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Archive for April, 2019

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. Davies v. The Corporation of the Municipality of Clarington, 2019 ONSC 2292

[1] If there was ever any case that demonstrates how expensive it is to litigate in the 21st Century, this case is the gold standard. Few in this country could afford to litigate a case where the costs sought by Mr. Zuber total close to $7,000,000, and the costs . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

How to Stop Being “Behind”

There appears to be a sentiment pervasive in the legal blogosphere that lawyers are “behind”:

  • “The pace of change in legal services is not slowing down while lawyers’ day-to-day practice of law continues to lag far behind” (Remaking Law Firms)
  • “Law Is Lagging Digital Transformation” (sic.) (Forbes)
  • “’Change’ Is a Mantra for Law Firms, But Will They Tune In?” (com)
  • “When It Comes to Innovation, Lawyers Are Being Left Behind” (com)

Given that “behind” is a relative term, you would think that every other industry has totally reinvented itself. Yet that is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Should Judges Be Tweeps and “Friends”?

One of the themes the Canadian Judicial Council has identified as part of its review of its Ethical Principles for Judges is judges’ use of social media. This is an etirely new area since the release of the current Principles 20 years ago and it has rapidly become a complex and sometimes dangerous area to navigate. Tempting though it might be to tell judges that they cannot use social media, this would be fruitless. Better to incorporate training for judges about its use, clear limits about subject areas and guidelines about the risks into judges’ initial education sessions, which should . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Access to Justice and the Need for Direct Funding of PBO

28,872. That is how many clients Pro Bono Ontario (“PBO”) served across the province in 2018 through services like its Free Legal Advice Hotline, 3 Law Help Centres, 6 medical-legal partnerships, 2 children’s programs and projects serving low-income start-ups and non-profits. In the past decade, demand for PBO’s services has increased by 272%. Yet the same year that PBO helped a record number of people, the charity narrowly avoided closing its court-based centres because the resources afforded PBO to meet these growing needs have barely budged. This is simply not good enough. It is not good enough because the private . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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.

Technology

Easy Automated Workflows
Lesha Van Der Bij

As a solo entrepreneur, I need to automate numerous tasks. Zapier – an online tool which enables you to build connections (or “zaps”) between two apps – makes the automation process super easy….

Research & Writing

Ministry of Labour Employment Standards Act 2000 Policy and Interpretation Manual Update
Martha Murphy

We have good news for those of you who use the . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Amendments to the Juries Act in Ontario

The current jury system has long been criticized in Ontario, in particular in regards to its diversity and representation. Hints in Ontario’s recent budget suggest some changes are forthcoming.

A big part of the reason for Ontario’s problems is that it is jury rolls remain an anomaly in Canada, and are based on specific provisions under the Juries Act. Although the Director of Assessments prepares jury questionnaires based on the provisions in s. 6, based on the inhabitants of the county under s. 15 of the Assessment Act who are Canadian citizens and who will be 18 at . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

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 as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (March 30 – April 19, 2019 inclusive).

Appeals

Aboriginal Law/Civil Procedure: Class Actions; Judicial Supervision
J.W. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2019 SCC 20 (37725)

In overseeing administration and implementation of this Agreement, courts have a . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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) : La déférence s’impose à l’égard de la décision de la ministre de la Justice d’ordonner l’extradition de la requérante aux États-Unis afin qu’elle réponde d’une accusation d’enlèvement d’enfants en violation d’une ordonnance de garde, les conclusions de la ministre portant sur l’existence d’une défense équivalente dans l’État . . . [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 Slaw.ca.

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

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

Challenging Electronic Systems’ and Devices’ Ability to Produce Reliable Evidence

This is a short summary of the full text of this article, which has the same title, and which was posted on the SSRN, March 25, 2019, pdf.; 62 pages

The fact that lawyers lack the knowledge to challenge the reliability of technical sources of frequently used kinds of evidence, and the tolerating of its impact upon the ability to “do justice,” is due to the under-performance of a number of institutions within the justice system. As a result, law and the rules of practice and procedure applicable to such evidence are moving in one direction, but the reality . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Ontario Budget 2019-20 Summary of Interest to Employers and Other Measures

On April 11, 2019, the Ontario government tabled its 2019-20 fiscal budget, “Protecting What Matters Most” that sets out a five-year path to a balanced budget. The budget anticipates deficits of $11.7 billion for 2018-19 and $10.3 billion for 2019-20, and projects a modest surplus in 2023-24.

According to budget documents, the government has already reduced the deficit by $3.3 billion, going from $15 billion to a projected $11.7 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The government is planning to further reduce the deficit by $1.4 billion in the 2019-20 fiscal years, lowering it to $10.3 billion. The . . . [more]

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

Thursday Thinkpiece: Class Actions in Canada

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.

Class Actions in Canada: The Promise and Reality of Access to Justice

Jasminka Kalajdzic is an associate professor and former associate dean of law at the University of Windsor and has a background in private practice as a civil litigator. She is the editor of Accessing Justice: Appraising Class Actions Ten Years . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece