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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Invitation to Participate: Survey on Scientific Evidence in the Legal Profession

Slaw readers are invited to participate in a research study conducted by Professor Jacob Shelley, and law students, Gabriella Levkov and Michelle Noonan at the Faculty of Law, Western University.

Briefly, the study involves a short multiple choice online survey regarding scientific evidence in the legal profession. Participation in the survey is completely voluntary, confidential, and independent of your professional responsibilities, and identifiable information will not be collected. Your participation should only take 10-15 minutes.

To participate in this study please click on the link below to access the letter of information and survey link.

https://uwo.eu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_7V5C5eGahJ3LaRv . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of Merit and Diversity in Judicial Appointments

With Justice Cromwell’s surprise decision to resign this September, the Federal Liberals promising reform of Supreme Court appointments, and recent media discussion around the political edges of judicial appointments, The Law Society of BC yesterday offered recommendations to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould promoting four core principles for the judicial appointment process. They are: “transparency; judicial independence; merit and diversity; and public participation.”

The July 18, 2016 announcement references the report from a recently formed subcommittee of the Law Society of BC’s Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee, titled “Principles for the Appointment of Justices to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Preserving Your Legal Rights Against Pokemon Go

As of this afternoon, Pokemon Go has officially arrived in Canada. The number of downloads for the augmented reality game were so high that they crashed the app’s servers.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the introduction of this real-time in-public game has created  concerns around trespass, robbery, and even murder.

Pokemon hunting has resulted in police being alerted on suspicious behaviour, only to find people walking in circles staring at their phones. These hapless players have also been targeted by criminals based on their blind meandering. At least one attempted murder suspect has been apprehended due to the Pokemon . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Manitoba Proposes Amendments to CPP Enhancement

The Manitoba government has responded to the agreement in principle to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) concluded June 20, 2016. Manitoba’s Finance Minister Cameron Friesen wants all provincial and federal finance ministers to take more time to talk about the enhanced Canada Pension Plan before finalizing the agreement by July 15, 2016. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Three Business IP Scams to Watch For

It’s summer vacation season, and worth a reminder about some common business IP scams to watch out for. Staff covering for vacations and unfamiliar with these may be more vulnerable to them. While there are lots of scams out there, these three are the ones I get asked about most by clients.

The trademark registration scam. Scammers monitor the trademark application process, and send an invoice to the trademark applicant that looks like it is part of the trademark application process. If you read it very carefully it says it isn’t an invoice, and it is a pitch for a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Refugees in Schools: Intersection of Municipal Law & Federal Obligations

To date, the Federal government has accepted 27,580 Syrian refugees into Canada through various government programs and private sponsorships. The processing of this volume of applications has been a monumental task. In meetings, the Deputy Minister described how they created a 24/7 processing machine, using their resources around the globe to increase efficiency and decrease processing times. These +27,500 refugees join the ~150,000 other refugees from other source countries. When they arrive, there is no doubt that they require significant settlement services and the children need access to education. This is where things can get messy. While the Federal government . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Miscellaneous

Amendment to the Charter of the French Language: Signage in French and Trademarks

The Charter of the French Language currently allows for the exclusive use of trademarks in languages other than French unless a French version of the trademark has been registered. Seeing an increase in the presence of trademarks in a language other than French displayed on outdoor signage all over the province, the Québec Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister Responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language, Hélène David, tabled proposed amendments to regulations under the Charter of the French Language (Loi 101). The amendments are to ensure a greater visibility of French in the display of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Enemy of the State – Still Topical

I recently watched the 1998 movie Enemy of the State . It is a spy thriller about a lawyer being smeared by politicians because they believe he has information that can implicate them in criminal matters – the murder of a politician who was opposing a privacy bill that is really a bill empowering mass surveillance. They use sophisticated, unsavoury, unethical, and illegal methods to watch him, discredit him, and retrieve the evidence. No one is watching the watchers, who are out of control.

While like any disaster movie the plot is a bit over the top, it was fascinating . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Courting Controversy: Substantive Equality and the New Court Challenges Program

Following through on their election promise, the Federal Government has committed to reinstating and updating the Court Challenges Program (“CCP”) after the Harper government cut the entire budget in 2006. The process is well under way, with funding promised in the 2016 Budget, stakeholder consultations and Parliamentary Committee hearings currently in progress.

In its previous iteration, the CCP was made up of two separate panels: a Language Rights Panel and an Equality Rights Panel. The program provided funding for court cases of national significance that had the potential to advance constitutional language or equality rights. Equality cases were . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario Introducing New ORPP Legislation

On April 14, 2016, the Ontario government introduced new legislation to launch the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) legislation. Bill 186, Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016 will ensure that if the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is not enhanced, Ontario can proceed with the ORPP. However, the Ontario government says it remains committed to working with the federal government to enhance the CPP. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Of Tweeters Laureate and Judicious Public Outreach

Last week’s BC Provincial Court’s #AskChiefJudge Twitter Town Hall went off with nary a glitch, and even received some fanfare in the Vancouver Sun for its being the first (known) instance of a time when a Canadian chief judge has taken to Twitter to answer live questions. Dave Bilinsky and Colin Lachance both shared news of this last week.

It proved many things—one of them being 2010 really is a pretty long time ago.

The Courts’ Affair with Twitter Since 2010

Back in 2010 only a fraction of courts even held a Twitter handle—7% according to a CCPIO report of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Technology

Tip or Other Gratuity: Proposed Credit Card Processing Fee Exemption Under ESA

In general in Canada, restaurant and bar patrons are expected to leave a tip amounting to approximately 15 percent of their total bill when dining out or drinking. However, we usually do so without asking ourselves how the money will be divided among staff members. Well, it seems in Ontario, it is a common practice for restaurants to require servers to share their tips and gratuities with their managers and the owners.

Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, 2015 (Bill 12), amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) to provide that employers are prohibited from taking any portion of an employee’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation