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Archive for April, 2020

Employers Must Ensure All Overtime Work Complies With Employment Standards

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, Student-at-law, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In the federally regulated employment sector, working overtime hours is subject to a number of requirements under the Canada Labour Code. Although such legislation requires that any and all overtime work be compensated adequately, even providing such compensation does not ensure that employers in the federally regulated sectors are in compliance with their obligations. In a recent decision, an Ontario court decided an employer’s policy and labour practices regarding overtime hours failed to comply with the Canada Labour Code in a dramatic and broad class-action lawsuit brought by a . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Thursday Thinkpiece: The Law of Work, 2nd Edition

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.

The Law of Work, Second Edition

Authors: David J. Doorey (with contributors for selected chapters)

ISBN: 978-1-77255-618-6
Publisher: Emond Publishing
Page Count: 696
Publication Date: March, 2020

Regular Price: $93 (print), $72 (e-book)

Excerpt: from Chapter 2, “A Framework for Analyzing the Law of Work,” pp. 20-26, in Part I: The Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Law Society Policy for Access to Justice Failure, Part Two

[see the full text on the SSRN (updated in March, 2020)]

The comment of the Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario (Malcolm Mercer, its CEO) responding to my first article having the above same title, published in Slaw, on July 25, 2019, contains the following objections:

1. That I am wrong to say that law societies should be defending lawyers’ markets. He states:

Rather, the principal role of the Law Society under the Law Society Act (Ontario) is to (i) determine what legal services should appropriately only be delivered by licensees and the appropriate scope of practice

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Book Review: Incomprehensible! a Study of How the Legal System Encourages Incomprehensibility, Why It Matters, and What Can Be Done About It

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.

Incomprehensible!: A Study of How the Legal System Encourages Incomprehensibility, Why It Matters, and What Can Be Done about It. By Wendy Wagner & Will Walker. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019. xviii, 342 p. Includes bibliography and index. ISBN13 978-1107400887 (paperback) $39.95; ISBN13 978-1107008472 (hardcover) $102.95.

Reviewed by David . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

Pandemic Emphasizes Paperless Roadblocks

I’ve been a fan of paperless and virtual documents and signatures for a long time. Despite the advantages, many steadfastly stick to paper. Many are moving online, but are only part way there.

The transition to paperless and electronic signatures is not always easy, and there are roadblocks that can get in the way. Too often there are one or more steps in a process that require paper or a wet signature that bring things to a halt.

For example, in Ontario we can get articles to create new corporations online, but to amend or amalgamate, we need 2 original . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Spring Routine Refresher

The fresh spring air gives everyone a little jump in their step which makes it a great time to update your routine. Use this time to consider ways to your improve business relationships.

Business relationships are just like any relationship, they require a level of effort to maintain and grow. And just like other relationships, the best are mutually beneficial where both sides are willing to give and support each other. Here are few practices that will help you strengthen your relationships.

  1. Make getting in contact part of your routine

Many people preach the idea of seven touches per year . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Using Apps for Contact Tracing: Can We Protect Privacy?

Governments in Canada have yet to officially use phone data to track and trace people who may be infected with COVID-19. However, there has been discussion around using a system in Canada similar to Singapore.

In Singapore, the app being used to track and trace people who may have contracted COVID-19 is “TraceTogether”. TraceTogether uses bluetooth technology to track nearby phones. People can then opt-in to have their information provided to the Ministry of Health if they test positive for COVID-19. Once the Ministry has the information, it alerts people who came across the infected person.

In Canada, a . . . [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. Lifechoice Ltd. v Adams2019 CanLII 28274 (AB ESU)

[28] Like most commissioned salespeople, the Respondent’s income was dependent in whole or in part on her sales success. The fact an individual is paid commission does not remove him or her from the definition of “employee” under the Code. There must be some indicia of entrepreneurial activity on the part . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Rule by Government Press Release & Legal Status of Recommendations

The Ontario government has been making orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) to address the coronavirus epidemic. It has quickly advised of the orders through press releases on the Ontario government news website. The orders take the form of regulations (and orders in council and sometimes only orders in council). However, it has not always been as quick — or quick enough — to post the regulation itself under the EMCPA. This is a problem. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, 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 practice, research, writing and technology.


Free Access to Easy-to-Use Compliance App
Lesha Van Der Bij

To say COVID-19 has sped up the pace of legal change is an understatement. Usually it takes months (or even years!) to make changes to Canadian laws, but now we are seeing significant amendments announced and in force on the same day. With many businesses worrying about day-to-day survival, there is little or no time to stay on . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Lawyering in a Time of Corona

IT WAS INEVITABLE: as the courts shut down and the work-from-home edict spread, I was reminded of Luddite lawyers sitting in their offices. It would be a gargantuan undertaking to take files to and fro between home and office, and impossible to convert to a paperless office in the blink of an eye. Not surprisingly discoveries and mediations were cancelled, revealing those behind the curve. What we have preached as best practice for decades is now the only practice: paperless remote work is the one game in town.

Speaking of behind the curve, the conservative-to-a-fault Law Society of Ontario relaxed . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

How to Bring an Urgent Application at the B.C. Supreme Court While the Courthouses Are Closed

Friday, April 3, 2020 – Effective March 19, 2020, the B.C. Supreme Court suspended regular operations of the Supreme Court of British Columbia until further notice. While the courthouses are closed, applications may be made to the Court only for essential and urgent matters. The move is part of the Court’s efforts to protect the health and safety of court users and to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

The procedural approach of the Courts to the present crisis may be expected to continue to evolve. Those wishing to have matters brought before the Court will need to check frequently . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology