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Archive for October, 2020

States of Emergency: The Inequity of Municipal Governance During the Pandemic

Since the onset of the pandemic in March of this year, municipalities across the country have instituted policies and by-laws that have had a serious impact on residents, often not following regular processes. The University of Windsor Faculty of Law Centre for Cities has recently released its report about municipal states of emergency, States of Emergency (“the Report”), co-authored by Dr. Anneke Smit (Director, Centre for Cities) and students Hana Syed, Aucha Stewart, Terra Duchene, and Michael Fazzari, which analyses the response of municipalities across Canada in the early days of the pandemic and proposes a way forward, not only . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law

Judicial Analytics: Facing Uncomfortable Truths

For as long as there have been judges, people have tried to predict judges’ decisions. In so doing, they have always understood that judges are human beings. They are not calculators from an assembly line, each of which will display the same result if one punches in the same inputs. Thus, at any watering hole where litigators gather, it will be overheard that “Justice Smith comes down hard on drug offenders,” or “If your client has soft-tissue injuries, you had better hope that you don’t draw Justice Jones for the trial.”

In France, it would seem that such conversations are . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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

Don’t confuse e.g. and i.e.
Neil Guthrie

Many people do, like the drafters of a contract at issue in an Indiana case brought to our attention by Ross Guberman in a LinkedIn post. The contract made one party responsible for ‘the periodic repair of damages to said Easement area caused by vehicular traffic (i.e. potholes)’. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

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. Canadian Privacy Law Blog OK 2. Library Boy 3. Lash Condo Law 4. Canadian Class Actions Monitor 5. FamilyLLB

Canadian Privacy Law Blog OK
Presentation: Little Brother – Surveillance Technology and Privacy Law

I had the pleasure of speaking at the University of New Brunswick Law School’s

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Conflict Resolution Professionals! Participate in CLEBC’s Virtual DR Conference Oct 29-30

Continuing Legal Education BC (CLEBC) is offering its annual Conflict Resolution Conference in an innovative virtual 24-hour format.

This is a great opportunity to learn from and with innovators from around the world who will share how the field is responding to COVID-19, increased calls for anti-oppression work within our systems, and the challenges of shifting our practices online. AND to do all this from the comfort of your home and at very affordable prices.

The conference site describes this unique approach:

“Participants will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • conflict resolution responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including both new
. . . [more]
Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Public Interest Litigation Keeping the Homeless Safe

Early in the pandemic, António Guterres the 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations, stated,

Early signs are that the COVID-19 virus poses a greater direct health risk to men, and particularly older men. But the pandemic is exposing and exploiting inequalities of all kinds, including gender inequality. In the long term, its impact on women’s health, rights and freedoms could harm us all.

More recently, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, highlighted the need for better data to address the inequalities that the pandemic has exposed.

We already know that despite 246,000 jobs added in August, . . . [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) : L’amende de remplacement qui doit être imposée en raison de l’impossibilité de confisquer les produits de la criminalité dont l’accusé a bénéficié en raison de sa participation à la distribution de plusieurs dizaines de millions de dollars à des membres ou à l’entourage de la kleptocratie dictatoriale . . . [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:

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

Clarity Around Use of a Trademark for Services on the Internet

Use is essential in Canadian trademark law. The Federal Court of Appeal has addressed the “use” of a trademark in association with services on the internet. in the context of a non-use cancellation action.

The Trademarks Act defines “use” in relation to services if the trademark “is used or displayed in the performance or advertising of those services”.[1] Courts have held that the mere advertising of services in Canada will not constitute use in Canada in association with a service. Some aspect of the services must be performed or delivered in Canada.[2] This is a fact based assessment . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

👩‍🏫📚🗺️⚖️: Researching the Use of Emojis in the Legal Profession

Emojis are everywhere. They have become so popular that in 2015 the Oxford Dictionary chose 😂as the word of the year. Their conspicuous usage has already become present in our legal systems. ☺in Canada, 🔫in France, 👍in Spain, 💃🏻👯‍✌️☄️🐿️in Israel, ✈️in New Zealand or 🤐in Australia are just of the few noteworthy examples of the new frontiers of cases involving emojis. Professor Eric Goldman at the Santa Clara University School of Law has aimed to compile a list of cases in the United States where emojis as well as emoticons[1] have been used in courts. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Toronto Transit Commission v Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113, 2020 CanLII 71739 (ON LA)

Most importantly, the facts do not disclose condonation. Aside from the point made in the case law that criminal and near-criminal acts cannot be used to support a condonation defence (see, for example, the Stelco (Shime) decision, cited above, where the arbitrator says this would amount to collusion . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

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

An Easy Way to Find Out About Foreign Legislation
Susannah Tredwell

If you’ve been asked to find foreign materials in a jurisdiction you know little or nothing about, GlobaLex ( provides a number of country-specific resources covering Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday