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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Corporate Directors Found Liable for Employees’ Unpaid Wages

The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (Board) notes that the following case is a “cautionary tale” for corporate directors. That is, the corporate directors in this case, unfortunately, “failed to scrutinize rigorously” the information provided to them by management and effectively left the day-to-day workings of the business’ operations solely to the owner, much to their detriment. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Seven Years After Bill 168, We Learn It Is Costly Not to Comply With Violence Provisions Under OHSA

It has been a little under seven years since Bill 168 made amendments to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) by adding employer obligations regarding the prevention of workplace violence and harassment. Considering the release of recent employer convictions for failing to comply with employer obligations to prevent and protect workers from violence under OHSA, we thought it would be good to look at some of these cases and revisit the legislation to help employers understand those obligations and comply. . . . [more]

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

Burning the Provisions, Not the Witches

Codification can be a wonderful thing. It helps consolidate all of the myriad of rules and exceptions that exist in the common law, and lays it out in one place for everyone to find.

But codification also has its drawbacks. Once enshrined in statute, there can be a tendency towards complacency.

The best example of this of course would be the Criminal Code of Canada. First enacted in 1892, it was modeled after a proposed a codification in Britain written by James Fitzjames Stephen, which never made it past Second Reading there. The reason for its codification was that John . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Partisan Political Arguments in the Workplace, Part 2

In February, we posted a discussion with respect to how workplace political expression could go awry with human rights law. The article also provided best practices on how human resources professionals and employers can appropriately address human rights complaints specifically on the basis of political belief, activity or association. However, a comment sparked further discussion on how workplace political expression could also contravene harassment provisions under occupational health and safety legislation. . . . [more]

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

Is a Docusign E-Signature an Original for the Purpose of a Court Rule?

If a court or regulator allows e-filing but requires the filer to retain an original signed document, can that original itself be electronic?

A bankruptcy court in California recently issued sanctions against an attorney who filed electronic documents without retaining an “original” of the documents as required by the Rules – because the documents held by the attorney were signed using Docusign, and they did not qualify as originals for that purpose. Here is an article about the decision.

Here is the rule in the Court Manual:

Court Manual section 3.4(1)(4): Retention of Original Signatures. The registered CM/ECF User

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

The Mandatory Nature of CPD

Love it or hate it, we all have to do continuing professional development (CPD).

One lawyer hated it so much that he refused to do it at all. When the Law Society of Manitoba automatically suspended him, he took his challenge all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

As you might expect, the lawyer was unsuccessful on his appeal in Green v. Law Society of Manitoba, released this week. The law society was empowered under the Legal Profession Act to achieve its mandate of self-regulation and protecting the public interest. The power to create a CPD scheme . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Balancing Safety and Freedom of the Press

The state of the media in Canada is increasingly precarious, with several newspaper chains demonstrating indicators of financial difficulty. Reader’s Digest filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and just last year Postmedia merged with Sun, La Presse in Montreal ceased weekday prints, Guelph Mercury went digital only, and the Toronto Star announced layoffs and shutdowns.

Except for some niche news outlets, newspapers might be soon just be a thing of the 20th century.

The biggest casualty in these financial woes is the lack of independent and investigative journalism, given the resources and difficulty in producing this type of content. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

UK Supreme Court Re-Visits Testamentary Freedom

In a decision released on 15 March 2017 , overturning the Court of Appeal, the UKSC reminds courts that when considering claims for financial support from the estate of a deceased, the test is not whether the deceased behaved unreasonably in leaving the will they did.

The right question for the court is: did the will/intestacy make reasonable financial provision?, not whether the deceased acted unreasonably.

Unreasonable testamentary behaviour of the deceased may be considered, but English law, the court confirmed, recognizes the freedom of individuals to dispose of their assets by will in whatever manner they wish, subject to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

University of Virginia Website on US Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

The University of Virginia School of Law has launched the Gorsuch Project, a website devoted to the career of Neil Gorsuch, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left on the US Supreme Court by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016:

“Hearings on the nomination of the Honorable Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court are scheduled to begin March 20 and interest in the nominee’s judicial record is high. To assist researchers, we’re proud to announce the launch of the Neil Gorsuch Project, a website that assembles all of Gorsuch’s written opinions, as well

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Sometimes Legal Aid Is the Problem, Not the Solution

Introduction

Legal aid is intended to assist the most vulnerable in our society, and ensure that they obtain justice irrespective of their financial situations. Often it accomplishes this lofty objective. Far too frequently it does not.

What is more concerning is how references to legal aid are frequently invoked as an obstacle to legal reforms.

One such example would be for the proposal by the Bonkalo Report for paralegals to practice family law. Not unexpectedly, there are family lawyers and judges who have already come out against it. The most recent are several lawyer organizations and some judges of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Including Paralegals in Family Law – the Bonkalo Report

Few things are as contentious in the bar in Ontario as the scope of paralegals. Created in 2007, paralegals have been practicing under a limited scope which has explicitly excluded the provision of family services.

Last week, Justice Annemarie E. Bonkalo released the Family Legal Services Review report, which was part of the Expanding Legal Services Options for Families review being conducted by the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Although the report also focuses on more unbundled services and coaching by lawyers, and use of law students to provide family law, it recognizes,

The most controversial recommendations, however, will be

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions