Canada’s online legal magazine.

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

The Revolution Is Here…But Will It Survive COVID-19?

Marx predicted that a Communist revolution would arise in a mature capitalist society like England or Germany. Instead, it took root in backward economic Tsarist Russia. Sometimes you take what you can get.

The revolution has arrived in Canadian legal education. Nobody started it. COVID-19 forced it upon us. The question is where this revolution will lead?

This fall, every law student in Canada will take most or all of their courses online through distance learning. Last fall, almost every law student in Canada could have expected to complete their three years of legal studies without taking a single course . . . [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. Climans v. Latner, 2020 ONCA 554 (CanLII)

[71] As I explain on the first issue, the trial judge found that the parties were spouses within the meaning of s. 29 of the FLA because they “cohabited” for a period of not less than three years. To determine whether the parties had cohabited, the trial judge applied s. 1(1) of the FLA . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Gas Pump Stickers and Compelled Speech

In my last Slaw post, I discussed Morgan J.’s decision in Canadian Civil Liberties Association v. Attorney General of Ontario (CCLA v. AG Ont.) to grant standing to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to challenge the government’s requirement that gas station operators post a sticker on each gas pump. The standing decision stands for two major points: the CCLA’s expertise did not have to relate to the selling of gas or regulations governing it, but it was sufficient that it related to constitutional issues; and it had shown its interest by identifying its concerns to the government . . . [more]

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

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

Have a Copy of the Bill to Refer to When Searching Hansard
Susannah Tredwell

Hansard is a very useful tool when trying to determine the intent of an act. Researchers often look at a specific section of an act and what it was intended to achieve. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Pre-Grant Compensation for Patent Infringement

What happens if someone infringed your patent application after you have filed your patent application but before it is granted? In many instances, this can be a surprisingly long period of time – typically several years. It can also be a crucial time in the development and commercialization for a new company. The Patent Act provides some relief, but you can only get a remedy after the patent has granted.

As an example, for patents granted in 2019, the median duration patent applications are pending between filing (international or national filing date) and grant at the Canadian Intellectual Patent Office . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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. Legal Post Blog 2. Know How 3. The Lean Law Firm 4. The Factum 5. All About Information

Legal Post Blog
Howard Levitt: Why employees can’t refuse to return to work because they fear an unsafe workplace

This is why the Ontario teachers unions’ court challenge to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Anti-SLAPP Motions at the Supreme Court

Two significant anti-SLAPP cases have been released, in conjunction, by the Supreme Court.

Bent v. Platnick deals with a motion in a defamation action that was initially successful in getting dismissed. The Court of Appeal reversed the decision, and the Court upheld the appeal, specifically on the likelihood of the plaintiff’s success. The case involved the reputation of a doctor on a lawyers’ listserv, which bolstered the interests in having the matter adjudicated on the merits.

The Court in 1704604 Ontario Ltd. v. Pointes Protection Association affirmed the Court of Appeal decision, which has largely become the leading authority in . . . [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 (August 15 – September 11, 2020 inclusive).


Civil Procedure: Anti-SLAPP Legislation
1704604 Ontario Ltd. v. Pointes Protection Association2020 SCC 22 (38374)

The legislation here presents a two-part analysis: burden on the moving party . . . [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.

RESPONSABILITÉ : Même si les fautes commises par les policiers ont entraîné l’acquittement de la principale suspecte du meurtre de leur père, les appelants ne peuvent réclamer de dommages-intérêts compensatoires et punitifs au procureur général du Québec, car il n’y a pas de lien de causalité entre ces fautes et . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday