est survenu lors de la commission de l’une ou l’autre de ces infractions.

Intitulé : R. c. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Personal Plight: Mending the Market

“Personal plight” legal services are those provided to individual clients whose legal needs arise from disputes. Personal plight areas such as family law, refugee law, and human rights are the site of Canada’s worst access to justice problems.

The market for personal plight legal services functions poorly, as Malcolm Mercer and Amy Salyzyn have shown in this space. A key problem, I suggest here, is that it is too difficult for consumers to shop intelligently. This undermines healthy competition and legal professionalism, in addition to access to justice. Regulators can and should mend the market for personal legal services. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

British Columbia Human Rights Commission Coming Back After 15 Years

On August 4, 2017, the newly elected NDP government announced that they will “re-establish a human rights commission to fight inequality and discrimination in all its forms.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Personal Liability Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (“CASL”) not only may a corporation that fails to comply be liable to pay a monetary penalty but personal liability may also arise. Section 31 provides that “An officer, director, agent or mandatary of a corporation that commits a violation is liable for the violation if they directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the violation, whether or not the corporation is proceeded against”.

An example of application of Section 31 is the case of Mr. Halazon and TCC reported by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) in June . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

A Few Good Practice Habits: Examination for Discovery

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

An examination for discovery often marks the point in which you really sink your teeth into a case. The parties and opposing counsel come to a face-to-face meeting, and key evidence comes out, warts and all. Much of the exploration in an examination for discovery will uniquely depend on the specific witness and the answers that are drawn out. But some answers call for a habitual, routine response. Here are some good practice habits to use at examinations for discovery and avoid malpractice claims.

 

Your Notes: . . . [more]

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

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. Khan, 2017 ONCA 114

[44] The trial judge properly placed the prior consistent statement on the scale in assessing the credibility of the complainant’s in-court testimony by considering the circumstances in which she made her initial complaint to Constable Flint. To this extent, the prior consistent statement does add to the credibility of the complainant’s in-court testimony and had . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Our Relaunched Intranet – One Year Later

In April of 2016, I wrote about our ambitious project of re-building our corporate intranet. Our previous site had become a dumping ground of information that was poorly maintained and was woefully out of date. During the project, we removed nearly 85% of the content, upgraded a number of internal applications, made the site user friendly and improved the overall usability. We held focus groups and engaged junior, intermediate and senior staff in our decision to ensure the product we delivered would meet their needs.

In May this year, we asked staff for their opinion of the new site. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Tomorrow’s Job Market

In Tomorrow’s Lawyers, leading scholar Richard Susskind envisions the future of legal practice. He argues that with the introduction of new technologies there will be a dramatic change in the jobs that lawyers hold. In particular, he predicts a sharp decrease in the number of traditional legal practitioners, along with the emergence of new jobs for lawyers.

Susskind names eight new types of jobs. They are:

1) the legal knowledge engineer

2) the legal technologist

3) the legal hybrid

4) the legal process analyst

5) the legal project manager

6) the ODR practitioner

7) the legal management consultant

8) . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

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, writing, and practice.

Practice

Avoid the (Difficult) End of Day Meeting
Ian Hu

A client insisted on meeting me in the midst of a busy day. Fully booked, I reluctantly agreed to meet the client at the end of the day. We began happily enough with the usual pleasantries. But once we sat down, a monster arose from the deep. One problem after another fell on my lap, and I began to parry.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Enough With “The Law Society of Upper Canada”

Many Ontario lawyers think the “The Law Society of Upper Canada” is still a great name for their governing body. They oppose the suggestion — no, the mere possibility — that the LSUC’s Strategic Communications Steering Group might recommend a name change. Read this article in Law Times for the details, especially the comments at the end in support of the current name — they’re a real treat.

I cannot get my head around lawyers’ continuing support for the term “Upper Canada.” The current year, last I checked, is 2017. There hasn’t been an “Upper Canada” on any reliable map . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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. First Reference 2. The Factum 3. Legal Sourcery 4. Eva Chan 5. Robeside Assistance

First Reference
Is the first Monday in August considered a statutory holiday?

This year, the first Monday in August is August 7. Although most commonly referred to as “Civic Holiday”, the holiday

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix