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Archive for July, 2019

The Costs of Regulation

The Law Society of Ontario bencher election finished at the end of April. The cost of regulation and the finances of the Law Society were the focus of some of the campaigns by bencher candidates. Perhaps not surprisingly in a campaign context, some of the comments were hyperbolic and some were rather imprecise.

This column seeks to address what lawyers in Ontario are required to pay in order to be able to practice law. The point of this review is to help better understand where the money goes to better inform discussions. I will look at this issue from the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

The Review of Government Appointments Should Be Public

Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake recently indicated that he could investigate the Ford government’s appointments of people with whom the Premier’s former chief of staff, Dean French, had some form of association or, indeed, all previous appointments. (Mr. French resigned as the premier’s chief of staff after news of appointments initially broke.) However, Mr. Wake also stated that he could report only to the premier and not release his findings to the public. Yet the public has an interest in such cases, perhaps particularly one that appears to be so extensive, and not only in the appointments themselves, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

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.

Research & Writing

More Confusing Pairs
Neil Guthrie

Alternate/alternative: As a verb, alternate means ‘to succeed in alternation’ (The two speakers alternated in answering questions form the audience); as a noun, ‘a substitute (I can’t attend the conference, but we’re allowed to send an alternate); as an adjective, ‘occurring by turns’ (The cake consists of alternate layers of cake, whipped cream and fruit filling). … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Update on Threats to Student Legal Clinics

The past two months have seen rapid developments dramatically harming Ontario (and Canadian) student legal clinics, whose role is to help low income persons who do not have access to legal aid.

1. Legal Aid Cuts in Ontario

First, the Ontario government has taken steps to reduce access to justice for low income persons by reducing funding to Legal Aid Ontario by 30%. LAO in turn funds Ontario’s student clinics, providing the vast majority of their funding. LAO announced in mid-June that student clinics will suffer funding cuts of 10%.

Along with cuts from student fees (see below), Ontario student . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

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. Meurrens on Immigration 2.Kate Dewhirst 3. Lash Condo Law 4. NSRLP 5. Canadian Class Actions Monitor

Meurrens on Immigration
Temporary Resident Permits

On June 28, 2019 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada substantially changed the guidance that it provides to officers regarding the issuance of Temporary Resident

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

When Law Schools Start Offering Arts Degrees

The past decade has generally seen a significant contraction in the admission of legal graduates in the U.S., largely influenced by broader economic trends. The ABA Journal reported in 2017,

For nearly 40 years starting in 1971, law schools had an average first-year class size of 246 students, peaking to 262 in 2010. Since then, that average has dropped 31 percent to an average of 182 students.

This trend reversed last year, which has been attributed in part to greater political polarization in the U.S., especially around key legal and constitutional issues. The Law School Admission Council volume comparisons over . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

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) : L’intimé n’a pas enfreint l’ordonnance d’interdiction de se trouver dans un centre communautaire, rendue en vertu de l’article 161 (1) a) C.Cr., en se présentant à une bibliothèque municipale.

Intitulé : R. c. Boissonneault, 2019 QCCA 1074
Juridiction : Cour d’appel (C.A.), Montréal, 500-10-006476-178
Décision de :  . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Friday Jobs Roundup

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

Facilitating Fair Copyright Compensation in Canadian Universities

During the first week of June this year, Canada’s Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology issued its Statutory Review of the Copyright Act Report, after an exhaustive and expensive Canada-wide polling of opinion. The result of a legislated five-year review of copyright, the report’s first recommendation is to strike this review mandate from the legislation. More than one witness pointed to how the conventional legislative reform process is working just fine.

That duly noted, if with a touch of irony, I’d like to focus my attention on a pair of consecutive recommendations, beginning with number 16: That the . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing

24-Month Upper Limit Reasonable Notice Period Reinstated

The case of Dawe v. Equitable Life Insurance Company 2018 ONSC 3130, which extended the 24-month upper limit on the reasonable notice period for an older, long-term, senior manager who was unable to secure comparable employment to 30 months; and were the motion judge stated that, if asked, he would have awarded 36 months, was appealed.

You can read more on the motion judge’s decision on Slaw here.

On appeal, which decision (Dawe v. Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada 2019 ONCA 512) was released on June 19, 2019, the appeal’s judge held that the motion judge’s approach . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Thursday Thinkpiece: Social Justice as a Professional Duty

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.

Social Justice as a Professional Duty: Effectively Meeting Law Student Demand for Social Justice by Teaching Social Justice as a Professional Competency

87 University of Cincinnati Law Review 77 (2018/19)

Spencer Rand is a Clinical Professor of Law at Beasley School of Law, Temple University. He teaches Poverty Law as a writing . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

The Ten Laws of Legal Project Management: Barriers to Progress and Client Issues

This is the third column of a series on the Ten Laws of (Legal) Project Management. I’ll recap the ten laws at the end of this column, but for this month, let’s focus on some barriers to progress (Laws 3 and 4) and a pair of client-related suggestions (Laws 5 and 6).

By the way, the title of this article represents two different ideas. If you think of your clients as a barrier to progress, we may have a bigger problem here.

3. When You Discover You’re Digging a Hole, Stop Digging

Technically, this law is called the sunk-costs . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law