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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Suzanne Côté Takes Justice LeBel’s Chair at the Supreme Court

On the eve of Justice Louis LeBel‘s retirement, the PMO has announced his replacement. A Gaspésienne. A woman. A litigator in private practice at Osler’s Montréal office. Suzanne Côté. In every way a safe appointment, which has already been warmly received, and which raises none of the delicate difficulties of the previous announcement concerning Justice Marc Nadon. The timing is interesting on a day when all eyes are on Pierre Karl Peladeau announcing that he’ll run – and Doug Ford saying he won’t. This story may get lost.

The announcement stated:

« Je suis ravi d’annoncer la nomination

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Diversity of Manitoba Society

Manitoba’s Provincial Court is advertising a position as a Provincial Court Judge based in Winnipeg. Some of the requirements for those seeking the position are:

  • practised for not less than five (5) years as a barrister and solicitor in Manitoba;
  • a member in good standing of The Law Society of Manitoba;
  • and be entitled to practise as a barrister and solicitor in Manitoba;
  • or have other equivalent experience.

The Judicial Nominating Committee’s mandate is to “assess the professional excellence, community awareness and personal suitability of candidates, while taking into account the diversity of Manitoba society (c. 275, The Provincial Court . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Observing the Office Grouch

Monday, November 10th marked the 45th anniversary of ‘Sesame Street’. I grew up watching the show. I’m not so grown up that I didn’t smile when I saw my favourite characters in the news coverage of the milestone event.

Many of the lessons Sesame Street taught us about how to get along with the people in our neighborhood actually still serve us well in the workplace.

Consider Oscar the Grouch, for example. Okay, he’s a Muppet, not a person. But his traits aren’t too different from some of the curmudgeonly colleagues I’ve worked with. When I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

LSUC: No Yurts!

The Law Society of Upper Canada is located in beautiful Osgoode Hall on Queen Street in the heart of downtown Toronto. The large, manicured grounds in front are partly surrounded by an ornate iron fence that’s interrupted at a few points by elaborate gates known as “cow gates,” baffle affairs that would indeed keep cows out (or in) and that are enjoyable to wiggle through.

I happened to pass by recently and saw that No Trespassing notices had been posted at these gates. Perhaps they’ve been there for a while and I’ve just never noticed them before. At any rate, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Who’s Watching the Spies?

Much of the debate following the shootings in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu has turned on whether or not increased surveillance by Canadian law enforcement and intelligence agencies could have prevented the actions of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau. Then comes the follow-up: Must we adopt stronger measures and would they put our civil liberties at risk?

To be clear, this has nothing to do with the recent tabling of Bill C-44, drafted months ago. For reasons well explained by Craig Forcese, these measures aim primarily to assist CSIS in obtaining warrants for overseas investigations and to help protect the identity . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Sponsorship and Sincerity

I recently attended a workshop that was sponsored by several law firms, major corporations and large organizations. The event and the law firms will remain anonymous (for obvious reasons), but the sponsorship implied trust, integrity and commitment by the business community to a contemporary organizational issue.

Event attendees participated in a productive discussion; some were clients of the firms whose logos were included on the promotional material and some would probably be good clients for those firms to have.

There was just one problem. None of the law firms who sponsored the workshop had sent a representative to participate in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Marketing

Employers Requiring Disclaimers in Employees’ Social Media Posts

In the USA, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) oversees not just unionized workplaces but many others too. Among the issues attracting its attention these days are social media policies of employers. As one might expect, the NLRB protects free speech by employees, especially where employee rights and relations with employers are concerned.

However, the Board has recently confirmed that employers may require employees to disclaim speaking for the employer on the employees’ social media sites. The risk that employers could get in trouble for ideas otherwise imputable to them was considered a valid reason for such disclaimers. However, disclaimers . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, ulc_ecomm_list

The Honourable Louise Arbour Inducted Into Canada’s Walk of Fame

On Saturday The Honourable Louise Arbour‘s star was unveiled on Canada’s Walk of Fame along with those of the other inductees The Band, Jeff Healey, Rachel McAdams, Ryan Reynolds and Hayley Wickenheiser.

From her bio included with her webpage:

The Honourable Louise Arbour is currently a jurist in residence at Borden Ladner Gervais providing strategic advice to lawyers of the Litigation Group, in particular on issues pertaining to international disputes. Her great legal mind,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

14th Century Legislation, as Amended.

A distinguished Ontario litigator I know has made it a personal rule never to cite a case that was reported before the year he was called to the bar.

The British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond might want to enquire whether any of the lawyers he likes to retain harbour any such sentiments. Last week Mr Hammond appeared to entertain the thought of laying charges of treason against Britons who go to fight in Syria and Iraq.

The law of treason dates back to an English statute of 1351.

Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators in the gun powder plot were convicted . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of #HeForShe Feminism and the Autumnal Equinox

During an autumnal equinox the Sun spends about an equal time above and below the horizon at all points of the Earth. September 23 is the date for this year’s equinox. For the rest of 2014, the northern hemisphere will pine the loss of sunlight as the other half of the globe rejoices its gain. For a brief period during equinox, however, we are all equals. At least in this single, solar respect.

In most other departments, that simple, elegant equality does not resolve tidily. Not on any day of the year, in fact. Once you’re on the ground, inside . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Scotland’s Question of Clarity

There is much that is familiar in watching how Scotland’s vote will unfold today.

Fuelling the sense of déjà vu for Canadians is the arc of the story. It begins with the No forces way ahead in the polls, until suddenly both camps are neck and neck. Panic takes over in the “nation’s” capital, followed by improvisation, vague promises of more devolved powers, and not-so-subtle threats about what it will all mean for the shared currency and the breakaway state’s place in the larger common market (their EU to our NAFTA).

And yet, in spite of all the similarities, something . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous