Canada’s online legal magazine.

Understanding the Impacts of Access to Legal Help

If popular culture is to be believed, the success of a legal dispute is determined foremost by the calibre and character of one’s legal representative; the ability to deliver an inspiring closing argument is a clear signal that a favorable outcome is forthcoming. The recipe, it would appear, is one part institutional knowledge added to one part intuitiveness sprinkled with a dash of showmanship. (A devil-may-care regard for the truth and facts is optional.) Notwithstanding the oft times sensationalistic portrayal of lawyers in film, novels and the news, the role that legal professionals play in securing satisfactory outcomes for people . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Book Review: Commissions of Inquiry

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.

Commissions of Inquiry. By Hon. Stephen Goudge & Heather MacIvor. Toronto: LexisNexis, 2019. xvi, 510 p. Includes appendices and index. ISBN 9780433503118 (softcover) $120.00.

Reviewed by Paul F. McKenna
Lecturer, School of Information Management
Dalhousie University
In CLLR 45:3

This comprehensive work deals with all things related to the concept, characteristics, . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

How Amazon Will Enter the Legal Market

“The competition that kills you may not look like you”. – Richard Susskind

In “Law is Not Ready for Amazon. Is Amazon Ready for Law?”, Mark Cohen writes that Amazon will continue to encroach on the legal market. The legal market meets Amazon’s three criteria for disrupting an industry. Amazon’s three criteria that must be met include: “(1) an original approach that does not mimic existing models; (2) scalability; and (3) potential for significant return on investment.”

Currently, legal providers are fragmented. There is no Goliath. And today’s leading legal providers focus on high-end clientele, and ignore a . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

An Emerging Ministers of Justice Movement

Since April, we have been calling for justice leaders of the world to get out of their national cubby holes and come together to share fears, failures, successes, and strategies, just like public health minister are doing. The COVID-19 crisis is too big and too unprecedented to deal with on your own national level. On 20 October, 22 ministers of justice did just that at the Justice for All in a Global Emergency meeting convened by Minister of Justice of Canada, David Lametti (see end for participants). It was a significant moment. For 90 minutes, they shared their experiences in . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, 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. Attorney General for Ontario v. Persons Unknown, 2020 ONSC 6974 (CanLII)

[76] In my view, the “Persons Unknown” format does not allow the Attorney General to seek ex parte interpretations of laws to restrict unnamed respondents from suing others in future. Neither is it appropriate for the Attorney General to seek this court’s legal opinion on a hypothetical question of interpretation. . . . [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

Bad Business Jargon: The Continuing Saga
Neil Guthrie

Yet more. Above-captioned: This is a truly awful way to describe anything. Substitute this or a concise description of the subject of your e-mail or letter and it will read oh, so much better. Action item: Plain old task will do nicely, thank you. …


Trauma-Informed Lawyering: The Education You Didn’t Know You Needed
Emma Durand-Wood

What . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

eLitigation – Training Future Litigators for the Profession They Will Join

In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic changed our legal world the way no one could have imagined. Our courthouse went from a beehive of litigation activities to a silent graveyard. Practice directives containing emergency measures were issued and activated to deal with the change. Our civil litigation system that historically relied on an in-person process to undertake almost every task – from the filling and service of litigation documents to routine chambers applications and trials – suddenly moved to the online world built on technologies.

The legal profession was forced to adopt technologies to address administration and litigation needs at . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education, Legal Technology

Motivations Irrelevant for Determining the Public Interest

Following the Court’s decisions in Pointes/Platnick, anti-SLAPP motions continue to be brought in defamation actions. These decisions will continue to build and refine test created by the Court, and how it can be applied.

One particular aspect is determining what exactly is in the public interest for the purpose of s. 137.1(4)(b), which is the main focus of analysis after the Court’s decision. A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Sokoloff v. Tru-Path Occupational Therapy Services Ltd. helps expound on this issue.

The action emerged from a dispute between a well-known lawyer in Toronto, and a the President . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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 (October 10 – November 20, 2020 inclusive).

Oral Judgments

Criminal Law: Jury Challenges
R. v. Chouhan2020 ONCA 40; 2020 SCC (39062)

The Chief Justice: “A majority of the Court is of the view . . . [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 Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

ACTION COLLECTIVE (RECOURS COLLECTIF) : Tant que le jugement de clôture n’est pas rendu, les avocats mis en cause dans le dossier, qu’ils soient en demande ou en défense, restent investis d’obligations envers le processus judiciaire; ils doivent notamment veiller à l’exécution fidèle et diligente de la transaction approuvée par . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

WTO National Security Exception – Strike Two!

Authors’ note: U.S. trade policy may well be affected by the results of the November 3rd election, which this column was written prior to. 

In February 2020,[1] we took note of the first adopted WTO dispute settlement panel to interpret the GATT 1994 Article XXI national security exception: Russia – Traffic in Transit.[2] Now in Saudi Arabia – Measures Concerning the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (“Saudi – IP”),[3] we have a second panel that deals with the defence.

Addressing a complaint by Qatar, the Panel found that it had established a prima facie case that the Kingdom . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

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