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Archive for March, 2020

Covid-19 Tech and Security Resources

For every good deed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic (such as telcos not charging for long distance or data overages) there is someone trying to take advantage of it.

It’s not just people buying all the hand sanitizer they can get and reselling it online for a profit. Bad actors have been sending malware and phishing attempts disguised as Covid-19 emails.

At the same time, more people than ever before are working remotely. IT departments are scrambling to set people up who have not worked remotely before, and to scale up to support larger numbers. Some businesses are revisiting . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

The Future of Justice in a COVID-19 World

I wrote this column and submitted it to Slaw on March 6, back when we didn’t know how good we had it. I’m writing this new prologue on March 17, with much of Canada and the world effectively in lockdown because of COVID-19.

I thought about rewriting the column to reflect our new reality. Instead, I’m adding a frame around it, because I think the column still stands on its own merits. But COVID-19 and our societal responses to it are in the process of crushing our slow, creaky, in-person justice system, and the lessons here about human-centred design are . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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. Wilcox v Alberta, 2020 ABCA 104 (CanLII)

[44] The foregoing suggests that there is an important difference between an initial placement in a given facility (often stemming from a security classification) and placing an inmate in solitary confinement within that facility. While the former might not implicate habeas corpus to the extent it forms part of the initial deprivation of liberty . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Mismanaging Time: How Not to Manage Projects, Part 2

This is the second article in a series about mismanaging projects. In other words, if you can avoid doing the stuff here, you’ll be on the road to managing projects effectively.

There are five aspects you have to manage to move projects forward effectively:

  1. The project itself, discussed in the previous column.
  2. Time.
  3. Money.
  4. The client.
  5. The team.

Let’s talk about mismanaging time. This topic is complex, and I’ll break it into two sections, concluding in my next column.

The Matrix of Project Times

The table below flags time-related issues on three different scales for various aspects of a project . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Coronavirus Pandemic and Access to Justice

Slightly over 30 years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a self-initiated injunction by the Chief Justice of British Columbia to prevent picketing in front of the courthouses in British Columbia: B.C.G.E.U. v. British Columbia (Attorney General). As Dickson CJ said in his opening statement in the majority decision, “This case involves the fundamental right of every Canadian citizen to have unimpeded access to the courts and the authority of the courts to protect and defend that constitutional right.” The union did not have the right to impede access to the courts. Twenty years later, the unprecedented spread . . . [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.


Lawyers Ahoy-Hoy: Six Tips for Better Telephone Calls
Shawn Erker

Like fashion, communication methods evolve, change, and sometimes come back again. During the twentieth century, telephones became ubiquitous, largely replacing the need for written telegrams and letters. …

Research & Writing

More on (Non-)Latin Plurals
Neil Guthrie

I groan (inwardly) every time I see or hear the word syllabi at the law school where I teach. Syllabus has . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

What Happens if I Get Sued for Publishing My Research?

Alberta does not have an anti-SLAPP law, i.e., legislation to protect those who speak out in the public interest from the costs of protracted litigation initiated by powerful interests. I can think of two Alberta examples of why anti-SLAPP is needed that I would like to disclose in an upcoming research paper. My problem is that if I name the plaintiffs in those strategic lawsuits, I will certainly be sued.

I had a vague sense that I would be afforded legal representation and indemnity by my university if I was sued in these circumstances. But when I made some inquiries . . . [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.The Court 2. Timely Disclosure 3. National Magazine 4. Family LLB 5. Canadian Cybersecurity Law

The Court
TYared v Karam: Equality in Family Patrimony Triumphs

In Yared v Karam, 2019 SCC 62 (Yared), the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC” or “Court”) grappled with conflicting . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

A Tour Through Pandemic Law for COVID-19

Canada has come a long way since the SARS pandemic in 2003. With the outbreak of COVID-19, here is a non-exhaustive overview of some of the ways that pandemics have come up in our legal system.

Keri Gammon makes the argument in the Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies that given the need for local implementation, provincial jurisdiction for pandemics is still warranted,

In extreme cases, such as where one province fails to act altogether in respect of a  public health emergency, federal jurisdiction may be required if only on a temporary basis. But with respect to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, 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 (January 9 – March 12, 2020 inclusive).


Constitutional Law/Aboriginal Law: Jurisdiction of Courts
Newfoundland and Labrador (Attorney General) v. Uashaunnuat (Innu of Uashat and of Mani‑Utenam), 2020 SCC 4  (37912)

There is no doubt . . . [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 Ju stice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Les appels interjetés par 3 personnes à l’encontre de verdicts de culpabilité pour des infractions liées à un vol de sirop d’érable d’une valeur de près de 18 millions de dollars sont rejetés; la peine de l’un d’entre eux est toutefois modifiée pour que le montant . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

“There’s No Success Like Failure”

To a significant extent in legal and professional publishing, as in other areas of publishing and indeed business and real life, commercial and financial failure plays a critical part in charting its paths. Probably, it is its failed projects and ventures which determine its future rather than its overall historical success, where such has been achieved over time. Here, maybe more than in some other fields, just like the inevitable conclusion of all political careers, the expectation of failure is embedded at its very core, though perhaps often needlessly. It is so embedded that in so many scenarios, notably in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing