Canada’s online legal magazine.

Employee Angry Outburst Leads to Short Lived Termination

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

The 2019 British Columbia labour arbitration decision regarding BC Hydro and Power Authority and IBEW, Local 258 (Vanegas), Re (2019 CarswellBC 4126), considered the case where a worker with a history of poor behaviour had an outburst in a fact-finding meeting. This culminating incident led to his dismissal. The arbitrator’s decision demonstrates the traditional analysis that takes place in disciplinary cases with a consideration for various aggravating and mitigating factors. In this case, despite the worker’s poor record and lack of remorse, several compelling mitigating factors convinced the arbitrator to substitute . . . [more]

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

Back to (Law) School, COVID-Style

The Labour Day weekend typically finds professors feeling melancholy: the four months of our summer term, which we use primarily for research and writing, attending conferences, and graduate supervision, are again drawing to a close. We know that the next eight months will be focused on the equally important work of teaching, academic planning and governance, so our next opportunity to think deeply about our scholarship is a long way away.

Yet, since many of us are unabashed nerds, we are perpetually excited about the beginning of a new school year, replete with ambitious plans for our courses and keen . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

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. R. v. Doering, 2020 ONSC 5618 (CanLII)

[48] The value of human life and the corresponding right of citizens to protection from harm, are entitlements attaching to all citizens, including those who suffer personal challenges, such as drug addiction. I acknowledge, as I did in my reasons for judgment, that police often face unpredictable and dangerous situations. They must be empowered . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Hopping Ministers and Crossing Canyons

At the end of July, after months of lockdown, my first trip outside The Netherlands was to Tunisia. Just before I flew over, the prime minister tendered the resignation of his government. That meant possibly another minister of justice; the fourth in a little over two years. Much as I believe in democracy, it felt a bit much. With a deep sigh I reconciled myself with the fact that we needed to start developing our ministerial relationship all over again. In most post-revolution and post-conflict reconstruction environments frequent changes of ministers of justice and, with that, senior civil servants, are . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Law via the Internet 2020

I might have titled this post “pandemic pleasures” or some other alliterative title that made it clear that ONLY in 2020 would some opportunities be available.

This year I had the benefit and pleasure of attending a conference that I have longed to go to – Law Via the Internet. LVI 2020 was originally intended to be in the UK. The conference is almost always overseas. Slawyers know that in-person conferences and travelling are not possible. Slawyers should also know by now that many, many things are now feasible like attending a global conference of interest but perceived as not . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues, Legal Information: Publishing

Editing Legal Resources

At CanLII, we have a number of programs that provide opportunities for writers to publish their work. Most recently, we have been working to develop content from scratch through initiatives such as a collaborative manual on BC litigation and our call for book proposals. It’s through these projects where we have taken on a whole new and exciting aspect of publishing: editing. 

Editing is complex and exists on multiple levels that can happen in succession or at the same time, and can range from general to specific. There are also several types of editing, from developmental to proofreading. Overall, . . . [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.

Practice

Remembering to Not Forget to Be Ethical
Shawn Erker

Ethical lapses on the part of lawyers are often due to mistake, rather than known wrongdoing. The problem is not intention, but lack of attention. …

Research & Writing

A Far-Flung Correspondent Writes
Neil Guthrie

From Saskatchewan, to ask whether it’s court house or courthouse. Either, really. Or, better, court-house. … . . . [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. First Reference 2. Paw & Order 3. Avoid a Claim 4. Susan On The Soapbox 5. Vancouver Immigration Law Blog

First Reference
Keeping criminal background checks in check: Privacy law limits on employee criminal background checks in B.C.

Criminal record checks are just one type of background

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Youth Voices: A Call to Action for Family Lawyers and Mediators–Part 2

This is Part 2 of a two-part piece focusing on how family lawyers and mediators can participate in and support the Youth Voices Initiative.

In Part 1, I described the foundations of the Youth Voices Initiative, overseen by the BC Family Justice Innovation Lab, which aims to improve the well-being and resilience of children and youth who are experiencing parental separation. I tried to connect the dots between the child rights provisions, Adverse Childhood Experience research, the importance of child voice/participation and the family justice system. Out of a human-centred design process emerged a story-based concept which the . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Harnessing the Power of Practice Groups

Most firms have come to appreciate the value of practice groups in their management and marketing; but not everyone knows why they are more powerful than operating without them, which may result in their under-utilization. In this post I’ll explain the evolution of practice groups, what they look like today, and how you can use them to more effectively drive the business objectives of the firm.

The Evolution of Practice Groups

Initially, law practices were based on the personal reputation of the principal. In time, lawyers realized that if they pooled their resources, they could split costs while still maintain . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing, Practice of Law

Discrimination Exists Even in Commercial Tenancies

Those protesting from “diversity fatigue” often complain that some people will find indicia of subtle racism in almost everything. It’s like they dispute that these influences are subtle and pernicious, and can be found throughout the social fabric of our society.

Fortunately the courts in Ontario disagree, finding in a commercial tenancy dispute in Elias Restaurant v. Keele Sheppard Plaza Inc. regarding a refusal by the landlord to renew a commercial lease. The concept of “prejudice” as used in litigation rarely encompasses the term as it is popularly used, but its application in this case weighed in favour of the . . . [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.

IMMIGRATION ET CITOYENNETÉ : Les demanderesses, l’une canadienne et l’autre d’origine étrangère, forment un couple de même sexe et ont eu leur fils à l’étranger par procréation assistée, la mère d’origine étrangère étant celle qui a porté l’enfant; l’interprétation de l’article 3 (1) b) de la Loi sur la citoyenneté . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday