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]
Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’
The Nonhuman Rights Project (NRP), a US group "working toward actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own," yesterday filed an application in Fulton County Court in New York state to free "Tommy, a chimpanzee, who is being held captive in a cage in a shed at a used trailer lot in Gloversville." The organization is seeking a writ of habeas corpus and asking that Tommy be moved to a sanctuary run by the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance. In their explanatory blog post, the NRP draws parallels to the famous 1772 case of Somerset v. . . . [more]
In 1936, Yale law professor Fred Rodell wrote “[t]here are two things wrong with almost all legal writing. One is its style. The other is its content.”
Some things never change, but the growth of legal blogging over the past decade would give hope to even Professor Rodell that not all legal writing must suffer from these twin deficiencies. In fact, the good professor might even be persuaded to accept that short form legal writing through blogs serves as a valuable source of legal scholarship.
In the context of a for-credit tech law internship overseen by the University of Ottawa . . . [more]
Following release of the October 17, 2013 Hearing Panel decision in the prosecution of Torys LLP lawyers Elizabeth DeMerchant and Darren Sukonick, I raised the question here of why the Law Society continued with the prosecution for as long as it did. Those views were based on information contained in the reasons of the Hearing Panel. Now that the parties have exchanged cost submissions, a fuller review of the evidence is available.
In their lengthy submission, Philip Campbell and Ian Smith, counsel for Ms. DeMerchant and Mr. Sukonick, take the position that the Law Society should pay much of the . . . [more]
1. The Conceptual Foundation for the Use of Electronic Records
The concepts and arguments developed below have been facilitated by what I have learned from experts in electronic records management. The following three analogies should be the foundation concepts for all that is written and said about the discovery and admissibility of electronic records:
1. An electronic record (an e-record) is merely an electronic impression upon an electronic storage device, which is but a part of an electronic records management system (an ERMS). An e-record in its ERMS, is like a drop of water in a pool of water. Like . . . [more]
As I often do here on Slaw, I'm pointing you to the Google Doodle, which today is an animated game involving all the Doctor Whos from the 50 years of the show's history — and, of course, an evil Dalek.
It's worth it to let the Dalek vaporize a couple of Doctors just to hear the menacing growl, "Exterminate!" . . . [more]
In a stunning development, the Inquiry Committee charged with investigating the conduct of the Hon. Lori Douglas has resigned en masse (reasons here).
Associate Chief Justice Douglas was investigated by the Canadian Judicial Council in relation both to her conduct prior to her judicial appointment and to her disclosures during the appointment process. The Inquiry Committee was additionally charged with considering her conduct during the Canadian Judicial Council’s investigation, and in particular allegations that she interfered with the investigation.
The Inquiry Committee’s hearing has been fraught with problems. ACJ Douglas alleged that the Committee was biased, and after . . . [more]
Here in London I spent some time yesterday at Hacker Studios talking to some people with budding business ideas. In addition to legal mentoring, advice is available on topics including accounting, sales, business planning, marketing, and human resources.
There are several groups in London that support an entrepreneur culture. What do other communities do?
A portion of my practice deals with startups and small business in the tech sector. To be frank, some . . . [more]
This past summer, the Federal Court considered whether Imperial Tobacco could register as a trademark “the colour orange” on its packaging, under the Trade-marks Act. Imperial Tobacco’s application was contested by JTI MacDonald on the grounds that, inter alia, the colour claimed was not sufficiently specific and that the design claimed was not distinctive. The Imperial Tobacco case is just one of many recent instances in which companies have sought to protect a colour within an unclear legislative framework with regard to protecting colour as a distinctive mark. The Court dismissed JTI’s appeal and sided with Imperial Tobacco, . . . [more]
Preserving one’s reputation is a fine value – and one that the law of libel strives to protect. But it’s not absolute, and the law recognizes that some communications are so important that they must trump reputation. That’s why communications that enjoy privilege are defensible in defamation cases.
So is there a qualified privilege when reporting relevant information to the police in good faith, protecting the individual reporting the information from a libel suit. The answer is Yes. . . . [more]
Bill Affirming the Values of Secularism and Religious Neutrality of the State Tabled in Quebec Legislature
Bernard Drainville, Quebec’s Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship, has finally introduced legislation affirming the values of secularism and religious neutrality with respect to the province of Quebec. The name of the "Quebec Charter of Values" has changed, but the substance remains essentially intact. . . . [more]
London's Emerging Leaders organization just released survey results about attitudes of younger workers resulting from lack of employment opportunities. The unemployment rate amongst recent graduates is higher than the general unemployment rate, and I suspect many who are employed are under employed.
Are employers partly to blame for this? One of the problems cited by the Emerging Leaders executive director is the typical requirement of "3 to 5 years experience". Employers surveyed ranked ambition and attitude ahead of qualifications as the top factor in hiring a candidate. But how would an employer ever know that a job candidate had . . . [more]