Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for January, 2019

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 practice, research, writing and technology.


How to Save a Specific Paragraph From a Decision From CanLII on Lexbox
Alisa Lazear

Lexbox was designed to make your legal research faster and easier. To help you use Lexbox to the best of its ability, we are sharing Lexbox tips with you from time to time. Here’s one if you are using Lexbox on the CanLII website. Today’s tip is about saving a specific paragraph from . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

For Want of a Distinction: The Copyright Act and the York University Appeal

A year ago in this blog, I addressed York University’s appeal of the federal court’s decision against its clams to “fair dealing” in its instructors’ reproduction of course materials in Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (CCLA) v. York University. I am returning to this case, even as the appeal proceeds, because I’ve begun to think that it reveals the extent to which the Copyright Act is currently unable to serve both party’s legitimate rights and interests.

Judge Michael L. Phelan’s ruling in the original case, rendered July 12, 2017, denied York’s claim that the copying of materials by instructors . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing

Impact on Legal & Public Information of Partial US Government Shutdown

The US federal government has been in partial shutdown since just before Christmas 2018.

There has been a lot of well deserved focus on how the shutdown is affecting the hundreds of thousands of US federal employees who are not being paid. Or air travel. Or the poorly housed. The list goes on.

Many observers are now starting to worry about how this will impact access to various kinds of government and legal information south of the border.

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) issued an eBriefing today on the Impact of the Partial Federal Government . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog 2. Michael Spratt 3. Erin Cowling 4. Know How 5. Michael Geist

Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog
Heller v. Uber: Some Thoughts from Ontario on Uber’s Arbitration Clause

By now, you have no doubt heard about the big Ontario Court of Appeal decision in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Fonting Fraud Reveals Sham Trust

High-stakes litigation often involves the use of experts, who are expected under the Rules of Civil Procedure to provide fair, objective and non-partisan evidence to assist the court to determine issues under dispute. These experts are required to limit their evidence to matters within their expertise, and it’s not uncommon to see experts in a wide range of technological, medial, and other areas.

Typically, the opinion evidence provided by an expert evidence must comply with certain requirements under rule 53.03, such as their area of expertise, qualifications and employment, and a review of the basis for which the opinion is . . . [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.

CONSTITUTIONNEL (DROIT) : En l’absence d’un objet de droit criminel, on doit conclure que la Loi sur la non-discrimination génétique édictée par les articles 1 à 7 de la Loi visant à interdire et à prévenir la discrimination génétique ne constitue pas un exercice valide de la compétence fédérale en . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Friday Roundup: Slaw Jobs

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Patent File Wrapper Estoppel Comes to Canada

In a move that surprised many in the IP community, a budget bill that received royal assent before the holidays, introduced file wrapper estoppel to Canadian patent law.

Bill C-86 (link) included a number of changes to intellectual property legislation including enacting the College of Patent Agents and Trade-mark Agents Act, reforming the Copyright Board, and numerous amendments to the Patent Act, Trade-marks Act and Copyright Act.

One of the changes to the Patent Act, allows for the patent file wrapper or file history to be used to rebut claim construction of a patent. The file wrapper refers . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

British Columbia Employment Standards Reforms Coming

On December 10, 2018, the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) released its final report on their independent Employment Standards Act review. The British Columbia labour minister responded to the report by pledging action in 2019 to implement certain of the 71 recommendations found in the BCLI final report. . . . [more]

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

Book Review: Incitement on Trial: Prosecuting International Speech Crimes

Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

Incitement on Trial: Prosecuting International Speech Crimes. By Richard Ashby Wilson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. xii, 356 p. Includes bibliography and index. ISBN 978-1-107-10310-8 (hardbound) $92.00; ISBN 978-1-107-50126-3 (paperback) $34.00.

Reviewed by David Hurren
Hurren and Gibson, Fort Erie, ON
In CLLR 43:2

Incitement on Trial by Richard Ashby . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

Bilingualism in New Brunswick

On June 15, 2010 I wrote a column for Slaw titled “Evolution of Bilingual Judgments in New Brunswick”. The judicial process was only a part of the struggle of New Brunswick francophones against assimilation.

Francophones, speaking French at home, account for about 30% of the New Brunswick population of 730,000.

I was a practicing lawyer in New Brunswick in the 1960s when the court process functioned only in English. A trial in French was not available. The land registry was only in English, you could not file a mortgage in French. Files maintained by lawyers were only in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Justice Pas-À-Pas: Bringing Key Perspectives to Bear on the Common Legal Problems of Franco-Ontarians

Last week, several access to justice champions involved in delivering legal aid services in the province participated in a panel on TVO’s The Agenda. In this segment, panelists discussed how critical Ontario’s legal aid system is to access to justice, not only for those who are marginalized but also, fundamentally, to a fair and participatory justice system. Julie Mathews, Community Legal Education Ontario’s (CLEO) executive director and a featured panelist, highlighted the importance of ensuring that people – particularly those who are marginalized – are able to understand and exercise their legal rights. Good legal aid includes understandable, accessible, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues