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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

The Bachelor: Defendant Edition

Some of us recall those days of law school with nostalgia, if for nothing else the colourful stories which set precedent on key issues of law. “They lied to us,” we think as we look at the files we work on which pale in comparison.

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to encounter this colour in practice today. The colour in this case is pink, in the form of tights attached to a soon-to-be groom who was also wearing a feather boa and a lace shirt. He was even dragging an actual metal ball and chain weighing 32 pounds, affixed to his . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

More Onerous Duty to Accommodate Workplace Injuries

A recent Quebec Court of Appeal decision will make it more onerous for employers to meet their duty to accommodate in the context of a workplace injury. The Court of Appeal found that an employer must seek suitable employment for an employee returning to work from an injury, offer reasonable accommodation to the employee to the point of undue hardship, and conduct an assessment to ensure the accommodation complies with the provisions of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. . . . [more]

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

Apology Accepted, but Not as Evidence!

From a young age, we’re all taught to apologize when we do something wrong. As we get older, we learn to apologize even when we are right (or think we are – see here for further information related to apologies in the marital context).

However, in a professional context, we often hesitate to apologize out of fear for liability. Fortunately, in Ontario, there is legislation in place to take mitigate some of that risk and allow people to apologize with less fear.

The Ontario Apology Act came into force on April 23, 2009. Section 2(1) states that “an apology made . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

US Supreme Court Justices Prefer Shakespeare

According to a recent article about the favourite literary references used by current US Supreme Court justices in their judgments, Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll top the list.

This was followed by:

  • George Orwell
  • Charles Dickens
  • Aldous Huxley
  • Aesop
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, William Faulkner, Herman Melville and J.D. Salinger (equal number of references)

This reminds me of one of my posts on (way back in 2006!) on Popular Song Lyrics in Legal Writing. Oklahoma City University School of Law professor Alex B. Long did a study of citations to pop music stars in law journals.

In descending list of “popularity” . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Government of Canada v. Face Coverings: A Debate on the Limits to Freedom of Religion

On September 16, 2015, the federal government decided to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada the case of Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Ishaq, 2015 FCA 194 (CanLII), in which the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that it was unlawful for the Canadian government to ban new citizens from reciting the citizenship oath with a face covering.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

More Guidance From CRTC on CASL – It’s Still a Mess

The CRTC recently published a document with some guidance on implied consent under CASL.

The parts about “Can I send CEMs to an email address I find online?”, “How can I prove I have consent?”, and “What records should I be keeping?” show how difficult, if not impossible, it is to comply with CASL in practice.

CASL and its interpretation is so granular and so nuanced that the average business doesn’t stand a chance of getting it consistently right. The email address publication relevance issue, for example, is so fraught with risk that it isn’t worth tempting fate with . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

‘La Bâtonnière’ No More After Settlement With Quebec Bar Association

The Quebec Bar Association and bencher-elect Lu Chan Khuong have released a joint statement, indicating that Khuong has decided to resign her position and duties. The joint press release, dated Tuesday, September 15, 2015, announces a settlement agreement of the legal action opposing the board of directors of the Bar Association and Khuong. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ontario Court Takes Jurisdiction in Internet Defamation Case – Ho Hum?

The Superior Court of Ontario has recently held that an Israeli newspaper should face a defamation action in Ontario on behalf of an Ontario resident, since the newpaper’s website was read in Ontario. Goldhar v

The Court made short work of the ‘jurisdiction simpliciter’ argument, based on SCC decisions, and not much longer work, it would appear, of the forum conveniens arguments. It did order that the costs to bring the Israeli witnesses to Canada should be paid by the plaintiff.

Are these cases now routine? Is there any realistic chance for a defendant to avoid a trial . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Privacy Panic Cycle

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has released their analysis of how privacy advocates trigger waves of public fear about new technologies in a recurring “privacy panic cycle.”

The report is an interesting read and makes some valid points. In general, people fear new things more so than things we are familiar with. Like the person who doesn’t fly much being nervous about the flight when statistically the most dangerous part of the journey is the drive to the airport.

While a privacy panic for emerging tech is indeed common, we can’t summarily dismiss that panic as having no basis. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Criminal Charges Laid Against Nova Scotia Employer Under the Westray Bill

The former owner of an auto body shop in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia was recently charged with criminal negligence causing death under federal Bill C-45, colloquially known as the “Westray Bill.” The charges relate to a 2013 workplace accident where a car caught fire causing the death of a 58-year-old mechanic. This is the first charge under the Westray Bill against a Nova Scotia employer.

The Westray Bill was passed in 2004 and amended the Criminal Code to impose criminal liability on employers who fail to ensure the safety of their workers. The Westray Bill was created in the wake of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

AODA, the Customer Service Standard, and Service Animals: Part 3- Potential Challenges

This is Part 3 in a series looking at the requirements related to “service animals” under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 (the “Standards”) of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the “Act”). Click here for Part 1 and Part 2.

For organizations that are subject to the Standards, service animals must be allowed to enter the premises unless “otherwise excluded by law.” The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment & Infrastructure website specifically identifies regulations under the Health Promotion Act and the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001, respectively, as two examples of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Update on the Case of the Quebec Bar Association Suspended Bencher

This is an update regarding the Quebec Bar Association’s controversial suspension of its recently elected bencher, Me Lu Chan Khuong (see our past blog posts here and here). To summarize, the bar association’s board of directors suspended Khuong after it went public that in 2014 she had been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting two pairs of jeans at a Simons store in Laval. Khuong sued the bar for $95,000 in damages and filed a safeguard order to be reinstated to her position as president of the bar.

Additional allegations surface

Now, the bar has countered with its own lawsuit . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions