Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for September, 2020

Does the Proposed 25% LSO Fee Reduction Make Any Sense?

The last six months have been a challenge for everyone. The impacts of the pandemic have differed but no one has been spared. Lawyers and paralegals are no different. We have all been affected, in varying degrees and in varying ways. For many of us, the fact that we provide professional services rather produce goods or provide retail services has helped as many professional services need not be provided in person. Remote work has been possible for many. But some have been particularly affected.

The incomes of those who are employed, whether in business, government, larger firms or otherwise, have . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Never Say Never

In 2014 I wrote a column about researching Native American Law. In it I discussed the controversy over sports teams whose names and mascots were perceived as being derogatory and racist. The most egregious of these names was that of the Washington Redskins football team. In 2013 their owner, Dan Snyder told USA Today that “We’ll never change the name.” “NEVER – you can use caps.” To read more about the history of opposition to the name see this Wikipedia entry.

In 2020 never is now. The US is roiling with protests against systemic racism and its symbols. In . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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.


Update the Most Important 120 Characters on Your LinkedIn Profile
Sandra Bekhor

When you post content on LinkedIn or even comment on someone else’s post, what part of your profile do your connections see in their feed? Three things. That’s it. A mini thumbnail of your headshot. Your name. A headline (120 characters or less). …

Research & Writing

Neil Guthrie

Long, long ago, when the interweb . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Lowering the Primary Barrier to Legal Innovation – Access to Good Data

[Editor’s note: does not typically publish releases or announcements, but we are making an exception here below. We wish Colin the best of luck in his new non-profit initiative.]

Ottawa, September 21, 2020 – The Legal Innovation Data Institute brings the power of many to meet the interests of all.

Imagine trying to write a story with only a partial alphabet. Or trying to write a song with access to just a few notes. It’s the same with legal data – the more you can access, the more you can do. Through a unique member and collaborator model, LIDI . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Thoughts on Why I Write (And Why You Might Want to Too)

I have been thinking about writing lately. There are so many reasons why people write and so much it can give them and the community, so I thought I would share a bit here about why I write and give some suggestions on why you might want to write too.

When I started writing for publication in about 2010, I wrote about issues that mattered to me professionally (You can read some of these early pieces here). This started because I found that I had things I wanted to say and talked about it when I went out . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Publishing

Youth Voices: A Call to Action for Family Lawyers and Mediators–Part 1

This is Part 1 of a two-part piece focusing on how family lawyers and mediators can participate in and support the Youth Voices Initiative.

It has been 10 years since Brené Brown published her book The Gifts of Imperfection. In Brené’s words:

This book was an invitation to join a wholehearted revolution. “A small, quiet, grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, ‘My story matters because I matter.’ Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.”

What does this have to do with the Youth . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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. Global Workplace Insider 2. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog 3. Canadian Trade Law Blog 4. Legal Feeds 5. Legal Post Blog

Global Workplace Insider
Fair Work Commission has jurisdiction to determine when and whether a dismissal occurred in dealing with an out of time general

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Class Proceedings Changes Proclaimed in Ontario

As of Oct. 1, 2020, significant changes to the Class Proceedings Act, 1992 come into effect in Ontario. These changes were part of the legal omnibus Bill 161, which received Royal Assent on July 8, 2020.

The amendments are intended to ensure that claims proceed more quickly, with greater opportunity to dismiss certain claims at an earlier stage. It supporters claim that it provides courts a more balanced framework to determine which chases are best suited for certification.

Some of the amendments are based on the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) report in July 2019, including recommendations on the timing . . . [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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Il n’est pas incompatible avec les arrêts Snooks c. Procureur général du Canada (C.A., 2020-04-24), 2020 QCCA 586, SOQUIJ AZ-51684237, 2020EXP-1076, et Paul c. Lalande (Archambault Establishment), (C.A., 2020-05-08), 2020 QCCA 632, SOQUIJ AZ-51686241, 2020EXP-1242, que la Chambre criminelle de la Cour supérieure continue d’entendre les . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Mediation: A Warning Not to Bully a Client Into Settlement

If a lawyer fails to prepare his client for mediation, and bullies her into a settlement, a court may find the lawyer negligent and award damages to the client amounting to the difference between what she settled for and what she likely would have obtained in court (or arbitration). That is what happened in Raichura v Jones, 2020 ABQB 139, a recent decision from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.[1] In this case, the lawyer was ordered to pay damages of $131,939. In other words, this case is a lawyer’s nightmare. The facts may be uncommon, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Senior Employee Entitled to Progressive Discipline

By Lewis Waring, Paralegal, Student-at-law, Editor, First Reference

In Underhill v Shell Canada Limited, 2020 ABQB 341, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta decided that a senior employee had been wrongfully dismissed after she became tangled up in a subordinate’s attempt to bid on a project independently of the employer.

The employer’s reason for the senior employee’s dismissal had been that she had engaged in misconduct in her handling of the subordinate’s bid attempt. However, the court found that her behaviour was not serious enough to merit her dismissal for cause. Instead, the employer should have responded to . . . [more]

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

Thursday Thinkpiece: Trump, Twitter & the Law

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.

Trump, Twitter & The Law

Author: Sheldon Burshtein

ISBN: 978-1-988824-61-1 (Trade Paperback)
Publisher: Durvile
Page Count: 796
Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Regular Price: $49.95 (Paperback)

Excerpt: Preface and Chapter 12: The Rule of Law [footnotes omitted]

Writing about the presidency of Donald J. Trump is like building a sandcastle too close . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece