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Archive for December, 2020

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. Canadian Appliance Source LP v. Ontario, 2020 ONSC 7492 (CanLII)

[27] However, I have little understanding of the public interest assessment behind the Covid-19 regulatory regime. Everyone sees the apparent unfairness of small stores closing while big box stores remain open. Are there issues about trying to change the public’s habits during the shutdown? That is, are stores shut down not . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Reflections Into 2021: Practice of Law

As we get ready to say good-bye to 2020 (yay!), it is time to reflect on our goals for the ensuing years. In “A Post-Pandemic Survival Kit for the Legal Industry“, author Mark Cohen writes about adapting to new ways of providing legal services. Legal work “is under renovation. Lawyers are not its architects or builders”.

In preparing for our future work, Cohen recommends that we ask the following questions:

  • What do we sell?
  • Should we be selling it?
  • What do customers think of our services and/or products and how do we stack up with known and potential
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Adducing Sensitive Evidence and Writing Decisions: Where Do We Draw the Line?

In my November 17th Slaw post “Making the Hard Decisions: Ethical Lawyering”, I discussed Dean Embry’s refusal to make certain arguments and call certain evidence and witnesses in his representation of James Sears, editor of Your Ward News (YWN), a community newspaper. Sears was convicted of spreading hate and, despite his accepting these views about what might be successful in his defence, a ground of his appeal was that Embry was incompetent because of his (Embry’s) failure to argue the truth of the content of YWN. In this post, I’m raising another issue related to the trial decision in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Miscellaneous

Top Ten Accessed Cases on CanLII From 2020

Reaching December means that it’s time to look at the year in review and share what most interested you in the preceding twelve months through the lens of what court decisions you were all reading. 2020 feels like it’s been a year like no other, but there are things that have been constant and Canadians accessing case law via CanLII has been one of them.

That said, there are four current cases on the top ten list this year, compared to three in 2019, and none in 2018. It seems this is because of a break with prior . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Legal Responses to COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean: From Argentina to México, From Barbados to Guatemala, From the Bahamas to Chile

Since March 2020, a group of law librarians have been monitoring and reporting on the legal responses to COVID-19 throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The main idea behind this project is to provide the most pertinent and precise amount of information concerning a situation in a particular country or a comparative report on various countries. Unfortunately, the rapidly evolving and tragic situation in the region has given us numerous topics and angles to pursue, learn from and write about. The more the health crisis becomes multiple crises: political, social, educational, humanitarian, financial and so on, the more we must . . . [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.

Research & Writing

Use the CanLII Manual to British Columbia Civil Litigation to Find Annotated Rules of Court
Susannah Tredwell

Last Thursday, CanLII unveiled its newest endeavour: the CanLII Manual to British Columbia Civil Litigation. The resource consists of nine “pathfinders” dealing with specific areas of the law, a guide to civil procedure at the BC Supreme Court, and annotated rules of court for both the BC Supreme Court . . . [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. Condo Adviser 2. Risk Management & Crisis Response 3. Pension & Benefits Law 4. Great LEXpectations 5. Double Aspect

Condo Adviser
Big Changes to “Slip and Fall” Claims Against Condos

Ontario just passed a bill amending the Occupiers’ Liability Act, which will bring drastic changes to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

ROSS Intelligence Comes to a Close

It’s the type of story we like to bandy around in legal technology circles. Precocious law student interested in technology founds a start-up with some friends. They create some innovative solutions, and make it big enough to establish a company.

In 2014, three students founded ROSS Intelligence, an artificial intelligence driven product using Watson, to build tools that enhance lawyers’ abilities through natural language queries. The company was widely celebrated as the type of successes that entrepreneurial lawyers could create, and quickly attracted capital and strategic partnerships in the industry.

Unfortunately, this week ROSS Intelligence announced they are shutting down . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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) : Alexandre Bissonnette, condamné à l’emprisonnement à vie après avoir été reconnu coupable de 6 meurtres et de 6 tentatives de meurtre à la grande mosquée de Québec, devra purger 25 ans de sa peine d’emprisonnement à vie avant d’être admissible à une libération conditionnelle, plutôt que 40  . . . [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

For 2021, Make a List!

One of the easiest ways to stay on track with an activity is to make a list. For many people, business development doesn’t come naturally making it easy to put off. By making and sticking to a list, you will begin to form a habit around business development to the point you eventually don’t even know you are doing it.

I have used contact lists with lawyers for years as a simple reminder of people that the lawyer wants or should keep in touch with throughout the year. The best part is that it works at every level of practice. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Hidden Harsh Termination Clause Voids Contract

By Lewis Waring, Paralegal, Studen-at-Law, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In Battiston v Microsoft Canada Inc (“Microsoft”), an employee was wrongfully dismissed because his employer had failed to bring a harsh termination clause to his attention. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision in Microsoft resulted from a combination of the fact that the clause was relatively harsh as well as the fact that the employer had buried the clause deep within his employment contract and failed to sufficiently notify the employee of its contents.

The employer, in this case, was Microsoft Canada Inc, a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp, a global . . . [more]

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