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Archive for December, 2017

Glance at Labour Relations Act Requirements Under Ontario Bill 148

On November 27, 2017, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) received royal assent and is now law. Bill 148 makes significant amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and are designed to make it easier for unions to obtain collective bargaining certificates in the private sector. Although these changes were originally scheduled to come into force six months after Bill 148 received royal assent, they will now come into force on January 1, 2018. Significant changes to the LRA include: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

December 2017: A Late ILTA Recap and the Re-Flourishing of the Document Management System

In August I attended ILTACON, which bills itself as “the premier educational and networking event for the legal sector…ILTACON is the best place to learn what works, what doesn’t and what’s next in legal technology.” This conference is always highly anticipated and always delivers. It’s run and organized well, with excellent panels and a fantastic vendor hall. It’s a four and a half day whirlwind event, leaving everyone exhausted.

I really loved the conference app– a wonderfully built-out tool with session descriptions, tags, ability to choose sessions and add photos. It was a great help in deciding which sessions to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Thursday Thinkpiece: Brown and Witkin on Prosecuting and Defending Sexual Offence Cases

Periodically on Thursdays, 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.


Authors: Daniel Brown, Jill Witkin
Foreword: Marie Henein
General Editors: Justice Vincenzo Rondinelli, Brian H. Greenspan

ISBN: 978-1-77255-082-5
Publisher: Emond Publishing
Page Count: 446
Publication Date: October 2017

Regular Price: $99
Series Subscription Price: $85

© 2017 Emond Publishing. All rights reserved. . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Kindness and Mercy

A very recent example of a court both showing mercy and exercising the power it had with respect to a mortgagor’s equity of redemption with kindness is Winters v. Hunking, 2017 ONCA 909. A mortgagor, a man of limited abilities, and described by Blair J.A. as a man who “did everything wrong”, mortgaged his farm to the plaintiffs. In foreclosure proceedings, the Court of Appeal allowed him to keep the large difference between the amount needed to discharge his debts and the price that could be obtained for the land. The reasons for judgment and the decision are characterized . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

I Was a Messenger Spoof Victim


A few days ago I returned to my office after a meeting to find emails and voicemails telling me that someone was sending facebook messenger messages pretending they were from me. The first message sent was an innocuous “Hello, how are you doing?” But if the recipient engaged it quickly turned into how I got a $300,000 government grant to pay off my bills, and tried to convince the recipient to send an email to “the agent in charge” to see if they were eligible. I suspect if followed through it would either ask for payment of a loan . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Banning Laptops in Law School Classes?

Should laptops be banned in law school classrooms? Probably

In “Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting“, Susan Dynarski writes that research shows that: “college students learn less when they use computers during lectures. They also tend to earn worse grades. The research is unequivocal: Laptops distract from learning, both for users and for those around them.”

Dynarski explains that when using a laptop students are focused on transcribing the lesson. They are not focussed on processing information. However, when they are using paper and pen students are focused on processing information. They have . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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. Vanderveen v Waterbridge Media Inc., 2017 CanLII 77435 (ON SCSM)

[2] The plaintiff was filmed jogging on a walking trail located next to a small river in Westboro sometime in the summer or fall of 2014. Following the editing process, the plaintiff appears in the Bridgeport publicity video for 2 seconds, on the right third of the screen. The left third . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Sometimes Old Is Just Old

Does your company have marketing materials that have been sitting around for years? We do and sometimes you find out they are being used out of the blue.

I recently received a “brochure” that was 29 pages long. The book – at 29 pages it’s hard to refer to it as a brochure – was almost entirely text with maybe 25 small images in total. Block fonts, full justification, disoriented information, no branding, no context and no flow. It was a marketing package by name only and would likely cause us to lose more projects than win.

The material was . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Canadian Cannabis Proposed Licensing System Revealed

The Canadian Government recently released its proposal on what the Canadian cannabis regulatory regime could look like, including a fairly detailed account of what the business licensing system could entail.

Purpose of Licenses

The Government has indicated that its proposed system of licenses, permits and authorizations is intended to:

  • allow a range of different activities with cannabis (for example, cultivation, processing, research);
  • enable a diverse, competitive legal industry comprised of both large and small players in regions across the country;
  • reduce the risk that organized crime will infiltrate the legal industry; and
  • provide for cannabis products that meet high quality
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

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.


Giving Feedback? Changing One Small Word Can Make All the Difference
Allison Wolf

Have you ever noticed how irritating it can be when someone points out our errors? At home we might hear: “You forgot to sweep the floor again.” At work you may be told: “You missed citing the leading authority on this issue.”Ugh.It’s never pleasant to be called out on our mistakes. And if the message triggers

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

A Dozen Disaster Recovery Tips From the ABA Law Practice Division

From co-author Nelson: Normally, I write SLAW columns with Sensei VP John Simek, but in light of the recent and horrific disasters experienced by American law firms, I teamed up with Jim Calloway, Director of Management Assistance Program at Oklahoma Bar Association, to offer these disaster recovery tips.

  1. Immediately after a disaster, there is only one thing that matters – human life. Do what you can possibly do to help those in need and to ensure the safety of those who work with and for you. Supply your employees with all the support resources you can.
  2. Establish communications. Hopefully,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

New Edition of “A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting”

The fourth edition of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting (MSCD) has just recently been published. It is a must-have reference work for any lawyer who is interested in proper contract drafting, in other words, for any lawyer who drafts contracts. The author is well-known drafting expert Professor Ken Adams, who has been speaking and writing about these issues for a number of years. His blog, on the Adams on Contract Drafting site, is an excellent source of commentary on a great many contract drafting issues, including ones that, for space limitations, are not addressed in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law