On December 23, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered an important decision on copyright infringement in Cinar Corp. v. Robinson. The Court affirmed the trial judge’s finding that Cinar infringed Claude Robinson’s intellectual property and allowed a considerable increase in the monetary relief the Quebec Court of Appeal awarded Robinson. . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Justice Issues’
While it’s premature to call it a trend, Winnipeg-based law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS) has once again merged with a small local law firm based in Western Manitoba, and thereby expanded its reach to Manitoba’s western borders.
Brandon-based Roy Johnston LLP operated for some 30 years, most recently as a six-lawyer firm. Managing partner Paul Roy told the Winnipeg Free Press that the merger is a response to the changing needs of firm clients who are engaged in more complex legal transactions:
“When we started out, we were doing simple farm deals and house deals. The institutions and
. . . [more]
Utah makes family law, it seems. Perhaps because that state is the home of a large number of devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a.k.a. Mormons, and churches of all stripes care about such things as marriage — and sometimes hold beliefs about them that are at odds with those of civil society. Recently, as you may know from the news, a couple of cases from Utah have shaken things up and have raised some fundamental questions — again.
Back in 2012, at the end of the Stratford Festival’s season, the CBC arranged to have a mock appeal by Shylock of his conviction in Merchant of Venice, argued under current Canadian law and before an august court of lawyers and judges. Now the CBC’s Sunday Edition has released a 22 minute audio file of that hearing. Given Omar’s post today on the BCCA judgment about a fee arrangement, I thought this might be apt.
The five-person bench was stellar: Patricia Jackson, Justice Ian Binnie, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, Earl Cherniak, and Mayo Moran.
As were the counsel: Sheila . . . [more]
[vocabulary watch: 'bleg' - a request (beg) for information delivered by blog]
Does anyone know of any instance where any body in Canada – private or public – asks that foreign public documents be legalized before being accepted for use here? (Legalization is a method of authenticating a foreign public document by consular officials of the country in which it is to be used. Public documents can include birth certificates and other personal status documents, school or unversity transcripts, and much else that is issued by a public authority of some kind.)
So far as I know, no one in . . . [more]
On November 27, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights held a Grand Chamber hearing (which was broadcast on the Internet) in the case of S.A.S v. France (Application no 43835/11). The case concerns a French Muslim woman’s complaint that French law prohibits her from wearing a full-face veil in public. As of April 2011, French Law no. 2010-1192 prohibits concealment of one’s face in all places open to the public in France. The penalty for breaking the law is a fine of up to €150 and/or compulsory citizenship classes. Separate penalties are provided for anyone forcing a woman to conceal her face in public. . . . [more]
UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, a three-year-old organization, has made available online a database of those provisions in nations’ constitutions that concern gender. The Constitutional Database covers 195 countries and provides relevant passages in both the original language and English translation. It is possible to download the entire database in PDF.
The database is searchable, of course, with filters available for country, region, or type of provision (e.g. reproductive rights, marriage family rights, equality…).
(Ed. note: This is the second of two parts on providing legal services in a coaching model. The first part is available on Slaw.)
Returning to the question of whether, and how, lawyers could provide coaching in self-advocacy for SRL’s, let me first put a few pertinent findings from my 2013 SRL study upfront.
86% of the (n=259) SRLs in told me that they had sought the assistance of a lawyer – via either the private Bar, a pro bono service, or Legal Aid. 53% had originally had counsel representing them; a further 33% sought pro bono legal services . . . [more]
The final report from the Envisioning Equal Justice initiative has just been released. I’ve only just had a chance to skim it, but in doing so I have noted a continuous thread throughout the report suggesting that it is essential, if we are to move forward effectively on the issue of access to justice, that we know what we know and what we don’t yet know. In other words, we need to establish a solid base of evidence that will support the actions we take to increase access to justice.
The report writers point out that:
We know little about
. . . [more]
Lawyers Coaching SRLs in “Self-Advocacy”? Why This Paradoxical Proposition Deserves Your Serious Consideration
Much of what I heard from self-represented litigants in my 2011-12 study – and continue to hear in the mail we receive daily at the National Self-Represented Litigants Project – centred on what type of assistance they really wanted and felt that they needed.
How SRLs want help
SRLs want help – that is loud and clear. On-line resources get them part of the way – sometimes. But they want face-to-face help too.
Almost all of them say that they want lawyers. But they cannot afford to use a lawyer for every step of their case.
They want help to . . . [more]
On November 27, 2013, Quebec’s National Employment Insurance Review Commission released its report regarding the impact of the federal government’s 2012 changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program. The report makes 30 recommendations, with three key recommendations calling for the provincial and federal governments to negotiate an agreement giving Quebec the power to manage its own EI system to meet the needs of the province’s labour market. . . . [more]
Lawyers who practice family law in Winnipeg are familiar with the Tuesday morning motions court, known as the “zoo” for reasons that will soon be obvious. For those unfamiliar with this docket court, the recent decision of Associate Chief Justice Rivoalen in Skinner v. Skinner is instructive:
 There is a lot going on as the Family Motions Coordinator, parties and their lawyers navigate their way through the typical Family Uncontested Motions melée, and not only because there are so many matters on the List. Moreover, the Court’s registry staff, clerks, sheriffs, stand-by master and judges are fully engaged….
. . . [more]